Richmond

Willis believes in expressive writing, exceptional fundraising, and exuberant living.

Willis Turner is the senior copywriter at Huntsinger & Jeffer. He was an experienced writer and creative director in the traditional advertising world for more than 20 years before making the switch to fundraising nearly 15 years ago. In his work with nonprofit organizations and associations, he has written thousands of appeals, renewals and acquisition communications for every medium. He creates direct-response campaigns, as well as collateral materials and communications, that get attention, tell emotional stories, and persuade people to take action or make a donation.

Even in these grim economic times, institutions like the Whitney Museum of American Art are able to continue building their collections. Some are gifts from donors unaffected by the financial markets; others are acquisitions in the works before things grew ugly; and then there is art that seemed out of reach before but is now available because of changing fortunes.

It’s often been said (by me, anyway) that empathy could do more good in the world than war and peace put together. That’s especially true in the world of fundraising, where you’re trying to get people to give you money, and you’re giving them nothing in return but a warm feeling. After all, it’s how people feel, not what they think, that determines their behavior. So how do donors feel? It’s a simple question, but the answers can be very complicated and contradictory. We’re talking about human nature, after all. It might not be easy to know what donors care about, but

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