To judge from books on the subject, writing copy to make people want to donate to a charity seems to be more of a science than an art. Just being a good cause, or providing a service which people want and value, isn't enough - you have to employ clever tactics to get people to give you money.
We're all familiar with the fundraising letter that comes complete with a free gift, often a pen. This strategy exploits the obligation many of us feel to reciprocate a gift. They create a so-called 'uninvited debt'.
Well, there is no free pen for our readers - sorry! There is just our free newsletter, with a digest of news as well as commentary and reviews. And it is not 'uninvited', because all of our readers subscribe to receive it.
Another rule for fundraising is that small personal stories perform better, in terms of raising money, than ones that show the big picture. In other words, people are more likely to donate to help poor little Y, a six year-old girl from X, eat one meal a day for a week, than they are to help feed two million people in X for a year.
Well, we can do that.
Antony is our hard working Legal Editor here at BioNews. His computer is old - it was second-hand, having been donated to BioNews by another charity, and is no longer fit for purpose. He has to coax it to perform the simplest of tasks, and his already time-pressured job is made worse. But Antony perseveres, to bring you your free edition of BioNews every week.
We urgently need to raise £8,000 for new computers and software. We will use the rest of the money we raise to make the BioNews website and email newsletter more mobile- and tablet- friendly, which is something that many of you have told us you want.
Please give generously to the BioNews 800 Appeal, to help Antony do his job more easily and enable him to go home on time. You can donate now via PayPal (click here), by text (text 'PROG23 £10' or any other amount to 70070), or by post (as detailed here).
If you can't afford to donate but use Amazon, please make sure you access Amazon's website via this link or via the logo on the right of the BioNews homepage. Doing so will ensure that Amazon donates money to us for every item you buy, while the products you receive and the price you pay will be the exactly the same.