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Asking Properly
The art of creative fundraising

George Smith. The White Lion Press Limited.
Published 1996. £24.00+ postage & packing.
NB now reduced to £15.00 +P&P
(see special order form, below left, and save!)
Hardback, 220 pages. ISBN 0-9518971-1-X

George Smith tears open the conventional wisdom of fundraising creativity. Asking Properly is that rare thing – a book that changes the rules of an apparently established trade.

Irreverent, funny, savagely critical and genuinely inspiring – often on the same page – this is perhaps the most authoritative book ever written about the creative aspects of fundraising and is likely to remain a key text for years to come. The author offers a profound analysis of donor motivation and criticises the extent to which charities take their supporters for granted. But it is no mere commentary on current practice – it offers a comprehensive checklist on how to optimise the creative presentation of the fundraising message. The whole gallery of creativity and media is surveyed and assessed, with hundreds of examples of fundraising campaigns from around the world illustrating the need to ‘ask properly’.

Asking Properly is provocative, refreshing and, above all, highly instructive. Read it, apply its lessons and it will enable you to raise more money, more happily. Only George Smith could have written this. We should all be glad that he has.

See also Tiny Essentials of Writing for Fundraising and Up Smith Creek.



Asking Properly, George Smith’s book on creative fundraising, is the one most likely to be stolen from the Bluefrog library. On page 89 you'll find his Curmudgeon's Corner, where he details the five dumb habits that people who write for charity often fall into. If you are interested in great copywriting, I suggest that you get yourself a copy.’

Mark Phillips,
MD of creative agency Bluefrog,