Inland Empire Capaciteria



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IMPORTANT: Inclusion on this website does not indicate an endorsement of any kind. We do not vet or evaluate the consultants included in directory. It is important that each nonprofit conduct the appropriate due diligence to ensure a selected consultant possesses the skills and experience required for each specific project. Participating consultants must be able to provide a letter of support from two nonprofit organizations they have worked with, and must indicate they have been in business a minimum of one year.


Narrative FundRaising

I started my fund-raising career in 1969 as president of a student organization during my freshman year at Ohio State. That led to 20 years in the nonprofit sector, during which time I eventually directed fund raising for a charity on the Philanthropy 400 list that now raises more than half-a-billion dollars annually.

Then in the early 1990s I studied under Peter Drucker in my doctoral program at Claremont Graduate University. Peter advised me to focus my attention on what he deemed to be two the key result areas for the nonprofit sector--innovation and fund raising. That led me to focus my research in linguistics on the language of fund raising.

I profiled how fund raisers write.

And the findings of my study of were shocking.

My computer analysis of 2,412 fund appeals covered all nine nonprofit sectors and included both printed and online fund appeals. My study population included all 735 of America's largest nonprofits (those that raise $20 million or more), plus 145 smaller ones. I found that their appeals read like academic prose and had less narrative content than official documents.

The exact opposite of what I'd expected to discover!

Even more shocking was the fact that by a ratio of 9 to 1, the nonprofit leaders I surveyed believed that their fund raising communication should focus more on human interest narratives (telling stories about people their organizations help) than on dry exposition (focusing on data and abstract concepts).

The problem: they believed one thing but did another.

The takeaway: to borrow a line from the film Apollo 13, I concluded--"Fundraisers, we have a problem!"

So I developed The Narrative FundRaising seminar (a writing workshop) and my consulting practice to help leaders create communications (whether face-to-face, formal written proposals, online media, or direct mail) that are better fit to the task of raising funds.

I help leaders fix the five fatal flaws that my computer analysis discovered in the 1.5 million words of fund-raising copy my linguistics research analyzed. Because so much rides on the strength of what they write, show and tell donors, I help nonprofit leaders frame effective narrative fund appeals that move people to give. See my research site at to learn more.

In addition to educational outreach I also provide fundraising counsel and services from writing, to producing communication across all media. To learn more visit my project gallery at

Primary Contact Frank C. Dickerson, PhD


Phone 9098642798

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Location 7412 Club View Drive, Highland 92346

Years Consulting 44

Referral Letters: documents-26   documents-26

Resume: documents-26


Categories Grants & Funder, Marketing & Communications, Nonprofit Management, Resource Development, Strategy & Planning