I was approached by the Outward Bound Trust, the UK’s leading outdoor education charity, to write a fundraising letter aimed at high-net-worth individuals because the copy they’d been using was stale and not performing very well. It needed ‘shaking up’.
I wrote two letters, focusing on real stories and specific facts to highlight the urgency of the charity’s work (youth unemployment is high and rising, mental health problems among the young are increasing, and so on).
The Trust was extremely happy with the copy, and we’re now waiting to see how they perform.
Here’s an extract:
A whole generation in the UK is in crisis. You might think that sounds like an over-statement but, sadly, it’s true.
The facts about young people today are alarming. Unemployment among people aged 18 to 25 is high and rising. Childhood obesity is a growing problem. Mental health issues are on the rise, with a quarter of girls aged 14 suffering from depression*. That’s a staggering number, as I’m sure you’ll agree.
There is something that you can do, however. By becoming a Friend of the Outward Bound Trust, you can help give young people a brighter future.
I’d like to tell you about a young woman named Katie. Aged 15, her future wasn’t looking good. She was unmotivated at school and often played truant, even after her mother was taken to court.
It looked like she would leave school with poor qualifications and face unemployment or unfulfilling, low-waged work. It’s the kind of future that a huge number of the UK’s young people are looking at right now.
Then Katie’s local youth group organised an outward bound trip to one of our centres. It was her first experience of spending time in the wilderness, learning survival skills, working in teams and taking part in activities like mountain climbing and canoeing.
She returned home a different person. Now she goes to school, on time, every day, and has even started volunteering with the youth group.