Hard times have come upon many companies, websites and publications. Some of them are asking their readers to become supporters, but this requires a major shift: people who were once being provided a service are now being asked to donate in order to fund that service. How can one pitch letter distinguish itself from the others which flood our inboxes daily? Perhaps by providing a little entertainment, or a dash of the creative or unexpected, people might appreciate the entertainment value and support the organization’s innovative approach. Jbooks.com, a site which “seeks to connect Jewish books with their wide, diverse, and dedicated readership,” is taking this kind of “let us entertain you” approach with their new fundraising campaign.In “The Spiel,” an adman pitches his new fundraising plan– getting poet laureate Robert Pinsky to play piano and “literally sing the praises of JBooks.com.” Questions remain: Does this kind of approach yield good fundraising? Will people respond to the innovative approach? And why doesn’t JBooks editor Ken Gordon have a better phone? (They really must need the money…) View the video and share your comments in the comments section.

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