Fundraising Day 2

Onward to the nitty-gritty: THE FUNDRAISING LETTER.

The phone calls have been placed, the email addresses and permissions granted. If all goes well, we’ll email the following letter to everyone on our list by this Thursday. I am posting a draft of the letter here for two reasons:

1. Feedback! Feel free to comment or ask questions. I’ve never done this before!
2. It’s nice to have an example to follow, in case anyone else out there is trying to do something like this – I thought I’d share our attempts.

Dear friends, business owners, and residents of North Carolina,

Thank you for your interest in our fundraising efforts for this project.

Lost Crossings: A Contemplative Look at Western North Carolina’s Historic Swinging Bridges is a collaboration between photographer Shane Darwent and author Katey Schultz. Our work includes approximately 45 pages of text, 15-25+ images, and an interactive map. In September 2009, this work will be featured at Crimson Laurel Gallery in Bakersville, in Our State Magazine (distribution 110,000), and the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival in Burnsville.

As a writer and photographer team, we set out to cross every swinging bridge in Mitchell and Yancey Counties. There are 23 swinging bridges in North Carolina, 13 of which are in Mitchell and Yancey Counties—including the oldest swinging bridge in the state, dated to 1947. During the course of our fieldwork, we interviewed primary sources, crossed each swinging bridge, and took the time to photograph and write the stories of each place.

The writing is a literary excursion told through personal narrative. The photos are interpretations of the swinging bridges and everything that came together to make each setting unique in its own right. Together, these works seek to make meaning of the remnants of an older way of life and what the abandonment of these swinging bridges can teach us now. Our project includes quotes from direct sources, narrative descriptions, facts backed up by the Department of Transportation databases, archived photos, and directions to each site.

Please visit our website to see a sampling of images and excerpts from the text:


In order to publish Lost Crossings and the accompanying map, print and frame 15 photos for the exhibit, and recoup expenses for our project, we need to raise a minimum of $2,500 by March 1st. There are three levels of giving:*

Friend: A donation of $50 is recognized on our donor list in Lost Crossings.

Supporter: A donation of $100 is recognized on our donor list and by an advance copy of Lost Crossings.

Patron: A donation of $175 is recognized on our donor list, by an advance copy of Lost Crossings, and a full-sized map of the swinging bridges in Mitchell and Yancey Counties.

Sponsor: A donation of $250 is recognized on our donor list, by an advance copy of Lost Crossings, a full-sized map, and public acknowledgement of your support during our Crimson Laurel Gallery and Carolina Mountains Literary Festival lectures.

*If you represent a business, you may write your donation off as advertising dollars and we will print the name of your business in the book. If you prefer not to have your name printed, please let us know.

Please make checks payable to Katey Schultz by March 1st. Donations may be mailed to:

Lost Crossings
c/o Katey Schultz
xxxx xxxx xxxx
Bakersville, NC 28705

Prompt support of our work will be most helpful, as we are already laying out the pages of the book and selecting photos to frame. Prior to September, will mail your book and map to the address on your check unless otherwise noted.

Lost Crossings is a strong fit to receive support for numerous reasons. Our work represents a survey of part of North Carolina’s heritage that is largely un-documented. Using the most current DOT records and various maps, we struggled to find all 13 swinging bridges. Our fieldwork sent us knocking on the doors of many residents as we searched for each swinging bridge, and it was ultimately their stories (and their directions) that got us to the place we are now. With written commentary, photo documentation, and a hand-designed map, Lost Crossings has the potential to rekindle interest in these historic landmarks.

We sincerely thank you for your time and support and encourage you to forward this letter to others. If you have any questions, we may be reached by phone at xxx-xxx-xxxx or email:


Katey Schultz
Shane Darwent

  • alessa

    Hey KT,

    Sounds professional and not desperate, which are two things you need when you have your hand out for money. Good luck, and if I get to working before March 1, I’ll donate myself.

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