At its best, written fund-raising and marketing discourse should read like a conversation sounds — filled with personal views, concerns, stories and emotion. But my linguistics research reveals that these genres actually read more like doctoral dissertations than the lively banter of friends over a cup of coffee. Most discourse — especially the writing of fund raisers — creates little interpersonal involvement and contains less narrative than academic prose and official documents. It was this problem that framed the mission of The Written Voice — to infuse the written text with the passion of speech. At institutions of higher education, the urgency of this mission is reflected in the virtual absence of research agendas and course offerings on the language of fund raising.