When it comes to your nonprofit organization, chances are you know the ins and outs of what you do, why you do it, and how you do it. Communicating that message to your audience is the part where things can get sticky — especially if you’re not a writer by nature.
Fortunately, that’s why blogs like these exist! We have an entire team of content writers and strategists dedicated to converting complicated jargon into everyday language that makes the who, what, where, when, and why of nonprofits accessible to key audiences. But all of that comes from a solid foundation in understanding what people want to read.
With that said, here are some key tips to writing nonprofit content that we’ve learned over the years.
1. What does your current content say about you?
Look at your “About” page on Facebook. Does that language match the language on your website? In your print collateral? Is it what’s being communicated out verbally by your staff members and volunteers? This is a huge component of successful nonprofit content. Regardless of who you’re communicating with, the same general message should come across so anyone who interacts with your organization walks away with the same understanding of what you do. If it doesn’t match, this is a great opportunity to work on your core messaging! (Not sure what that entails? We can help!)
2. Who do you want to reach?
The trick to writing nonprofit content (and content in general) is thinking about the reader. For example, if your organization is geared toward high school students, the language you use might be different from the language used by an organization geared toward law professionals.
Are you trying to engage prospective donors? The language should focus more on impact! Engage volunteers? Showcase activities and ways for them to get involved. Successful nonprofit content tells the organization’s story while creating calls to action for the reader to take. And remember: while the way a reader engages with your organization may differ, the key takeaway about it should remain the same.
3. Does it have a clear voice?
Successful nonprofit content is engaging, informative, and most importantly, has a voice. This can be kind of abstract, so the easiest way to think of it is to do a quick exercise in thinking about what adjectives might be used to describe your organization. Maybe it’s soft and gentle. Maybe it’s direct and professional. Maybe it’s a combination: direct and gentle!
The purpose of using a voice when writing nonprofit content is to help guide the language choices we make. If your organization’s voice is more direct, you’ll want to avoid using long sentences with lots of adverbs — instead, choose more declarative statements that are short and sweet. If going for a more gentle voice, perhaps the words you use are softer. Thinking about the voice and translating that through your communications will help in furthering your brand.
Now that you’ve thought about all of these individual pieces, it’s time to put them together! Think about the power of storytelling and the narrative you want to share about your organization. Think about all the ways that you communicate that story outwards (and internally) in any given year. Putting those pieces together can form a base for a communications strategy to continue telling your nonprofit’s story.
If you want some support in this area, lean on us! At Redstart, one of our favorite things to do is tell the story of those working to make our world a better place. We’ve helped dozens of nonprofits dive deeper into their intentions and translate them into evocative narratives that speak to the audience and generate a greater impact. To learn more about how we can help craft your story, contact us at https://www.redstartcreative.com/contact.