Good copywriting for non-profits is paramount to being taken seriously as an organization or a brand. In the same way that a customer service rep is the front line of an organization, so too is good copywriting. If a potential supporter finds your website and the copy is difficult to understand or does not resonate, he or she might not take you seriously.
Grammar, punctuation, and clarity are all important benchmarks of good writing. If you have a spelling or usage error, it’s not going to make you look good and you could lose potential donors. That’s money out of your pocket.
What’s the secret then? How can you be sure that your copy is clear and engaging? Here are a few things to think about:
Clear and Concise
What comes to mind when it comes to good writing? Illustrious adjectives that beautifully describe and paint a picture? Big words?
How about this: clear and easy-to-understand copy that serves the purpose for which it was written. Good copywriting for non-profits shouldn’t just be noticed. It should also provide relevant information. A customer or a client should know exactly what they need to know after reading your copy.
Copywriting for non-profits isn’t fiction writing and it isn’t meant to be literary, it’s informational. Cut out extra words and phrases that might not fit. Make things simple. You’re providing a roadmap so that someone can get the information they need easily and quickly.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t write with some personality. By all means, do so. However, it’s important to remember your audience and the information that they need.
Remember the Audience
Before you begin writing, think about who your readers are. Will it be millennials who are used to quick, punchy content? Will it be senior citizens? Cater your content toward the right demographic.
Decide if you’re going to be using graphs or other kinds of graphics to help you tell a story. Make sure you think about the information and get to the point quickly.
If you’re writing copy for a home page, you need to have clear directions for how to navigate throughout the site. Make sure your message is clear.
Have a Purpose
Never write just to fill space. Every section, every page should have a purpose and a direction. It helps to be organized and to plan your flow. For example, stick to word counts and subject matter. Stay on topic and remember why you’re writing.
Before you can start any little piece of copywriting for non-profits, find the purpose.
Is it to explain something? Is it to give directions?
Decide on your tone.
Happy and engaging? More technical and directional?
Try a readability checker to see if you’re writing sentences that are easy to understand.
If you stick to these guidelines, you’ll have shining copy in no time.