The other week, we launched a new series called “Three Things”. The concept is short posts about three things you can do – immediately – to make something better. I’m reaching out to my expert friends on their thoughts and opinions and will post them as they come in.
Three things you can do to improve your content
To make it easier for you to remember, they all start with C.
1. Make it Clear
What is the intention of your message? Are you asking your readers for a donation, thanking them, or informing them?
Whatever it is, make sure your message is clear. If you have a call to action, that needs to be clear as well. You want your message to produce results. It sounds obvious, but your fundraising letter should generate a donation.
Make sure you use language your readers will understand (no jargon). Just because something is clear to you, doesn’t mean it will be clear to others. Terms such as capacity building are used a lot in the nonprofit world, but may not mean anything to your supporters.
2. Make it Conversational
Write as if you are having a conversation with your readers, and be personable. Most of your communication and fundraising material can be written in the second person – where you refer to your readers as you and your organization as we.
Avoid using jargon, cliches, multi-syllable words, and the dreaded passive voice. Would you ever use any of these in a conversation?
You may think you are impressing your readers by using jargon and big words, but you are most likely confusing them or even worse, alienating them.
3. Make it Compelling
Is your message going to capture someone’s attention and keep them interested throughout? Start with a good opening sentence. Leading with a question is often good. Stories are also great.
Put a human face on your stories and keep statistics to a minimum. You could start a fundraising letter with a story that leads to a call to action.
Of course, your content should always be free of typos and grammatical errors. Keeping these three things in mind will help ensure good content that should produce the results you want.
Thank you Ann for the post. Stay tuned for more…
Also if you want to share your post for the “Three Things” series, you can email me anytime!