How to Communicate Your Nonprofit Message So People Hear You
As a member of charity projects or nonprofit organizations, you know how challenging it can be to communicate a nonprofit message to people. In today's world of content shock and short attention spans, most people don't read, but scan, the information. So, if you want people to listen to you or, what's more, do what you want from them, you'll need a more careful approach to content creation.
For the niche of charity and nonprofits, it’s their mission what matters most. And yet, they need both donors and volunteers to support and send this mission to the world. For people to get interested in finding your nonprofit organization and listening to your message, you need to make them emotionally invested in what they read or hear from you.
Here go some content writing tricks that can help.
Make Sure Your Message Has an Idea
As a nonprofit organization, you don't sell products. You sell ideas. And for people to "buy" your idea, it needs to be unique and clear. It's that very moment when your content (message) becomes your product, so design it accordingly:
- Think of the problem you'll solve.
- Describe it as a situation. (It will be the context you'll use in content to communicate the idea).
- Write a thesis statement.
- Specify every step you'll take for this idea's realization. (It will be a plan of how you'll communicate this idea in your content.)
Think of your target audience and their background, as it will encourage them to get involved in what you tell them. Ask yourself, "Would I invest anything in this idea if anyone shared it with me like that?" Consider small tokens in content to hook people with your idea: naming, slogans, unusual content format, insights, design, etc.
Tell Them Stories
Don't be afraid of experimenting with your nonprofit content. Blog posts, press releases and reviews are all well and good, but your audience doesn't want to read about statistics, data and cold facts about your project. Give them a hero: use narrative writing (storytelling) to communicate your message.
Storytelling is the only way to make people want to listen to your message. Since human beings use feelings rather than facts to evaluate the information, a story is what activates their brain areas responsible for the experience. Therefore, you reflect people's values through your message for them to get involved.
Use Emotional Writing Techniques
Marketers and SEO copywriters know about a "desired action" of a text: It's how it influences a reader. Desired actions are many, but here go the core ones:
- Make people do something.
- Make them feel something.
- Help them learn something new.
- Entertain them.
- Prove your competence to them.
People don't read your nonprofit content to buy from you, and they don't need any direct calls to share your message or join your organization. If you want them to hear from you, give them conflicts and emotions they could relate to. Emotional writing techniques will help here.
Emotional writing is about building a message by specific words and writing hooks to keep people emotionally invested and willing to respond somehow. What you can do:
- Appeal to people's basic instincts (subconscious needs) for them to respond. These instincts are three: self-preservation (give content about safety, physical health, secure environment), sexual (give content about people, connections, attraction, adrenaline) and social (give content about action, creativity).
- Try neuro-copywriting and phonosemantics in texts to trigger mental processes in readers' brains, influencing the perception of your message and emotions they'll feel while reading it.
Writing tactics to use here:
1. Polish Your Writing and Tone of Voice
Speak the same language with your target audience: Use the words they use, avoid professional jargon and write in short paragraphs. Also, you may want to switch between long and short sentences for your writings to have rhythm.
Imagine your readers: what they are doing right now, what device they use to read your message and what they need right here and now. Format your message accordingly: Hit their pain points, make them feel involved and arouse their curiosity. But remember about consistency and coherency: You need to stay relevant to your brand values anyway.
2. Use Language Tricks for Your Message to Sound Better
Use active verbs and power words only. Remember about transitional words to guide readers through the message. Sensory words, beneficial adjectives and stylistic devices, such as metaphors, repetition, and contrast, will make your texts emotionally powerful, too.
3. Help Readers Find Answers, and Invite Them to Act
Write your nonprofit message, so it would create the illusion of presence. For that, add interactive elements (quizzes, tests, slides, videos) whenever appropriate.
People respond to the content that solves their problems or tells them how to interact with the world. Help them: share secrets, tips, strategies, tools and hacks your target audience needs. (With reference to your core message, of course.)
Show them they can do it. Most people are looking for easy ways to do something. So, make it easier for them to take the desired action of your message. Appeal to the "you can do it" mantra in your content, for the audience to believe they are different from others and that the sky is the limit for them.
Lesley Vos is a text author, blogging about business, marketing and self-growth, and specializing in content creation and self-criticism. In love with words, coffee and foxes. In the hope of mastering the art of proofreading before she hits “send.”