Copywriting

5 Creative Ways to Engage Supporters With Instagram Stories
September 19, 2016 at 10:37 am

Instagram Stories create an extra layer of visibility for your nonprofit—whenever you want that visibility. Like Snapchat, Instagram Stories last for 24 hours. And like Snapchat, stories are told in a series of pictures and videos. Users who’ve published Instagram Stories within the past 24 hours appear at the very top of the home screen.…

Good Stories Have an Expiration Date (And 5 Other Myths)
September 14, 2016 at 10:27 am

One of the questions clients and colleagues ask me most often is if they should update the story in a strong-performing control—and when to do that. Here’s what I say: Don’t guess. Test. Sometimes, refreshed versions of stories in proven controls can have a novelty effect and boost results in the short term. Sometimes they…

Messaging: Which Works Best—the Head or the Heart?
September 6, 2016 at 11:07 am

It’s a funny and, sometimes, very uncomfortable thing. I am talking about feeling and expressing emotion. On one side, there are people who are in a constant state of tears and drama, and, on the other side, there are those who find it very difficult to express any kind of emotion. You’ve seen both types of people, and you know what it all means...

Are You Using the Magic Fundraising Word?
September 1, 2016 at 11:30 am

Fundraising magic? You’ve heard it before: a magic word that will transform your fundraising. So, you dutifully make sure that word is everywhere. But maybe it doesn’t do as much magic as you’d expected. The word "you" is magic, but there’s more to it than that. Donor-focused writing matters Of course it does. No one…

When Stories in Appeals Kill Your Fundraising Results
August 31, 2016 at 10:01 am

With all the articles, blog posts and white papers about storytelling in fundraising, it's easy to think that all you have to do is drop a story into an appeal and there you go—success. Not necessarily so. Network for Good research showed 44 percent of nonprofits polled said that stories had no impact on results or were unsure…

3 Books on Writing Every Fundraiser Should Read
August 25, 2016 at 10:01 am

Reading is one of my favorite things to do. I always enjoy a good fiction book. I also really enjoy reading memoirs, but I have to say one of my greatest indulgences is reading about writing. As someone who identifies as a writer, I always find it fun to get a peek behind the curtain…

Knock Donor Communications Out of the Park
August 10, 2016 at 1:09 pm

I’ve written a lot about the importance of nonprofit organizations communicating with their donors, but that’s not enough. You have to do it well. You have to knock it out of the park. Sadly, many organizations fail at this. Their communications are OK at best and just dreadful at worst. That’s why I pleasantly was…

Nonprofit Overhead Myth: Are You Colluding in its Persistence?
August 10, 2016 at 1:03 pm

A charity that spends 20 percent on overhead and knocks its mission out of the ballpark is not less worthy of support than one that spends 10 percent on overhead but helps relatively few people. It’s one way of assessing things, but not necessarily the most meaningful...

10 Opportunities for Nonprofit Board Members to Tell Stories
August 1, 2016 at 10:59 am

Easing board members into fundraising can be a rewarding and fun process, especially if they focus on just telling stories. Last month on the blog, I shared three types of stories that nonprofit board members can tell. Once board members have stories in mind that they would like to tell, they may be wondering where…

7 Cardinal Rules of Fundraising Writing
July 25, 2016 at 11:22 am

Fundraising is a funny profession. It requires you to learn a specific style of writing that's unlike any other you're likely to have learned—business writing, journalism or grant writing, etc. But if you go to the trouble to learn the conventions of fundraising writing, donors will reward you with more gifts. Larger gifts. And they'll…