Great copy and content aren’t a ‘nice to have’, they’re essential to attracting and retaining supporters, building awareness and activating your audience.
But, in the event you’re eyeing up an elephant in the room… the fear that ‘marketing’ your charity or not for profit means turning a benevolent endeavour into a commercial enterprise… let’s tackle that head-on.
It’s a competitive world out there, and the only way to achieve your philanthropic goals is to amplify your cause and mission. You may not be running a business, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be businesslike in your approach. Donors and prospects need to know what you’re doing with their money, the impact you’re having and why they should care – give them every reason to put their hand in their pocket.
5 top tips for charity copywriting and content
- Know your audience
Market research is critical to understanding and connecting with your audience. Prioritise gaining supporter insights to help you innovate, shape your communication and evaluate the impact of what’s already being done. Don’t wait for bad press, and make sure you’re tuned into the digital narrative, so your organisation can respond meaningfully to concerns and capitalise on success.
- Deliver content that’s either interesting or in the public interest
Educate, empower and inspire; ensure the bulk of your content is interesting or useful rather than an endless litany of ‘asks’. The only way to get an engaged audience is to make engaging content, and the only way to do so is to know your audience inside-out. As above, market research is key.
- Build the heart to pocket connection
Statistics don’t inspire action – real stories do. If you want to activate your audience, draw back the veil and show them what the people you serve are experiencing and show how they can make a difference. Numbers, however startling, can be intangible. For example, 28 million children in sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing stunted growth due to starvation – a figure too huge to grasp. The story of a single child, however, hungry, malnourished and battling life-threatening illness, will leave an indelible mark on our consciousness.
- That old marketing chestnut applies to you too – talk benefits, not features
Think ‘we provide services to people with an intellectual disability across Australia’ versus ‘people with an intellectual disability across Australia are empowered to live, learn, work and flourish – according to their own interests and priorities – with the support of our dedicated teams’. Talk about the impact, not the act.
- Tap into the ‘what’s in it for me?’
We’d all love to think we’re altruistic but there is an argument that, fundamentally, there is no such thing as a truly selfless act. We support charities because it makes us feel good, lessens our guilt, speaks to a fear or a personal experience or even just makes sense when it comes to tax. Use those levers, sensitively, when you’re trying to encourage people to donate.
Whatever you do, make your communication as purposeful as your mission. In an era of charitable saturation – and some pockets of suspicion from the donating public – transparency, honesty and a clear link between the contribution you’re asking people to make and its potential impact will go a long way.
If you’re ready to take your communication to the next level, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.