How verbs can power your fundraising writing

Maybe you’ve heard the advice: Write with nouns and verbs.

It’s good advice for fundraising too. Especially the verbs part.

Here’s a helpful post about this very basic (but oddly difficult) piece of writing advice from Publication Coach at Do strong verbs power your writing?

The challenge is this: “Weak” verbs are necessary to hold your writing together. There’s no real way to get rid of them. The trick is to replace weak verbs with strong verbs when you can.

Here are some weak verbs:

  • is
  • was
  • am
  • were
  • being
  • are
  • get
  • got
  • have
  • had

When you use one of these, ask yourself: Is there a stronger way to say it with a different verb?

Sometimes the answer is no. So you move on.

Other times, you’ll realize a different verb — one that describes action — might work better. This is just a quick question to ask yourself that can make your writing more interesting and more persuasive.

Special note for fundraising: One danger of using “strong” verbs is that they are sometimes not colloquial verbs.

Better weak and colloquial than strong and not natural!


Comments

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Recent Comments

About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog