Category: Writing

  • How to write faster: 6.5 tips

    From Total Annarchy by Ann Handley here are some great and unusual writing tips that can help you move faster through the writing cycle, at 6½ Ways to Write Faster: I love #6½: Use AI for the first draft. Then toss it out. Sometimes seeing a first draft that’s “off” in the way AI so…

  • Good fundraising writing: It’s not about avoiding your peeves

    Years ago, I worked at a company where one of the best ways to get ahead was to talk. A lot. Being able to filibuster at a meeting or write staggeringly long emails marked you as a winner. The content of what you had to say wasn’t as important as word count. It was the…

  • When to delete and start again in fundraising

    From the great Culture for Hire, 3 foolproof tests for customer-centric arts marketing. It’s aimed at arts marketing, but with a few minor word changes, it becomes a guide for effective fundraising: Imagine your ideal [donor]. Would they ever say [insert your fundraising copy here]? No? Delete that copy and start again. Pretend you’re a…

  • 4 weird copywriting cheats for fundraising writers

    In your first draft of any fundraising piece you write include the word you (your, yours, you’re, etc.) in EVERY SENTENCE. Don’t worry that some of those sentences or sentence combinations may be awkward. You can revise them later. But I can guarantee that with you in every sentence, the psychological core of your draft…

  • 3 must-haves for fundraising stories

    Most fundraisers know that telling stories is an important part of successful fundraising. But telling a story isn’t a magic ticket to great results. Many fundraising stories completely fail to improve results. When your story doesn’t work, the reasons are usually one or more of these: Your story has to be relevant to your donor.…

  • Why is clear writing so hard?

    I just read an article in an academic journal that was about a topic I care about: clear communication. This matters to fundraisers because when you write in a clear and easy-to-understand way, you raise more money. It’s very clear. The article I’m talking about isn’t about fundraising, but it made an even wider and…

  • Why your writer’s voice might be crushing your fundraising

    I have some news for nonprofit executive directors (or anyone else who signs fundraising messages) that you may take as very good … or very bad. Your “voice” does almost nothing to help your fundraising. In fact, your “voice” — if you insist on close fidelity to it — is probably costing your organization a…

  • Want to raise more money? Simplify!

    Why do scientists and medical professionals write the way they do? Grammatically complex, high-end vocabulary writing that can be such a struggle to read. This is often a problem in fundraising, because hard-to-read writing measurably hurts response. That’s right — it costs you money to communicate with donors the way scientists communicate with each other.…

  • 5 powerful writing tips from Narnia

    Here are some great writing tips from a great writer: C. S. Lewis. With my commentary on how the tips can apply in fundraising writing. Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else. Two ways to avoid this mistake:…

  • Here’s a great resource for writing clearly

    There’s a force for good out there called Plain Language. It’s a worldwide movement for clear and easy-to-read writing. And, in the US, it’s the law for federal documents, as required by the Plain Writing Act of 2010. Some other governments around the world have taken steps toward plain language, including the European Union. Here’s…