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20 Tips to Energize Dull Nonprofit Writing

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Is your writing dry and boring? Eliminating jargon and overall wordiness is a great place to start, but here are 20 more ways that you can bring your writing back to life. Then go back and write. Make the reason you are writing crystal clear.

Write Better than Ever Before

Getting Attention

You can get it all with Jeff Brooks’ Turn Your Words into Money: The Master Fundraiser’s Guide to Persuasive Writing. You’ll learn and laugh as you gobble your way through this guide to writing good—then great—messages that spur the actions you need. Overwhelmed by a huge writing to-do list for right-now campaigns, the annual report, and probably some special projects thrown in just because we don’t have enough to do.

Writing a Donor-Centered Website [This Week]

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Join us this week for Writing a Donor-Centered Website with Tom Ahern. Writing a Donor-Centered Website. Fundraising Writing for the WebYou can’t just add a “Donate” button to your nonprofit’s website and expect it to be successful.

Write Your Way to Connection & Action

Getting Attention

Then learn and laugh as you gobble your way through Jeff Brooks’ new guide to writing great nonprofit content: How to Turn Your Words Into Money: The Master Fundraiser’s Guide to Persuasive Writing. Here are a few of Jeff’s more surprising steps to message magic: Your high school English teacher would HATE your most effective writing because it breaks almost every rule he taught you.

Nonprofit Writing Prompts for September

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

and haven’t quite figured out your content calendar for next month, then use these prompts for your blog posts, social media updates or newsletter articles for next month taken from our Monthly Nonprofit Writing Prompts Email Newsletter : On the Calendar.

Need Writing Ideas? Try These Prompts

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

At the start of each month, we send at least 10 writing prompts (usually more) to the subscribers of our Monthly Nonprofit Writing Prompts E-Newsletter. Source of the Month – other places to find writing inspiration.

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Need Ideas? Here Are Our Writing Prompts for April

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

At the start of each month, we send at least 10 writing prompts to the subscribers of our Monthly Nonprofit Writing Prompts E-Newsletter to get them thinking about articles, stories, press releases, blog posts, Facebook updates, letters, and other content for the following month.

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Cut the Glut! Wordy Phrases to Eliminate from Your Writing (And Alternatives)

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

We’ve all read those mission statements or fundraising appeals that seem to have smart ideas, but when you take a closer look you realize they just have a lot of words. Shorter is nearly always better. Replace these wordy phrases with their concise alternatives. a majority of = most.

I am learning how to write. How about you?

Wild Woman Fundraising

I am always learning how to write. For right now, for example, I feel like I’ve got appeal letters nailed, but I’m learning how to write a screenplay. In our nonprofits, we have to write all the time. It was hard to write.

Cut the Glut! Part II – Redundancies to Eliminate from Your Writing

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Last week, we talked about those wordy phrases you need to trim (and what to use instead). For example, just say “enough” instead of “a sufficient amount of.” ” Today, we are going to cover redundant phrases.

Writing a Donor Centered Website

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

This training IS about how you write awesome landing and donation pages that get your visitors to give! You’ll learn everything you need to know about writing for your website AND get one-on-one feedback on your landing or donation pages from Tom Ahern.

Nonprofit Writing Prompts for August

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

But now you are less than two weeks away from August and have no idea what you are gonna write about. Here are some ideas for blog posts, social media updates or newsletter articles for next month taken from our Monthly Nonprofit Writing Prompts Email Newsletter : On the Calendar.

Interview Questions to Help You Write Great Donor, Volunteer, and Client Profiles for Your Newsletters

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

To write a good profile about a client, donor, volunteer or other supporter of your nonprofit organization, you need to see several sides of that person. Ten questions should give you enough to write a great profile.

The Inner Game of Writing Your Appeal Letter: Part 2

Wild Woman Fundraising

How should you write your appeal letter? So how can you write something simultaneously real, and lively, and on a level that most people can understand? Do you have a way you get yourself in the space to write? Now let’s get down to brass tacks.

Writing Prompts for March

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Here are a few writing prompts to get you thinking creatively about March topics. If you were on our Nonprofit Writing Prompts email list, you would have received these a month ago. Sign up for our free Nonprofit Writing Prompts.

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9 simple pointers for writing better emails and letters to your donors

iMarketSmart

So, I decided to become a journalism major instead even though I wasn’t very good at writing. Anyway, in one of my first classes, the Professor told us to pick up The Elements of Style by Strunk and White — the timeless guide and companion for anyone who needs to write (that includes you). Here are 9 gems from it that might help you write better communications to benefit your donors. Your writing should not be designed to impress your donors.

Op Eds: Writing Leads that Grab Readers by the Lapels

Getting Attention

Guest bloggerMargot Friedman, principal of Dupont Circle Communications, conducts trainings on writing and placing opinion editorials. I invite you to use the comments box below to try out an idea or ask a different question about writing publishable op eds.

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How to write knockout proposals

Get Fully Funded

I read this book last week called “How to Write Knockout Proposals&# by Joseph Barbato. Barbato says “Your goal is to write a persuasive proposal that will get funded.&# I agree. Grant WritingIt was a quick read and had lots of golden nuggets. I thought I’d share a few with you along with my interpretation of them. One size does not fit all. Don’t put together one proposal then send it to lots of different funders. It’s lazy.

A winning formula to write your appeal letter

Wild Woman Fundraising

For the last month I’ve been writing you posts and showing you examples and giving you free webinars all about what makes a good appeal letter. If you’ve read the posts above, then you already know that y ou’ve got to write a short story and lead with the most dramatic thing.

20 Resuscitation Tips for Lifeless Writing

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

It’s nonprofit writing! Not all nonprofit writing, of course, but a fair amount of it. Here are 20 ways you can bring your writing back to life. Then go back and write. Make the reason you are writing crystal clear. It’s dry. It’s boring.

The Inner Game of Writing Your Appeal Letter: Part 1

Wild Woman Fundraising

Have you ever felt, “Geez, I work hard, but my writing muscles don’t want to flex today! Especially now, I’ve got to write this appeal letter, and it’s just not FLOWING man!&#. So, how do you get in the groove to write this thing?

Effective Writing For Small Nonprofits

The Agitator

Unfortunately, not every nonprofit can afford to hire accomplished copywriters and designers to prepare their fundraising messages. I wish everyone could, because there’s an enormous bank of know-how out there, and there’s no real substitute for it … fundraising copywriting and design is a craft.

Three thoughts on writing

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

I love and hate to write. Here are three pieces of advice based on my daily struggle with blogging, fiction and work-related writing. Writing is that way - casting you forever in the role of novice, whether you enjoy it or not. If you write something that makes you want to hide or erase, keep going straight to that feeling. This is the work of writing. Write what you want to read, say what must, lay down what matters to you.

Should Roger Keep Writing?

The Agitator

Let me begin with two questions. Do donors really care about getting results from the nonprofits they support? And, do they really care about the nonprofits themselves … as in, do they want a relationship with those groups? I’m prompted to ask these questions for two reasons. First, because I just read this UK report mentioned by Bluefrog’s Mark Phillips , which says that most donors don’t really pay much attention to results at all.

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10 Tips for Writing Your Nonprofit Story

Fundraising 123

Follow these simple guidelines for finding and writing a story that is not only engaging, but also improves how your message is presented to the world. Don''t try to get fancy with your writing. If you are writing something technical, find a way to translate it into more accessible language. Use those details to make your reader hear, feel, see, taste and smell what you are writing about. Is the problem you are writing about regional -- such as a drought?

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11 Tips On How to Write Original Appeal Letters

Wild Woman Fundraising

How can you be brave and stand up and write something different than has been tried before? Take out the first three paragraphs you write. Read before you write. They help you write in short sentences, and write like your character’s life depends on it.

Let’s Start a Nonprofit Plain Writing Movement

Ann Green

Its mission is to help government and businesses write clearly. There’s even a Plain Writing Act, which “requires that federal agencies use clear government communication that the public can understand and use.” Is your writing personal and conversational?

8 Tips for Writing a Better Story

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

We''ve Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: [link] Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us. We''ve Moved! Update your Reader Now.

Write Four Stories

The Agitator

I like this story-writing exercise recommended by Leah Eustace at Good Works. After reminding us why storytelling is so important to fundraising, Leah suggests four stories to write: Write the story of the people who founded your organization. Interview the Chair of your Board and write a story about why she volunteers so much time and energy to the cause. And as Leah says … always write about why.

Size Matters – When to Write Long, or Short

Getting Attention

Eureka! The sharp folks at Marketing Experiments have shared this crystal-clear matrix to help you determine how long your fundraising or marketing copy should be for greatest impact. As with all marketing “formulas,&# there’s a lot of “it depends&# here.

Nonprofit Writing Prompts for March

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Use these prompts taken from our Monthly Nonprofit Writing Prompts Email Newsletter for your blog posts, social media updates or newsletter articles. (If If you want ideas every month, sign up for our Monthly Nonprofit Writing Prompts E-Newsletter.

Quick Reminders about Writing Real from Claire

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Write to an audience of one. Write as if you are speaking to that person. If, say, a family member helped you with a down payment on a car, you wouldn’t write that person a note saying, “Together we found the funds to purchase. Claire Meyerhoff.

Want to Write Better Messages? Look to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mission Minded

Blog Nonprofit Communications Nonprofit Copywriting Nonprofit Messaging Nonprofit Taglines African American History Month brand Martin Luther King The Elements of Eloquence writing

Writing Your Own Direct Mail Appeal Letter This Year? You Got This!

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Think your in-house created direct mail appeal doesn’t stand a chance against the big boys? Think again. You don’t need to hire a firm in order to have a successful appeal letter. You also don’t have to be an expert in fundraising.

How to Write a Nonprofit Annual Report

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

I’ve just re-released my popular e-book on how to write a nonprofit annual report. If you are struggling with how to produce one, this guide will answer your questions.

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Your Writing Warm-Up Routine

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

We've Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: [link] Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from us. We've Moved! Update your Reader Now.

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Write On, Roger

The Agitator

In response to the query I posed a few days ago, Should Roger Keep Writing? , Dear Roger, Please write. it appears that Agitator readers — at least the vocal ones — believe that donor relationship-building matters. We continue to have hope for converting the naysayers. Thanks for your comments. And so Roger has been instructed to complete his book on donor retention. Now he has both his publisher and expectant Agitator readers to satisfy!

Metaphorically Speaking - Improve Your Writing

Social Media Bird Brain

David Brooks @NY Times Just dashing in here to drop off a quick note on improving your writing. Whether short or long, email or grant report, making your writing more engaging is a worthwhile enterprise. david brooks metaphor Small nonprofit writing figuratively speakingTo improve your understanding and use of metaphor, check out this great lesson by the excellent NY Times columnist David Brooks: How Metaphors Make Meaning.

Writing for the Web—How to Get it Right

Mission Minded

Blog Nonprofit Branding Nonprofit Communications Nonprofit Copywriting Nonprofit Messaging Nonprofit Web best practices better writing brand branding communication communications web writingOne of the most rewarding parts of executing a new brand is rolling out a new website. Seeing your organization’s colors, imagery, and messaging come together for the first time in a dynamic new site is exciting. Our clients always look forward to this important milestone (and so do we!).

You want to make a donor care with your writing? Do this.

Wild Woman Fundraising

I took a workshop last weekend with the Willamette Writers Group on how to write and sell short stories, for fun! Will you use this diagram to write your next appeal letter or newsletter story? Are you working on your summer appeal or your summer newsletter?