Extract taken from our Writing for Nonprofits Whitepaper:
Writing for Nonprofits
Your nonprofit organization does important work that impacts lives every day. Hone your ability to find a story and tell it in an innovative, genuine and impactful kind of way. This strand of storytelling is the single most important form of marketing, because supporters want to know your mission, brand, and constituents.
How do you express what you do and how you do it for your donors, your community and beyond? And how do you turn that into a tangible result, like a signature on a petition or a monetary donation?
The easiest and most compelling way to communicate your mission and need for support is by crafting a story around it—by showing what you do, and why it’s important enough to warrant your reader’s support, in a language that everyone can understand.
Writing for a non-profit is a combination of smart storytelling, marketing language, and your own, personal, heartfelt touch. It’s part facts and part inspiration. Your story should have a strong emotional appeal to the target audience, and close out with a distinct call to action for the reader.
To find your story, step away from the daily schedule, and go talk to your core to understand how your organization is impacting real change.
Once you’ve found the story that best illustrates your non-profit’s work, begin crafting it around your mission statement. Then, drive donors to act on the heartwarming story you’ve written for them. Finally, get your story in front of your audience, and keep your message consistent across all story-telling mediums.
Crafting Your Story
Telling your mission and message in the form of a story is ideal because it illustrates an abstract concept—your mission and philosophy—with a concrete example—something you’ve done or accomplished. It also makes communicating your mission easier for you, the writer, because stories have a simple structure that you can rely on for guidance: every story has a beginning that introduces the conflict, a middle where tension rises, and closes with a resolution. As long as you know what story you’re trying to tell, this story structure shapes your message into a language anyone can understand—and a heartwarming, unique story can inspire hearts and minds to give to your cause.
Your Mission Statement
Arguably the most important part of telling your non-profit’s story is narrowing down your organization’s mission to a short, concise statement that you can use across all communications and mediums.
Writing a memorable mission statement is easier than it sounds if you keep these simple tips in mind: What does your organization do that no one else does? Keep your mission statement focused on what makes your organization unique from others. What specific skills or areas of expertise does your organization have to offer that’s unique?