4 Tips to Better NonProfit Website Copy

Better website copy is right around the corner. (photo from FreeFoto.com)

Better website copy is right around the corner. (photo from FreeFoto.com)

Today’s guest blogger is Lindsey Patten, who is our special guest speaker at the July 28th online workshop, Learn to Write Better Nonprofit Website Copy.
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Writing for the web is easier said than done. It’s easy to extol the virtues of great copy, but that much harder to get right down to business. See, writing is something that everyone knows how to do, but everyone doesn’t know how to do it well. So what are some first steps for sitting
down and getting it done?

1. Know your Limitations

If you are in charge of writing the web copy, ask yourself this: Are you up to the task? It’s nothing shameful if you aren’t. It’s more important to assess your writing capabilities and determine they aren’t up to snuff then not and go ahead with the writing anyway. Maybe you are good at one type of writing but not the other. Perhaps you can write the technical side of the issue, but not the emotional side? Whatever the case, know your limitations.

2. Secure your Environment

By this I mean, determine which is the ideal environment for creative juices to flow and make sure you have it. If you don’t wish to be disturbed, shut your office door or go somewhere else entirely. If you are interrupted during writing it can break your whole train of thought and leave you frustrated. Then assess what you do as you write. For me, I like to stand up and pace, running my thoughts through my head before I write them on the page. Some people like to listen to music, others like complete silence. Some like to eat as they write, others don’t. Whatever your perfect environment is for writing, try to replicate it.

3. Spit it Out

Staring at a blank piece of paper or a blank computer screen can be daunting. It’s important to get words, any words at all down on paper/computer just to start you off. It doesn’t matter if its gibberish, you just need to start writing to get into the flow. And then the real words will come. I promise!

4. Get an Editor

Get an editor. A good one. One that will show no mercy on your copy. Yes, sometimes it can sting when you receive back a piece of writing with track changes or red lines all over it, but ultimately this will help you create a better piece of content. It’s important to put your ego aside and at least consider the editor’s suggestions, even if you don’t accept them all.

So there are a few tips for getting started. And remember, writing good copy takes time so don’t frustrated if it doesn’t come to you in the first minute. Or hour. Or even day.

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For more information on Professional Mojo’s online workshops or to find out more about Lindsey Patten, please contact us.
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Social Media and Nonprofits: Share This!

We have been continuing our discussion about donor engagement and specifically how social media and other tools can amplify your reach.

Once you have decided that social media should be part of your strategic plan, what’s next? What will you say?

Consider these three key areas:

1) Organizational Impact: Donors want to know what good you are doing in the world. This is no surprise, I know, but consider how social media can help you extend that message. A simple Tweet may say: One new well just drilled in middle of town to provide fresh H2O!

2) Successes: Share them often and across distribution channels and stay on message. For example, building on the Tweet above, your blog post that day should be from the field, complete with audio and video. You should also Tweet out those pics.

3) Inside Organizational Scoop: This is the most overlooked area, and yet many donors crave info on the who, what and how of any organization to whom they give their money. Consider posting congratulations on your Facebook fan page to employees who excel, sharing goals met, etc.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can more effectively use social media to improve your donor engagement, consider joining us on 6/25/09 for our online workshop featuring a special guest..

4 Reasons Why Social Media is a Must-Have for Nonprofits

Social Media and Nonprofits

Social Media and Nonprofits

Professional Mojo tweeted an interesting story today from the The Columbus Dispatch that discussed how cultural arts organizations are using social media tools to generate buzz and reach new prospects. With donations down for most organizations, there has never been a better time to explore how social media can make up the ground. Here’s why:

1) Social media tools are free, fast, flexible, and they enable charities to engage with large numbers of existing and prospective supporters, both regionally and globally. The one to many aspect of social media makes it the most cost-effective marketing tool on the planet.

2) Social media gives prospects multiple ways of engaging with their charities of choice. You already know the rule – gotta touch them 5-7 times before it sticks – and reinforcing the message via blog, site, Twitter and more helps achieve the goal of establishing a relationship BEFORE you ask for support.

3) You can share more – more often – about the good you do. The National Wildlife Federation does a great job of Tweeting consistently and innovatively, using photos, video and more to create interest and buzz. This bears repeating – what is better than sharing a video of baby loggerhead turtles trying to make their way to the ocean for the first time! Sure beats just talking about it.

4) Once you’ve established a relationship, leveraging social media may very well increase your online giving. Sites such as http://tweetsgiving.org/ and Twitpay.me have proven that here are easy ways to collect cash online and spur giving.

There’s no time to be old-fashioned about this. Others are in the space and leveraging it for their objectives. The dollars these days are limited. Consider the best ways you can use your existing assets and resources, choose the best vehicles for you and get in the game! If you are unsure where to start, you may want to consider our upcoming workshop, too, featuring Lindsey Patten.

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