Nonprofit Marketing: Copywriting

This is the third article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your nonprofit and make it a success. Powerful copywriting is essential to nonprofit marketing success - it is what inspires donors to donate or purchase fundraiser products. Nonprofit copywriting is poignant, motivational and sometimes upsetting - it dictates the tone of any advertisement and encourages a course of action that viewers can take to resolve a problem. This is true whether your nonprofit provides medical care to impoverished children or lobbies on behalf of farmers in Congress, so it pays to polish your copywriting skills.

Four steps for writing winning nonprofit copy

Craft a powerful headline - Potential donors and members want to know three things: what the problem is; how you can fix it; and how they can help you fix it. If you can state all three of these in a compelling headline, you're off to a great start. Often, your headline works together with an equally compelling image. Highlight your benefits - This can be tricky for nonprofits. Consider the benefits to the donor, and not just the recipients of their donated funds. In order for people to give away hard-earned money, they have to see value in your cause. The benefit can certainly be taking an altruistic act, but you still need to highlight this in your copy. Develop an incredible offer/make a poignant point - Sometimes nonprofits can market in a way that scolds others - think of PETA's campaigns against McDonald's - while other times they can offer a direct benefit above and beyond donations. If a company is matching donations made on a certain day you can angle this as an incredible offer, since every $1 donated in essence becomes $2 so donors can double their contributions at no added cost. Motivate with a call to action - Like private business marketing materials, nonprofit organizations should motivate donations and enlist help through a call to action. Provide multiple ways for individuals and groups to respond to your marketing materials and take the next step.

Example nonprofit postcard copy (image of newborn baby):

You can Kill HIV before it Kills Her

Anti-viral medications stop the spread of HIV from mother to child in utero. Your $20 donation saves the life of one precious newborn child. Log on to today to give this baby a childhood. Empathy NPO You, giving life