Messaging to Your Intended Audience

Having worked in communications and development for over 25 years, crafting all your messaging for the specific needs of your supporters and partners is as important as the content you wish to deliver.

Beware of the Jargon of Non-profit-ese

Insider acronyms, and overly detailed scientific or analytic information, is the number one problem to be on the lookout for catching in the copy editing process. It’s an exceptional nonprofit that does not fall into this trap. Ask any new employees how many months it takes in the onboarding process, how long it can take to catch up with the jargon specific to the organization peppers all internal communications. If the same jargon saturates your external communications, there is little chance your audience will remain engaged.

Adopt a Conversational Tone

It’s essential to meet your reader where they are and not the other way around. As cutting edge the programming your organization is performing, convey your facts in a manner that practical and interesting. Story telling is always preferable over abstract explanations. Illustrative anecdotes from the field are a time trusted strategy.

Stress Community Inclusiveness in Your Mission

The primary way to bring about this inclusiveness is to design a clear call to action. This should be more than slapping a donate now button at the bottom of an email or blog post. It should include a brief explanation of why taking this step will create change. For instance, you are my intended audience, and helping solve your communications challenges is the purpose of the work I am doing here. Let’s have a conversation on taking the next steps in that process.

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