Charity copywriting or writing on behalf of a not-for-profit organisations is unlike any other type of writing and often the hardest working copy. It’s multitasking – spreading a message, telling a story and persuading people to support your cause. It needs to capture the interest of a wide range of stakeholders – current supporters, potential supporters, local authorities, Government departments, the people your charity helps and those who it could. It must share your vision, explain your mission and define your purpose – why you’re here, where you want to go and how you intend to get there. It’s competitive out there and you’re fighting for money from the same pockets. To open hearts and wallets, you have to differentiate, be inventive and be heard above all the noise.
Whether it’s for children or donkeys, charity copywriting should raise everything – awareness, profiles, funds, hopes, and a legion of supporters, volunteers, partners and sponsors. It should be well-researched as well as well-written. It needs to engage the intended audiences without being patronising or begging for donations. It should illustrate the important work you do and the difference it makes to its beneficiaries. It needs to tell moving and inspiring stories with sensitivity. It should share and celebrate your achievements. It should support, thank and motivate its volunteers and supporters. And even in the most sombre of moments, it must remain positive and enthusiastic. It needs to make deeper connections, build stronger relationships and have greater impact.
For the past 25 years, I’ve created concepts and written copy for some of the UK’s foremost charities and others that are smaller but no less worthy. Recognising that many charities need agency-level support but are unable to meet the associated costs, I’ve shaped concepts, written cases for support, impact reports, case studies and annual reviews, created website content, presentations and infographics, and delivered direct mail campaigns, appeal letters and fundraising packs.