Copywriting for Charities: 9 Tips & Tricks

December 13, 2021

Everything you need to know about copywriting for charities

In a post-COVID world, copywriting for charities is ever more important. According to the Charity Commission, there’s approximately 169,000 registered charities in England and Wales as of 2021. A good method of standing out in the crowd is copywriting. With this guide, you’ll be on your way to knowing what copywriting for charities entails.

1. Create an emotional connection with the reader

It seems obvious, doesn’t it? But too many charities strive for their cause without connecting to the reader. It’s your job to really clue the reader into your plight and one way to do this is through emotion. What problem are you trying to solve for your audience? And how does this relate to them?

Ensure that your stories are personal to the reader, take time presenting the facts and reality to them. Help them visualise how their donations will aid your cause. A story is a fantastic method to connect the audience to your campaign. When you’re thinking of copywriting for charities, this should be your main concern. If you’re not connecting with the audience, how do you hope to achieve donations? If possible, switch your perspective on your writing, and view it as a reader. Is this engaging? Or are you uninterested?

2. How to get headlines right?

When you’re copywriting for charities, headlines are vital. The best judge for a headline and its effectiveness are search result algorithms. Which headlines catch your eye? Which ones give you pause for thought? Take a leaf out of their book. If you’re not catching the readers eye as they’re scanning your email/brochure/blog/post, you’re doing it wrong.  A good rule of thumb is drafting headlines for your copywriting.

Take 5 minutes out and get your team around. Between you, you’ll be able to generate a catchy headline. Some would say that engaging headlines are an art. We disagree. Like most things, practice makes perfect.

3. Emails, the marketing tactic that’s still very much alive!

Contrary to what most people would tell you, copywriting for charities needs email marketing. However, here are some of the pitfalls you can find yourself in if you’re not careful:

  • Impersonal subject lines
  • Forgetting about mobile-friendly formats
  • Unattractive email design
  • Using the strategy to take a “hard sell” approach
  • Sending irrelevant content without segmenting data
  • Failing to track metrics or ignoring the facts.

Some might tell you that email is dead due to the current rise of social media, but it isn’t. According to HubSpot, 99% of people check their email every day. And there are a whopping 3.9 billion daily email users out there! How can email marketing be dead if that many people are engaging with their emails on a daily basis?

4. Coherency is key

It’s wonderful being eloquent. Unfortunately, copywriting for charities doesn’t allow for fabulously extravagant prose. The point, therefore, is to be clear. If your reader is wondering what exactly your saying, you’ve lost the battle. Ultimately, clarity equals support, so coherency is key!.

5. Understand the power of proofreading!

Your copywriting is being sent out to numerous places. Especially in digital spheres when you can access thousands of the touch of a button. If you’re not grammatically correct, it brings your credibility into question. The best bet for avoiding this is having a colleague or friend check out the copy. Does it flow well? Is everything spelled right? They’ll be your second line of defence against being caught out for poor grammar.

6. Using graphs, tables & data

It goes without saying that data can be helpful for informing your audience. But too much will turn them off. Combined with jargon, this will mean an information overload for your audience. In the exception of a specific target audience, we wouldn’t suggest throwing large amounts of data their way. Simply include the important stats that grab their attention and make them think about your cause.

7. The power in sharing the volunteer’s story

Providing an inside story for the audience is invaluable. Sharing the story of someone who has given months, or years, to the cause will be inspiring for your audience. So inspiring, that you could get more volunteers through it.

8. Where is your call to action?

At the end of a blog, post, email or whatever you’re writing, you need something to inspire the reader. In copywriting it’s known as a ‘call to action’. It’s normal that once your reader has followed the copy down to the conclusion, they’re presented with a link. In your case, they might look like:

  • Sign up
  • Register
  • Subscribe
  • Donate
  • Buy
  • Download
  • Share.

This encourages your audience to participate in any way they can. The most important thing is it doesn’t have to be monetary. This means that it opens the options up for the audience to contribute to your cause in multiple ways.

9. Editing

Anyone who’s been a copywriter will let you know about the editing process, and copywriting for charities is no different. It’s like art really, viewing your work from another perspective after some time apart from it. If you can’t see where you need to cut, edit and shape your copy, take some time away. As you grow in your copywriting abilities, you begin to cut down on unnecessary words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. It becomes natural. Ultimately, the more drafts your copy has, the stronger it’ll become.

In summary

So, you’ve reached the end of this guide, let’s go over what you’ve learnt about copywriting for charities:

  • A call to action
  • Editing
  • Emails and how to maximise their impact
  • Finding the balance between too much and too little data
  • The value of a volunteer’s insight
  • Conciseness is key
  • Proofreading and its value
  • How to start on engaging headlines
  • The power of an emotional connection with your reader.

What can Vocal do for you?

At Vocal, we’re a loud bunch of creatives that are focused on providing you with awesome services such as:

Get in touch for a quick chat with our team about how we can help you company reach your goals!

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