Most nonprofit communicators consider themselves to be good writers. But what really sets apart the great writers in the nonprofit world is mastery of seven distinct types of copywriting.
Microcontent refers to the short but powerful pieces of copy you find in headlines, subject lines, captions, and tweets.
Nonprofit storytelling refers to narratives about participants and supporters that include characters, descriptive details, emotions, and plot.
3. Donor-Centered Copywriting
Donor-centered copywriting includes newsletters, appeals, and thank-you copy that delivers repeated emotional gratification and gratitude to donors.
4. News Writing
News writing is straightforward, factual writing found in press releases, reports, and blogs.
5. Conversion Copywriting
Conversion copywriting is persuasive writing that motivates immediate action, including clicking, donating, registering, etc.
6. Lifestyle Writing
Lifestyle writing is casual or informal yet engaging content that includes listicles and social media content.
7. Thought Leadership
Thought leadership writing includes authoritative and opinionated content that positions the person or organization as an expert and leader.
What’s Most Important?
Odds are you are great at a few of the seven styles, but you could use some polishing on the others. In the 2019 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, nonprofit communicators said they were most confident in news writing, storytelling, donor-centered copywriting, and lifestyle writing, in that order. They were less confident in writing microcontent and writing for conversions and thought leadership.
Nonprofits who are effective at community engagement report having more expertise on microcontent, news writing, donor-centered copy, and storytelling, in that order, compared to nonprofits struggling with community engagement.
Nonprofits excelling at brand building and reputation management were more likely to report expertise in storytelling, news writing, microcontent, and donor-centered copy, in that order, compared to nonprofits struggling brand building.
Want Training on the Seven Styles?
In June, I’ll be teaching a new two-part webinar series on mastering the seven styles.
If you can’t wait until then and want in-person coaching, join me for a special “coach and be coached” workshop on the seven writing styles on Wednesday, May 9, in Durham, NC. It’s a Create Good 5 pre-conference workshop. You must attend the conference to register for the workshop, but it’s all affordable and Create Good is one of my favorite conferences. You’ll love it!
And, of course, keep reading this blog. I’ll be sharing more tips and best practices soon.