A plain English checklist for charities

The Plain English Campaign believes that “everyone should be able to read, understand and act on public information after a single reading”. That’s surely something all charities should aim for too. What could be more important than making sure your … Continue reading

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Annual reviews: 10 questions charity writers should ask themselves

For most organisations, the annual review is your flagship publication. It has the biggest budget, takes the most time and involves the most people. There’s a lot at stake, so it’s worth doing some important scoping work up front to … Continue reading

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Reader friendly fundraising bids

Whether you’re writing a grant application or a fundraising proposal, a human being will read your writing, not a machine. As well as decent content and a strong case for funding, your applications should be filled with inspiring and engaging … Continue reading

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Getting people to read what you write

The brutal truth is that most people aren’t that desperate to read what you write. When your appeal letter drops through someone’s letter box, it’s easily tossed aside. On your website, you have just seven seconds to grab someone or … Continue reading

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How to get your e-newsletter opened and read

We all know the scary statistics. Only 23% of charity emails are even opened. And then only 3% generate a “click through” to charity websites. How can you beat these figures? Here are my top tips: Change your subject line … Continue reading

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How to ask for money

No one likes writing about or talking about money, but for most charities the effective “ask” is the lifeblood of their organisation. Here are a few tips to help with your fundraising writing. Start with outcomes Your donors want to … Continue reading

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Are you getting the basics right?

You can have the best impact statistics. Brilliant case studies. A fantastic structure for your publication. But without applying the very basics of good writing, your charity communications won’t shine. Poor writing turns readers off, and weakens even the best … Continue reading

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Your 7-step guide to good charity proofreading

You’ve spent months working on a publication. The copy is fantastic and your design looks great. The last thing you want is to send thousands of copies to print then spot a glaring error on page one. Good proofreading means … Continue reading

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What are your publications for?

Are you producing your charity newsletter, magazine, website and brochures because that’s what charities do? It’s surprising but true that many organisations spend huge resources and time creating media, marketing materials and publications without asking before they begin: What is this … Continue reading

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Charities: how to write for your audience

First, the bad news. In charity communications, there’s no such thing as the general public. If you think your charity’s target audience is “everyone” you’ll be setting yourself an impossible task of communicating effectively with all of them. Your copy … Continue reading

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