Use active verbs.
Writing is most impactful when it paints a picture in the mind of the reader. Using active verbs creates a sentence structure where the subject of the sentence comes first and the action follows. This structure is easier to read and helps readers visualize the content. It also creates short, sharp sentences.
GOOD: Our staff loves donuts.
BAD: Donuts are loved by our staff.
GOOD: The pitcher stepped onto the mound. He took aim and threw a strike.
BAD: A strike was thrown after the pitcher stepped onto the mound and aimed.
Follow the Hero’s Journey.
The hero’s journey is a simple story arch that can be used to create a compelling story. Using this arch, you guide your reader through a series of impossible tasks, defeats, and victories. You’ve seen it in movies like Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, and The Lion King. To learn more, read our previous blog on the hero’s journey.
Keep one person as the story’s primary focus.
Don’t distract your readers by introducing a large cast of characters. Keep them focused on the main character by describing the other people they encounter, rather than introducing them by name.
Read it out loud (this is a great way to test its conversational tone).
We know you’ve heard it. Keep the tone of your writing personable, conversational. Sometimes that can be easier said than done. Take the time to read your story out loud. Is this how you would tell your best friend the story? In a coffee shop? Over the phone?
How do you engage with your donors?
We love to hear how nonprofits are successfully engaging with their donors.