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Identity Content: Who Are You?

Tips for Writing Better Content That Explains Who You Are

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

Identity content explains who you are and what you do.

You know yourself. But do you explain who you are and what you do to others in a way they can grasp? No matter whether you’re a small to medium-sized business, an organization, or a sole proprietor, you want people to understand your work. It’s the essence of building your ”platform.” (Plus, it's an important step in writing a strategic plan.)

Here are tips for writing better content that explains who you are and what you do.

Tips for writing better content that explains your organization's identity with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WritingTips #ContentWriting

Top Tips for Writing Better Content That Explains Your Identity

Sometimes you need identity content you can use to explain yourself in ten seconds or less. Sometimes you need a quick summary. Sometimes you need a more thorough explanation.

Tip: create all three pieces of identity content at once when you start with the biggest and work backwards! 

First, write a thorough identity packet. (Update it each year.)

After you have the “big picture” packet in place, edit it mercilessly to produce a summary.

At that point, you likely won’t need to even write an identity statement because it is already part of both your packet and your summary. Your statement won’t change from year to year unless you change the focus of your work. And your statement is always short and easy to remember.

Read on for more writing tips for each piece of identity content.

 1. Your  Identity Packet 

Sometimes called an organization summary, this in-depth document explains your work to potential partners, investors, future board members, advertisers, donors, and sponsors. It offers substantial and detailed information:

Basic information

  • Mission, vision, core values, tag line
  • Statement of faith or organizational philosophy
  • Organizational history

What you do

  • Your target issue: the need you address, including supporting data
  • Your target audience: who you serve and how many people you serve
  • Your target area: the geographical area you serve

How you do it

  • A detailed explanation of your strategy, approach, or business plan
  • Your services, programs, and/or products, outlined in detail

Your outcomes

  • Key results listed as empirical data
  • Anecdotal evidence
  • Awards and accomplishments
  • Testimonials
  • Evaluation methods

Your financials

  • Budget
  • Key funders and/or partners

Your people

  • Staff listing
  • Board listing
  • Advisor listing
  • Volunteer data

Your identity packet can include images and charts. It can be formatted in print, online, or as a PowerPoint to accommodate different types of presentations. Update your identity packet every 12-24 months.

Use this step-by-step worksheet to create a tagline for your blog or biz.

2. Your Identity Summary 

Also called an organization summary, executive summary, or even a fact sheet, this is a one-pager that summarizes what you do.  It’s a thumbnail sketch that outlines basic, pertinent information that prospects need to know about you:

  • Your identity statement
  • A summary of your strategy or business plan
  • A data listing: how many people you serve; how many staff members work for you; how many volunteers serve with you; how many board members serve with you; your budget
  • A list of your programs and/or your products
  • A list of your key outcomes or accomplishments over the last year

Your identity summary provides a leave-behind to give prospects or an online annual update. You can pull vignettes from your identity summary as short social media posts, too. Update your identity summary each year.

3. Your Identity Statement

Call it your elevator speech, your mission statement, your summary sentence, or even your tagline … there are times when you need to be able to explain quickly who you are and what you do.

Here is where you use the phrase or sentence that everyone in your organization can rattle off without stumbling over their words. Ten words or less should do it.

As an example, here’s Word Wise’s identity statement:

Writing tips and how-to's for freelancers, bloggers, and ministry writers

Unlike your identity summary and your identity packet, your identity statement does not change much from year to year.

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