Basic copywriting is text that persuades.
It’s essential for any organization. Copywriters use the written word to promote your cause, service, or product.
But good, basic copywriting doesn’t just “sell.” Anecdotes,
verbal pictures, and facts conspire together to tell a story, educate, inspire
– and more than anything else – produce an emotional response in the reader.
An emotional response moves the reader to give a gift or buy a product.
Today’s not called “The Communication Age” for nothing. Engaging, basic copywriting is foundational to creating a following.
Whether you’re a 1-man operation, a small nonprofit, a mid-sized commercial or faith-based enterprise, or a multi-million international corporation, you must communicate well with your prospects, customers, and donors.
Print materials, online communications, and social media all require solid, persuasive writing.
Anything that’s needed to promote your cause or inform your
constituency: appeal letters, taglines, websites, email campaigns, newsletters,
flyers, television, radio, and telephone scripts, press releases, brochures,
postcards, sales letters, social media posts, blogs, devotionals, lyrics, articles,
booklets, lesson plans, job descriptions, case statements, grant applications … read more about the kinds of copywriting projects you'll write and the skills needed for each.
Copywriter: the person who puts together the textual content of a piece.
Designer or art director: the person who puts together the visual content (like layout and graphics) of the piece, using the text created by the copywriter.
Prospect or audience: the reader(s) to whom the copy is directed.
Copywriters that specialize in working with nonprofits are equipped with a special magnet that pulls in gifts. (Just kidding.)
In all seriousness, nonprofit copywriters and commercial copywriters use similar persuasive writing techniques. A nonprofit copywriter focuses on the story of changed lives and why that organization’s work is an outstanding investment, thereby persuading readers to provide support. A commercial copywriter focuses on selling a product or service, which persuades readers to buy it.
Large organizations hire in-house copywriters. Small to mid-size ones often outsource copywriting, either by using an advertising agency or by developing relationships with freelancers.
One of the biggest mistakes smaller organizations make is thinking they don’t need help with communications. This mistake can take two forms.
Uh, just one question. How many hats do you wear already? You may have gotten an A in your college creative writing class, but as a small business owner or nonprofit leader, do you have the time to create a multi-pronged communications plan, write all the content for each piece, learn how to use today’s ever-changing graphics manipulation programs to build
an engaging layout, obtain bids, post daily on your group’s social media sites, load up new website content each week, send out regular email campaigns, apply for grants and win them …
Didn’t think so.
Copywriting is the process of producing persuasive text.
Copyrighting is a legal process in which you protect something you have created – a book, article, piece of art, or logo, for instance. For more information on copyrighting your creation, consult the good people at the U.S. Copyright Office.
More on Basic Copywriting
Other nonprofit copywriting tools
Content by award-winning content writer and author Kathy Widenhouse, who specializes in writing for nonprofits and faith-based organizations.
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