What happens when you sit down to write e-mails, articles or social media posts for your charity? Do you find yourself staring at a blank page wondering where to start? Or do you publish something only to find that it doesn’t get the engagement you wanted?
As a charity, storytelling is the most powerful tool you have. Powerful messages grab supporters’ attention, earn donations, recruit fundraisers and ultimately help you to bring about the change you’re fighting for. But nobody said it would be easy – until now.
The CARE system is a super simple framework that you can use to put together compelling charity communications. Here’s how it works.
C is for Clarity
Your organisation does a lot of exciting things. There is a lot of information you could share. But when you sit down to write your charity communications – whether it’s a social media post or your annual report – it’s best to pick one message and stick to it.
Choose one piece of information you want to convey or one thing you want your audience to do. Then make sure that every piece of your message, from the title to the signoff, gets that across.
A is for Attention
People are bombarded with content all day, every day, and getting your message to cut through the noise isn’t easy. But there are some powerful psychological tools that you can use to grab people’s attention.
First, make it personal. Words like “you” and “your” put power in the reader’s hands and make them feel like they can make a difference. Make the donor the hero.
Second, make it urgent. You want people to act now, not leave it until later and maybe forget. Try sentences like “donate today” or “children need your help now”.
R is for Rapport
To connect with your supporters, you have to understand them. Imagine the sort of person who fundraises for or donates to your charity. Who are they? What do they care about? Maybe you’ve already got some demographic data from your social media accounts that you can use. You could also look up non-profit sector research like the Charities Aid Foundation UK Giving Report or Global Trends in Giving.
Once you know who you’re writing for, it’s much easier to choose a tone that speaks to them.
E is for Engagement
Remember the start of this process when you picked the one thing that you want your audience to do? It’s time to ask them to do it.
Make your ask clear and active. Try starting it with a verb: “Donate now”, “Subscribe to the newsletter”, “Sign the petition”.
You can use the CARE system to build any type of message you want, from an event invite to a donation request – so make sure you’ve always got a way to check back to it while you’re working. I’ve put together an awesome printable infographic with the CARE system and a whole load of other great writing tips for you to download, print out and keep by your desk.
If you want even more info and tips from Wendy on charity communications, watch our latest webinar, “Effective copywriting for charity fundraising”, on demand by clicking below.
If you’ve got a cause you care about, I’m here to help you grow and fund it. My name is Wendy van Eyck and I am obsessed with teaching non-profit fundraisers and marketers with few resources, little time and high targets how to generate the funding they need to bring change to a community they care about. Find free resources and ideas at https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendyvaneyck/.
Wendy van Eyck
Non-profit communications expert