As the film composer John Powell rightly said “communication works for those who work at it”, communication is an art that must be perfected with time. While it is ideal to focus on words that you must use for increased charitable giving for your cause, it is also important to know the words that you should avoid in your communication. The focus here is on the latter. With the help of nonprofit influencers featured in this article, you will get a clear idea of the kind of words that will not be of much help in your work towards your mission.
There are so many communication materials that go out from a nonprofit organization to its audience. Before you decide on finalizing any newsletter, email or content, make sure that you know:
- What your audience is interested in knowing.
- The likes and dislikes of your readers.
- Ways in which you can encourage your readers to donate to your campaign.
Let’s take a look at a few benefits of great communication!
- Relationship building – Excellent communication not only creates a good first impression, it also fosters a bond that can last a lifetime.
- Increased opportunities – When you communicate well, the chances of finding more volunteers and donors become higher.
- Smart work – With planned communication, you can segregate your communication emails according to the different sections of donors that you have. This can really save you time and allow you to work on other important tasks.
- Branding & mission – Good communication allows you to put your branding and mission in place. It gets your message across, loud and clear.
Bad communication on the other hand, repels supporters. When your audience does not feel valued or does not feel connected to your organization, there remains no reason for them to come back to you. Without an effort to connect, retention of donors is not possible.
Words To Avoid, Experts Speak:
“Donors don’t usually need more information. In fact, we all have way too much information being thrown at us on a minute-by-minute basis. What donors want is to feel something – to feel proud, to feel excited, to feel good about their donation and their support. Tell them a story, share an anecdote, send a photo, create a short video – but not from the perspective of “sharing information”. Donors want to make sense of this information in a way that is meaningful to them.”
-Julia Campbell, Founder & Principal, J Campbell Social Marketing
“That’s because you should have pivoted in 2020 and 2021 and have moved on by now. We’re done with pivoting.”
-Amy Eisenstein, CEO and Co-Founder, Capital Campaign Toolkit
“While referring to people that are in need of help, it is common for nonprofits to use the word “needy”. A better, more serene way to represent them can be “less privileged”. This put the donors as “more privileged”, thus in a position to help.”
-Patrick Coleman, CEO, GiveCentral
There are so many words in the nonprofit industry that may not make sense to somebody who isn’t working in the same industry. It is important to reduce the jargon in nonprofit communication. Here are more terms that you can avoid using, all while finding a better replacement.
- Donor Pipeline
This term refers to the community of potential donors that can anytime become actual donors. It is a word used very commonly in both external and internal communication. You can easily replace this with terms such as “prospects” or “potential supporters”.
Let’s be honest; the word “viral” is overused but not every age group might get the meaning of it.
Usually used when talking about a content, a replacement term that can get the word across can be “widespread” or “heavily circulated”.
A word that is used to talk about the positive results of your campaign(s). Words like “outcome” and “results” seem simpler and easier to grab.
Your donors should not feel like they’re just donors. Refer to them as “supporters” or part of your “community”.
Avoid using the word money to refer to the donation coming in. Replace it with words such as “gifts” or “funds”.
Charitable giving can be improved by talking about the same on all communication channels such as emails, newsletters, social media, text messages and even calls. Leave no stone unturned to make the magic of communication work for your organization!