How to make nonprofit copy – and stories – come alive

in Copywriting - Nonprofit,Storytelling

Many charities and associations recognize that their copy has room for improvement.  It isn’t generating enough response or conversions.  Your writing – including how you’re telling your nonprofit story – isn’t captivating readers.

Stanislavsky to the rescue

Try using the Stanislavsky Method.  Many actors and actresses have used his method for around 100 years.  How does this “acting method” relate to writing great copy?

  • Your writing must be believable.  This is more important than being recognized for what you do.  And it involves combining psychological and emotional aspects into your writing.
  • Use “emotional memory” to naturally share this believable truth in your copy.
  • Finally, give your copy human quality.  Share some of your personality.  Be conversational, personable and warm.

Stanislavsky’s “emotional memory” concept is brilliant in its simplicity and effectiveness.  Let’s say you want the emotion of patriotism conveyed in your copy.  To write copy that is patriotic, you – the person writing – must remember a time when you were consumed with the emotion of patriotism.  A time when you sang the National Anthem and it brought tears to your eyes.  A time when you were overflowing with pride at a vital job well done while wearing a military uniform.

Then you maintain that frame of mind – that patriotic emotional experience – as you write your copy.  This brings your copy alive.  You’re reliving a powerful moment and it overflows into what you write.  The result is copy that conveys strong emotion.

Imagination is required

The Stanislavsky Method also requires you to have a great imagination: Close your eyes. Relive your emotional memory.  Combine that with the story and message you need to convey.  Now use your imagination to become the person in your story and fill in the gaps.  You feel, taste, touch, see and smell what they experienced.  Finally, you write about it.

What you imagine is brought to life through your own emotional memory.  The result is great copy that inspires readers to respond to your call to action.  Your nonprofit story is compelling, inspiring, and memorable.

Related posts:

Discover a great story through the art & science of a good interview … Compelling stories from the field via interviews

How to trigger a powerful emotion that transforms your nonprofit story and copywriting into a response mechanism … How aspiration benefits your nonprofit

The building blocks of a memorable story … Chapter 2 of Nonprofit Storytelling

{ 4 trackbacks }

Why nonprofit storytelling triggers readers to respond — Karen Zapp - Nonprofit Copywriter
June 24, 2010 at 8:16 am
The How-To of Nonprofit Storytelling — Karen Zapp - Nonprofit Copywriter
May 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm
7 Ways to Find Your Nonprofit Copy Voice — Karen Zapp - Nonprofit Copywriter
May 8, 2013 at 7:49 am
Emotion Triggers Higher Response Like Nothing Else Can — Karen Zapp - Nonprofit Copywriter
August 7, 2013 at 7:11 am

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