Nonprofit leaders often complain about limited resources — and with good reason. After all, even the best-run nonprofits lack the money or the staff to accomplish everything they set out to do.
But while money is tight, there’s one resource that is almost always in ample supply: words.
Often, nonprofit websites and print materials are burdened with way too much text.
As a writer, I understand the urge to use the written word to engage readers and convey information. But in a TL;DR world (shorthand for “too long; didn’t read”), your nonprofit stands to lose attention if it relies only on narrative pieces to spread its message.
Many nonprofits already use video and audio as part of its content mix. However, with limited resources — and multiple audiences that you need to reach — it’s likely that you need to lean on text for most of your content.
That’s where many nonprofits struggle. Take a look at the written content created by many nonprofits, and you’re greeted with walls of text that intimidate readers.
And when readers see long blocks of text, they tune out.
But even if your nonprofit relies heavily on the written word, you can still deviate from traditional narrative formats. In fact, you’re more likely to draw attention and engage your key audiences if you mix things up a bit.
Sometimes, a long article or report is necessary.
The rest of the time, though, think about how to pivot away from more traditional approaches and toward formats that will provide your audiences with something different.
Replace the walls of text with some creative narrative styles and you’ll see greater engagement (and you’ll have a lot more fun creating the content, as well).
Here are six alternatives to traditional narratives that you can employ with your nonprofit’s content: