General Writing Resources
- How to Create an Organizational Style Guide, from Classy.org
This concise article explains what a house style guide is; how to create, maintain, and use one; and why it’s important. If your organization doesn’t have a style guide, consider asking a copy editor or professional writer to start one for you.
Especially for Nonprofit Organizations
- Nonprofit Annual Reports: 7 Best Practices [TEMPLATES], from DonorSearch.net
Best practice number one? Write with a clear purpose and audience in mind. Other best practices focus on specific content and are illustrated with useful examples.
- Guidelines for a Letter of Intent, from University of Massachusetts Amherst
General guidance and an easy-to-follow template for writing a letter of intent (also known as a letter of inquiry or LOI)
- How to Write the Perfect Fundraising Email [TEMPLATES], from Classy.org
Take the time to read this when you’re able to think about your organization’s overall fundraising strategy, then refer back to it as you execute each step of your fundraising plan.
- In Learning to Say Thank You: The Role of Donor Acknowledgements, the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy explains that acknowledging gifts and thanking donors is not just good practice, it can lead to increased second-time donations. In a study, the institute found that successful thank-you communications make the donor feel connected to the nonprofit and increase the donor’s sense of wellbeing (specifically feelings of competence, autonomy and relatedness).
The institute’s report is available for download and includes sample thank-you communications.
- Reading works by authors who have perspectives and lived experiences different from my own, and reading across genres and platforms, helps me continuously improve my editorial skills.
The casual reader also benefits from reading stories written by people from many different backgrounds. Associate Professor of Library and Information Science Sarah Park Dahlen sums it up well when she advocates for more diverse voices in children’s literature:
“As Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop argues, books should both reflect the world in which we live, and show us windows onto other people’s experiences. Currently, we have too many mirrors for White children and not enough mirrors for Indigenous children and children of color. What’s more, some of the existing mirrors reflect distorted images, especially if they are not written by #OwnVoices (insider) writers.”