Long flights. Streets filled with bicycles, buses, and oxcarts. Gracious families. Familiar hymns. Bright smiles. These are snapshots of my experiences traveling across the country and around the world to gather resource for donor reports, fundraising appeals, and other forms of nonprofit writing. Whether your nonprofit is changing lives locally or internationally, well-told stories can convert skeptical prospects into generous donors who are eager to fund new projects.
Making a difference
Most people who work for a ministry or nonprofit organization are there for reasons other than money and perks. Many feel a sense of calling about the ministry’s vision or mission statement. They are passionate about making a difference, being part of a solution, easing pain, transforming culture, saving the world.
In fact, sometimes they are SO passionate about their cause, they assume that everyone else is too! The need is so obvious to them that they forget that it’s not that real to other people, people with other priorities. They don’t realize how important it is to tell the story over and over again, in order to re-inspire their current followers and constantly attract new donors and volunteers.
Connecting your mission
That’s how LifeLines can help. I can connect your mission with people who haven’t yet heard your story. I can provide the professional nonprofit writing you need.
I’ve done some writing for Cary Christian Center, a small ministry making a big difference in the tiny town of Cary, Mississippi. They would contact me each month to write their fundraising appeal.
Now, I have quite a bit of experience writing appeals for nonprofits, but Cary Christian Center is different. Cary, Mississippi, is almost like another country—poverty is normal, racism is expected, the pace of life is slow, and their computers are down half the time. This means it can be difficult to get the resource I need in order to write a really effective letter.
But early in my relationship with Cary Christian Center, they flew me down to their office, so I could spend some time experiencing their story. I landed in Jackson, Mississippi, rented a car, and then drove a couple hours through towns with names like Yazoo City, Rolling Fork, and Hollandale—into the greenest farmland I’ve ever seen. It was like stepping back in time. I spent two or three days in Cary, visiting their ministry center, meeting the staff, interviewing some of the recipients, sitting in on a board meeting, fellowshipping in people’s homes, taking photos, shaking hands, asking questions, jotting notes. Those photos, notes, and memories of conversations became fodder I could draw from each month to help Cary Christian Center share their story.
That kind of personal involvement is necessary for effective nonprofit writing. I understand Cary Christian Center because I visited there myself. I also understand the donors they are trying to reach because I’m a member of that culture. So I can serve as an effective bridge between the two. I have done the same for many other nonprofits.
Sharing your nonprofit story
There are so many ways to share a nonprofit’s story! But not every method is right for every nonprofit. It takes a professional communicator to make the right choices and use them effectively. Which of these might work for your nonprofit organization?
- Effective appeal letters
- Encouraging donor reports
- Sensitive social media
- A website that’s easy to navigate
- Compelling newsletter articles
- Well-written news releases
Lifelines has experience with all of these and more.
- Living Springs Community Church
- Providence Life Services (senior services)
- Bible League International (Bibles and church planting)
- Cary Christian Center (poverty relief)
- Fundraising appeal to raise money for senior healthcare
- Fundraising appeal for a ministry in rural Mississippi, designed to look like a personal email
- News release for new church plant
- Program for a benefit concert by Sarah Van Drunen
- Grant proposal—Fresh, filtered water: a business plan for bringing new life to Pakistan
- New website for Living Springs Community Church
- Facebook page for Living Springs Community Church
“Melanie worked on several projects for our organization, and on each one she delivered an outstanding product, on time, and for a very reasonable price. I highly recommend her!”
“Melanie is an exceptionally gifted communicator. She is able to write promotional materials, fund raising copy, story narratives, persuasive essays, and children’s material. She can integrate computer graphics and design skills into her writing. Melanie has high integrity. She is outspoken in her commitment to Christian principles.”
“You did it—thanks so much! We are ready to go. Thanks so much for all your hard work on our newsletter. Hopefully the next one will be easier. Thanks again, and blessings.”
“Melanie is not only an excellent, thoughtful designer, she also brings a variety of other skills to the table. She writes and communicates well and is a careful listener, making sure she understands all aspects of a project. She cares deeply about her work and the people she works with. But there’s more: Melanie is a good teacher and presenter. She organizes her material well and expresses herself clearly and succinctly. I highly recommend Melanie for practically any important design, copy, or communications project.”
“Melanie demonstrates outstanding expertise in content development for Saratoga Grove’s variety of publicity projects.”
“If details are important—Melanie is someone you want on your project. She’s sharp, diligent, and anticipates the next question. She looks for a creative angle but not to the exclusion of the information, which she wants to deliver quickly and easily. Melanie’s always looking to make the final product better which keeps her open to differing opinions. But be able to back it up, because she wants to ensure the final piece accomplishes mission.”
Or visit the Nonprofit Writing category for stories about other nonprofits and how they partnered with LifeLines to make a difference.