Tamsin Constable

Charities: use Plain English or lose funds

Write clearly – and tell a story – and you’re more likely to ride out tough economic times.

Plain English is crucial for getting your message across. A few (but nowhere near enough) businesses are beginning to take this on board. For charities, the need to communicate clearly is particularly important, facing financial squeeze not just from individual donors, but also from larger funders.

‘If people can’t understand what you’re saying, they’ll stop listening,” says Trina Wallace from Ngo.media, a London agency that specialises in writing for charities, in today’s Guardian online. ‘When charities use poor language … the people they support suffer. Funders switch off when they read proposals, campaigners won’t be inspired to take action and donors aren’t convinced to set up direct debits.’

Stripping funding applications and bids of jargon is one way to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Another is to use the power of narrative to illustrate your point. Well-written case studies or ‘business success stories’, complete with quotes and a basic story arc, always make good reading. A handful of these will help get your message across in a way that no amount of management jargon can ever do.

Comments are closed.