nonprofit press release writing tips

To fulfill their missions, many nonprofit organizations depend on grants, corporate social responsibility campaigns and partnerships with foundations and other organizations.

A lot of time and effort go into submitting a grant application or developing a relationship with a sponsor company. Sharing the news of this success can help you not just build awareness around the work you’re doing, but also spur future opportunities.

PR Newswire customer content specialists frequently counsel organizations on distributing news related to the not-for-profit sector. Here are 6 things that will help your next nonprofit press release stand out.

Coordinate with your partners in advance. It’s important to identify and coordinate with all of the stakeholders for your nonprofit announcement, including the organizations you’re partnering with. For instance, if you are announcing a grant, there may be aspects of the news you’re not permitted to share publicly. Working with stakeholders from partner organizations can ensure you share the right story. Read 5 Tips For Managing Your Press Release Workflow to learn how to avoid misunderstandings and ensure everything runs smoothly.

Capture attention with a lead that humanizes your news. Why should people care that your organization was awarded a grant? Most people scan releases, reading only the headline and first paragraph. Your opportunity to grab media and potential donors’ attention is right at the beginning. Using your lead paragraph to humanize the issue is an effective way to engage readers. In his article Nonprofit Storytelling 101, Ryan Hansen recommends getting personal and candid. Motivate people to keep reading by sharing the story of a person who will benefit from the partnership.

Start a conversation by including quotes. A powerful quote about your organization’s mission can be one of the best ways to get your message across. When crafting a quote, be succinct and use natural language. Don’t repeat information you already included in the release. Instead, your quotes should provide a unique and memorable perspective on the news. Consider highlighting the work you’re doing by quoting an individual or group your organization has helped.

Validate your statements with numbers. Now that you have included quotes in your release, make sure to support them with data. If you are talking about a specific issue, include facts and figures about how many people are affected by it each year. Or break down the dollars to demonstrate why this grant or partnership is so important. Including accurate and easy-to-understand data helps to build trust and puts context to the problems your organization is trying to solve.

Leverage links to keep your announcement short. Because a partnership announcement involves multiple organizations, you may be required to include boilerplates for each one. Or perhaps you have a long list of grant recipients you want to reference. The challenge is preventing this supplemental information from bogging down your press release. Consider writing a shorter version of your boilerplate or a brief teaser of the list you want to include, and then link to the full version on your website for readers who want more information.

Show your mission in action with multimedia. Putting your nonprofit’s story into words will only get you so far. To truly connect with your audience and drive discovery of your news, include a photograph, infographic or video of how your mission touches lives. Packaging your multimedia in a way that isn’t solely promotional but offers up a story will also give the media something else they can use in their coverage.

When coupled with a robust promotion strategy, a compelling press release can be a powerful way to share your nonprofit news. Download our guide Setting the Record Straight: Press Releases that Stand Out in the Digital Age for more tips on making the most of your public relations and marketing efforts.

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