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Is Your Content Missing this Vital Ingredient?

Nancy Schwartz Nancy Schwartz

I hope that you get a bit of a rest this month (or already have this summer), before the intensity of fall begins. In fact, vacation-heavy August is a great time to get on top of one of your most important communications methods is (or should be—get it there) content marketing.

Despite the emphasis on content marketing for nonprofits—crafting the right content to motivate each specific group to take the action you desire— to be distributed where they are (the right place) when they are there and likely to act (the right time)—I find there’s one important ingredient left out of the discussion time and time again. Copy editing—checking for spelling, grammar, consistency and accuracy.

So many of you have shared with me your struggles to find time to create relevant content for prospects and supporters who expect even more—that content be customized to their past actions, habits and preferences (just like the product suggestions Amazon serves up based on prior searches and purchases or the way The New York Times website suggests articles to me based on what I’ve recently read).

You’re striving to meet these expectations, recognizing that relevance is the way to spur action. But….Do you invest the time and resource to polish that compelling content before you distribute it? Based on the content I see from many nonprofit organizations, the answer is “sometimes.”

Unfortunately, “sometimes” copy editing won’t provide the quality content your community deserves. Content becomes less effective with each error made. Do you like having to wade through a swamp of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors to get to the essence of a story or blog post? Of course not, and your audiences don’t either.

Frequent spelling and grammatical errors are the loudest “who cares” I know. They raise concerns about your organization’s credibility, sending prospects for the hills and in time, will alienate even your most loyal supporters.

Writing great content is just your first step. When you finish writing, get your work edited by a colleague or freelancer (ideally NOT by you, you’re way too close to content you’ve written) for sense, spelling, grammar and consistency. If no one else is available, put your completed writing aside for a day then come back to it for a self-edit. That’s the only way you’ll bring home great content every time.

Get more guidance on creating great content:

The preceding is a guest post by Nancy Schwartz, Nonprofit Marketing Problem Solver & Coach. With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits like yours develop and implement strategies to build the strong relationships that inspire your key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insight— and passion — through consulting, speaking and her popular blog and e-news at

Topics: Nonprofit Leadership and Practice