How to Write A Non Profit Press Release
Although press releases might seem more the domain of big corporations, celebrities, and politicians, they can be a great tool for nonprofits to grow and inform their audience. Press releases are not only useful for publicising and advertising events. They keep your nonprofit in the public discussion and spread the word about your good work.
If you’re starting a nonprofit, press releases can help your nonprofit take off.
Nonprofit press releases are short, factual news stories written in the third person and given to the media to encourage editors/journalists/broadcasters to feature the nonprofit’s story in their publications.
How to Write a Non Profit Press Release – Guidelines
Not every information is newsworthy.
If you’re not sure whether you should send out a press release, here are a couple of signposts (although there can be exceptions to the rule):
- New program launches
- Updates to existing programs or services
- Opening a new office
- Introducing a new partner/donor
- Reaching a fundraising milestone
- Big fundraising event
- Receiving an award
Press releases generally follow a standard format, and for a good reason.
Journalists are bombarded by dozens or hundreds of press releases every day, and if a press release isn’t properly written or formatted – they will simply dismiss it.
So, how do you write a good one?
1. Have a Good Hook
A well-written nonprofit press release needs to start with a strong opening sentence.
A reader should be able to read the first sentence, get interested, and understand what the press release is about.
Why should people care that your nonprofit has a big community event coming up?
Your opportunity to grab potential donors’ and media attention is right at the beginning. The best way to do that is to humanize your story and engage readers in your first paragraph.
The way you do this will depend on the aim of your nonprofit press release and your target audience.
Nevertheless, your first one or two sentences need to be catchy and compelling. They should create curiosity in readers and compel them to read more.
Your lead should pass the “so what” test: is the story interesting enough to people outside your own nonprofit?
If it isn’t, you should reconsider distributing a press release.
Additional tips for writing a good headline (Dos):