Grammar, spelling and punctuation is important.
For both your personal brand and your business brand, your grammar, spelling and punctuation represents you in the world. It sends people a message about your attitude, your authority and your attention to detail. It says, I care, I do good work.
Conversely, poor grammar harms your credibility and makes you look careless.
Here’s how to edit and proof your way to fundraising campaign page that stands out from the crowd:
1. Nine times out of ten, the errors picked up by the ACF team are basic things that a quick proofread and an eye for detail will detect. What to look for? The usual suspects. Spelling, grammar, paragraphs (yes – they are important!) and general consistency. Want to know more? We’ve put together some basic good writing tips for you.
2. Make your project description is clear and well-articulated. Get someone you know to take a look over it. Your project might be really clear in your head, but unclear to someone with no prior knowledge of your project or intentions. A fresh pair of eyes is the quickest way to find this out.
ADVANCED TIP: Avoid art-speak and weasel words. We love art and we love expressive language, but keeping your case simple and clear is the best rule of thumb. Let the work speak for itself.
3. Watch your ampersands. At ACF HQ we have a strict ampersand usage policy – luckily it’s pretty straight forward! Here’s the rule: Is it a proper noun, e.g. Mumford & Sons? That’s absolutely fine – ampersand away. But if you have ampersands littered throughout your project’s description in place of the full and correct ‘and’ – then no, sorry. We’re putting our foot down.*
*If you’ve already committed the crime a quick find and replace (CTRL+F) will sort you out.
4. Don’t use acronyms throughout your description. Acronyms are difficult to read, meaningless to anyone who doesn’t know what they stand for and bureaucratic (see also: weasel words). If you absolutely have to use one, write the name in full in the first instance.
5. Your short project description is the first piece of text that appears on your campaign page. We can’t emphasise enough how important this section is. Make sure people know what your campaign is about and include a hook (something compelling to capture the audience’s attention, that gets them leaning in for more). Don’t waste this precious real estate by repeating the same sentence at the top of your long description! Value your potential supporters’ time – they’ll appreciate it, and it makes your campaign look more professional. Win-win.
ADVANCED TIP: Make it easy for people to share your campaign through social channels by keeping copy super snappy and to the point.
That’s it. It’s pretty simple really. In summary: proofread, run your project description past others, avoid overuse or misuse of ampersands and acronyms, and make sure your short project description is a snappy hook to get them wanting more.
For more tips on how to plan and execute a successful ACF campaign visit our resources page.
The ACF Team