Category Archives: Copywriting

New 2-Minute Video: Juicy Writing Tips

If you’ve been following my work you probably already know that I love sharing tips on how to improve your social change writing. You may have been part of one of my webinars, read my book, “Writing to Make a Difference: 25 Powerful Techniques to Boost Your Community Impact,” or engaged with me in some other way.

I recently sat down with a colleague of mine, Paul Jolly. He produced a short video that offers a couple of juicy writing tips for engaging your reader. Check it out here:



2/23: Engage Your Readers with Powerful, Passionate Copywriting! (FREE Workshop in Berkeley, CA)


Join us in person on February 23 at the Impact Hub in Berkeley, CA

Engage Your Readers with Powerful, Passionate Copywriting!

Do you want to position your work as cutting-edge and worthy of new support? Do you want to become a respected thought leader in your field? In the marketplace of ideas, those who write well are seen as the “experts” at much more than putting words on a page. (The words “author” and “authority” come from the same Latin root!)

If you want your writing to more fully express your passion and tell your story in a fresher and more compelling way, this session is for you! We will share some strategic tools to help your words “land” as you intend.

Join us as we explore how to craft polished pieces that will help you reach a whole new level of effectiveness. You will leave inspired and equipped with powerful techniques you can use immediately.

In this interactive session you will learn:

1) The ABC’s of copywriting, including creating and advancing your brand, understanding your readers’ needs, and focusing on the benefits you offer

2) The top characteristics of effective copywriting and how to apply them

3) How to select stories that resonate with your readers

This workshop is based on my award-winning book, Writing to Make a Difference: 25 Powerful Techniques to Boost Your Community Impact. All participants are eligible for a special discount on a signed copy!

LEVEL: Beginner, Intermediate

More info is HERE.

Ask Dalya: How can we measure return on investment for grantwriting?


Q: What is the best way to measure return on investment for grantwriting?

A: You may be tempted to think that it’s simply the amount of money you immediately bring in minus the time and money you spent to procure that grant. Right? Not so fast…

We need to look at grantwriting’s return on investment in both the short term and long term.

The number and size of grants directly resulting from any given proposal is often out of your control. Foundation board members consider many factors when funding different grants, and (I dare say) the quality of your proposal is only one of them. The organization’s reputation or history in the community, changing funder priorities or staff, unexpected limitations on funds, and a perceived mismatch with a proposal’s emphasis are just a few. So the short-term success of any proposal (i.e., getting funded) is not the only way we can measure the effectiveness of grantwriting work.

The good news is that the grantwriting process itself can be valuable to the organization in several ways. For example, thinking through the responses to a Request for Proposals can be a great strategic planning exercise. Creating a program budget may shine a light on expenses you have never tallied up before. While writing a general operations proposal, seeing the big picture of an organization (beyond its day-to-day parts) can be an eye-opening experience. I have seen many organizations benefit in these ways from the grantwriting process (whether or not they get a specific grant). Continue reading

Grantwriter’s FastTrack Coaching Program: FAQ

confusion2Folks have asked some great questions about the Grantwriter’s FastTrack Coaching Program. And here are the answers!

By the way, the next session of the FastTrack Program starts on February 2, with only 6 seats available. The Early Bird deadline is this Friday, January 23. You should also know about the program’s main page for more details.

Q: Who is the FastTrack Program for?

The program was designed for you if:

  • You have grantwriting responsibilities as a nonprofit development or program staff member, volunteer, or board member
  • You are a beginning/intermediate grantwriter
  • You have strong writing skills and want to explore the world of grantwriting

Q: How is this program different from regular grantwriting classes?

The FastTrack Program does not just deliver one-size-fits-all group training (available in other places). Rather, it is customized to the group’s specific interest areas: you will help shape the group’s experience. Topics unique to you can be discussed in your one-on-one laser sessions.

You will be working on a real grantwriting project over several weeks; the program is by no means just theoretical! If you are not yet required to write grants, you will need to arrange with a nonprofit organization to write a grant proposal for them (most nonprofits will jump at this opportunity).

The FastTrack Program also gives you the chance to learn from others’ successes and challenges (“case studies”), as well as practice providing and receiving analytical feedback. Your insights will add value to the group discussion and hearing others’ different perspectives will add to your own learning process.

There will be lots of real-time interaction and Q&A (by phone and Facebook group), so the program will not be like many of the other online trainings you may know about.

Q: How much of a time commitment is involved?

In addition to the 4 group conference calls and 1-2 private laser calls, you will need to plan for approximately 1-2 hours per week (on your own schedule) to devote to program homework. If you are brand new to grantwriting, or if you are not already working on a grant proposal, you may have to devote an additional 1-2 hours per week to the program.

Q: What if I can’t make all 4 conference calls?

If, for some reason, you are unable to join a live group call or two, you will be able to interact with the group and ask questions via our private Facebook page. You will also want to listen to the recordings of the calls. If you know ahead of time that you can only attend some of the live group calls, we can make arrangements to ensure that you still get maximum value from the program.

Your 60 minutes of private “laser” coaching will be scheduled according to your own availability.

Q: What kind of grantwriting background do I need?

If you have attended at least 1 introductory course on grantwriting and/or have been part of at least 1 grant proposal process, that is excellent! If you are just starting out, no worries. You will have lots of opportunities to take free online tutorials to hit the ground running. The only requirement is the motivation to work with others to improve your grantwriting skills.

Q: Do you offer a money-back guarantee?Of course! Fully participate in the FastTrack Program until the first Friday of the session. If you are not already getting incredible value from the program, I will offer a full refund.

Q: Can I hear a sample of your training and coaching?

Yes! Just watch this introductory webinar.


You can see the full FAQ page HERE.

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