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Use Your Technical Writing Skills for Both the Bottom Line and the Public Good

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STC’s Ethical Principle for professionalism asserts: “We advance technical communication through our integrity and excellence in performing each task we undertake.” Professionalism, however, does not stop at the front door of the workplace. By virtue of their privileged status in society, professionals have a moral obligation to give back to the public a portion of their time and energy in order to improve the quality of life for all people. This presentation explores the similarities and differences between for-profit and nonprofit worlds in order to uncover opportunities for professional technical communicators to give back. By the end of this presentation, participants will be able to describe the nature of nonprofit organizations; list some characteristics of nonprofit communications; and explain the content, form, and style of the conventional genres of nonprofit communications.

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Use Your Technical Writing Skills for Both the Bottom Line and the Public Good

  1. 1. Use Your Technical Writing Skills for Both the Bottom Line and the Public Good
  2. 2. Why nonprofits?
  3. 3. Why nonprofits? PROFESSIONALISM We evaluate communication products and services constructively and tactfully, and seek definitive assessments of our own professional performance. We advance technical communication through our integrity and excellence in performing each task we undertake. Additionally, we assist other persons in our profession through mentoring, networking, and instruction. We also pursue professional self- improvement, especially through courses and conferences. (Adopted by the STC Board of Directors. September 1998)
  4. 4. Why nonprofits?
  5. 5. The nature of nonprofit organizations – different “Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes...” (501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code)
  6. 6. The nature of nonprofit organizations – similar • exist within a for-profit marketplace • structured as for-profits • conduct business as for-profits
  7. 7. Cecile Richards President Reportable compensation: $523,616 (PPFA_FY13_990) Net assets: $235,222,337 (PPFA_FY13_990)
  8. 8. Steven Wittenberg President Reportable compensation: $0 (FY13_990) Net assets: $18,659 (FY13_990)
  9. 9. The nature of nonprofit organizations – different • produce social capital • confront multiple constituencies
  10. 10. The nature of nonprofit communications “[C]ommunication is an enabler to changing the culture, behavior, and strategic direction of the organization.” (Connors, The Nonprofit Handbook, 2001, p. 69)
  11. 11. The nature of nonprofit communications • recruit volunteers • communicate to clients • convey accountability to funders • promote themselves to the public
  12. 12. The forms of nonprofit communications • strategy • management • development • outreach • accountability
  13. 13. The genres of nonprofit communications • Situation • Substance • Style
  14. 14. Strategy – Mission Statement “Drexel University fulfills our founder's vision of preparing each new generation of students for productive professional and civic lives while also focusing our collective expertise on solving society's greatest problems.”
  15. 15. Strategy – Strategic Plan “Infuse the Drexel Student Learning Priorities across all modes of instruction and all programs—on campus, online, hybrid, undergraduate, graduate, and professional.” (Strategic Plan 2012-2017)
  16. 16. Management
  17. 17. Management - Volunteers
  18. 18. Development
  19. 19. Development – Donor Appeals
  20. 20. Development – Grant Proposals
  21. 21. Outreach
  22. 22. Outreach – News release
  23. 23. Outreach – Social Media
  24. 24. Accountability
  25. 25. Accountability—Annual Reports
  26. 26. • Strategy • Management • Development • Outreach • Accountability
  27. 27. For-profit = Nonprofit
  28. 28. Nonprofit = For-profit
  29. 29. Nonprofit = For-profit
  30. 30. Nonprofit = For-profit

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