Easily understood writing is important in every sector, but perhaps more so within the not-for-profit sector. Budgets can often be tight, and messaging needs to hit its mark.

It’s crucial for organizations to stick to the foundations of readability:

  1. Easily scannable content
  2. Sentences and words which aren’t too long
  3. Avoiding jargon and acronyms
  4. Content which keeps the audience’s reading level in mind

The last point is the most crucial. If you are creating content for service users, you need to make sure it’s accessible.

As Chief Strategist at Village PR, Heather Badenoch provides communications support to not-for-profits across Canada.

This includes planning and implementation, public relations, social media engagement and training.

We caught up with Heather to find out more about what she does and how she is using Readable.

Can you please give me a quick overview of Village PR?

Village PR believes in the power of not-for-profits and the strength they have to effect change for people, animals and our environment. Issues I care deeply about.

“We’ve been going for seven years now, working with not-for-profit organizations across Canada.

“My clients are communicating to a range of target audiences. This includes people with disabilities and newcomers to the country whose first language may not be either of our official languages - English and French.

How long have you been using Readable and how do you use it?

“I’ve been a subscriber for as long as I’ve been running Village PR. It makes my work easier when it comes to plain language copy.

“Our aim is to hit approximately grade 10-12, which was a really hard score to attain in the beginning! Over time I’ve gotten much better.

We use Readable a lot, for web copy, program brochures and annual reports and I recommend it all of the time. The Readable logo is on the slides of workshops I deliver and I use your tools with clients.

“My clients support vulnerable people; plain language is essential when writing for these audiences. Readable makes it easy to show clients when their copy isn’t using plain language.

“This means my clients don’t just have to take my word about the reading grade level; they can see the Readable rating for themselves.

“When the copy is at too high a grade level, I demonstrate with Readable how shorter words and shorter sentences quickly drop the grade level.

What will you need from us in the future?

“More of the same. Keep up the amazing work!

“Thanks for the great tool. I appreciate that it’s simple, easy to use and delivers precisely what I need it to.”

It’s great to hear feedback

For us in the Readable team, it’s great to hear how our product is being used. We love what Heather is doing with readability and her great work with not-for-profit organizations. A very worthy sector to be working in!

If you’d like to share your story of how Readable helps you, please get in touch.

Steve Linney

Steve Linney was part of the Readable team until July 2019.