For a writer, there's hardly anything more depressing than the way people consume our work. Or don't consume it, to be more accurate.
Especially on the web, people just don't pay attention to most of what we write, and the more that's there, the less they read.
The Global Currents blog asks this important question: If you knew that only 20% of what you said would be heard, what would you say? at Content Overload:
The adverse effects of too much text are not limited to a donor only skimming your page -- it's more dangerous than this. It starts with missing key calls to action and moves into indifference and ultimately disengagement. Don't treat your site like the only time or the only means you'll have to interact with your donor. It's a starting point, a cocktail, keep it interesting, lure them back for more.
That's right, much of that well-crafted prose is being ignored! In fact, it's hiding what you want donors to do!
On the web, keep your copy short, simple, repetitive and easy to read (short paragraphs, short sentences, small words). Zoom ahead to the action you want readers to take. Skip the philosophical foundations -- you can get to that later if you manage to stir them to action now.