No-Nonsense Newsletter Tips: Part 1

Newsletters have become a go-to piece for fundraising and direct response marketing. When done right, an organization’s newsletter can offer major financial and donor loyalty benefits. Dedicated supporters will give frequently and donate more when treated like important stakeholders of the nonprofit.
Keep Your Newsletter Donor-Centric

People don’t give to your organization because they made a calculated decision to support you. Although somewhat interested in the nuts and bolts of your organization, they give because you have moved them to support your mission. They care about how you positively impact the community and help those in need. It is important your newsletter articles are donor-centric. Find an angle that makes the donor continue to care. Make your newsletter about your donors. Let them know how they are making a difference with their support to your mission.

How People Read Newsletters

People skim before they read. They browse a little and then go on with their lives. If they don’t get your message in the browsing stage, they won’t get it at all. Here is how a donor browses a newsletter:
  • Headlines (with subheads)
  • Lead Sentences
  • Bullet Lists
  • Photos
  • Captions
  • Pull Quotes
Eyes voluntarily go to the biggest graphic on the page, then skip around that page looking for all the things that are bigger, bolder, and briefer than all those words they see in stories. Thread accomplishments, vision and need everywhere you can with a focus on how donor support makes it all possible. Spend your time on the browser level and assume that no one will dig into the articles.
Keep Them Reading

The longer individuals read, the more loyalty will grow and the larger their investment into the mission will be. The longer they read, the more likely they are to think about giving. Tell the reader something new and exciting that is worth knowing. Introduce them to someone who is intriguing through vivid storytelling. Write your newsletters from the donor’s perspective – keep it simple and genuine.

 “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu 

Your furry friend,

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of this series where we discuss how to get your newsletter opened and a few fresh story ideas to get you started.


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