FundRaising Success

You will be automatically redirected to fundraisingsuccessmag in 20 seconds.
Skip this advertisement.

Advertisement
Advertisement
 

Tips to Energize Your Donor Newsletter

April 21, 2009 By Abny Santicola
1

Donors want newsletters. Research has told us so. But most donor newsletters go unread.

In last month’s Forum For Fundraising webinar on creating highly profitable donor newsletters, Tom Ahern, principal at  Ahern | Communications | Ink, explained the disconnect and the reader psychology behind it, told attendees how to speak to donors' personalities, and shared some key secrets behind great donor newsletters.

"I see hundreds of donors newsletters. Almost all are fatally flawed," Ahern said, noting these top seven flaws, in descending order of impact:

Flaw 7:
You say it's a donor newsletter, but it lacks the kinds of news that donors care about most. Instead, it's a self-absorbed sales brochure for the organization.

A newsletter isn't a sales medium, Ahern said. Rather, it's a place where you report to donors on what and how your organization is doing in terms of fulfilling its mission. A specific newsletter mistake is running the prototypical "letter from the executive director." In an effort not to offend anyone, these often are bland and not exactly the thing that will draw people to and into the newsletter.

The front page is prime real estate and should be reserved for news of the greatest importance to donors. Donors are interested in:

  • accomplishments (What did you do with my money? What did I help do?);
  • opportunities (What could you do with my money? What are other ways to help?);
  • recognition (Did my support matter? Am I important?) and;
  • efficiency (Can I trust you with my money?).
Donors want to get behind what it is you're fighting to achieve. Ask yourself what fight is it that you're, and be sure to tell donors how they’re helping you win.

Flaw 6: Your newsletter fails the "you" test. A good newsletter is friendly, even intimate, in tone — not an institutional voice, Ahern said. "'You' is the most powerful word in the marketing lexicon," he added. He recommended doing the "you" test: Get a red pen and go through your newsletter materials, beginning with the outer envelope, and circle every time the word "you" appears to see if you need improvement in this regard. You don't know where people's eyes will land first within your newsletter, so he recommended using the word “you” as often as you can and in many different locations.
 

Companies Mentioned:

1

SPONSORED CONTENT

MORE ON DATABASE / DONOR RELATIONSHIP >>

FROM THE BOOKSTORE

As important as email marketing is, being an expert at it is no easy task. But do not fret. Email Marketing 2014 provides the trends and best practices you need to follow. You'll find: 21 email trends charts featuring data from Who's Mailing What!Analysis of 11 effective cross-channel emails Best practices covering everything from email copywriting and design to data, metrics, CRM, deliverability and more4 email case studies Email Marketing 2014 Trends, Best Practices & Case Studies

As important as email marketing is, being an expert at it is no easy task. But do not fret. Email Marketing 2014 provides the trends and best practices you need to follow. You'll find: 21 email trends charts featuring data from Who's Mailing What!Analysis of 11 effective cross-channel emails Best practices...

ORDER NOW

Eye-opening look at how nonprofit marketing and fundraising is changing, and the perils of not quickly adaptingUp-to-date guidance on communicating in a fast-paced, multichannel worldHow to make big-picture strategic decisions about your content, followed by pragmatic and doable tactics on everything from editorial calendars to repurposing contentReal-world examples from 100+ nonprofits of all sizes and missions Content Marketing for Nonprofits

Eye-opening look at how nonprofit marketing and fundraising is changing, and the perils of not quickly adaptingUp-to-date guidance on communicating in a fast-paced, multichannel worldHow to make big-picture strategic decisions about your content, followed by pragmatic and doable tactics on everything from editorial calendars to repurposing contentReal-world examples from 100+...

ORDER NOW

 

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments:
Debbie Eliason - Posted on May 12, 2009
Great article and good reminders for focusing on donors/members!
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Debbie Eliason - Posted on May 12, 2009
Great article and good reminders for focusing on donors/members!