How to make nonprofit newsletters work

A good look at good nonprofit newsletters at Karen Zapp’s blog: Write a newsletter donors and members WANT to read. Here are Karen’s characteristics of a newsletter that builds relationships with donors:


  • Donors feel needed.
  • You understand that donors don’t give to your charity. (They give through your charity to your cause.)
  • You wrote for skimmers as well as for readers.
  • Your headlines are exciting, benefit-driven, and intriguing.
  • You sat on the front porch and told stories to a friend.

In my opinion, there’s one thing behind all these things: You make the newsletter about the donor, not about yourself.

That means all your energy went to telling the donor what she wants to hear in ways she wants to hear it. Do those things, and your newsletters will not only boost donor retention, but bring in revenue.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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