Here’s how you are going to transform your newsletter

Book review: Making Money with Donor Newsletters by Tom Ahern

Newsletters

If you’re a fundraiser who believes donors are human beings and fundraising is about relationships — get this book.

Making Money with Donor Newsletters is an everything-in-one-place guide to creating relevant, relationship-building newsletters that will raise more money. In fact, follow what you read in this book, and you’ll most likely dramatically improve response to your newsletter to the point that it could outpace your direct appeals as a source of revenue. Better yet, you may also meaningfully improve donor retention. Which means a healthy future.

Mr. Ahern, who’s brought so much to our profession, lays it all out here: 44 chapters of clear, fact-based, researched truths about everything you need to know.

Yes, 44 chapters. But it’s not a massive tome. You can read it in a sitting or two and walk away better-equipped and inspired to produce the newsletter of your dreams. But the real value of this book will come to light as you keep it by your elbow as a constant guide through the big and small decisions you face while planning and creating your newsletter.

Here are some samples of the ways this book can help you transform your newsletter:

1. The nine fatal flaws that kill response. Many, maybe most, nonprofit newsletters blithely commit these fatal (yes, fatal) flaws all the time.

2. This is what donor newsletters do:


  • They express love for the donor.
  • They bring joy to the donor.
  • They surprise the donor.

3. Proof. “[A] simple shift in focus — from ‘we are great’ to ‘donor, you are great’ — was the difference between $5,000 and $50,000 in gifts per issue.” Yes, it can make that kind of difference.

You need this book. It’s available from the publisher or at Amazon.


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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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