What you donor newsletter is really for

Great post at Bloomerang: Nonprofit Newsletters Donors Abhor. It’s a kind of how-not-to for your newsletter:

  • Preachy, teachy stuff. Your newsletter should be packed with stories that prove to them that their giving made a difference.
  • Stuff that makes them feel they don’t belong. Don’t use the newsletter to highlight your megadonors. That just tells everyone else who really matters to you — and it’s not them!
  • Stuff that’s hard to comprehend. Remember, they aren’t experts. They never will be. They don’t need to be.
  • Stuff so out of tune with donor interests it appears you’re simply checking something off your list as ‘done’ in order to justify your job. I think you know what this stuff is. It’s when you talk about how your staff is getting educated. Focus on your internal processes. Make sure you are really talking to donors when you talk to donors!

A donor newsletter exists to tell donors that their giving matters. When it does that, it brings in gifts, deepens your donors relationships, and improves donor retention rates.

When you fail to connect with donors in your newsletter, you just waste time, money, and paper!

Want to turn your donor newsletter into a donor-connection powerhouse? Take my online course, Irresistible Communications for Great Nonprofits. It’s a four-part complete masterclass in the surprising things that work in fundraising. Details here.


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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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