How to maximize the impact of your donor newsletter

What belongs in your donor newsletter?

Quick answer:

Amazing stories. All giving credit to donors for making them possible. Not much else.

But there are a few other things you can very usefully include, and here’s a useful guideline from the Heroic Fundraising Blog, at The Best ‘Maximum Impact’ Ratio for Your Donor Newsletter

A balanced, impactful donor newsletter follows the 90/10 rule: 90% of your content to stories of impact and 10% to other news and updates.

What should be in the 10%?

  • Planned giving recruitment articles.
  • Announcements of upcoming events (assuming donors are likely attendees)
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Useful and relevant content (recipes, cultural articles, etc.)

What should not be part of the 10%:

  • News about staff accomplishments/awards (unless you can really give the donor credit!)
  • Pictures from your gala of well-dressed people holding champagne flutes
  • Statistics (demonstrate your impact with stories instead)
  • Stories praising large donors (find better ways of rewarding them that won’t make all your other donors feel small)

What maybe should be there:

  • List of your board members (most likely not)
  • List of donors (this is useful for some organizations, but not most)

Remember the purpose of a donor newsletter: To make donors feel great. about donating to your organization!


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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.