What it takes to raise money with your nonprofit newsletter

Your donor newsletter (the print version, anyway) should be bringing in net revenue.

If it isn’t, it might be that you aren’t sending it to donors, or you don’t have enough active donors to make it work.

But if you aren’t raising net revenue and you have enough donors (let’s say at least 1,000 current donors, though I’ve seen organizations with fewer make it work:) — it might be you are sending the wrong content.

Here’s a good look at what you should be in your donor newsletter, from the Bloomerang Blog, at How Do Nonprofits Raise More Money Through Their Newsletters?

It’s quite simple, really:

  • How their support of your recent campaign made a difference.
  • Beneficiary stories.
  • Donor stories (i.e., “Why I care, why I give”).
  • Photos with captions that tell a story.
  • Inspiring stories made possible through legacy giving.
  • A “soft” ask.

You’ll notice I specified print newsletter above. My experience with e-newsletters is that it is much more difficult to raise money with them. They get low open rates and low everything else rates. The magic just doesn’t seem to translate into email. If you’re doing an email newsletter that’s generating decent revenue, let me know. Because if you’re doing that, you’ve either discovered the secret or you have a truly amazing donor list.


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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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