2 amazing things your nonprofit newsletter can do for you

Newsletter Tuesdays: A series about doing more with your donor newsletter.

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An effective donor newsletter should accomplish two things:

  1. It should improve donor retention. It does that by showing donors that their giving accomplishes good things. While it’s hard to directly measure this outcome, a solid donor newsletter should be part of a healthy donor file. I’ve seen organizations with no newsletter (or with a newsletter that wasn’t about donor impact) and several percentage points to their donor retention rate by publishing a solid donor newsletter.
  2. It should raise funds directly. A good donor newsletter is itself a worthwhile fundraising channel that can raise net revenue at a decent return on investment. Typically, newsletters are just behind direct mail appeals in effectiveness … but for some organizations they can be more effective than appeals.

Here’s the key thing.

You don’t have to balance these two goals. It’s not either/or.

It’s both/and.

Newsletters that have the most positive impact on retention are also the best at raising direct net revenue. And vice-versa.

Newsletters that are bad at one of those are also bad at the other.

Because if a newsletter is compelling, donors will engage with it. And that means more of them will donate to it. And more will donate to other channels later.

A good donor newsletter is a win-win for fundraisers!

This Newsletter Tuesday series is about the ways you can create a donor newsletter that does what it’s meant to do. Stay tuned.


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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.