The powerful 3-part structure for an effective newsletter story [Newsletter Tuesday]

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

NewsletterTuesday2

The standard structure for a written news stories is the Inverted Pyramid: Start with the most important elements of the story, then work your way to less-important things.

It’s thought to be a service to readers, who can learn the basics about what’s going on, then go as deep into it as they want before moving on to the next story.

For donor newsletters, the inverted pyramid is not a good structure. Here’s why:

  • A donor newsletter isn’t “news.” It’s storytelling.
  • We don’t want to make it easy for readers to read only part of our stories — we want to entice them to read the whole thing! (Alas, many will read only parts of the story no matter what we do.)
  • In a donor newsletter, the 5 Ws (who, what, where, why, when) matter, but even more important is the one big Y: you.

Donor newsletters should use the structure of storytelling. There are many ways to tell a story. Here’s a loose structure I usually use:

  • The headline and lead should focus on the most amazing element of the story. Not the resolution, but the most exciting part. It should also hint to the reader that they played a part in the story.
  • Then it should tell the story in order: beginning, middle, end.
  • The end should directly address the reader and make it clear how their giving mattered.

More Newsletter Tuesday posts


Comments

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

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.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

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.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

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.

Recent Comments

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.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog