Having a clear purpose for your non-profit newsletter is key.
If you were to ask a random sample of colleagues at your organization what the purpose of your newsletter is, would you get consistent answers? This, in fact, might be a good litmus test.
The value of having a clear purpose or objective for your newsletter is that you can start measuring or tracking the return on investment. This, in turn, ensures that resources are used effectively.
If you realize however that your organization is mindlessly floating down newsletter river, don’t panic. You’ll tip over. You can start gently paddling and make it a worthwhile trip.
There are several possible purposes of a newsletter:
Sharing your opinion
Converting subscribers to donors
Distributing content (but to what end?)
Relationship building (again, to what end?)
. . . And so on
In my opinion, the most valuable of these is retaining donors, but each to their own.
Once you’ve identified your newsletter’s purpose, it’s then useful to think about how you can fulfill that purpose. In other words, what do you need to say or share in your newsletter? What messages should it reinforce? This is how you begin to develop a granular and useful content strategy.