Last week I got a great question from blog reader, Allison, about donor newsletters. Allison asked as simple, but great question: “What makes a great donor newsletter?”
Newsletters are one of many tools that we have at our disposal to build relationships with donors. But there are a million ways to create and write a newsletter, so what are a few tried and true options?
Here’s my take on 5 things that make a great donor newsletter.
- Be donor-centered
First and foremost, your donor newsletter must be donor-centered. It can’t be all about your organization and how great you are. It must be about the donors and how great they are. There are a number of ways that you can be donor-centered. One of the easiest is to use the word you. This allows you to talk directly to donors and capture their attention.
- Share relevant updates
I know – there are probably a million things happening at your organization right now. It can be tempting to cramp all of them into the newsletter. Don’t. Select updates that are relevant to donors. Did you recently do an appeal for a project or program? That project or program would be the perfect newsletter update.
- Use visuals
Whether you do a print or digital newsletter, I highly encourage you to use pictures of people. Words can help describe the picture and bring it to life, but there really is no replacement for seeing the work in action. Again, this is a great way to help bring donors closer to the work they fund.
Like visuals, stories help your donors see their impact in action. As we know from the research of Penelope Burk and Roger Craver, donors want to know about the impact of their gift. This is the key to donor retention, and how you can get your newsletter to work harder.
- Include a survey question
I love donor surveys, and a newsletter is a great opportunity to ask donors 1 or 2 questions. You can think of this as taking the pulse on donor satisfaction. It is a great way to collect additional data points and get new data points.
What do you think makes a great donor newsletter? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.