It seems like an obvious question to ask ourselves if we have a donor newsletter that is part of our cultivation and stewardship strategy. And yet, I’m sure many of you reading this don’t have a clear answer to the question I posed.
There are many potential purposes of a non-profit newsletter, but if we are getting down to brass tacks about a donor newsletter, there’s really only one purpose. That’s relationship building.
When we work with non-profit donors we are always engaged in the process of relationship building. We might be at different phases of the process, but we’re in the process nonetheless. To that end, we are able to measure our progress through the cycle by looking at giving patterns and rates.
The big question here is: does your newsletter positively impact giving?
- To answer that, there are several things you can look at:
- After a donor received a newsletter, how soon after did the donor make a gift?
- Over time, have you seen lifts (or increases) in giving as a result of your newsletter (or other touch points)?
- Do you receive anecdotal feedback from donors who like your newsletter?
Some of these answers can be obtained through reports in your database. Others can be obtained through donor surveys. Either way, it’s valuable data that will help you assess the effectiveness of your newsletter.