Non-profit newsletters are a great relationship building opportunity. It gives non-profits the opportunity to share value-added content, express an opinion, share updates and impact, and more. As I wrote before, the key to doing newsletters well is to be clear about its purpose. Today's post I want to offer you some non-profit newsletter tips to help you take your organization's newsletter to the next level.
Why Improve Our Newsletter?
There are a lot of reasons why you may want to improve your non-profit's newsletter.
First and foremost, for many of the organizations I've worked with, their newsletter represents a significant time and resource investment. In fact, I once has a client that was spending as much as 50 hours to produce a single issue of their print newsletter. That's a lot of time! Eventually, we were able to streamline their process and significantly reduce that time. My primary goal for them was to ensure that they were actually seeing a return on investment for their efforts.
Second, non-profit newsletters are often sent to a decent sized audience, making it a big communications opportunity for the organization. This is why I encourage organizations to be strategic and purposeful with the content they choose to include in their newsletter.
There are many other reasons why you may want to improve your newsletter and these are my top two reasons.
3 Non-Profit Newsletter Tips
3 Tips to improve your non-profit's newsletter from @Vanessaechase
Now that we've established why you may want to embark on this project, let's get into some tips!
Tip #1 - Establish Your Why and Your Audience
One of the most foundational ways to improve your newsletter is to get clear on your why and your audience.
By "your why" I mean, why are you producing and publishing this newsletter? Get crystal clear about your goals as this is an important decision making filter for many other aspects of your newsletter like content.
Being clear about who this newsletter is for is another easy way to improve your newsletter. One of the biggest communications mistakes I see non-profits make is producing communications that are for an undefined external audience, AKA everyone. There is no world in which a communication is meant for "everyone." Be realistic and clear about who it you are trying to reach with your communications.
Need some help defining your audience? Check out this post and worksheet.
Tip #2 - Content Plan
Ever realized that you need to get your newsletter out the door and have no idea what you're going to put in it? It happens to all of us and the way to mitigate this is to get organized with a content (or editorial) plan.
I personally use Trello for all of my content planning. Here's a helpful overview of how you can use it, too.
(Side note: if you'd like me to do a video tutorial of how non-profits can use Trello for content planning, let me know in the comments below!)
Tip #3 - Step Up Your Design by Taking Advantage of Templates
Newsletter design is often a sticky point for staff that are wearing a lot of hats and don't have a budget for graphic design support. There are lots of options out there that can help you be a design savant. A few of my favorites include:
Pre-made templates in MailChimp
Pre-made templates for newsletters in Canva
There are many ways you can improve your non-profit's newsletter and I hope these three ideas will help you get started. Let me know in the comments below which of the tips you're going to try.
Michael McQuillan says
Great post Vanessa. Thanks for the resources you’ve included.