Extra, Extra Read All About It! The Nonprofit e-Newsletter
The nonprofit newsletter has been around for decades. Unfortunately, the successful offline newsletter can be hard to find … but the option of e-newsletters has changed everything. There are so many opportunities available because of e-newsletters, and some organizations are just scratching the surface.
If you are not doing an e-newsletter, you are missing out on significant opportunities to grow your digital list and get some great insight into what is most relevant and of interest to your constituents. If you are doing an e-newsletter, check the below list to make sure you are maximizing the opportunity.
It’s about them, not you
Make sure you don’t end up with a newsletter that is all about the organization. In the old days, we used to call these “house organs” because in many ways they existed to talk about all the things the volunteers had been doing and were, in fact, written by the volunteers.
In today’s world, it is about getting the information that is most helpful to the reader. While typically there is information about the organization, it is focused on how the organization is making progress against the mission and how this is beneficial to the reader and general public. This is one of the most critical points in making sure your e-newsletter is effective. If it is not of interest or relevant, it will not be read.
Create 4-5 topic modules
E-newsletters can be too long. If you have articles that go on and on and on, trust me, you will not keep people reading. Also, there should not be only one topic. Every organization has multiple ways people engage to support the organization so make sure you highlight this.
A good rule of thumb is to have four to five topic modules that stay the same from one newsletter to another. Your constituents want to know about the impact being made toward the mission. Make sure you use progress statements, not just facts and figures. You should always have some personal aspect to your newsletter — in other words, highlight the “face” of your organization through storytelling. If you are an organization with events, make sure you highlight upcoming opportunities to volunteer or get involved. And, of course, always make sure there is a “case for giving” component to your newsletter, and do not be afraid to point out that you are always in need of support. This type of approach creates a well-rounded reading experience.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.