Is Creating a Christmas Newsletter Really Bragging?
My husband Patrick and I got married 13 years ago, just after Thanksgiving. That first year, I started the annual Christmas newsletter tradition. For each month, it’s a simple picture and a few lines of what my husband, his two boys and I did, and I mail it to friends and family. Nothing professional looking, created in good ol’ Publisher.
That first year, I worried that people might think it was too much of a “bragging” letter, but then they told us how much they enjoyed seeing the pictures and the notes, and how much they were looking forward to our next “adventures,” the boys’ activities and travels.
So, every year late November, early December, we sit down and look back over the past year and write down just a few lines of highlights. Now, we often find ourselves looking for our newsletters to remember what we did when! It’s easy because we have a permanent record of it. My 13th newsletter went this past week.
So, as your mailings are out the door, #GivingTuesday is behind you and your year-end emails are scheduled, take just a few minutes to reflect. Write down what you did this year that you think worked well. What jumped out at you? What was the most fun and exciting event, donor call or visit you made? What was the biggest gift you received and what do you think sparked that?
Do include your monthly donors. How many new monthly gifts did you generate? How does this compare to your goals? What do you think worked well and what didn’t work so well? What have you learned from it?
Just take a few minutes to create your own little Christmas “bragging” newsletter. Write down those anecdotes and donor comments that made most sense to you and share that newsletter with your colleagues, boss and board and whomever you think might be interested in it. You may be pleasantly surprised about their feedback.
Trust me, it will make your life so much easier next year! Be proud of what you’ve accomplished. You’ve earned it! So it’s totally okay to brag a little.
And if you’re curious to see a copy of our Christmas newsletter, just email me.
Note: To give you those extra minutes, you’ll not see my blog the next few weeks. I’ll be back in January. I wish you and your loved ones the best holidays and a great, happy and, especially, healthy 2019!
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals. She authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving — in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and a cat, Mientje.