We all realize how important it is to keep in touch with Non Profit stakeholders, and a newsletter is one of the most popular methods of doing this. Here are some ideas for how to maximize the impact of your newsletter.

1. Prioritize Value Over Quantity

Newsletters are an excellent way for Non-Profits to build relationships with supporters, especially donors. If done well, your newsletter can even help your organization raise money. But for that to happen, you must have content to put into your newsletter.

Your newsletter’s content is significant, and it’s in your organization’s best interest to ensure it’s good. This might mean supplementing “traditional” newsletter content (like a letter from your Executive Director updating you on what’s going on) with content that interests and motivates your audience to do something.

Instead of shooting for a set formula each time, ask yourself these questions as you brainstorm non-profit newsletter ideas:

  • Does this newsletter offer something of value? Did we include content that’s either new and interesting or helpful and actionable?
  • Did we provide enough information that readers can (and will be motivated to) take the next step in our marketing funnel?
  • Have we fulfilled the promise we made to people when asking for them to sign up to receive our newsletter? For example: sharing the latest news and ways to get involved

It’s a great idea to connect with your organization’s community by commenting on any current issues or news that might be happening, and that could be related to your organization’s cause.

Here’s a recent example:

Our non-profit organization is committed to helping low-income families in our community. We were very disheartened to read about the recent cuts to food assistance programs in the news. These cuts will hurt our most vulnerable neighbors and make it even harder for them to make ends meet. We will be redoubling our efforts to help those affected by these cuts and we urge our elected officials to do the same.

If your organization is trying to achieve similar goals as the news, making a newsletter commenting on the news could be beneficial.

2. Share An Impact Story

An effective way to make your newsletter more appealing to donors is to use storytelling. By sharing an impact story, you can show donors how their contributions have made a difference. This will help build trust and loyalty, which are essential for a successful fundraising campaign.

You can keep your subscribers engaged with your non-profit’s work by sharing recent stories of impact. Write about your non-profit’s most recent successes in a way that will inspire your readers. Focus on the most exciting parts of the story, and provide links to your website for readers who want to find out more.

After writing the stories, take a step back and try to read them from an outside perspective. For example, consider if you care about the people and organization in the story and if you have an emotional connection to them.

It is valuable to create content that reports on what your organization did to help and what the long-term impact was.

3. Interview A Donor

If you want to raise money through your newsletters, share a short interview with a donor. This will show social proof that reinforces people’s decisions to donate. You could ask a couple of questions and publish the donor’s answers.

You could call this content feature something like “Donors with Heart” or “3 Questions with [Donor Name].”

4. Interview A Local Influencer Who Is Passionate About Your Work To Get To Know Them Better

If your organization wants to be more networked within your local community, consider interviewing a local influencer who has an interest in your organization or cause. This is a way to feature someone whose opinions might interest your audience.

5. Share Curated Resources

Your organization is more “in the know” about your cause than your audience might be. But they may be interested in learning more if they receive your newsletter. Consider curating a valuable resource for them each month. For instance, a non-profit housing society might want to send readers a resource about spring cleaning. Or a humane society may want to send readers an interesting resource about pet care.

You don’t need to write all the content in a non-profit newsletter. Content curation can be very useful.

Your followers see you as an expert on the subject, so adding articles from external sources that you think would be beneficial for them to read shows that you are constantly trying to help them grow in their knowledge. By writing a short introduction to the article, you let them know your thoughts on how it could help improve understanding of non-profit organizations as a whole or their specific one.

6. Find A Pop Culture Tie-In

One way non-profits can make their content more relevant and interesting to readers is by finding a way to tie it into pop culture. This can be done by using movie releases, viral posts or articles, award show moments, or social media trends as inspiration for content.

7. Share A Recent Media Hit

Top 17 Non-Profit Ideas For Your NewsletterIf your organization has recently been featured in the media, use the opportunity by linking to the article or broadcast. This will allow your readers to see the organization mentioned or interviewed.

You can post articles from around the web on your website and news articles (including audio and video pieces) that focus on your organization or cause. If you believe the part deserves explanation or praise, add a short note about your reaction to the story and what it means for the work of your non-profit.

8. Re-Share Your Best Social Media Content

I encourage organizations to think about how they can leverage the content they’ve already shared on social media.

I recommend you look through your old social media posts and pick the ones that were more engaging and rich in valuable content. Then, backlink to those posts or repost them. Chances are, your newsletter readers may not have seen such wonderful posts!

9. Be Kitschy – Personify Inanimate Objects

The Twitter account for Sue the T. Rex is one of my favorites to follow. They’re a great example of using kitsch to stand out and have a unique voice. If your non-profit has a recognizable object or mascot, use it occasionally to help with branding.

The Salvation Army’s mascot is a prime example of how helpful a mascot can be for non-profit organizations in fundraising efforts.

10. Publish Op-Eds

A non-profit newsletter idea is to publish an op-ed. An op-ed is the “opinions and editorials page.” It is usually a segment with the author’s opinion but will not necessarily be the same as the editorial board’s opinion.

You can make your newsletter more community-driven by inviting readers to share op-eds or letters to the editor. This is a great way to connect readers.

11. Feature Updates About Your Organization

What has your non-profit been up to? Have you reached a goal, hosted an event, or expanded your operation? Have you revised your mission statement or altered how you use donations? What obstacles have you faced? What success stories can you share?

But make sure to keep your readers in mind. Past donors will want to hear about how their money is making a difference. Volunteers will want to hear about programs or events that they spent their time helping to make successful. Write your news updates specifically for the audience you’re writing for.

12. Showcase Your Supporters

One of the key purposes for developing a newsletter is cultivating and preserving relationships. A way to do this is by acknowledging the individuals who support your non-profit’s success. Who are your benefactors? What provoked their initial interest in your non-profit organization? What moved them to donate? Try to find out the backstory of some of the donations. Then share these narratives with your subscribers.

Non-profit organizations depend on the generosity of their volunteers just as much as they depend on donations. Volunteers typically give their time and energy to help a cause they believe in, without expecting anything in return. So occasionally, it’s nice to show your appreciation for a volunteer who goes above and beyond the call of duty by profiling them in a blog post or social media story. Not only will this make the volunteer feel good, but it may also inspire other people to get involved with your non-profit.

13. Make A Call For Volunteers

Top 17 Non-Profit Ideas For Your NewsletterThe newsletter is a great opportunity to arouse people’s interests and get them involved. Stick to a donation as the standard appeal, but don’t forget to mention other ways of participating as well.

Give specific examples of volunteering opportunities and why they are valuable. After that, encourage potential volunteers to visit your website for further information and sign up!

Newsletter example: Donate Life Northwest

The Donate Life Northwest newsletter provides readers with multiple ways to get involved, including training as a volunteer and signing up for specific opportunities.

14. Tease And Link Blog Posts

There’s no need to look for new content when you already have great content available. Try including teasers from your non-profit’s latest blog posts in your newsletter. Not only will this help fill out your non-profit’s newsletter, but it could also help extend the reach of the blog post by connecting with readers who may have missed it when it was originally published.

Newsletter example: Operation Noah

The newsletter for Operation Noah includes a list of recent activities and a section with summaries and links to the latest blog posts.

15. Provide A Helpful Resource

Adding a resource your audience will appreciate, share, or find useful is a great way to make your non-profit newsletter more valuable. Depending on your mission, you might suggest a list of recommended reading, healthy recipes, advocacy toolkit, funding opportunity, research report, Pinterest board or Facebook group, webinar, or another freely available resource.

Newsletter example: The Campaign for College Opportunity

The Publications section in this newsletter from The Campaign for College Opportunity provides subscribers with access to a recent report. Additionally, there is a recording of a webinar that offers additional insights for interested people.

16. Promote Your Upcoming Events

Include all the exciting details about your non-profit’s upcoming events in your email newsletter! This is a great way to let people know what your organization has planned and get them excited about attending. Be sure to include information like the event location, any special guests in attendance, and what kind of activities will be available.

Make sure to direct your readers to your website for the next steps like online event registration or ticket purchases.

Newsletter example: Jewish Federation of St. Louis

The Jewish Federation of St. Louis’ newsletter does a great job of sharing key information about upcoming events, paired with visuals.

17. Share Relevant Community Events

Your non-profit newsletter isn’t only about you. You’re likely a part of a strong and supportive community, and your newsletter is a great opportunity to show that goodwill back.

When you are looking for content to share from your non-profit, pay attention to events in the community that people interested in your cause might want to attend. Supporting local events is a great way to show that your non-profit is involved in the community and helps to promote awareness for your non-profit’s mission.

Newsletter example: Gates Foundation Discovery Center

The Gates Foundation Discovery Center has created a newsletter containing a list of community events that may interest readers. A link to more information accompanies each event.

Key Points To Ponder

Your non-profit’s newsletter subscribers are already interested in your non-profit’s activities. Don’t ruin that by sending them unsolicited emails. Keep them informed with news updates, outside articles, and internal blog posts. Keep them connected with donor highlights and volunteer profiles. Inspire them with stories of impact. Most importantly, make sure your newsletter provides genuine value.


About the Author Brian Richards

See Brian's Amazon Author Central profile at https://amazon.com/author/brianrichards

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