3 ways to improve your donor newsletters

The better your newsletter speaks to your donor, the more likely you are to retain him or her.
Date Published
10/20/2015
Author
Sue Guttormson

Your monthly or bi-weekly newsletter is a valuable tool many nonprofits fail to fully utilize during fundraising efforts. According to the Content Marketing Institute, around 75 percent of donors won’t return after they make one donation. Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with donors and hopefully improve donor retention rates.  While you can’t rely solely on email newsletters, the more work you put into your communications, the more effective they will be in swaying uncertain donors to continue supporting your organization.

1. Maintain a strong personal connection through customization
Sending out a standard newsletter that doesn’t speak specifically to the donors isn’t going to yield much of a result. Your donors want a personal connection with the organization they provide money. When it comes time to start a new fundraising push, one way to improve donor retention and increase the amount of money coming in is to customize and personalize the newsletter to the donor. This is easily done by using a personal, familiar tone and addressing donors by their name. It is easy to send out a mass email, but customizing hundreds of emails can be tough. Utilize nonprofit software to help, or consider developing a template that allows you to simply punch in specific information.

2. Use your donor management software to optimize your email list
According to The NonProfit Times, only 30 percent of active donors are compiled in most nonprofits’ donor management software systems. You need to collect all donor data in one place and utilize that donor list for the future. The more information you have, the more you can personalize and customize your message to donors.

3. Show donors their impact
Donors love to see where their money is going. Unfortunately, there are a lot of scams out there and many donors can be skeptical as to what their money is used for. By showing them a new program they helped fund or a new facility component they helped make possible, you’re providing donors with the peace of mind that they are actually making a difference. Utilize video and images and insert them in the newsletter. The more you can illustrate the donors’ importance, the more likely they are to continue helping your organization in the future.

While newsletters are highly valuable pieces of content, a nonprofit still needs to have other forms of content on their blog and website. The more nonprofits can express their importance to their cause and the impact they have on the world, the better.

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