Spring Cleaning: Newsletters

Your newsletter is a great communications tool for your organization. But is it really making an impact? How can you be sure that people aren't just throwing it away without reading it? And how can you make it better?

1. Ask the Donors
This is the time to survey your donors. Make it short and simple, but ask them what they think of the newsletter. Don't be vague with your questions, but instead ask very precise, direct questions that will garner a good response.

2. Change it Up
Sometimes people have a format and a style of a newsletter and they keep it that way for years. Consider changing it around, both from a design perspective and a content perspective. Do you always write about the same things? Do you always write in the same way? (ie. technical, colloquial, etc). Mix it up and see if that sparks interest.

2. Add Stories
If your newsletter doesn't have stories from your clients, please add them! They are a great way to make that connection between donor and client and encourage donors to give a bit more.

3. Add Interviews
Interview your board and staff and share those interviews in the newsletter. People give to people, not to organizations and this is your chance to showcase that!

4. Give Donors a Voice
Consider including a survey or a comment card that would allow donors to express what they are feeling, whether it's about this particular issue of the newsletter or your organization in general.

5. Fix Formatting
Don't try to squeeze as much content as you can into the pages. This makes it very hard to read and bulky. Instead, adjust your story lengths to fit the page. If you have a story that is just too good but you can't fit it, put the full story up on your website and tell people to read more there.

6. Be Critical
Don't just glance at your newsletter once and say it's fine. Take the time to look at it from the donor's perspective and see what needs to be changed or updated. If you make it fresh, the donors will be more engaged and interested.

7. Get Outside Opinions
You may pass it around to everyone if your office who can look at it and think it's fine, but someone with no connection to your organization may have a different view. Getting an outside opinion will give you a new perspective. So grab that friend who doesn't know that much about your organization and give her the newsletter.

Have fun Spring Cleaning and good luck!

Stay tuned tomorrow: Spring Cleaning your Brochure

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