by Jennifer Steinberg
Whether it’s an e-newsletter or an old school mailed version, sending regular updates to your supporters is a critical part of any organization’s communications strategy. Sitting down to create or redo a newsletter can feel like a daunting task but if you keep the following in mind, you’ll see how quickly an update can come together.
Great newsletters have:
Set publication dates
And the best part is, no one other than your organization needs to know when they are! Monthly, quarterly, twice a year – just make sure that when you’re fiscal year starts, the dates you want to publish your newsletter get added to the calendar. This will give you the ability to plan ahead to consistently update your supporters. Once you start consistently updating your supporters, they’ll come to expect those updates, strengthening their relationship with your organization.
Consistent content from issue to issue
Keeping the content consistent from issue to issue makes generating that content easier. If you know that you are including a letter from your executive director or board president in each newsletter, then make sure you are communicating deadlines and word-count with those individuals ahead of time (this goes back to publication dates). Event updates, a list of donors, media coverage? Decide what is important to communicate to your supporters and then make sure that information is included in every newsletter.
Whether it’s a snappy masthead or a branded subject line, title your newsletter in a way that reflects your organization’s brand and mission. It’s a one-line way of reminding supporters what you do.
Whether you use an email template or lay it out for print, make sure the topmost panel includes an overview of what information will follow as well as any calls to action. If your newsletter is sent by email, keep in mind that you will want the most important information to be up top before anyone has to scroll down.
Images, not just text
Whether it’s a linked “Donate Now” or “Sign-up Here” button in an email newsletter or a graphic depicting where your organization is in terms of fundraising for the year in a mailed newsletter, making information visual is a great way to engage your supporters. Concise content is key because it’s important to grab supporter’s attention and that will get them thinking and acting on behalf of the organization.