The Nonprofit Newsletter – Still All That?

Nonprofit NewsWhen I first started working in nonprofit communications, the job was really all about the newsletter. The nonprofit newsletter, first in print and then in email, was the mainstay of communications between the nonprofit and its supporters. More than any other piece of communications, the newsletter consumed a lot of staff time and energy, not to mention the money spent on printing and mailing the print version.

Is the nonprofit newsletter still all that? 

I’m not sure. Maybe. Maybe not. 

It’s a question I want to try to answer this month, with your help.

Certainly some organizations still rely heavily on their newsletters to produce real results. I’m thinking of groups that do lots of events, like performing arts orgs for example, who need a frequent and consistent way to communicate about their events calendars. Same goes for organizations who position themselves as curators of the news in their field: they use the newsletter to bring the “best of” to their list of subscribers. You also have nonprofits who use the newsletter primarily as a donor-centered fundraising tool.  (Tom Ahern is writing a new book on this and doing an e-clinic for us on raising money with print newsletters in September.)

But what about all of those other newsletters — perhaps the vast majority of nonprofit newsletters — that are really just FYI updates, organizational news, and soft asks for support?

Here are some of my suspicions  . . .

Nonprofits are relying on social media now more than a newsletter to get quick updates out to supporters.

Nonprofits are sending emails “as needed” rather than waiting for a regularly scheduled newsletter.

Nonprofits are dropping print newsletters simply because they cost too much to produce (again, these are the orgs who don’t use them as a core revenue generator or service to members).

Or I could be completely wrong.

Let’s figure this out together. There are a few ways you can participate:

Take the survey. I’ve put together a quick survey asking how your newsletter has changed. I’ll share the results of the survey in a blog post later this month. As an incentive for filling it out, I’m giving away a free newsletter review to randomly selected participants.

Confirm or deny my suspicions. Leave a comment on this blog post letting me know your take.

Write a blog post about nonprofit newsletters. I’m hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival on nonprofit newsletters this month. Write a blog post about the role of the newsletter, or changes you see, and send me the link so I can include it in the Carnival. Deadline is August 28.  Don’t have a blog of your own where you can publish your story? You can send it to me as a guest post for this blog.

I hope you’ll share your thoughts in one or more of these ways!

News Keyboard by Big Stock

© 2007-2017, Nonprofit Marketing Guide. All Rights Reserved.

Share This Post On
  • Aw, this was a really good post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a superb article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

  • The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

  • You are so cool! I don’t believe I’ve read through something like that before. So great to discover another person with a few genuine thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is required on the web, someone with some originality!

  • Pingback: sex toy()

  • I quite like looking through an article that will make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!

  • I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few folks are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy I came across this during my hunt for something relating to this.

  • The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

  • Just want to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity in your post is simply cool and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the gratifying work.

  • I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic information I was looking for this information for my mission.

  • Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

  • This is the perfect blog for anyone who really wants to find out about this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject which has been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just great!

  • The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I really thought you would have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you can fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

  • Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the internet the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  • You should be a part of a contest for one of the best websites on the web. I most certainly will recommend this web site!

  • Right here is the right website for anyone who wants to understand this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject that’s been written about for ages. Great stuff, just great!

  • Sorry for the huge review, but I’m really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.