You can make your donor newsletter much more interesting to both your prospects and current supporters (and much more fun for you to write) by applying three hot nonprofit marketing trends to it.

Trend #1: "I am Donor, Hear Me Roar!"

Web 2.0, User-Generated Content, Social Networking, Flipping the Funnel, Donor-Advised Funds -- for nonprofit communicators, they all boil down to one concept: donors using philanthropy as a form of self-expression. Who they give to is part of their personal identity. Cultivate and nurture that self-expression to benefit your nonprofit.

Trend #2: Facts We Forget; Stories We Remember

Mainstream advertising is full of storytelling (think of the UPS White Board and the GEICO customers with actors telling their stories). We remember stories much more easily than facts and figures, which means we can share them more easily with friends and family. Tell stories to engage your donors in your work, to reinforce their giving decisions, to inspire them to do more, and to encourage more word-of-mouth marketing on your behalf.

Trend #3: Feeding the Snack-Size Culture

Americans want everything to be convenient, fast, affordable, and easy to digest, from food to news to charitable giving. We like options (but not too many) and instant gratification. You have to grab your readers' attention immediately and get to the point fast. Make everything easy -- from skimming your newsletter to contacting your office -- or donors won't do it.

  • So What Does This Mean for Your Newsletter?
  • Few to no stock articles. Customize those you do use with specifics from your organization and donors.
  • Great stories about donors, in all kinds of shapes and forms that match the personalities of the individual donors you are profiling.
  • Don't just talk about your donors - let them express themselves.
  • Shorter articles that are more personal, friendly, and engaging -- in other words, more human.
  • Clear, benefit-laden copy that's easy to skim, including great headlines and subheadings.
  • Shorter, more frequent mailings (whether in print, email, or both).


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