Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

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December 14, 2018

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4 Secrets to Raising Money With Your
Nonprofit's Print Newsletter

by Sandy Rees

How well does your newsletter perform for you? If it's not so hot, then maybe you need to make a few changes. Here are 4 secrets to a successful newsletter.

Secret One: The secret to a successful newsletter is to be clear about the result you want. What is your newsletter's purpose? Is it educational? Is it supposed to be a fundraising tool? Both? This will help guide you in selecting content.

Secret Two: The second secret to a successful newsletter is to make it donor-focused. Write the kinds of things that a donor wants to read, not what you want to include. Donors want to read stories about clients and how they've been helped. Donors aren't usually interested in articles about new staff members, new Board members or lengthy "letters from the President."

Secret Three: The third secret to a successful newsletter is to use good design. Use lots of white space and keep it skimmable. Donors read your newsletter like they read the newspaper. They skim. They read the headlines and if it looks interesting, they'll read the article. They look at photos and read the pull quotes.

If you want your newsletter to raise money, then you need to include an Ask somewhere. The most common and usually most effective thing to do is to include a reply envelope inside its pages.

Secret Four: The fourth secret to a successful newsletter is to optimize your content. If you want your newsletter to break even or better yet, raise money, here are some things you MUST include:

  • A brief client story on the cover. People love to read stories about others who have overcome adversity. Be careful not to become text heavy. Balance your stories with adequate amounts of white space (empty space).

  • Client- or program-focused articles. Leave out the pieces welcoming new staff, new Board members, and long bits about upcoming events.

  • Your mission statement, Board list, staff list, and the address and phone number of your organization.

  • Reply envelope.

Remember that your purpose is to connect with your donor, let them know about the people you are serving, then ask them to support your work.

©  Sandy Rees, CFRE

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About the Author:

Sandy Rees is a nonprofit fundraising coach, consultant, trainer, and author. She shows small nonprofit organizations how to raise more money, gain more supporters, and strengthen their Boards. Learn more about successful direct mail fundraising letters and get free fundraising tips in her e-zine "Bright Ideas for Fundraising" on her website at

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