non-profit fundraising newsletters

Non-profit organizations can still receive incredible benefits from a full color, printed newsletter, even in this age of instant communication and social media. People are getting less and less mail these days and a quality newsletter really stands out!

The Importance of telling a story

The best way to engage your audience is by telling stories.  People give to stories of changed lives.  Stories are more memorable than facts and figures, so they can be used as a powerful tool for raising awareness about your cause. They also inspire people to donate because they make them feel like part of something bigger.

Here are some examples of the types of stories you can tell inside your newsletter

  1. Stories about real people who have be impacted by your non-profit will illustrate the impact of your cause
  2. Personal stories from a volunteer that shows how people can get involved in your organization or program
  3. Stories that tell the history of your cause. Occasionally talk about who you are and why you started your mission in the first place.
  4. Stories that illustrate the impact of your work on the community. You can include a recognizable community leader (like the mayor or police chief) who can testify about the impact your organization is having on the community at large.
  5. Personal stories from volunteers or staff members that show what they do for the organization and why they volunteer to do it

Headlines and Captions

Headlines are the first thing people see, and they can be the difference between someone reading your newsletter or not. You want to capture their attention and make them want to read more.

Captions are also important because they explain what’s going on in the picture. Captions should be short and sweet–don’t write a novel under a picture! They should be written in a conversational tone so that readers feel like they’re talking with you instead of reading something from an authority figure (like a news anchor).

Pictures over text

When you’re writing a newsletter, it’s important to use images. Images are a great way to help tell your story, break up text and engage readers. They can also be used as a way of creating urgency or building relationships with your audience.

Here are some ways that images can be used effectively in newsletters:

  • Include images with your text to break up long passages -Use images of people and places to show that you understand and care about your audience’s interests
  • Use images of people to show that you’re speaking directly to your readers and not just about them -Use images that build on or support your copy. You can use this to create a visual theme throughout your newsletter and give it an overall feel
  • Use images that encourage readers to act. This could be something as simple as a call-to-action button in a newsletter or an illustration of what your product does
  • Use images that capture the essence of your message, as well as what you want readers to do. This could be a visual representation of an important point or something that’s related to the topic at hand
  • Use images to illustrate your point and make it easy for readers to understand what you mean -Use images that are relevant and appropriate for the topic at hand -Don’t use too many images. If there’s too much going on in your newsletter, it’s likely that readers won’t know where to start

Hire a designer and use a print shop

Hiring a designer and using a print shop is the best way to produce newsletters that look professional, communicate your message effectively and get results. A good designer can not only help you choose the right fonts, colors and layout for your newsletter but they know how to use the space on the page in order to make it eye-catching.

A printer will also be able to advise you on what type of paper is best suited for your needs as well as advise on whether you should use gloss or matt finish.

Experiment with various sizes and lumpy inserts

You should also experiment with different sizes to see what gives you the most engagement. Try adding flat promotional products like magnets, booklets and bookmarks. This is especially helpful if you have a specific audience or event that you are targeting. For example, include some other fun items such as stickers or buttons along with the newsletter itself–this helps us stand out from other mailings and gets people excited about receiving their next issue!

If you’re looking to try something new, consider sending out a postcard or coupon. This is especially effective if you have an event coming up that might interest your members. For example, our organization sends out an annual holiday card that doubles as a fundraising solicitation; it’s only sent to members of our mailing list who have given over $100 in the past year (and thus qualify).

Send out newsletters often

Don’t send out just one newsletter. You don’t want to be like the non-profit who sent their first newsletter in February and then nothing else until December, when they were scrambling to get donations before the end of the year.

Don’t wait until the end of the year to send out your next newsletter! Make sure you’re keeping your donors engaged all year long by sending out updates on what’s going on with your organization, how much money has been raised so far, and other newsworthy items that might interest them as well as keep them updated on what’s happening within your organization.

Conclusion: A printed, color newsletter sent in the mail with a return envelope is an effective way of raising funds – especially with older donors

A printed, color newsletter sent in the mail with a return envelope is an effective way of raising funds – especially with older donors.

A well-designed and written newsletter can tell a story that engages readers on many levels. The headline and captions are important parts of this process, but so are pictures. Pictures appeal more strongly than text to many people, so if you have any photos or graphics available from your organization’s activities or events, use them! Include them in your design at least once per page if possible; this will help keep reader interest high throughout the newsletter.

The size of each page matters too: try experimenting with various sizes until you find one that works best for keeping readers engaged while still fitting comfortably into their mailboxes (especially important if yours gets stuffed into someone’s bag). You can also experiment with lumpy inserts containing additional information about upcoming programs or special offers; these will increase response rates overall because they make recipients curious enough about what else might be inside without requiring them first having read through all four pages before deciding whether or not they want anything else from those particular organizations’ newsletters.

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