As you think about doing you printed newsletter differently than you’ve done it in the past – or maybe doing a print newsletter for the very first time – you’re going to find out that your organization has an opinion about print newsletters.
Perhaps even a STRONG opinion.
It’s important to surface and name your organization’s underlying assumptions:
- Maybe your organization believes that printed newsletters are obsolete. (They aren’t.)
- Maybe your organization believes that printed newsletters shouldn’t or can’t raise money. (Neither are true.)
- Maybe your organization believes the way you’ve always done your newsletter is the only way your organization can do a newsletter. (Not true.)
- Maybe your organization fears that if you change your newsletter in any way, your donors will leave. (Also not true.)
- Maybe your organization believes you could do a newsletter like the one taught here, but you could never do an Ask along with it because it would offend donors. (You guessed it, not true!)
I’ve run into all of these beliefs before. And it doesn’t matter what you believe – what matters is that you identify the beliefs that result in your current approach. Compare your current approach with the approach outlined in this series. Then decide which approach to take.
Because great newsletters don’t raise money by accident. Content is included for a purpose, and content is excluded for a purpose. Each of those things can cause conflict, and change can be hard for nonprofits.
Your printed newsletter should be raising a lot of money
It should be raising as much as your appeals and, in some cases, even more.
The goal of this series has been to give you a tested, proven approach to creating a donor-delighting, money-raising printed newsletter.
And here’s why we’re so confident about these recommendations:
- Direct mail experts ran a series of head-to-head tests of different types of printed newsletters. The approach detailed here beat all the other approaches.
- We’ve used this approach since 2004 to reliably (and sometimes incredibly) increase the money nonprofits raise from their newsletters.
- We’ve taught this model at conferences, seminars and webinars. We’ve received hundreds of pieces of feedback about how the approach increased newsletter revenue. You do not need to be an expert to follow this model and raise more money!
So take it this approach and apply it to your organization. Test it against your current approach, or any other approach.
Follow the simple rules above and you’ll be on your way to raising more money and retaining more of your donors.
This post was originally published on August 11, 2020. Get a free downloadable “e-book” of this whole series here.