Q: What’s one highly effective way to cultivate donors and boost your annual fundraising efforts?

A: Monthly or quarterly newsletters and e-newsletters sent to donors and prospects!

Newsletters are excellent for donor engagement. A well-written (and cleanly designed) newsletter provides ample opportunity to keep your audience entertained and informed. Your newsletter plays the role of both a fundraising tool and a cultivation piece, preparing donors for future appeals.

What does a successful newsletter program look like? Here are five key traits:

1. Precision Timing. While your newsletter itself should ask for financial support, it also serves as a cultivation tool to remind donors of your organization’s value when sent in advance of a fundraising campaign. The next time you ask your donors to give, they will recall all the great programs and services you highlighted in your newsletter — and remember that they are worth supporting!

2. Connect with Content. You’ve invested a lot of time and effort in getting to know your donors. Provide them with interesting, relevant information about your organization, and they’ll be far more likely to support you. Take your recipients’ tastes and interests into consideration when crafting your newsletter.

3. Go Digital. Your newsletter program should include an electronic version. Sending an e-newsletter will provide donors with a digital option for consuming content and making a donation. Boost your results and meet donors where they are. (CBA offers an affordable, attractive, mobile-friendly digital companion to your printed newsletter.)

4. Clear Copy & Design. Newsletters provide plenty of space for news and information, but this doesn’t mean every inch should be covered with dense copy and graphics. CBA’s creative approach is simple, yet powerful. Make a good impression with easy to read copy and uncluttered design and your donors will find your newsletter more engaging.

5. Make Your Mission Known. Your newsletter must clearly present your organization’s mission and unique programs. When you outline your services and the excellent work you do, donors will understand the benefit of supporting you. (Tip: Include an ask within a letter from your organization’s president, add a “Ways to Give” section, provide information about bequests, monthly gifts, or car donations.)

These five traits guide us as we develop newsletter programs for our nonprofit clients. And the proof is in the results. In a recent head-to-head test of our newsletter vs. a competitor’s newsletter, our version produced a higher response rate, higher average gift, and higher ROI.


Want to get your newsletter program in shape and start seeing results?