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Donor-Centered Newsletter Stories Increase Income, Boost Donor Loyalty - Articles Surfing

Your donors read your donor newsletter to discover news about themselves. You are of secondary interest.

Like you, your donors and members read what interests them. They donate money to causes that interest them. They read about people that interest them. That's why they support your organization'because you interest them. Your donors read your donor newsletter to learn what kind of difference they are making in the world, through your organization.

This is why the donor newsletters that generate the highest readership among donors and members'and attract the most gifts'are the ones that focus on the needs of donors and members and not the organization. They are donor-centered. A donor﷓centered newsletter inspires donors to act. It motivates them to give. And it encourages them to remain loyal.

This doesn't mean that every newsletter story you write has to be about your donor. It simply means that you must make the donor the hero of every story possible. Here are some practical ways to do that.

Write stories that show recent gifts hard at work

Donors give to make a difference. They want their financial contributions to right a wrong, change attitudes, eliminate a problem that keeps them awake nights, and help the downtrodden and underprivileged. When your donors pick up your newsletter, they are looking for stories that demonstrate that their gift is accomplishing their goals.

So make sure your donor newsletter contains plenty of news stories that show donations at work. Show the link'explicitly or implicitly'between the donor support you received and the good you are accomplishing because of it.

Describe recent successes

Whenever possible, publish news stories that describe accomplishments that interest your donors. Some accomplishments (staff promotions, for example) will interest your staff or your board of directors more than they interest your supporters.

The closer the accomplishment is to the heart of your mission, the more likely your donors are to find the story appealing. Your challenge with each newsletter issue is to uncover these accomplishments. And if you can't find any obvious ones, you need to turn mundane accomplishments into donor-centered accomplishments.

Inspire readers with your vision for the future

Would you vote for a political party that had no platform? Or invest your life savings in a public company that had no strategic five-year plan for improving profitability or increasing market share? Or send your children to a college that hadn't changed its curriculum since the Internet was invented?

Informed donors want to support museums, universities, hospitals, women's shelters and other non-profit organizations that are thriving today'and have a plan for thriving tomorrow.

Avoid 'Nonprofit Navel-Gazing Syndrome'

Some non-profit organizations suffer from what Jeff Brooks, senior creative director at the Doman Group, a direct marketing fundraising agency, calls 'Nonprofit Navel-Gazing Syndrome.' This condition causes non-profits to believe that donors must see the world the same way they do. This leads to a lack of respect for donors who do not share their vision, and an elitist attitude that prevents effective fundraising.

Brooks lists a number of symptoms of Nonprofit Navel-Gazing Syndrome:

' news about back-office staff

' photos of wealthy (non-typical) donors presenting giant cheques to your organization

' photos of people standing around (maybe holding wine glasses) at your fundraising event

' articles that have the sole purpose of educating your donors (instead of trying to stir their emotions)

' stories about your methodology

The proven remedy for Nonprofit Navel-Gazing Syndrome is newsletter stories that put your donor'not you'in the center of the action.

' 2006 Sharpe Copy Inc.

Submitted by:

Alan Sharpe

Alan Sharpe is a professional fundraising letter writer, instructor, coach, author and newsletter publisher who helps non-profit organizations to raise funds, build relationships and retain loyal donors using cost-effective, compelling, creative fundraising letters.Sign up for free weekly tips like this at http://www.RaiserSharpe.com



Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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