In my last post, I discussed the pandemic and how it has affected small businesses and non-profits. Before giving up, I discussed how rebranding the business and notifying customers of the change may be able to the salvage the investment already made into the business and if the pandemic had a budgetary impact, the easiest and most economical way to get the word out of any changes is through a simple newsletter. A newsletter simply keeps the customer informed of upcoming events, such as newsworthy items that affect the business, opportunities, and victories within the business. The possibilities are endless. The question is, can non-profits benefit the same way as regular brick and mortar or internet businesses? Absolutely and more so. The key is to not only communicate when seeking donations but to keep the readers informed of what is happening in your organization.
Benefits for the reader:
- Make sure that your newsletter is beneficial to the reader. If you only reach out to ask for donations, you will lose your supporters.
- Tell others what has been happening in your organization.
- Introduce new volunteers or employees.
- Tell them what your goals are and how you plan to get there.
- Give them interesting news that they can use such as how-to articles, self-care, something that happened that may affect the business or even a new law that may affect the business.
- Spotlight those who have been helpful through volunteering their time with administrative tasks, events, training or caring for the recipients (ex. children, those with disabilities, patients, animals, or even historic sites.
- Highlight donations received and who the doners were.
- Tell the reader how the donations will be allocated.
- Highlight promotions within the organization, a new employee or volunteer.
- Receiving recognition keeps moral high and your relationships active.
Successes are important for every business, especially non-profits. Examples of successes are everywhere.
- A recent fundraiser reached its goal
- A new treatment or therapy which the non-profit was involved, obtained approval for an illness.
- A volunteer just completed a grant writing course to better help the non-profit raise funds.
- The organization assisted with rescuing animals out of state after a weather emergency.
- A $5 Snip and Tip Feral cat Spay/Neuter Clinic was recently held.
Promotions of events and volunteer opportunities by the organization year-round. Often, people want to attend events but find out after the event through posts or conversations with others.
- Announce events a month or two in advance so people have time to schedule it into their day
- Announcing volunteer opportunities in advance allows people to find a time that works for them
- Identify the opportunities available like driving meals to people’s homes or walking dogs in a shelter.
- Identify skilled volunteer opportunities for a repair person, IT specialist, marketer, or writer.
- Identify professional services needed, such as legal advice or veterinary care. Often, professionals are looking to fulfill pro bono services as part of their full-time job and they would be very happy to do this for a cause they support.
The best part of newsletters are they are much easier to create and cheaper to distribute through an email server or as a link on a website which the reader can download. Some newsletters may have in-depth articles while others may only have brief summaries with links for more information. This is the organizations choice, but anything is acceptable, as long as your give the reader something of value. If using an email provider, the newsletters are sent to people based on the interests they opted in when they signed up thereby, reducing the number of unsolicited newsletters sent out. The days of sending direct mail has been fading out over the years and when people receive unsolicited mail, it tends to end up in the trash.
If you would like to see a sample newsletter, head over to my website and look for NEWSLETTERS – Paws for a Cause Portfolio – Wingman Copywriting (gailynnemferguson.com). I am more than happy to create a newsletter for you that will keep your supporters informed. If you like what you see, please use the contact page on my website to reach out. I will respond within 24 hours.