Newsletter Strategies That Will Open Donors’ Hearts and Wallets

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Your wonderful newsletter just may be a total waste of time.newsletter image

Even worse, it might be HURTING you and your cause.


Because it is boring!

It may not be boring to you but it sure may be boring to the people you hope will read it.

And boring newsletters are a turn-off to donors.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your newsletter actually helped RAISE money?

Too many newsletters are lame, uninteresting and internally-focused.

And that’s a shame, when your newsletter could be an important fundraising tool – one that can open donors’ hearts and wallets, even!

Don't lead your newsletter with a formal letter from the head of your organization.

Don’t lead your newsletter with a formal letter from the head of your organization.

I’m sorry, but, hey – reading a profile of your latest new staff member is probably not very interesting to your donors.

Here’s the problem –

We’re competing with magazines and much snappier marketing tools that are also landing in our donors’ mailboxes.

Here are some DO’s and DON’Ts  that will help turn your newsletter into a fundraising tool.

And I have included the “why” as well in case somebody in your organization wants to challenge you on this! : )

DON’T make it too long.

DO make it short and sweet. (Shorter is much much better.)


Short newsletters are more likely to be actually reviewed and maybe even read.

DON’T be confused about your newsletter’s true purpose.

DO clairify its purpose – which should be to make your friends, supporters and donors feel happy about the wonderful changes they are making in the world.


If you can get everybody to agree on the actual purpose/objective of the dang newsletter – then maybe you can create something worth your time and energy to put it together!

And – what other purpose could possibly be worth the time and energy you put into the dang thing?

DON’T talk about your staff, your building, your board members, or your organization.

DO talk about what donors are accomplishing with their money.

Copy that is too dense turns off readers.

Copy that is too dense turns off readers.


Focusing it on what your organization is doing is too self-focused and it is not about the donors.

DON’T use the pronoun “we.”

DO use the pronoun “you.”


It’s not about you and your wonderful organization. Instead it is about the READER!

Don’t put in too much copy.

DO cut out 2/3 of your copy and add more pictures.


Telling your story via pictures is more powerful to most people.

DON’T use pictures with too many people.

DO use pictures that are closeups of people – and with bright colors.


Use close up photos of people - like this one.

Use close up photos of people – like this one.

Too much detail in a small photograph just shows up as a jumble.

DON’T crowd everything in.

DO add tons of white space, bold, headlines, etc.


People will skim the newsletter – not read it word for word. If it looks too dense, people will avoid it altogether.

DON’T write lengthy, complex articles.

Do write articles that someone will skim.


If you want people to comprehend what’s on the page, you have to make it easily digestible quickly.

DON’T use one color.

DO use two or more colors.


More color makes it livelier and more interesting.

Lots of white space means that it is more likely to be read.

Lots of white space means that it is more likely to be read.

DON’T eliminate your print newsletter and switch to email to save money.

DO send out communications via multiple channels: print AND email.


DON”T send a pdf of your newsletter to your email list.

DO reformat it for online reading.


Most print layout It is NOT properly formatted to read online – it is very awkward to read on a computer.

Want more help to improve both your print and e-newsletters?

If you would like to improve YOUR newsletters AND turn them into true fundraising tools, do join my INSIDERS for a Master Class on Tuesday May 28 at 2pm ET with Mazarine Treyz, the “Wild Woman” of Fundraising.

If you can’t make that time, you can still listen to the recording afterwards.

Newsletter Strategies That Will Open Donors’ Hearts and Their Wallets

She will show us:

  • Potent Calls to Action for your newsletter
  • 16 kinds of headlines to help your donors give
  • Joking around: How to avoid getting too serious about your cause
  • The 5 reasons people will share your e-newsletter
  • Subject Lines to get people to Open
  • Getting Donors to Click Donate or Buy
  • Sample Surveys to help you segment your subscribers
  • Example welcome emails to keep your subscribers happy
  • 4 Simple emails that lead people to take action
  • 4 MORE emails to get donors to take action

Find out more here!

If you are an INSIDER subscriber, you are already signed up for this Master Class. If you are not an INSIDER subscriber, you can purchase the class as a stand-alone here.