This post was updated with new resources and tips on 6/3/20.
We’ve written before about how to format your email newsletter, get it opened and build a strategy, but all the trappings and trimmings of a great nonprofit newsletter won’t mean a thing if you don’t have valuable content to offer your audience.
But what kind of content should you have in your newsletter? What sorts of things should you be putting in your newsletter to keep your nonprofit’s audience in touch and interested? Here are a few ideas.
Share Updates about Your Organization
It is a newsletter after all. What has your nonprofit been up to? Have you reached a goal, hosted an event, expanded your operation? Have you revised your mission statement or altered how you use donations? Share your obstacles. Share your success stories.
But keep your readers in mind. Past donors want to hear about how their money is making a difference. Past volunteers might want to hear about further opportunities to get involved. Tailor your news updates to the audience you’re writing for.
Highlight Your Donors
One of the main reasons to create a newsletter is to build and maintain relationships. One way to do this is by recognizing the people who contribute to your nonprofit’s success. Who are your donors? Why did they get interested in your nonprofit? What motivated them to contribute? Discover the story behind some donations. And share these stories with your readers.
Profile a Volunteer
Donors aren’t the only people who contribute to your nonprofit. Profile a volunteer who went above and beyond. Not only will this gesture show your appreciation of current volunteers, but profiles and stories like these might also inspire others to volunteer at your nonprofit’s next event or contribute in any way they can.
Offer Stories of Impact
Keep your subscribers interested in and impressed by your nonprofit’s work with recent stories of impact. Compose your nonprofit’s most recent successes into stories that inspire your readers. Focus on the most engaging parts of your story and provide links to your website for your nonprofit newsletter readers who want to find out more.
After you’ve written these stories, take a step back and try to reread them from an outside perspective. Ask yourself, do I care about the people and organization in this story? Do I connect with them emotionally?
Curate Articles from Around the Web
Keep in mind that you don’t have to write all of the content in the entire nonprofit newsletter. There is significant value to being a good content curator.
Your subscribers are looking to you as an expert in your field. Add articles from outside sources that you think provide valuable information. You can then add a brief introduction to the article link outlining your thoughts on how this article affects nonprofits in general or your nonprofit in particular.
Give News Updates
In addition to articles from around the web, feel free to share relevant news articles on world events that in some way impact your organization or cause. Include local, national, or international news stories and how they relate to your nonprofit’s work.
Tease and Link Blog Posts
There’s no reason to rack your brain for new content when you already have quality content at your fingertips. Include teasers from your nonprofit’s most recent blog posts in the newsletter. Not only will this help round out your nonprofit’s newsletter, but it also might expand that blog post’s reach, connecting with readers who might have missed it when it was first published.
Promote Your Upcoming Events
Your email newsletter is a great place to spread the word about future events your nonprofit might be planning. Include all the exciting details: the great location, the delicious food, the fun and games – whatever has made your nonprofit’s past events successful. Show the audience why they won’t want to miss what your nonprofit has in store for its next event.
Note Relevant Community Events
Your nonprofit newsletter doesn’t have to be all about you. You are no doubt a part of a strong and supportive community, and your newsletter is a great medium to reciprocate that goodwill.
As you curate content from within your nonprofit, keep an eye out for events in the community that like-minded supporters might be interested in attending. Showing your support for local events is a great way to demonstrate your nonprofit’s involvement in the community, not to mention helping to spread awareness for your nonprofit’s cause.
Access Our Nonprofit Newsletter Virtual Library
Get on the right track with your email newsletter strategy using tips, examples and resources from the Wired Impact team and other nonprofit marketing experts. You’ll find links to top advice on topics like email design, strategy best practices, measurement, and list management.
The people subscribing to your nonprofit newsletter are already interested in what your nonprofit is up to. Don’t mess that up by sending them junk. Keep them informed with news updates, outside articles and internal blog posts. Keep them connected with donor highlights and volunteer profiles. Inspire them with stories of impact. Above all, make sure that your newsletter provides genuine value.
Do you ever have trouble generating content to fill your nonprofit’s newsletter? What advice would you add? Or do you subscribe to a great nonprofit newsletter? What do you love about it? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.