Are you talking to your donors enough… or too much?

Don’t fall into the “forever scrolling” newsletter trap. Be pointed and direct.

Did you know 17% of Americans change their email every 6 months, 30% every year!? *

Meanwhile, our Sales lead has had his hotmail address since 1997. Go figure…

What does that mean for you? It means stay in touch with your constituents to make sure a shift in email doesn’t have your messages lost in the wind. You need to stay top of mind and top of inbox with your readers, so if there’s a change, they’re reminded to opt-in again for more of your great content.

Even more importantly, make sure your CONTENT is succinct, on-point and relevant to your readers.

We’ve compiled some best practices as you begin planning out this year’s newsletter cadence:

1. Do you know your audience

  • Who are they?: What are their interests within your organization, age, demographics, income level, etc.
  • Where did they come from?: how did they come to find your organization via social, marketing, email, attending an event, etc.
  • Cater messaging based on audience interests and preferences, meet them where they consume information.
  • Use list segmentation options & tools to provide targeted messaging to your audiences.
  • Messaging should be meaningful and targeted, to inspire and increase engagement.
  • Make sure to keep up with list maintenance to ensure you’re targeting correct audiences.

2. How often do you want to communicate?

  • Pick a schedule that works for your organization — truly. All Nonprofit’s will have different annual campaign objectives, so there is no right or wrong here, but also take into account internal bandwidth to support message development and deployment
  • But again, make sure when you communicate, you’re targeting your messaging to the right audience about the right topics.
  • Experiment with your cadence to identify your sweet spot in frequency of communications to your donors, as well as targeted, appropriate content so donors and prospects are engaged.

Timing can also be dependent on who you’re talking to:

  • Higher-touch donors should get more details on programs they’re involved in, events they’re volunteering at or donating in support of.
  • Talk to your board members & high-net worth donors monthly with key updates.
  • Use your quarterly newsletters to highlight upcoming key events and activations throughout the year.
  • Also include big wins and even losses or opportunities requiring increased donor engagements.
  • October communications should definitely start seeding your end-of-year giving campaign efforts.

3. Types of Content to include in your Newsletters:

  • You know all the good you’re doing, but do your donors?
  • It’s always great to share exciting and positive feedback & to celebrate the wins!
  • Quarterly basis: focus on organizational updates (staff, programmatic), event updates, fundraising goals & progress, and MOST importantly always highlight the stories of your donor impact.
  • Humanize your impact. Show donors how THEY made your wins possible.
  • Don’t be shy about upcoming needs in funding, volunteers, in-kind support, etc. This is your opportunity to give them a full snapshot of this moment in time for your mission.

4. Keep all Channels active:

  • Don’t just stop there with communications. Make sure you’re syncing all your channels’ messaging. Align email or direct mailings with social content posts to support updates, stories, and key fundraising goals to all your channels. Optimize for cohesion across all mediums when possible.
  • Make sure your newsletter always includes a link to your social channels, to continue to expand and grow your audience across the channels you’re investing in.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew by over-committing to every channel under the sun. Be strategic on where you communicate with your audience. You’re already wearing too many hats, don’t self-prescribe more tasks without justifying it first!

Have questions or need help with your newsletters? Give us a shout and see how CauseEngine can help you.

* statistic sourced from


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We’re a team of passionately radical professionals from diverse backgrounds all with something in common: We’re driven and ready to serve your mission.

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