Yes, yes, 1,000 times, yes!
“But it takes so much time to put together.” “Nobody reads anymore.” “It’s really expensive and it doesn’t raise that much money.” “We can just send it by email.”
You have likely heard some of these comments from your staff, your Board members and maybe even uttered one or two of them yourself. Every fundraiser in the world has a lot to do, so it might seem like a good idea to save some time by not creating a newsletter.
But here’s the thing–your donors need to hear how their money is making a difference. They give you money because they want to make a difference. It’s your job to report back and tell them about the impact they are having by investing in your organization. This is especially true for mid-level donors.
Okay, you say, but we can do that with our e-newsletter. Isn’t that enough? First of all, kudos to you for sending regular e-newsletters–it’s a great part of the formula for reporting back to your donors. But be honest. . . how often do you open and read a charity newsletter when it shows up in your inbox? I find that even the organizations I truly love are often overlooked because of more important and urgent things in my inbox.
So, sometimes it’s nice to come home and find a newsletter in my mailbox, kick off my shoes, sit down on the couch and take a peek. And remember, many of your donors are older and retired. In an era when personal letter writing is on the decline, your newsletter may be the most personal thing in their mailbox on a given day. And they have time to read it.
And, when you tell people about the good work you are doing, it often inspires them to donate again. At Impact, we have developed new impact report newsletters for two of our mid-level clients. The goal was to share information and steward these important $1,000 plus donors. There is no ask, but there is an envelope, and each issue generates revenue, sometimes as high as $75,000. Why? Because they are inspired by what you do.
So, the next time you are looking for places to save time or expenses, leave your print newsletter alone.