How a newsletter can boost revenue five-fold

Is your newsletter all about how effective your organization is, or is it about how donors are making a difference in the lives of others?

Drawing on Bob Ball’s work at Masterworks, Jeff Brooks suggests that a donor-centered newsletter will bring better returns from donors than a newsletter about the organization.

The extreme donor-focused  newsletter, Ball wrote, “is aimed squarely at the donor. In fact, it is all ABOUT the donor.

“This approach assumes donors give because they love to give and love to make a significant difference in the world. It combines reporting back about what the donors have accomplished, and offers them a clear opportunity to give again.”

And they do give again.

Ball tested the donor-focused newsletter and found that donor responses increased 419 percent, the average gift rose 19.5 percent, and revenue increased 521 percent.

He offered these tips on improving our newsletters:

    • Write to the donor, for the donor, about the donor.
    • Ensure a high “You” quotient.
    • Touch the heart with strong emotion.
    • Surprise and delight!
    • Appreciate the donor.
    • Design for readability.
    • Motivate another gift.
    • Make it convenient to give.
    • Appeal to the most basic donor benefit.
    • Refresh and re-engage.

“When you change your newsletter from ‘look at us’ to ‘look at you,’ you just might see the kind of five-fold increase in revenue described here,” Brooks wrote. “You’ll also likely see improved overall donor retention.”

For more about Ball’s research, his 10 points and a peek at a donor-focused newsletter, click here. The Brooks comments are from here.

For more ideas about how to effectively market your nonprofit organization, please attend MVDP’s meeting at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 26. This program, featuring Jim Gochenour of Living Opportunities in Medford, will be held at Central Willamette Community Credit Union, 7101 SW Supra Drive, Albany. Jim’s topic is Marketing: A Critical Tool for Development.

MVDP season pass holders should e-mail if they plan to attend. Guests may register in advance by going to Their fee is $30 if paid at least two days in advance or $40 at the door.

This entry was posted in donor cultivation, donors, fundraising, marketing, MVDP, newsletter, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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