The Red Pen Challenge

We all write to donors from time to time, we know we need to communicate with them, to keep them informed about what’s happening. But, are we watching how we include them in the messages?

Often messages are full of “I”, “We”, “Us, there’s little use of “You” “Your”.

So here’s a wee test from Marc Pitman – The Fundraising Coach you can do to check your content.

Will you take the Red Pen Challenge?

Do the test and see how you score.

I’d be keen to know your results – share them in the contents below.

Donor Newsletters

How often are you communicating with your donors no, asking for money isn’t part of the communications I mean. How often do you update your donors about the work you are doing, and how are you doing this?

Some organisations are only communicating with donors when they want something, but donors want, deserve to know what you have been doing and how they (the donor) has helped you achive what you have done.

When it comes to communicating with donors it seems organisations are moving away from posted (mailed) updates to e-letters.

No matter what method you are communicating with donors, it’s important that the message you are sharing isn’t all about you, it shouldn’t be a ra ra about the CEO, it should be about the work you are doing and how without the support of donors you wouldn’t have got to where you are.

If it wasn’t for the support of donors you likely wouldn’t be where you are, you likely wouldn’t haven’t achieved much. So, the righly deserve to be seen as the ”heroes” of your organisation.

I’ve often thought that sharing donor stories is important, and have seen only a few organisations do this; and the response they get, from what I’m also hearing is brilliant.

When talking with donors about your work, it’s not a time to brag. It’s a time to give thanks, to share the ups and yes, the downs.

Recently I saw a newsletter from one organisation that shared several donor stories, it was a great read and made me want to support the organisation.

I asked the organisation what sort of feedback they get when they do their newsletters, and they said that generally they get good feedback and requests for information on ways people can do more to support them. This to me is a win.

Something I’m noticing too, is that organisations are moving away from posted updates to e-letters, but forgetting that not all supporters use email. So, some are missing out, this needs to be sorted.

Using the argument that mail is too expensive doesn’t cut it with me, donors whether they have email or not deserve to know what you are doing. Why is it ok to post out an appeal for money but not something about your work successes?

Sure, with an e-letter you can have a link to ask for support, but don’t make it the main purpose of the communication, same with a posted newsletter, include a portion for people to return a donation.

Also, think about the frequency of your communications, I’ve seen some organisations send an e-letter monthly, to me that’s a turn off and could soon be seen as simply spam, and result in donors switching off.

What are you finding with your donor communications, less is more? Are donor stories working for you?

Donor Newsletters

After being asked quite a lot lately about donor newsletters, and remembering a good article from Alan Sharpe on Expertfundraser.com that it would be good to share it here ..

 

Donor Newsletters: 12 Ways to Make Yours More Effective

The difference between a good donor newsletter and a poor one comes down to donors and dollars. A good newsletter retains donors and makes money. A poor one doesn’t. Here are 12 ways to improve your donor newsletter so that it works harder for you.

1. Make your donor the hero of every story. Take the focus off your institution and put it where it belongs: on the person who pays your salary. Donors want to read about themselves, not your charity.

2. Make each issue a report card to your donor. Prove that you are using donor gifts wisely and as intended. Show how their donations are making a difference. Act as if you won’t get another dime of support unless your donor gives you an A Grade, an A for Accountability.

3. Don’t celebrate another anniversary. Donors don’t care that you’re celebrating your 20th anniversary, or that you did something special in 1968. They give to organizations that look ahead, not backwards.

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