By Joe Garecht who has been involved in professional fundraising for over a decade. During that time, he’s worked with organizations large and small, helping them design profitable fundraising plans, implement new fundraising strategies, and super-charge their development efforts. Follow him on Twitter and at www.fundriasingauthority.com
Does your school currently use snail mail or e-mail newsletters to stay in touch with donors, alumni and parents? Did you know that using newsletters can dramatically increase your fundraising revenue and make it easier to find new prospects?
It’s true… there are 4 primary reasons why every school, no matter how small or large, should be using newsletters to help drive fundraising:
1. Newsletters are the Easiest Way to Systematically Communicate with Donors and Prospects
Most schools find it difficult to stay in touch with alumni, parents of alumni, donors, volunteers and other friends of the school. These groups are your best prospects for donations, but only if you communicate with them on a regular basis and keep them interested in what is going on in your school community.
Newsletters (both snail mail and e-mail) are the single easiest way to stay in touch with everyone who is interested in your school.
2. Newsletters Can Be Used with Little or No Cost to Your School
While paper newsletters can be expensive to design, print, and mail, e-mail newsletters are extremely cost effective and can provide huge exposure for your school with your target audiences. Each e-mail newsletter can be created in 2-3 hours and sent almost instantaneously to your donor universe, helping your school stay “top of mind” for your alumni, parents and friends. Every school can and should be building an e-mail list and sending e-mail newsletters to their prospects and donors on a regular basis.
3. Sending Newsletters on a Regular Basis Makes Your Fundraising Letters and Asks More Appealing to Donors, Alumni and Parents
No one likes to feel like they are constantly being asked for money. Yet, for so many schools, the only time they talk to their donors and alumni is when they need something – usually, a donation! The best way to make your fundraising appeals successful is to integrate them into a comprehensive communications plan that is more than just asking for money.
Newsletters are a great way to keep your donors informed and to communicate with them without asking for money.
Sending one or two newsletters in between each ask will make your fundraising letters, e-mails and other appeals more successful than ever before.
4. If Designed Correctly, People Will Share Your Newsletters with their Friends, Relatives and Colleagues
Great school newsletters include a mix of items such as alumni pictures, school news, staff updates, and event notices. In addition to helping your donors, parents and alumni deepen their relationship with your school, these features encourage recipients to share your newsletters with others who might be interested in the same thing (for example, parents of a student who is featured in the newsletter might share it with grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors). This, in turn, provides more exposure for your school and new prospects for your fundraising efforts.
Newsletters (both snail mail and e-mail) are one of the best communication tools at your school’s disposal and can provide amazing, cost-effective benefits for your fundraising efforts.
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