Digital Outreach

5 nonprofit newsletter tips for increasing engagement


Why do you bother to write a nonprofit newsletter each month? Is it to update your donors and members on the latest happenings? To get people to look at your site? Or is it just so you can cross it off your to-do list?

Hold up. Your newsletter is your chance to do more than that. You finally have a chance to truly engage with supporters for your organization and perhaps inspire them to do even more to be a part of it. That’s powerful!

VP of marketing at ArcStone, Lisa, has given several nonprofits advice on the best ways to communicate to their members and general audience. She wrote out five tips to help you do a better job and I wanted to make sure you saw them.

1. Get personal with your subject line.

Instead of giving each email a dull title like “Winter 2017 Newsletter,” get creative. Give them the first line of a blog post to get them interested in reading the full story. Or, try personalization techniques to make the letter feel more authentic.

2. Set yourself up with a compelling template

It may take a bit more investment initially, but having a nicely laid out design will help readers digest the email and will keep it looking more professional long-term. Gather some inspiration from Canva or find some freebyies.

Canva Best Email Design Example

3. Draw attention to specific highlights

When you finally get around to writing your newsletter, it’s easy to forget all that your nonprofit has done over the course of the month. Keep a running list of what your nonprofit has accomplished, not just as a whole but all your individual staff members. Nancy Shwartz has some good ideas to help you share in an effective way.

4. Give a shout-out to super great people

You can also share the amazing work and progress of your donors, volunteers and those using your services. A bonus is that if you feature someone’s story in your newsletter, they will likely share that newsletter with friends and family, expanding your network.

5. Measure frequency & timing

Rather than just guessing when people read their email, start testing for the best send time and frequency level. This Entrepreneur article can help you start this measuring process. Allow a flexibility here – don’t promise readers you’ll only send out your email once a month as perhaps you’ll find the majority of your audience wants to hear more!

If you need some help from our digital strategy team, please do send us a note. We love to work with nonprofits!