AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Howard Lake | 1 July 2014 | News Military children’s charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers more than doubled its income from 2012 to 2013, enabling it to buy a third holiday lodge to provide holidays.The charity, set up by army widow Nikki Scott in 2010, provides holidays, gifts, treats, parties and experiences for children who have lost a mother or father serving in the armed forces.During 2013 Scotty’s Little Soldiers raised £499,587, up from £230,673 in 2012. Most of this money comes from individual and corporate donations.The increased income enabled Scotty’s to purchase its third holiday lodge in Devon Cliffs Haven resort, which opened at Easter. The charity already owns two holiday lodges in Blackpool and Great Yarmouth.Children’s charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers has purchased a third holiday lodge for its members who have lost a mum or dad serving in the armed forces; the charity has seen a bumper year for fundraising as its membership has risen to more than 140 children.Scotty’s chief executive Stuart Robinson said:“We know that there are many more children out there affected by the loss of a parent in the Armed Forces and our main focus for 2014 is raising more awareness of Scotty’s Little Soldiers nationally to help us reach out to these brave children.”The charity spent £204,292 directly on the children of the fallen in 2013 and ended the year with £459,676 of retained funds carried over into 2014. The Trustees have a policy of retaining reserves sufficient to cover 12 months of charitable activities. Charity for children of the fallen doubles income in a year Advertisement Tagged with: Finance Research / statistics About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. 43 total views, 2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis
Image Courtesy: PTI/AFPAdvertisement bg0rNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsu7Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E8j2g( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) fy2rjWould you ever consider trying this?😱t2moCan your students do this? 🌚2vhsRoller skating! Powered by Firework The nail-biting matches between the rivals India and Australia have been providing the cricketing fans many unforgettable memories, and such was the on-field skirmishes between the two past icons of the teams- Sachin Tendulkar and Glenn McGrath. The two legends have shared some extraordinary moments in the 2000s, and one such incident from the first match of the 1999 Test series in Adelaide refreshes the Little Master’s memories, where a battle of wits got him the better of the former Aussie pacer.Advertisement Image Courtesy: PTI/AFPIn a recent episode of Star Sports’ ‘Cricket Connected’, Sachin narrated the Test series against Australia all the way back in 1999, and facing a destructive McGrath in his prime was a test of nerves for the fabled batsman.“In 1999, in our first match at Adelaide… the first innings there was hardly 40 minutes to go in the day’s play. Glenn McGrath comes and bowls five or six maiden overs to me,” Sachin said in the clip.Advertisement Sachin added that Australia’s strategy was to thwart his concentration so he be picked early off. However, the Master Blaster was quick to grab the technique and changed up his own game plan.“So I kept leaving as many deliveries as possible,” the 47 year old continued, “There were some good deliveries where I was beaten as well. But I said ‘well bowled and now go back and bowl again as I am still here.”Advertisement This method continued till the stumps, but Sachin was prepared to be in his zone for the next day, and he even scored some boundaries in the following morning.“I thought this evening I am patient but tomorrow morning I am gonna play the way I want. You won’t control how I want to play but I would control where you are going to bowl,” Sachin added.“What’s Sachin upto during the Lockdown?” BCCI shared the video on their website, and linked it up with a tweet today. Check it out here-Sachin put up 61 runs in the first Test, and totalled a score of 278 in three matches, and won the Player of the Match award in the second Test in Melbourne.If you like reading about MMA, make sure you check out MMAIndia.com Also follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.comAlso read-Read which former teammate Chris Gayle just slammed: ‘You are worse than the Coronavirus!’ Advertisement
By Gretchen C. Van Benthuysen |FREEHOLD – For people who do most of their daily traveling east of the Garden State Parkway, it may come as a bit of a surprise that Monmouth County has 823 farms sitting on 38,961 acres.Also, that the market value of the agricultural products sold by those farms in 2012 was $84.4 million, with crops making up 80 percent of those sales and livestock 20 percent, according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture prepared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, which is compiled nationally every five years.The idea of living next to a bucolic setting in a metropolitan area may sound like a good idea. But what happens when the farmer’s tractor kicks up clouds of dust or he turns his fields into a corn maze that attracts thousands of cars and people?That’s what the Right to Farm Act is designed to address. Signed into law in 1983, it resolves issues and conflicts between farm businesses and residential and commercial neighbors. The first seminar on the topic was hosted Jan. 31 by the Monmouth County Division of Planning’s Environmental and Sustainability Planning Section at Monmouth County’s Agricultural Building, 4000 Kozloski Road, Freehold.About 70 people attended, including Monmouth County Agriculture Development board members, municipal land use and health officials, owners of preserved farms, beginning farmers and participants in the Grown in Monmouth program.Harriet Honigfeld, from the Division of Planning, explained complaints must first be filed with the County Agriculture Development Board (CADB) or the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) before they can be taken to court.The county received more than 20 inquiries related to right to farm in 2017. Some were handled informally or directed to other authorities. Several resulted in public hearings that could be time consuming.She and speakers Brian Smith, chief of legal affairs for SADC, and his associate, legal specialist Alison Reynolds, all encouraged farmers to be proactive with their neighbors and for neighbors to talk about any issues with the farmer to avoid nuisance suits.“CADB’s job is to balance farming interests with nonfarming interests,” Smith said. “Farming can’t endanger public health and safety.”To be a commercial farm, according to the Farm Act, it must operate on 5 acres or more and produce at least $2,500 annually (482 farms in Monmouth County reported more than that in 2012.) Less than 5 acres, the annual production requirement is $50,000. Both must satisfy the requirements for farmland assessment.Approved farm activities include producing agriculture or horticulture; replace soil nutrients and soil tilth; conduct on-site disposal of organic agricultural waste; process and package the farm’s output; operate a farm market; solar, wind or biomass generation, equine activities, and beekeeping.Honigfeld said she receives the most complaints from Howell, Marlboro and Colts Neck for a number of reasons. Many are about business versus farm. Recently, concerns are special events and agritourism (activities that bring visitors to a farm, such as picking fruit or feeding animals).“Some of our farms have been proposing special events that potentially could be covered under RTF regulations, particularly if they are promoting and helping draw the public into being aware and purchasing products grown and produced on the farm,” she said. “I will tell you, since this has been coming up, weddings are not covered under the RTF regulations.”This month, she said, CADB will be reviewing its first request for farm-to-table events using produce grown on the farm. She declined to be specific because the case has not yet been heard.“This is a really big and burgeoning area for our farmers and municipalities, all over the state, in fact,” she said. “But more public interface on the farm itself brings all kinds of issues and questions when you have a lot of people for the evening or afternoon.”She cited health codes, waste water as well as bathroom and parking issues.“These all need to be addressed, but certainly it’s a direction a number of our farmers are looking to take,” she said. “We certainly have a lot of people moving into growing herbs and vegetables and all sorts of things that can be made into a value-added product to be sold and presented to the public.”Elaine Taylor, chairwoman of the Howell Farmers Advisory Committee and owner of Shangri La Farm where she grows organic vegetables, medicinal and culinary herbs on 5.3 acres, said her goal was to unite farmers.“I hope to take all this information and move in a positive direction,” she added.This article was first published in the Feb. 8-15, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.
Kiwi, which can be seen on YouTube right here, is one of the most popular videos of the last year, with more than 12 million views to date. Here’s a write-up of it:There are several powerful messages behind Kiwi, but mainly, it makes you think: no matter how absurd and seemingly out of reach your dreams are, what’s stopping you from achieving them?… Some people have described how Kiwi “sticks in your subconscious.” I know that whenever I feel sad, I’m going to close my eyes, visualize the thing that’s in my way or keeping me down, and tilt my head to the side to see the happy side of it.Sentimental, maybe even saccharine, but true. Limitations may not look like limitations if you shift your perspective and invest great effort. And, fortunately, this doesn’t always have to mean fleeting joy with a crashing end.
Care GREATLY about sources of news and information onlineNurture your brand — it’s vital for these folks Like mobile for voice (and a few for data) but do not see their world on mobile phonesI think this is going to change very soon, pay close attention to this factor Source: http://www.gettingattention.org/my_weblog/2007/10/media-habits-of.htmlAbout the AuthorNancy E. Schwartz helps nonprofits succeed through effective marketing and communications. As President of Nancy Schwartz & Company (http://www.nancyschwartz.com/), Nancy and her team provide marketing planning and implementation services to organizations as varied as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Center for Asian American Media, and Wake County (NC) Health Services.Subscribe to her free e-newsletter “Getting Attention”, (http://www.nancyschwartz.com/getting_attention.html) and read her blog at http://www.gettingattention.org/ for more insights, ideas and great tips on attracting the attention your organization deserves.NOTE: You’re welcome to “reprint” this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the copyright and “about the author” info at the end), and you send a copy of your reprint. For first time willing (2005) to pay for digital content-never beforeInventory your information assets and think about options for distribution Will never own a land-line phoneWill not watch television on someone else’s schedule much longer, and much less interested in TVTV ads won’t work, unless they’re part of the show (how about cause placement?) Use IM. Think email is for their parentsLife of a 25-54Still read offline newspapers and magazinesCast your op-eds to this group, boomers and seniors Little interest in the source of information and most information aggregatedEverything will move to mobileMore than advocacy and fundraising alerts, and make it interactive please Aggregate information online and use RSS (though few know the term)Community important for tasks, much less so for socializingTrust experts on factual information but rely heavily on reviews of peers on hotels, electronics, etcStart to use social networking with these folks, they’re on the path of increased reliance on audience-generated content I recently read the 2007 Digital Future Report from the USC Annenberg School’s Center for the Digital Future, and am still digesting. Take some time to dig into the summary of findings that’ll help you shape your communications choices to today’s (and tomorrow’s) digital habits.Here’s are some crucial takes on habits of those 12 to 24–juxtaposed with those of audiences 25 to 54–and how they’ll impact your nonprofit marketing:Audiences 12-24Will never read a newspaper but attracted to some magazinesSo op-eds don’t reach them, at least in print Heavy into email Trust unknown peers more than experts/community at the center of Internet experience/want to be heard (user generated)Stop ignoring social networking
Calvin College’s release on its Sushi Theatre is a great example. Note the prompt to Share the Story, and the easy-to-use links to do so. Also, as higher ed marketing guru Bob Johnson points out, “the topic of the press release, ‘Sushi Theatre’ is included in the title tag for the page, making it more likely that a search engine ‘spyders’ will find and index it. The keyword in the title tag is then repeated in the major text heading (the headline in this case) on the page, and again early in the text itself.”Source: http://www.gettingattention.org/my_weblog/2007/03/make_it_easy_fo.htmlAbout the AuthorNancy E. Schwartz helps nonprofits succeed through effective marketing and communications. As President of Nancy Schwartz & Company (http://www.nancyschwartz.com/), Nancy and her team provide marketing planning and implementation services to organizations as varied as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Center for Asian American Media, and Wake County (NC) Health Services.Subscribe to her free e-newsletter “Getting Attention”, (http://www.nancyschwartz.com/getting_attention.html) and read her blog at http://www.gettingattention.org/ for more insights, ideas and great tips on attracting the attention your organization deserves.NOTE: You’re welcome to “reprint” this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the copyright and “about the author” info at the end), and you send a copy of your reprint. Nothing’s more powerful than having your audiences spread the word about your program, organization or new leadership. Such “viral marketing” is far more powerful than your organization telling its own story as friends tend to listen to friends, and believe what they say. To encourage viral marketing, make it as easy as possible for your audiences to spread the word. Here are two great ways to do so:1. Include a ‘forward to a friend’ link in your e-news and advocacy campaigns.2. Enable your audiences to spread the word more broadly, via social networking tools. Here’s how:Crafted to double as direct communications with your target audiences. They have to be engaging, succinct and formatted for easy digestion (lots of bullets, white space and short paragraphs).Integrate key tools to link to spokesperson bio and contact info, related resources and more. They’ll make a world of difference.Feature the single keyword for the release in the page title tag, the primary content heading (in your list of releases, or in your site) and the text at the top of the release (ideally in the first sentence of the first paragraph).One-click buttons to Share the Story (more engaging than Forward to a Friend):Add the site to reader’s bookmarks via DeliciousRate the site via DIGG.
A properly organized nonprofit marketing plan supports itself like a pyramid. For each goal, there are objectives; every objective has strategies; and each strategy has tactics.However, all too often the terms goal, objective, strategy and tactic are used as interchangeable ways of saying the same thing. Plainly put, they are not – and the resulting lack of precision can be problematic.GoalsA goal is a “statement of being” for the plan. While the completion of the goal signifies the end of your plan, the objectives, strategies and tactics are the means to that end.ObjectivesCompared to the goal, objectives are more focused and specific, and the best-formulated objectives express results as measurable outcomes. Think in terms of the awareness, attitude or action that you hope to invoke. Often there are multiple objectives in support of a single goal. Meaningful objectives start with action verbs and have four parts. They:Identify a specific audience being addressed,State a measurable outcome,Set an attainment level, andSet a timeframe.StrategiesStrategies are where the rubber meets the road. Rarely is one strategy enough to fully accomplish an objective. Likewise, it is not unusual for a single strategy to serve multiple objectives.TacticsTactics are the specific tools you use to implement your strategies. News releases, brochures, media pitches, e-newsletters, blogs, Web sites, surveys, focus groups, and videos are just a few examples that spring to mind. It is the truly creative part of the plan’s authors to decide exactly which tactics are needed to successfully implement the chosen strategies.In ClosingA good marketing plan is interlinked from top to bottom. Without good tactics, a strategy will not successfully complete an objective, rendering the success of a goal limited.A true marketing plan forces the authors to employ the right mix of experience with critical thinking. With this understanding of the key differences between goals, objectives, strategies and tactics, the end result is a plan that can be executed successfully.(Source: Arketti Group)
Match.58 percent$59 Standalone.31 percent$55 When it comes to online fundraising, there is no “one size fits all” magic formula to inspire list members to give. However, some tactics do work better than others.In an attempt to find out which strategies work best and when, we reviewed more than 180 fundraising appeals sent out over the course of the 2006 calendar year by nine prominent national non-profit organizations (see Study Participants for a full list). We explored everything from “double your money” matching gift opportunities to deadline-driven campaigns to goal-oriented asks. For the purposes of our analysis, we grouped the appeals we reviewed into one or more of the following four tactic categories:Multiple Appeal Series. Messages sent as part of a cohesive, multiple appeal campaign over the course of three weeks were compared to stand alone appeals that were not part of a larger series.Deadline-Driven. Stand alone or multiple appeal series that used a deadline to drive giving were compared to those without a deadline.Matching Gift. Stand alone or multiple appeal fundraising series that included a matching gift offer were compared to those without a matching gift element.Dollar Goal. Stand alone or multiple appeal series that focused on reaching a monetary goal were compared to those that did not make use of a dollar goal.However, many of the messages we reviewed fell into more than one of these categories — for example, a three-appeal matching gift series with a deadline of June 2nd and a goal of raising $25,000 would fall into all four categories. Because there are substantial variations in response rate, average gift, etc., among the organizations, we chose to evaluate these four tactics within each organization rather than compare the messages to each other. This led to a fairly small sample size, making it harder to draw definitive conclusions; however, our results did trend toward statistical significance in three of the four tactic categories.Multiple Appeal SeriesPerhaps the most striking finding was the difference between multiple appeal series (a fundraising campaign made up of two or more appeals) and single or “stand-alone” fundraising appeals. We found that the multiple fundraising appeal series tended to outperform one-time appeals, resulting in both a higher response rate and a higher average gift. Deadline Versus No Deadline Average Response RateAverage Gift Karen Matheson is the Manager of Quantitative Research and Analysis for M+R Strategic Services.Eve Fox is a vice president of the eCampaigns division of M+R Strategic Services.Copyright © 2007 M+R Strategic Services. All Rights Reserved. Series1.32 percent$99 No Match.34 percent$39 For more information on study methodology and statistical significance of results, please see Study Methodology, below. Multi-Appeal Versus Standalone No Deadline$60 Matching GiftsDespite the fact that our small sample size prevents us from drawing any firm conclusions, the results of the analysis did trend towards significance. It appears that the idea of making a donation that will be doubled by another donor (or group of donors) is motivational to many online donors. A matching gift campaign also provides the perfect rationale to introduce a deadline and to send out multiple appeals, both good ways to boost returns. Matching Gift Versus No Matching Gift Average Response RateAverage Gift Dollar GoalsUnfortunately, the jury is still out on the effectiveness of including a dollar goal in a fundraising appeal. The results of our analysis were not large enough (again, possibly because of the small sample size) to be considered statistically significant. However, setting a dollar goal for a fundraising campaign does provide a solid rationale for setting a deadline to reach the goal and for sending multiple appeals leading up to the deadline — both tactics which are likely to increase response rates overall.ConclusionNo matter what your current fundraising strategies or goals are, we recommend that you continue to test different messaging hooks and tactics to find out which ones work best for your audience. A carefully crafted multiple appeal series could be used in conjunction with standalone messages, and might just increase your response rates and overall donations. Deadlines, matching gifts, and dollar goals are creative (and often effective) ways of raising money and engaging your email list members. Every organization has unique and specific needs, but the strategies described above are a useful place to start testing new approaches.Study ParticipantsDonorsChooseLeague of Conservation VotersNational Parks Conservation AssociationOxfam AmericaPlanned Parenthood Federation of AmericaPhil Angelides’ Campaign for Governor of CaliforniaPublic CampaignSave Darfur CoalitionThe Wilderness SocietyStudy MethodologyWe reviewed more than 180 fundraising appeals sent out by the nine national nonprofit organizations listed above between January and December of 2006. We examined appeals in four categories: appeal versus series, deadline-driven versus no deadline, matching gift versus no match, and dollar goal versus no goal. As explained above, every fundraising appeal was categorized by whether it was a member of each appeal category; this allowed for messages to belong to none of these categories or all of these categories.Because differences among the organizations’ message tone and donor databases were difficult to control for, we compared messages by fundraising tactic within organizations. One downside to using this “paired samples” data was that it kept our sample size small, which reduced our ability to generalize the results to all organizations.Given that the sample size was so small, it is encouraging to see some statistically significant (at the .05 level) results in the data we presented. Our results did trend toward statistical significance in three of the four tactics investigated. “Statistical significance” means that the differences we found within the paired samples were unlikely to be the result of chance variations. For more information about statistical significance, check see Statsoft’s article Elementary Concepts in Statistics.About the Authors: Deadline-Driven Appeals and SeriesThe results of our analysis showed that appeals and series that included a deadline by which gifts must be made tended to be more effective than open-ended appeals without specific deadlines. Although the difference between average gifts was significant, the difference between the response rates was not statistically significant (so we have not included it here).Although further analysis (ideally with a larger sample size) is warranted, it appears that deadlines, whether tiered to some real-life event or introduced without explanation, do tend to boost the returns on a fundraising appeal or campaign. Deadline$93 Average Gift
Are you constantly testing in your fundraising program? Are you learning one or two new things every month? You should be.Here is a quick summary of recent findings from direct-mail tests conducted for a Merkle|Domain client involved in international humanitarian work.Compelling Test Results and Conclusions1. Donors read their mail. Sometimes there is a temptation to reduce the cost of a direct mail appeal package by eliminating the letter and relying on a double buckslip form: one part a short personalized message, the other a reply coupon. We conducted two separate tests to determine whether including the letter would increase response. In both cases the packages that included the letter secured a higher response rate, higher average gift, and higher net revenue than the package without the letter.2. Integration of effort using different communication channels — telephone and direct mail works! Two randomly selected audience groups of 10,000 donors each were mailed identical appeal packages. The test group also received a pre-mailing alert phone call. The response rate of the test group was 15.6% higher, and net revenue from this group was 45% higher than from the group that did not receive the call.3. Donors appreciate a good deal. Two test panels of 10,000 donors each were involved in a matching gift offer test. The direct mail packages sent to both panels were identical except that the test group’s did not contain the matching gift offer. The results were no surprise. The panel that received the matching gift offer responded at a rate 56% higher than the group without the matching gift offer. Net revenue was 53% higher from the matching gift panel.4. Package inserts or alternative response options may sometimes depress response rates. We tested giving donors the opportunity to sign up for ongoing electronic funds transfer (EFT) by including a “send me more information” checkbox on the reply coupon. We also tested whether inserting an information flier would boost EFT sign-ups.Unfortunately, when the EFT option was promoted with the check-off box, response declined by 15.8% and net revenue declined 34.3%.When the promotional flier was added in addition to the check-box, response dropped by 19.6% and net revenue dropped by 42% compared to the control panel that did not receive the EFT option. The take-away value from this test is to stay focused on a single message and response option in your direct mail appeal packages.5. A cover letter included with newsletter packages sent to frequent givers can generate higher response. We included a separate cover letter from the organization’s CEO with the newsletter package sent to frequent givers. The response rate from those receiving the cover letter increased by 16.6% compared to those who received no cover letter. When the cost of the cover letter was added to the overall cost of the package, net revenue remained unchanged; however, the cover letter may contribute to a stronger relationship and increase donor loyalty.6. Personalized copy referring to a donor’s previous gift can build donor loyalty. We often include copy in appeal packages that references the donor’s previous gift amount and the project their gift supported. We have learned over the years that this type of referencing affirms donors and helps to accomplish the Donor Loyalty Cycle™ elements of affirmation and reporting. A recent test, however, indicates that such referencing doesn’t always boost response.A direct mail appeal package focusing on an emergency situation in Africa was mailed to two randomly selected groups. The test group’s letter referenced their most recent gift amount, reported a few details about the project they had supported, and encouraged them to give again for the emergency project. The control group received the same package but no reference to their previous gift. The control group outperformed the test group with a 5.3% higher response rate, 9.4% higher average gift, and 16.7% higher net revenue.What did we learn from this test? While it’s important to affirm donors for their previous giving, and report back to them on how their gift was used, the nature of the given appeal package might not lend itself to specific previous gift referencing. In this case, for example, the emergency nature of the package was probably diluted by the previous gift reference.A Final WordYou should be regularly testing in your direct mail fundraising program. But remember, not all tests can be universally applied. Your test results may be very different from what we have reported here. The make-up of your donor file, the nature of your cause, your brand positioning, and your communication style and content are unique to your organization.Our goal at Merkle|Domain is to change fundraising to be more effective, more efficient, and more keenly focused on building donor loyalty. That’s how we can change the world!Source: Merkle Orange Papershttp://www.merkledomain.com/site/PageServer?pagename=orange_testingCopyright © 2007 Merkle Inc.All rights reserved
Your nonprofit newsletter can be one of your best fundraising tools. That’s because a newsletter has a unique platform to show donors the impact of their giving — and cement the relationship. And it can do this while earning a fundraising return that rivals (or even beats) appeal letters. The key is to make sure your newsletter builds donor loyalty. Loyal donors will give more, stay with you longer, and be your best advocates.A loyalty-building newsletter requires clear, muscular writing and eye-catching design. But that isn’t enough. Apply these four principles to your newsletter — and watch your donors respond!1. It’s about your donor:The heart of a loyalty-building newsletter is showing the donor she makes a difference. That’s the central message of your newsletter. The “star” is your donor. Not you.Your audience is your donor. Your donor wants to hear one thing from you: That her giving matters. This principle should guide all your decisions about newsletter content. When you consider putting something in your newsletter, ask yourself: “Does this demonstrate to the donor that her involvement matters?” If it doesn’t, throw it out.Once you have the right material, there’s another step: Repeatedly, throughout every newsletter you publish, you should include variations of this phrase: “This is possible because you and others gave.” Never miss an opportunity to remind her of her critical role in your work.A loyalty-building newsletter is NOT about:The success and competence of the organization. It’s about the work made possible by the donor. Your successes should be framed as your donors’ accomplishments.The inner workings of the organization. Your director attended an important conference? A much-loved staff member had a baby? Resist the temptation to tell all your donors. Use the space for things more relevant to them.The accomplishments of employees, board members, corporate donors. There are more appropriate and personal ways of thanking and recognizing these key parts of your team. Your newsletter is not the place.2. You need your donor:Your newsletter doesn’t have to be an appeal for funds. In fact, it shouldn’t be. But don’t shy away from asking for gifts. Contrary to what some people in the nonprofit world think, being asked is not an annoyance or an intrusion for donors.Donors want to be wanted. From a donor’s point of view, evidence that you need her tells her that she’s significant! So when you have financial needs, be clear and bold. Ask for help. Donors will reward you by giving.3. Use the power of story:Human beings have a need for stories. Stories are a key way we assimilate knowledge. Wise leaders and thinkers throughout human history have used stories to communicate important truths. So does a loyalty-building newsletter.What is a story? It’s a dramatic account of people overcoming odds and achieving something worthwhile. It has a beginning, middle, and end. A point of view. Tension and resolution. It’s dramatic and well written.A typical newsletter story goes something like this:Something is wrong or broken.Your organization gets involved.Happy ending: Things were made right.Take away the first part, and the story collapses. It’s the beginnings of the stories that are unique. That will get readers interested, engaged, be reading — and giving gifts because they see the wonderful things that happen when they give. Any storyteller will tell you: Conflict and trouble make a story fascinating. They are also what make our happy endings more meaningful. Don’t be afraid of the pain. As long as it resolves in the end, showing that the donor made a difference, you have a powerful story.4. Use headlines to keep readers reading:It doesn’t matter how strong a story is if nobody reads it. Too many nonprofit newsletters obscure their material under bloodless, dispassionate headlines. Your headlines should take sides, have a strong point of view, advocate, shout, tease. The world’s best headline writers work for the supermarket tabloids. They understand an important truth: The headline is what pulls a reader into a story.Good newsletter headlines should have:Strong verbs. A headline should be a sentence, not a title or a label. Avoid “-ing” verbs — they can really let all the steam out of a headline.Relationships. Because human relationships are innately interesting, feature them in the headline whenever possible.Multiple elements. Kickers (above the main headline) and/or subheads (below) enrich headlines by adding quotations or other interest-generating material.If your headlines make you cringe — that’s a sign that they’re strong.Try these principles in your newsletter. You — and your donors — will be very pleased with the results.Source: Merkle Orange Papers Copyright © 2007 Merkle Inc. All rights reserved