How Your Newsletter Can Make a Difference
I like social media. To be specific, I like Facebook. I have no idea how to Twitter (excuse me – only 140 characters? I guess some of us just have the gift of gab.), Instagram scares me (20 seconds and the photo is “gone”? Gone where?), and LinkedIn perplexes me (Should I wear a three-piece suit when I check-in?). Over the past few years, churches have been encouraged to expand their communication repertoire through social media to reach more people. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Really. Feel free
According to Jim Shapiro of Better Fundraising for All, people still love picking up and reading a newsletter. But he suggests maximizing your impact by telling stories. Here are his suggestions on how to do it:
- Keep it short. 300 words are enough since people scan articles. And make your entire newsletter four-eight pages depending on the size of the paper. Remember: Less is more.
- When you write, write with one person in mind – for the reader, it makes it a more personal experience.
- Keep the focus of the article on one person, one cause, one issue. For example, write an article about Joe, from your youth group and his experience fighting malaria; or Betty, from United Methodist Women, and her work for sensible gun laws; or Xavier, from the choir, and his reflection on a recent choral piece he sang in church. Throw in a photo too.
- At the end of the article, thank people for their generosity of money and time that enables individual and collective lives to be changed.
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. She likes reading newsletters and supports sensible gun laws. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. You can reach her at email@example.com.
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