Inspiring Generosity


Is Your Newsletter Junk Mail?

                        The dire decree  (photo credit: moi)

Hi Friends! I’m back from the Land of Oz – and what a trip it was. Kangaroos (they’re lazy!), Kookaburras (they laugh!), and Humpback Whales (they’re big!) plus seeing my cousins and uncle all made for a fabulous time. Crikey, it was worth the jet lag.
While Tom and I were in Sydney for a couple of days, we walked by mailboxes that often had one of three dire decrees:
-  No Junk Mail (see photographic evidence)
-  No Junk Mail, thank you! (clearly, the polite Australians)
-  No Advertising Material please (more courteous Aussies)
Here’s the question: What constitutes junk mail or advertising material?
You know it when you see it.
Do people think “junk mail” when your newsletter arrives?
Let’s hope not.
Your newsletter won't be deemed “junk” if you:
1.  Report on how your people have changed the world since your last newsletter (as a start, 50% of your newsletter should be dedicated to this).
2.  Use the word “you” more than the name of your church or organization.
3.  Remember that everything that happens and that has happened is a result of the generosity of the people in the pews or your donors.
4.  Tone down the “announcements” and instead highlight individuals who are making a difference.
5.  Write using an active, engaged voice that indicates a positive outlook and enthusiasm.
6.  Avoid long lists of names, dates, room numbers.
7.  Add photos of individuals making a difference.
8.  Make it visually appealing and use a font size that’s easy to read.
When your newsletter arrives in the mail, you want your people to be excited to open it. Yes, so that they can find out about upcoming activities but – more importantly – to celebrate all the ways the world is a better place because of them and the programs and ministries they support.
Your newsletter…junk? No way, no how. You’ve got too much good news to share.
P.S. I’d be happy to review your newsletter and give you some feedback. Send it to me at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com.
P.P.S. I’ll have an “Inspiring Generosity” table at the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference in Eugene coming up next week (June 12-15). If you’re there, come by for a visit in the Ministry Marketplace. Want to schedule some time to talk? Shoot me an email at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past fifteen years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. The Australian ice cream was good but the custard was to die for. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity or at CesieScheuermann.com.

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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.