The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

E-News as Powerhouse Donor Retention Tool

As you muscle through re-engaging donors in end-of-year giving (and kick starting relationships with new ones), it’s crucial to have your thank you and the next follow-up ready to roll.

NOW is when you have their attention. In fact, the first three months after your donor gives (or gives again) is your now-or-never period for donor retention. If you haven’t done a good job of it by then, the relationship may be off for good.

Don’t risk it! There are so many doable donor engagement methods to put to work. Take this e-newsletter from DC Central Kitchen, the most vibrant, innovative food distribution and meal recycling program I know.

Here are five ways the DC Central Kitchen team shapes their e-news to strengthen relationships with supporters. Take a look at their November newsletter.  They:

  1. Meet the monthly delivery schedule they promised. You and I both know how easy it is to skip an issue or two, or more. DC Central Kitchen comes through time and time again. That’s a good indicator of its reliability in delivering programs.
  1. Use clear and consistent branding, placing the org’s logo at the center top of every issue. Readers know where the e-news is from in a flash.
  2. Provide the same rich, relevant content formula each and every issue. Each issue begins with a compelling photo illustrating a short feature story followed by a brief ask. Typically, a couple of news headlines (linked to the full story) and mini-asks are sprinkled in.The dc kitchen enews 2standardized formula trains readers on what to expect, so they don’t have to waste a moment figuring it out. Having a set content framework also saves you time and anguish in creating your e-news—there’s no need to reinvent the wheel each time.Formatting win: E-news content runs in a single column that’s easy to skim, even on mobile.
  1. Lead with a single gripping photo and headline. This dynamic intro is a moving and thought-provoking opener for each month’s “conversation”. Most issues include social sharing buttons right here so readers can share the photo and story out at the moment of connection.
  2. Follow with a clear, doable call to action. DC Central Kitchen nails the right sequence here. They engage readers with the photo and story, then ask for the next action. That’s how strong relationships are made.capital food fight graphic

Kudos to DC Central Kitchen’s communications and fundraising team. These folks do a great job keeping donors close.

So, learn from them. Use these five success factors as a checklist for your organizations’ e-news.

Build Stronger Relationships with Your Donors

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About This Blog

Linda Lombardi

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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