Double the Donation is proud to announce a new technology partnership with iModules. This partnership enables institutions to integrate employee matching gift automation platform 360MatchPro by Double the Donation, the leading corporate matching gift automation platform, with Encompass from iModules for a seamless donor experience.
“iModules is proud to support organizations that help our customers succeed with their corporate matching gift programs,” said Germaine Ward, Vice President of Product Management at iModules. “By aligning our Encompass solution with 360MatchPro, iModules continues to deliver on its commitment to helping higher education improve their fundraising efforts.”
Universities in particular are well-positioned to take advantage of employee matching gift programs. Although all corporate philanthropy programs involve different requirements for gift size, submission format and deadline, and eligibility of nonprofits to benefit from them, educational institutions almost always meet any corporate program requirements. That means a high percentage of the 15-19 million match-eligible individuals in the US alone can get their gifts matched when those gifts are made to a university.
“360MatchPro tackles the gap between the vast numbers of match-eligible donors and the revenue they could be raising for the universities they donate to,” said Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation. “The reason for this gap is donor awareness of matching gift programs and processes. Our integrated solutions aim to provide the right information to the right donor at the right time to make matching gift request submission the natural next step of any eligible donor.”
The integrated solution tackles the $4-7 billion in corporate matching gift revenue left unclaimed every year by fundraising institutions. More than three-fourths of donors who are eligible to have their gifts matched by their employers don’t even know their company has a matching gift program. 360MatchPro automates the identification and outreach necessary to drive donor matches to completion.
Activate in Seconds and Start Raising More from Matching Gifts!
With ready-to-help support teams and an easy step-by-step process, you’ll be able to integrate your 360MatchPro solution into your Encompass account in no time. Once integrated with Encompass, 360MatchPro presents donors with multiple opportunities to identify their employer during the donation process without interrupting the flow of the donation experience. Just add the 360MatchPro company name search field to any of your Encompass forms with the pre-formatted Gift Matching data field type, pictured below/above, to identify more matching gift opportunities during the donation process.
With this information, 360MatchPro then delivers actionable next steps and actively follows up on each submission. You can automate and customize emails to fit your organization’s needs to drive gift matches to completion without putting more on your nonprofit’s plate.
The autocomplete search tool powered by Double the Donation maps your donor’s entries to corresponding company names so you can keep your data streamlined and consolidated. The results are higher matching gift request submission rates and revenue, higher percentages of donors with current employment information on file, and a wealth of useful corporate philanthropy-related data for university teams.
Drive More Matching Gifts to Completion with 360MatchPro!
iModules is a leader in the alumni fundraising and engagement space with features that help your organization gain efficiency, increase engagement, build your legacy, and elevate fundraising. 360MatchPro by Double the Donation amplifies those benefits through corporate gift matching and allows your nonprofit to achieve the following:
- Identify more matching gift revenue opportunities: 360MatchPro enables you to automatically collect matching gift eligibility from donors using email domains, within donation forms, on confirmation screens, or by email. The more matching gift opportunities 360MatchPro discovers and shares with donors, the more matching gift requests your donors will successfully submit.
- Drive more matches to completion, from form submission to corporate payment: Direct donors immediately to their matching gift forms after the donation process is complete. Then, provide the right information to the right donors at the right time with custom emails based on match eligibility. Target follow-ups drive more completed submissions than ever before, bringing exponentially more matching gift checks from companies through your door.
- Reallocate your time from routine follow-up to your top opportunities: Your time is valuable, so why spend it chasing small dollar-value matching gifts? Let 360MatchPro automate your matching gift outreach while flagging your highest-value opportunities, allowing your team to personalize follow-ups to the most valuable match-eligible donations. Rest easy knowing that 360MatchPro can handle the rest.
To get started with your gift matching journey with iModules and Double the Donation, schedule a private demo of 360MatchPro at https://www.360matchpro.com/demo-request/.
About iModules: Powerful technology. Inspired engagement. Lifelong relationships. More than 800 higher education institutions partner with iModules to drive larger gifts, increase event attendance and membership, and improve participation rates through data-driven, meaningful engagement. Learn more at www.imodules.com.
About Double the Donation: Automate your matching gift fundraising with the industry-leading solution from Double the Donation. The 360MatchPro platform provides nonprofits with tools to identify match-eligible donors, drive matches to completion, and gain actionable insights. 360MatchPro integrates directly into donation forms, CRMs, social fundraising software, and other nonprofit technology solutions to capture employment information and follow up appropriately with donors about matching gifts. To learn more about Double the Donation, visit https://doublethedonation.com and request a demo at https://360matchpro.com/demo-request/.
A.K.A New Media is excited to share that raisin®, a product of A.K.A New Media, has released an integration with 360MatchPro by Double the Donation. Double the Donation is the leading provider of matching gift and volunteer grant solutions to nonprofits and educational institutions.
The seamless, built-in integration with 360MatchPro ensures that no corporate matching gifts opportunity for a raisin fundraiser falls through the cracks.
“We’ve seen an increase in nonprofit organizations looking for supplemental tools to maximize giving,” said Assadour Kirijian, CEO & Executive Creative Director of A.K.A. New Media, Inc. “Corporate matching gifts fit squarely into that box. We’re proud to respond so quickly to this timely need with Double the Donation as our exclusive matching gifts technology partner.”
With $4-7 billion left on the table from US-based corporate matching gift programs alone, nonprofit organizations worldwide are missing out. The reason is simple: 78% of match-eligible donors don’t know that their employer offers to match their charitable contributions.
“The 360MatchPro integration with raisin strikes a delicate but essential balance for nonprofits,” said Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation. “We’re able to assess matching gift eligibility without disrupting the frictionless flow of the donation experience. That balance is key for nonprofits who are looking to encourage corporate matching without hurting their conversion rates.”
The 360MatchPro integration with raisin tackles this gap in donor awareness of matching gifts. Donors giving through a raisin donation form integrated with 360MatchPro are presented with multiple opportunities to discover their matching gift eligibility and to take the next steps to get their gifts matched.
Activate in Seconds and Start Raising More from Matching Gifts!
360MatchPro can be easily activated with the raisin platform to begin your gift matching experience. If you already have a 360MatchPro account, simply enter your API keys within raisin to activate the integration. If you would like to create a new 360MatchPro account, contact your raisin account manager to obtain these API key credentials.
Next, you can decide which donation forms will feature the 360MatchPro search tool. This customization provides the ease of a global activation while still allowing you to retain individualized control over your donation forms. The set up page will prompt you with two options:
- (Recommended):Opt in to integrate 360MatchPro across all live events on the donations module by selecting “Yes, activate for all live events.” This will allow the systems to automatically apply the matching gift search options to all live events.
- To activate individual events by selecting “No, I’ll activate manually.”
It’s that simple! The 360MatchPro integration will now appear on donation forms. Donors can search for their company’s name, and then receive a message like this one:
360MatchPro then uses automated identification tools to collect matching gift eligibility and drive matches to completion – resulting in more contributions for your organization.
Drive More Matching Gifts to Completion with 360MatchPro!
360MatchPro has many valuable features to make sure you are getting the most out of gift matching contributions.
This valuable integration will:
We recommend checking out this process in action. Visit the 360MatchPro Personalized Demo Page to schedule a discussion. These sessions are tailored to your organization’s needs, and they demonstrate the ease and effectiveness of integrating 360MatchPro with raisin.
About raisin:The raisin platform makes online fundraising easy. Make use of powerful mobile forward fundraising, state-of-the-art integrations, a user-friendly interface, and intuitive set-up to raise more quickly and simply. Raisin launched in 2006 and it continues its ongoing commitment to excellence in innovation, and an ongoing pursuit to continually be more mobile, more open and more social. To learn more about the raisin platform, check out their website at https://www.akaraisin.com/
About Double the Donation: Automate your matching gift fundraising with the industry-leading solution from Double the Donation. The 360MatchPro platform provides nonprofits with tools to identify match-eligible donors, drive matches to completion, and gain actionable insights. 360MatchPro integrates directly into donation forms, CRMs, social fundraising software, and other nonprofit technology solutions to capture employment information and follow up appropriately with donors about matching gifts. To learn more visit https://360matchpro.com/demo-request/
Did you know that only 25% of donors apply for matching gifts through their employer? It’s true! According to our Generational Giving Report, three-quarters of donors don’t apply for matching gifts—and that represents tons of potential revenue that could benefit your organization.
So how can you get more people to apply for those gifts?
There are lots of ways you can increase matching gifts for your organization, including email campaigns that spotlight matching gifts, social media campaigns, and more. But one of the most powerful methods you can use is also one of the simplest! Adding a few simple elements to your donation form will help you capture more matching gifts.
1. Add some simple content about matching gifts to the top of your form.
While most of the content at the top of your form should be dedicated to reinforcing your donors’ decision to give, it’s helpful to add a few words about matching gifts. If you’re including a comment about matching gifts on your primary donation form, keep your language minimal and simple—you don’t want to distract from the main call to action, which is simply to donate! Your goal here should be to make donors aware that their gift can be matched.
If you’re running a campaign specifically around matching gifts, though, feel free to place a little more emphasis (and a little more content) around how to apply for a match. Either way, make sure to emphasize why your donor should apply for a match. Remind them that they can double their impact with a few simple steps!
2. Embed a matching gifts plugin on your form.
If it’s not easy to apply for a matching gift, your donors won’t try. Full stop! But, if your application process is simple and intuitive (and doesn’t take long), donors are much more likely to complete their application.
Embedding a widget or plugin on your donation form helps simplify the application process so more donors will apply. Look for a tool that shows your donors:
- If their employer will match their donation
- If their donation is eligible for a match from their employer
- Submission instructions
- And more!
The easier you make this process, the more donors will submit match requests. You can learn more about Double the Donation’s matching gift plugin right over here!
3. Tweak your call to action.
If you’re building a campaign to promote matching gifts, we highly recommend tweaking your calls to action (CTAs) in emails, on donation forms, and anywhere else you’re promoting your campaign. Update email and marketing CTAs to include language like, “Give Now and Double Your Impact,” or “Apply for a Matching Gift.” When you combine specific calls to action, donors are more likely to act. This is a fantastic strategy for increasing match applications in a campaign specifically around matching gifts.
For campaigns that are not built specifically to promote matched gifts, you won’t want to change your campaign’s overall call to action. But you can include a special call to action on your form near your matching gifts plugin. Try adding language around your plugin to draw attention to its purpose. Something as simple as, “Can you make twice the impact with a matching gift? Take a few seconds to enter your information and find out!” can make a big impression on donors and increase the likelihood that they’ll apply.
Bonus Tip: Have someone test your form.
Not sure if your form is intuitive for donors? Want an outside perspective on your form’s language or how you present your plugin? Ask someone from another department or, better, a friend or family member who’s not at your organization to make a test donation. While they go through the donation process, ask them to note their thoughts, feelings, and impressions of the donation and matching gift application process.
This is a valuable way to discover where your donors may get stuck on your form, what they find confusing (if anything), and how you can make the donation process smoother and more user friendly.
Matching gifts are a huge opportunity for nonprofits.
It’s easy to look at the stat showing 75% of donors don’t apply for matching gifts and get discouraged. Don’t let it get you down! That statistic shows there are tons of opportunities to discover and capture new matched gifts. As you build your campaigns, look for ways you can include matching gift prompts to your form. A few simple tweaks and a round or two of testing can have a huge impact on your matched gifts!
This post was contributed by Qgiv.
About the Author: Abby Jarvis is the Nonprofit Education Manager at Qgiv, a company dedicated to building powerful online fundraising tools that empower nonprofits to thrive and grow. In her 7 years at Qgiv, Abby has become passionate about studying industry best practices, learning how they can help nonprofits be more effective, and sharing that information with fundraisers. When she’s not teaching fundraising workshops at Qgiv’s Fundraising Labs or at conferences, she chairs the fundraising committee on a nonprofit board in her hometown of Lakeland, Florida.
Atlanta, GA (April 20, 2020) — After announcing that 360MatchPro by Double the Donation joined the Ellucian community with Ethos connectivity to CRM Advance late last year, Double the Donation and Ellucian have released an updated version of the integration. This latest version features even more visibility for matching gifts in the donation process, and includes all the backend matching gifts automation of the first release of the integration.
The first version of the integration established a backend link between Ellucian CRM Advance and 360MatchPro by Double the Donation. This connection, enabled through Ellucian Ethos, automatically scans all donations for matching gift eligibility and sends the appropriate next steps directly to donors.
The new version takes matching gift identification to the next level by including employer search functionality on donor-facing giving forms. Including another touchpoint dedicated to corporate matching gifts increases identification rates significantly, leading to more matching gift revenue raised.
“We’re proud to announce an update to the 360MatchPro integration with CRM Advance so quickly after the first version was released,” said Kim Coelho, Director of Product Management for the Advancement Solutions Portfolio at Ellucian. “We share Double the Donation’s commitment to forward-thinking technological movement to support university advancement, and we’re glad to get this revenue-maximizing tool into the hands of our schools so soon.”
Even though educational institutions enjoy broad eligibility under corporate matching gift program guidelines, universities still routinely struggle to capture their full matching gift potential. 360MatchPro and CRM Advance combine to close this $4-7 billion gap matching gift revenue for universities.
“The gap between potential and actual matching gift revenue numbers comes down to a lack of donor awareness of matching gift programs” said Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation. “Every opportunity to identify a donor’s eligibility is another opportunity to close the donor awareness gap — and therefore the matching gift revenue gap.”
The newly released update to the CRM Advance integration with 360MatchPro provides another matching gift identification and awareness opportunity in the donation process itself.
To learn more about Ellucian and CRM advance, visit https://www.ellucian.com/solutions/ellucian-crm-advance.
Instagram is undoubtedly among the leading platforms for brand marketing. It has evolved from a mere photo-sharing application to a platform where nonprofit organizations and companies can share their stories and outreach activities with the public since 2010. Through the application, brands can effectively build a loyal audience by using well-filtered photos and compelling captions.
With the increase in fundraising campaigns and peer-to-peer donations hosted on social media applications in addition to Instagram’s remarkable monthly user base of 1 billion active users, it is clear that nonprofits would be well advised to sign up for an account as soon as possible.
You can convey your message and update your audience most effectively through mixed media and images.
To help guide you, we’ve highlighted 7 proven ways nonprofits can engage with donors through Instagram:
- Register for an Instagram Business Account
- Publish Regularly to Increase Your Followers
- Create Compelling Captions
- Make the Most of Stories and highlights
- Make Yourself Discoverable
- Run Instagram Stories Ads
- Get Funding Through Stickers and Buttons
1. Register for an Instagram Business Account
In contrast to a normal Instagram profile, an Instagram business account provides you with access to valuable data, such as impressions, post-performance, and data about your audience. This is useful when it comes to building a strategy and finding out the kind of content that is best for you.
An Instagram Business Account also lets you have call-to-action features like “Directions” and “Contacts.” CTA buttons such as these are particularly useful for nonprofit organizations because they want to make it convenient and easy for interested funders to connect with them. For example, you can include a “Buy Tickets” button under your bio if you have an event.
Another vital characteristic of an Instagram business account is the power to promote content with just one touch. If you’re starting a new campaign on Instagram, for instance, you can promote a teaser or preview of your campaign video to reach audiences outside of your followers. If you give your audience a reduced version of your full video content, it will make them want more. And if they’re convinced, they’ll need to visit your profile to see the whole video.
2. Publish Regularly to Increase your Followers
To grow a following for your Instagram account, you must create and publish consistently. Instagram, like all social networking platforms, rewards a well-rounded publishing plan. If you publish a few times a month and then leave the account silent for weeks, it will be very difficult for you to increase engagement or views again and gain new followers.
In terms of publishing rate, how often do you need to publish? Well, it varies! A good rate is one you can maintain. If you regularly appear in your followers’ feeds, it is much more likely that they will trust you, reach out to build an affinity with your charity, and ultimately click on the donation sticker and donate a gift.
If you are only able to publish a couple of times a week, you should ensure that you keep to that schedule. So if you can post once daily or more in Stories, then that’s awesome! Consider it an exercise. Working with social media with purpose and intention daily will give you much better results than randomly churning out content once a week.
3. Create Compelling Captions
While visual media will forever be the core of every Instagram post, the content never stops at the great pictures. Captions are a great way to share the story underlying each picture.
To accentuate a specific message, you can also directly add the message to an image. This will work for quotes, campaigns, and other occasions where a still photo is not good enough. Try to use a photo editing application like Instasize for this. Instasize provides you with a wide range of stylized fonts that can conveniently be added to an image and uploaded directly to your feed.
4. Make the Most of Stories and Highlights
Instagram Stories is an excellent tool for companies to capture events happening in real-time, share moments behind the scenes, and reveal the culture of the company. Since the stories have a 24-hour expiration date, you can save your highlights for anyone who comes to your profile to see beyond the 24-hour window.
The Stories feature also means you can start polls and ask questions. It’s an easy way to gather user-generated content and interact with your followers.
Interacting with your followers could be as personalized as a live Question and Answer session or it could be as easy as a multiple-choice question. You can ask your audience certain things to make them feel that their opinion matters, such as where the next charity event should be or if they are attracted to a particular topic. To make it entertaining and appealing, be sure to add GIFs and stickers.
5. Make Yourself Discoverable
Consider your profile as the homepage of your organization. It’s where you can find all the relevant information about the organization, and there are only 150 characters available for that — use it wisely. Of course, by using your organization’s full name and a brief outline of your cause, that’s one of the first ways to do it. You should also include keywords related to your page to ensure that when people look for them, you are one of the profiles that will appear.
Instagram permits you to place a link on your bio, which in most cases should be a direct link to your site. However, if you run an ongoing campaign, you may like to direct your audience to a special landing page. Also, there are third-party resources, like Leadpages, that let you publish multiple links at once if necessary.
6. Run Instagram Stories Ads
Putting away even a small amount of money for Instagram Stories Ads can help you increase your audience, exposure, and gain more buzz about your stories.
This is how to set up an Instagram Stories ad with the Facebook Ad Manager:
- Navigate to the Ad Manager and click + Create.
- Select a target that matches your marketing goal.
- Complete the campaign details.
- Under the Placements level, click on Edit Placements.
- From the Instagram section, check the Stories box.
- Define your ad schedule and budget. Instagram Stories Ads can run the length of time you want and will reach as many audiences as your budget can afford.
- Design your ad.
- Finish your ad by clicking on Confirm.
Use the ad preview before sending your ad for review. Make use of the drop-down menu and choose Instagram Stories to see exactly how your ad will appear in that location.
7. Get Funding Through Stickers and Buttons
About 55 percent of individuals who engage in social media causes are motivated to participate in the action.
Understanding that it’s now up to nonprofits to get their cause in the spotlight. As a nonprofit organization, fundraising is a vital part of sustaining your cause. Fortunately, Instagram has devised simple ways for nonprofits to receive donations without leaving the application.
Now, apart from the “Get Directions” and “Contact” buttons, you can also include a “Donate” button on your profile. After clicking the button, contributors can simply choose the amount to contribute.
A donation sticker is also available on the stories tab. This can be done by any U.S. nonprofit organization that signs up to accept donations through Facebook and connects it to their Instagram account. Organizations like the No Kid Hungry American Cancer Society and the Wounded Warrior Project have already done so successfully.
Averaging 2-7% engagement on every published content, Instagram is regarded as the most engaging social brand platform. This fact alone makes the photo-sharing application a great point of contact for nonprofits to connect and engage with their followers. So, attach that donation sticker, and spread the word about the good you’re doing — a billion people are watching!
Change your Grid
Instagram is always going to be associated with photos, but that doesn’t imply that you have to confine your posts to that. Today, you can upload infographics, illustrations, and videos if you want to. By creating various types of visual content, your audience is more inclined to anticipate your next post. Therefore, try to change the content to know what is working and what is not.
Go live on Instagram
Instagram Live is a wonderful way to draw the curtain on your work and take people deeper and deeper into the fold. People enjoy the live video by interacting in real-time with the nonprofits they are interested in, asking questions, and giving you a fuller picture of the individuals driving the cause.
So include the donation sticker when you are live so that your viewers can donate when they are most inspired.
Then, save your live Instagram video to your Instagram Highlights so others can view it once the live broadcast is over and continue to give.
This post was contributed by Donorbox.
Raviraj Hegde leads Growth at Donorbox where he is helping thousands of nonprofits build great donor experiences and increase online fundraising. Donorbox is a state of the art fundraising software to create simple and powerful donation forms. It is trusted by over 30,000 nonprofits across 25 countries.
Sending a weekly or monthly newsletter to your community is a proven way to engage your supporters and keep them up-to-date with what’s going on at your organization. It’s a great vehicle for sharing news stories, reminding your readers about upcoming events, and reporting on your impact.
That’s why many nonprofit professionals are very eager to start sending regular newsletters to their community. Unfortunately, many of them often come to one of two roadblocks at one point or another: 1) they run out of ideas for what to include in the next newsletter and stop sending them as regularly, eventually stopping altogether, or 2) they run out of ideas but desperately try to stick to the regular schedule, resulting in newsletters so bland that their open rates plummet.
If you have ever found yourself here — or if you’re planning to start sending a newsletter and want to make sure it’s a success — this arsenal of foolproof content ideas will help transform your newsletters into updates that your readers will not only open more often, but will actually look forward to reading.
Once you get accustomed to coming up with new content pieces based on these ideas, you’ll become much better at seeing a potential story in just about anything. The key thing to remember is that everything your readers want to read about is already happening within your organization and the community that surrounds it — you just need to know where to look, whom to ask, and how to communicate it in a way that will pique interest.
Now without further ado, here are 24 content ideas for your next newsletter and all the ones after that.
1. Beneficiary Story
Does your nonprofit serve a particular community of people? Does someone benefit from the work you’re doing? Get in touch with these people and ask them if they’d be willing to share their story.
It can be very powerful to hear firsthand accounts from the people whose lives have been made better because of your organization’s existence. It serves as a reminder of why your work is so important, makes members of your community feel good about supporting you, and inspires them to continue or increase their involvement.
2. Donor Story
If your organization is supported by donors, you likely have a few (or many) individuals who strongly believe in the work you’re doing and have been supporting you for a long time. Take this opportunity to shine a spotlight on them.
Ask them why they chose to support you, what it means to them, and what they’re hoping to help achieve with their involvement. Not only is this a great way to show your appreciation and acknowledge their long-standing support, but it will also inspire other people to rise up and join them.
3. Staff Member Spotlight
You likely show a lot of love to your donors, volunteers, and board members, but your staff members are some of the most hard-working and dedicated people in your community. Don’t forget to show them some appreciation by shining a spotlight on what they do for your organization — it’s a great way to build morale among your employees.
For those who read your newsletter, it puts a face and a story to the name they’ve likely exchanged emails with or spoken to on the phone; it shows transparency and authenticity on your end and allows them to build a more personal connection with your organization.
4. Volunteer Spotlight
What about writing a story about one of your volunteers? Maybe you have someone who’s been a volunteer at your organization for years — or decades! They would definitely have an interesting story about how and why they got started and how they’ve seen your nonprofit grow over the years. Or maybe you have a volunteer who has just joined — ask them why they joined and what they’re hoping to get out of this experience. Volunteers always have a very special reason for why they do what they do — all you have to do is ask!
5. Sponsor Spotlight
If you have a corporate sponsor or a business that supports your work with monetary gifts or in-kind donations, your newsletter is a great place to recognize them with a special story. You can interview the CEO or showcase all the ways in which this sponsor has impacted your community. Most companies are looking for exposure for their brand by making charitable contributions, so featuring them in a newsletter is a great way to deliver that.
6. Q&A With a Member/Donor
Publishing a story about a member or a donor can be a special once-in-a-while feature, but you can also showcase your members in a brief but more regular way. What about coming up with a few standard questions and getting a different member to answer them every week?
Having a consistent element across all of your issues will get readers into the habit of anticipating it, making them more likely to open the newsletter week after week to read the next Q&A in the series.
7. Member of the Month
Has a member gone above and beyond with their involvement? Acknowledge them with this special accolade — it will make them feel appreciated and will likely inspire others to strive to receive the same honour in the following months.
8. Timeline of Your Nonprofit’s Milestones
No matter how long your organization has been around, you likely have a pretty interesting story about how you came to be and the milestones you’ve had to hit to be where you are today. While some of your long-standing members may already be familiar with these, it’s not a bad idea to re-ignite the conversation every now and then, especially for the sake of the brand new members.
Maybe you could even throw back to this timeline every time you have a new milestone to add to it — say, for example, your nonprofit was just endorsed by a local celebrity, or you’ve just hit a record number of members or donations.
9. From Our Friends
Is there an organization that does similar or complementary work to yours? Why not partner with them and offer a fresh take on your shared mission to your respective audiences? They could write a guest piece for your newsletter and you could do the same for theirs in exchange.
This will help raise awareness about your cause, introduce more people to your organization and provide your readers with refreshing and informative content.
10. In the Know
Have you heard something in the news recently that affects your organization’s work or is simply relevant to your mission? Maybe it’s a new law that was passed or news about a larger organization making big strides in your sector.
Be sure to share it with your readers – it will help them stay informed, spark conversation, and will make everyone involved a little more equipped to deal with the issues your organization strives to eliminate.
11. This Day in History
Similarly to sharing current news relevant to your organization, why not invite your readers on a trip down memory lane and remind them of important events that happened on the same day, week, or month, but a few (or several) years ago?
Chances are, your mission is related to an issue that many others before your organization had made progress on. Acknowledge their contribution and thank them for taking steps in the right direction, ultimately making your work a little easier.
12. Upcoming Events
Hopefully, this is a section you already include in your newsletter. If your nonprofit hosts frequent events, this is a great way to keep your members in-the-know and remind them about what’s coming up soon.
13. Photo Gallery from Past Events
Once an event has passed, don’t forget to follow up with your community about it. You can share a few highlights and key outcomes and thank the attendees for their participation. Most importantly, offer a preview and a link to the full gallery of photos from the event.
The people who attended will be happy to reminisce about a great time and will eagerly flip through the gallery in hopes of seeing their own photo pop up. The people who didn’t attend will be curious to see what they missed and will be more likely to come to your future events.
14. Photo Essay
Post-event follow-up is not the only time when you can share meaningful photos with your community. What about putting together a photo essay based on a particular theme, such as a year in review, volunteers in action, behind-the-scenes, power of teamwork, etc.
You can also ask your members to submit their own photo essays — they definitely have unique perspectives and experiences. Then, feature the best ones in your newsletter.
15. Report on Your Progress
You are hopefully already reporting on your progress and impact through communication pieces like your annual report and other impact reports, but your newsletter is a great vehicle for sharing quick updates and short summaries of what you can later expand on in a report.
Your community wants to stay up-to-date on what their involvement is helping to make possible, so providing regular updates will ensure that they stay engaged and committed to your cause.
16. Tips & Advice
Your nonprofit’s mission is likely part of solving a larger issue — one that affects your community on a daily basis. Why not offer your readers uplifting tips and advice relevant to your work to help them make small differences in their everyday lives. For example, a nonprofit that advocates for better public education on healthy eating choices includes one meal recipe at the end of each of their newsletters.
It’s an easy and fun way to get your community involved from the comfort of their own homes and keep your mission at the top of their minds.
17. Answering Questions from Members
Members of your community almost definitely have insightful questions and ideas for discussion. Why not open up the floor and let everyone contribute? Chances are, many other members have the same inquiry but don’t have the confidence to step forward and ask.
Encourage them to email their questions or concerns and dedicate a space in each of your newsletters to address one of these questions. This gives you the freedom to screen them to make sure you’re only answering the most relevant and appropriate ones. It’s not a bad idea to make them anonymous too, but you can also leave that up to the people submitting the questions.
18. Note from Leadership
Leaders inspire vision, action, and a sense of community, not only in an organization’s staff members, but in all who are associated with the organization. This is especially true for nonprofits. Your President, Founder, CEO, Director of Development, or any other person in a position of leadership has the power to inspire your community and remind them why they joined in the first place.
Make sure your members hear from this person often and that the message is well crafted and to the point, but is also authentic and down to earth. There’s nothing worse than an address from leadership that uses boilerplate language and feels like it wasn’t written by that person at all.
19. Ideas for Action
Advancing your nonprofit’s mission doesn’t have to stay within the walls of your organization. There are probably small things that members of your community can do in their own lives. You can use your newsletter to remind them that there are things they can do right now to help. For example, if your nonprofit’s mission is to protect the environment, remind your readers of some easy, low-waste swaps they can use in the kitchen that will help reduce their use of plastic.
20. Spread the Word
Similarly to the above point, members of your community can help advance your mission by sharing content from your newsletter with their own circles and social networks.
To encourage this, be sure to offer shareable content that your readers will resonate with. This includes meaningful quotes about your mission, powerful statistics, and infographics. Don’t forget to include a clear call for action, such as a “Share” button, that automatically tags your social media accounts.
21. Food for Thought
Are there issues that you aren’t sure how the world is going to solve? Is there a philosophical, ethical, or moral question that keeps you up at night? Get your members involved by providing this as a prompt and encourage them to think about it or bring it up in conversation with the people around them. It never hurts to keep the conversation going. Plus, you never know — your prompt might just reach someone who has the answer.
22. Wish List
Is your organization looking for any particular in-kind donations? This is the place to ask for them. Just be sure to provide a specific request and a clear set of instructions for how to arrange their delivery.
23. Call for Volunteers
If you’re like most nonprofits, you’re probably always looking for volunteers. Your newsletter is the perfect place to let people know what you’re looking for. Just remember that it’s best to provide specific descriptions of the types of work you need done and the time commitment required. More people will respond if they have a clear sense of whether or not this is something they can commit to.
24. Call for Donations
Lastly, you can always mention your current campaign or ask for donations to a specific fund/program. Make sure your call to action is specific and remember not to include this in your newsletter too often — you don’t want to deter your members from opening your newsletters in the future. At the end of the day, your newsletter is not part of your fundraising plan, its primary purpose is to keep your community engaged and interested in what you’re doing.
So there you have it. Hopefully, this list gives you some ideas about what to include in your newsletters. The most important takeaway is that your audience wants to read stories about how their involvement is helping to advance your mission.
Look within your organization, talk to as many people as you can to get their perspectives, and be on the lookout for what’s going on with nonprofits similar to yours. You’ll be sure to find everything you need to create meaningful and compelling content.
This post was contributed by Wild Apricot.
About the Author: Sayana Izmailova is the Content Marketing Specialist at Wild Apricot, a membership management software. She has worked at a number of nonprofits and uses her experience to help small organizations advance their missions.