Here you are sitting in front of your computer, your contact list is ready and you now want to send a fundraising newsletter to your subscribers, but you are out of inspiration. Are you struggling to find ideas and topics to write newsletters, articles or any other form of content? Fortunately, writing your emails can be simplified with a little planning.
GiveCentral has prepared a content calendar to inspire you for your next newsletter campaigns, which you just need to adapt to your field of expertise. You won’t even need fancy tools, just a few simple tools like an Excel spreadsheet, Google Sheets and a calendar.
A Content Calendar To Better Write Your Fundraising Newsletters
A simple definition before we begin.
“A content calendar is a planning tool that aims to simplify and distribute the work of thinking and writing over a defined period, usually over the year.”
In other words, it’s a valuable tool for planning your next newsletter topics and themes, but also for establishing the frequency of your mailings based on the needs of your subscribers.
How To Create A Content Calendar For Sending Your Fundraising Newsletters
A good starting point is to take inspiration from the seasons and holidays. For example, you can think of great back-to-school related content today! Here are some sample topics and themes to inspire your next newsletter or marketing campaign. It’s quite simple to split the year according to:
- The months of the year: January, February, March, etc.
- The four seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter.
- Holidays: Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas, etc.
- Statutory holidays: Fourth of July, Labor Day, etc.
- Important events of the year: school break, summer holidays, back to school, etc.
- Major public and significant events: the Olympic Games, the soccer world cup, festivals, concerts, etc.
All of these topics and themes from the editorial basis of your newsletters. Use an Excel spreadsheet, Google Sheets, or your calendar to keep them safe.
What Can I Write About?
Think you have nothing to talk about? Creating content that inspires readers can be hard. We’ll help you beat your writer’s block. The most important question to ask yourself is: how can I bring value to my emails? Your subscribers and donors will love you for it.
Depending upon your work, it might not be as easy to know what to write about in your email. But in order to keep your donors active and involved, it is important to send the right amount of emails with personalized content. This article will discuss all the ways you can strategize about your email content and how to be proud of what you send and see the desired results.
Email marketing and content creation are part of your fundraising strategy. What do you want your donors to know about you? Is there a new service you want to launch? A new blog? An event? What are your goals for these campaigns? In any case, you want to create interaction with your donors and build a relationship. This way you build trust and you can boost engagement.
Have a meeting with your team and make a list of all the things you would like to bring up. Also, don’t be afraid to question yourself: “If I were a donor, …
What would I like to receive?
What do I want to know more about?
What information do I need to make a decision / to make a purchase?
Can I help my donor with the first use of my product?
Based on what information am I going to compare with other nonprofits?
What kind of emails do I receive from other organizations in other sectors, and why would they be sending that?
Why should you definitely email?
Thinking about content is not only a very effective way to increase interaction with your donors, but it also ensures that you can have a nice report about who has read what. This way you can adjust the communication on all your channels to what your donors and prospects want to see. If you deal with this in a smart and strategic way, it can quickly produce the desired results.
Another, and certainly not to be forgotten, reason is emailing to get prospects and donors to your website. Making a website beautiful is good for your image, but why invest all this time and work if it is not visited. Along with your campaigns, you can get more visitors through links to landing pages or articles on your website.
Seeing the number of visitors and donations grow is one of the reasons that your company has a website. So make that beautiful website an actively visited platform that everyone can be a part of and enjoy.
2. Subjects and goals
Where do you actually want to go? Not only do you need to know your target audience. But also yourself. Now don’t say you have nothing to talk about. Why are you actually communicating? Below you will find obvious goals for a number of sectors. That immediately makes it a lot more concrete.
Possible goals: Because charities survive on donations, they should want to inform donors about current projects, inspire them to take action, and collect donations. They also do this by sharing feel-good stories.
If it is an event, your goal could be to sell tickets, merchandise or just boost attendance. They probably provide information about speakers, share speaker articles, programs, tips, …
As you can see in the examples above, it is much more interesting to get clear in advance what you actually want to achieve with your communication. This way you can determine afterwards who you are sending to and what those people actually want to read. Or need. With that information you have to make a puzzle. Only in this way can you create emails with focus, which perform well, and which therefore help you to achieve your goals.
3. 90% Educational – 10% Appeals
It’s important to remember that your campaigns should not only make donation requests. Also remember that many of your readers sign up because they like to learn something and don’t just do it for the promotions. Make sure to send emails that contain value and want accurate information that will link to the promotion you are currently sending. You can do this in different ways in every sector or company.
Some possibilities of valuable information with a promo can be sharing a story about the charity. Sharing a video with one of your volunteers about why they support this project or a before and after project. People like to read that their donation has ended up well. That makes them feel good and creates goodwill to help again in the future.
There are endless ways to link valuable information and promotions together. What is your goal and what would you like to know and discover? This will ensure a more personal approach and communication to your readers and will make them feel better, instead of just another promotional email. This way you can also share small insights or behind the scenes of the company, product or special event. “Things you didn’t know” are always a good way to educate your reader and get to know your company better and gain their trust.
To make your content calendar work, you also need to clarify your goals. Since your newsletter is aimed at your subscribers, you already know that your readers are interested in you. Why do you send them newsletters? What did you promise to encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter? What results do you want to achieve? Do you want to invite them to read your blog posts? Do you want to promote your products or your expertise?
Content Calendar: An essential tool for your email marketing
It is essential to have a content calendar to properly plan the writing and sending of your newsletters. Once your content calendar is well determined, you will no longer have to invest so much time and effort in researching topics for your newsletters. This will leave you with more energy to write high-quality content and your other tasks.
Let’s wrap things up, so you can start creating more content that brings value to your readers.
There comes a time when we think there is nothing left to communicate about. Well, think again, there are so many topics you can communicate about with your clients. This is why it is always important to follow the strategy and look at your target group and goals. Brainstorm on all the topics and information you can share on a regular basis. When you see it all line up it will go smoother every time and you won’t have the same issue again. Go get your donors excited to be part of your organization!