Making Money with Donor Newsletters
The How-to Guide to Extraordinary Results
by Tom Ahern, 166 pp.From the Foreword by Roger Craver:
Table of Contents
Part 1: The Breakthrough
The secret to success
Delivering joy: the true purpose of a donor newsletter
A word on donor (dis)loyalty
Where the real money is (hint: not in acquisition)
Better customer service equals increased donor loyalty
The Domain Formula
The “Gillette Miracle”: how a hospital foundation increased giving to its newsletter by 1000 percent
Which are you doing: corporate communications or donor communications?
Part 2: How Newsletters Fit In
Following in the footsteps of your message
The research and the reality
You are an intrusion
E-newsletters: What are they good for?
Email subject lines
Part 3: Techniques
These nine “fatal flaws” kill response
Fatal flaw #1: Failing the “you” test
Fatal flaw #2: Lack of emotional triggers
An irresistible emotional trigger: flattery
Fatal flaw #9: Bad headlines
A model headline
How to write great headlines
What is “news”?
Making news out of thin air
“Just add water” article ideas
What a front page is for
The “Inverted Pyramid”
Most people skim, few read deep
Pull quotes bring your buried treasures to life
The AP formula for captions
Elements of a skimmable page
What Wheildon discovered (and Gutenberg didn’t)
Long articles? Don’t bother
Lower the grade level of your writing
Donors are “staggeringly ignorant” and that’s a good thing, by the way
Anecdotes vs. Stats: Which raises more money?
The human brain craves anecdotes
Don’t hog the credit
What donors really care about.
How often should we mail?
An easy alternative: The Newsy-letter
The High Noon checklist
Make fundraising easier for yourself. Buy this book today.
About the Author
Tom Ahern is recognized as one of North America’s top authorities on nonprofit communications. He began presenting his top-rated Love Thy Reader workshops at fundraising conferences in 1999.
Since then he has introduced thousands of fundraisers in the U.S., Canada and Europe to the principles of reader psychology, writing, and graphic design that make donor communications highly engaging and successful.
He founded his consulting practice in 1990 (www.aherncomm.com). His firm specializes in capital campaign case statements, nonprofit communications audits, direct mail, and donor newsletters. His efforts have won three prestigious IABC Gold Quill awards, given each year to the best communications work worldwide.
Ahern is also an award-winning magazine journalist, for articles on health and social justice issues. He has his MA and BA in English from Brown University, and a Certificate in Advertising Art from the RI School of Design. His offices are in Rhode Island and France.