I collect examples of what I think are good nonprofit newsletters. And this one from the Tucson Audubon Society kept me reading all the way through.
If you think that creating a power newsletter for your nonprofit means sophisticated systems and the hiring of consultants, just take a look at this packed-with-goodies, end-of-the-year newsletter from a local birding organization.
What I like about the Tucson Audubon Society Newsletter:
- I'm not even a birder, but I was drawn in by the email's subject line: "Hawks in the City!" I had to open it. It created curiosity that only reading the newsletter would satisfy.
- It isn't all about raising money, although it does. The newsletter offers so many ways to learn about the local area, environmental issues and threats, plus some great ways to give to the organization, including a cause marketing campaign (want to win a car?) and a buy for good opportunity (would anyone living in the Tucson area not want this luscious book about local birds?).
- It moves me into the new year with inviting events and volunteer opportunities. The weather in Tucson will be great in the winter months, and this newsletter offers me numerous educational ways to get out and enjoy it.
- It's easy to read. In a simple scrolling format, the newsletter is laid out nicely, is eye-catching, and full of photos, without being slick. It's actually a bit rough around the edges, but that seems appealing for a small, local group.
- The newsletter brings me up-to-date on an environmental issue that has been in the press recently. Piggybacking on local or national media stories is a great way to catch the interest of readers and, in this case, show that the organization is relevant. You can imagine the high interest this organization's supporters have in a local mining issue.
There are a some things that could be done better in this newsletter. The opening message is not particularly inspiring, although it does the job of thanking supporters for the year. The newsletter may be overloaded with information, to the point that some readers might find it daunting. Editing it down to a few key items would help.
Also, if I want in-depth information about the mining issue, I have to follow a link to the online quarterly magazine...page 20 to be specific. Unfortunately, that magazine is much nicer as a printed piece than an online one. I had to scroll through a lot to get to the article I wanted. The article would be more accessible as a page on the organization's website. For more on the perils of online publications, see Nonprofit Communications and the Tablet Revolution.
Nevertheless, the newsletter got me to open it and read it. That's an accomplishment these days.
What do you like or dislike about the newsletter? What are some of your favorite newsletters? I can always use some more examples for my collection.
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