Emotion, Emotion, Emotion! How to Make Your Non-Profit Newsletter a Success!

Whether reaching Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers or Millennials, using a brief emotional angle is key to the success of your nonprofit newsletter!  Gone are the days of newsletters filled with short essays and multiple asks.  Consider telling one or two stories through a 10-30 second video clip or write out one story but use touching photos.  Keep event listings, needs and other information as side bar items with links to more information.

Think of it this way – Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers are creatures of routine.  They have certain organizations they support, certain ways of supporting them, and generally speaking, a lot of responsibilities and time constraints.  You need to prove to these people why you need their continued support or a new type of support but you might have to shake them up or pull at the heartstrings a bit to do so.  It’s not that they don’t WANT to help – but many of them need to hear a very specific ask.  And don’t worry – they LOVE to learn and find new ways to make their mark in both the corporate and philanthropic world.  Follow your video or story up with that ask and you won’t be sorry.

Millennials, on the other hand, are products of the instant gratification culture.  Everything is quick and at their fingertips.  They are young, have limited funds and are inundated with information from their smart phones, computers and friends.  They are also part of a very giving generation – a generation that has left college understanding the social responsibility they hold.  The key with these potential supporters is to pull them in emotionally, the same way you would the older donors, and keep it brief!  They are browsers and have limited attention spans.   So give your spiel and make your ask – they are impulsive and might not come back later to sign-up or make a donation!   Make that checkout or sign up process quick and easy and they’ll probably even spread the word to their friends.

The bottom line is – try to understand your audience.  Each donor, supporter and volunteer you come across is part of a larger community of untapped resources.  Speak to their hearts, in whatever language it takes, and the return will make it all worth your while.

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An Old Tuxedo was Donated…and a Relationship Began

It all started when Steve Matteucci – a Thunderbird – learned about a Homeward Bound client in need. He donated his old tuxedo to the client. The next day the client was able to  accept a job offer as a maitre d’ and begin to support his family.

The beginning of a beautiful relationship…

In 1998, Homeward Bound had a vision for a campus community.  The vision was shared with Steve. He took the vision and talked to a Thunderbird friend, Tim Grant and from two men the vision moved to the youth committee and then to the entire membership.  The vision was embraced, a relationship bloomed and families in need have benefited greatly.

It was The Thunderbirds who kicked off Homeward Bound’s capital campaign with a   $1 million gift to support the development of a campus community. Homeward Bound was able to take that gift and leverage it to secure private and public dollars for the $9.2 million campaign.

The funds were raised and The Thunderbirds Family Village, a five-acre campus with 80 two-bedroom apartments, was opened in 2000. It was named The Thunderbirds Family Village to recognize the gift from The Thunderbirds and to highlight the amenities on campus such as the childcare, dental clinic, counseling, employment services and emergency pantries. It really is a community, a VILLAGE, and a vision fulfilled.

In 2002, Homeward Bound was selected as the PGA TOUR Charity of the Year, thanks to The Thunderbirds’ nomination. To Homeward Bound, The Waste Management Phoenix Open represents food, clothing, warmth, safety and the opportunity for children and their families to improve their living situations.

The Thunderbirds have been long-time supporters of Homeward Bound and have truly made a difference in the lives of thousands of families with children.  By making a pledge to Homeward Bound (charity #16) through Birdies For Charity, you can help make a difference as well.

Homeward Bound is grateful to all who support the many families who are working to overcome homelessness and/or domestic violence and make the journey toward self-reliance.  Please make a pledge by February 5th and be a part of the change!

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Making Sense of Poverty in America

In a recent report issued by the Department of Economic Security, the parameters of homelessness in Arizona were investigated in great detail.  For the Homeward Bound Board Members and Staff, the findings reaffirmed the invaluable role that transitional housing and comprehensive social services play in combating poverty and domestic violence – two of the most detrimental societal “diseases.”

In 2011, 19,271 adults and 5,685 children experienced homelessness.  Of those, 30% were facing homelessness for the first time due to job loss, foreclosure or eviction, a direct reflection on the state of the current economy.  While shelter stays are helpful and necessary for the emergency relief of homelessness, the median cost of services used by an un-housed chronically homeless person is $4,066/month whereas ones provided with transitional housing use an average of $1,492/month in services after 6 months and only $968/month after 12 months.

Beyond statistics, however, is the idea that combining transitional housing with supportive counseling, life skills training and child care specializing in early intervention and therapeutic services sets a family on a path toward confidence and self-reliance.  We are no longer looking for temporary fixes, we are looking to find solutions that yield positive returns and maintain longevity. 

In recognition of Poverty in America Awareness Month, we sincerely thank our generous donors, volunteers and friends for their support whether it be through financial contributions, in-kind goods and services, or simply by paying attention to our blog and Facebook posts.  We had many successful accomplishments in 2011 and hope to continue forward with increased homeownership and job stability for our clients while we spread awareness of our mission.  Your belief in all we do means a new beginning for our families. 

For more information and statistics on poverty in Arizona, please visit: https://www.azdes.gov/InternetFiles/Reports/pdf/2011_Homelessness_report.pdf


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Allison Micheletti – National Inspirational Role Models Month

Homeward Bound recently spent a night movin’ and groovin’ – literally.  With a KidBop CD playing in the background, fifteen young girls danced, sang, played games and talked about their hopes and dreams with golf pro Allison Micheletti.  The theme of the night was “Girl Power” and the self-esteem from these often fragile girls was high. 

Recognizing that young girls are pressured every day to make both good and bad choices, Allison reached out to Homeward Bound and asked to facilitate a workshop for some of the agency’s children.  Her hope was to empower them to believe in themselves and stay focused on their goals.  Keeping with the theme of breaking cycles of homelessness and domestic violence, Allison asked each of them about what they want to be when they grow up and gave them her own personal tips for success.

The night was rounded out by fun team-building exercises, including the creation and untangling of a human knot and getting-to-know-you games. Ping pong made its way to the activity list as did the challenge to build a house out of playing cards.  The girls were rewarded with different prize donations, such as bath and body products and treasure boxes filled with treats and toys.    

So there you have it – fifteen little girls who hope to become doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, teachers and actresses someday were given a little encouragement and the powerful message that if you can dream it, you really can do it.  We are grateful to Allison and look forward to her next motivational workshop with our young girls.  She is a true example of an inspirational role model for children.

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Eat Better, Eat Together

We live in a society that is constantly on the go; all of us can attest to this.  Meals are eaten in the car and catered by the likes of McDonald’s and Subway.  The sit-down dinners so typical of the Leave it to Beaver days are, well, antiquated. 

But here at Homeward Bound, our Kids Corner Learning Center is showing us that the days of politely passing the butter and chatting about our lives are not quite over.  The Family-Style Dining Service is teaching our children and their families the value of breaking bread together.

The staff members at the Kids Corner Learning Center have been working with the children on such tasks as setting the table, politely asking their peers to pass the potatoes, and helping clean up once they are finished.  They are learning about healthy food choices and are growing more excited by the day to share their knowledge at home with their own families.

It seems as though the tables may have just turned.  As their busy parents toy with what take-out food to order, these youngsters are requesting family dinner that they make together and share together.  Our five-year olds are certainly teaching their moms and dads a thing or two about family values and quality time. 

Our families are eating healthier, conversing more, and remembering the importance of good manners.  Most importantly, they are spending more time together.  They say everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten – or maybe FROM a kindergartner.  There may just be some truth to that.

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Birdies for Charity

Birdies Mean Bucks for
Homeward Bound Families

You can make Homeward Bound big bucks by making a
pledge in the Birdies for Charity competition at the
2011 Waste Management Phoenix Open!

How Do I Play Birdies for Charity?

Simply pledge one cent or more for every birdie that will be made
by the PGA TOUR players, Thursday, Feb. 3 through Sunday, Feb. 6
of the 2011 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
It’s estimated that between 1,300 and 1,800 birdies will be made.
Inclement weather may affect the total.

How Much Will I Owe and Who Do I Pay?

After the tournament, if you pledged one cent per birdie
and 1,500 birdies were made you’ll receive an invoice for $15.00
from Thunderbirds Charities. You can either make your check
payable to Thunderbirds Charities or provide credit card information.
(Do not pay Homeward Bound directly.)

Deadline is February 6, 2011
PLEDGE NOW – Click Here
Homeward Bound’s Charity Number is 16

For additional information please contact:
Dawn Bogart
Email: d.bogart@hbphx.org


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