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.