Nonprofit-Supporter Communication 101
There are so many ways to reach out to and engage with your nonprofit supporters.
But how do you decide which channels to use for outreach and how often to use them? Ultimately, it depends on the particular and current objectives of your organization, however; we can offer some general guidelines.
As a general rule for nonprofit engagement, email newsletters should be sent out once per month in order to keep your supporters in the loop. However, if another newsletter is appropriate due to a big event or campaign, it’s more than okay to send out an additional email newsletter each month.
Between three and four monthly newsletters should be your maximum with one per month set as your minimum.
Sending out your email appeals should really be more about the present need of your organization than anything else. We’ve discussed this topic in prior posts about donation ask frequency, and the bottom line is that, well, you need to meet your bottom line!
Try making your appeals more about informing your supporters of your nonprofit’s present and urgent need, and then provide them with an opportunity to give while also requesting that they spread the word about your mission within their own social circles.
For help crafting email appeals, read the article, Create Your Best Fundraising Email in 5 Steps.
Direct Mail Appeals
Make sure you’re only sending direct mail appeals to donors who have indicated that they don’t mind receiving them. More and more people are wanting to go entirely digital, so a direct mail appeal isn’t for everyone. This is especially the case for those already receiving email appeals from your organization (direct mail could be overkill!).
The general rule for direct mail appeals is twice per year. And if you’re going to go this route, why not make it more worth their while by making the appeal also in the form of a personalized thank you card? Or even consider sending an appreciation gift to go along with the appeal, such as a branded magnet or a beautiful photo from a recent event.
Learn more about how to show donor appreciation in the article, Key Benefits of Turning Your Donors into Heroes.
With twitter, there’s really no such thing as posting too much. It’s actually recommended that you repost your old tweets, but try rewording them first, as to bring more traffic to whatever links you shared. You should be posting on Twitter multiple times per day, so try to keep the minimum at two tweets per day with no maximum.
You should take it a little easier with Facebook but still post at least once per day. If you post more than once, make sure you’re sharing different things each time. Feel free to repost the same thing later on in the week, but it’s better to have more of a variety of content shared here.
And if you have a lot of different pieces of content to share in one day, you should do so! Just be sure to space them out so that one piece of content doesn’t overshadow another.
For more on social media engagement, read A Strategic Guide to Social Media for Nonprofits.
With all forms of communication, it’s important to find out what ways your supporters prefer to be contacted!