Obama's digital strategist (I love his title) has recently said in an interview that nonprofit e-newsletters are a waste of time. I know you are probably thinking, "they can't be a waste of time, I just spent six hours writing our e-newsletter and it is a great way to connect with our donors." As a personal donor and as an foundation representative, I can honestly say that most e-newsletter immediately get deleted. I don't have time to read the 7-10 that are in my in-box everytime I open it and I don't feel like they make me feel closer to the organization because I read their 3 short articles about their mission. He did have a suggestion to replace the e-newsletter, which is refreshing because I am sick of reading articles about what is wrong with the sector with no suggestions to improve it. He said that the campaign's strategy was to write regular, short emails to possible contributors asking them to do one specific thing (make a gift, help call undecided voters, etc.). The email was also very clear about what would happen if they did that one thing and what would happen next. I understand that this is all very common sense stuff but its easy to leave your common sense at home when it comes to fundraising because everyone else is sending e-newsletters so it must work. I know there is probably an urban legend about a well written e-newsletter that got a nonprofit a million dollar gift from someone who got a forwarded copy from a friend. You know deep down inside that this isn't true, so step away from the constant contact website and think about how you can authentically connect with your supporters.
The full article is here.
Who have you seen that is doing effective e-communication?