10 non-profit newsletter ideas & examples

12 min
Updated:

Let’s be honest: your non-profit organization will find it difficult to function if it didn’t have the support of its donors and volunteers. Thus, the importance of communicating constantly with these benefactors can’t be overstated.

One of the best ways to maintain a relationship with your donors is to create a non-profit newsletter. This article provides ten examples of content you can send as part of your newsletter and real-world examples of newsletters run by other non-profits.

Listen to this article narrated:

Why create a newsletter for your nonprofit?

Creating a newsletter for your nonprofit organization can be a simple 7-step process. Here are some of the benefits associated with using this communication channel:

  • Build relationships: Unlike social media and other channels, a newsletter and email, in general, give you a direct line of communication with prospective donors. This directness makes it an essential communications tool, as you can build a relationship with your target audience and have their full attention while doing so.
  • Create awareness for upcoming events and initiatives: Nonprofit newsletters are excellent for promoting your nonprofit’s events. You can raise awareness for your events and initiatives by sending messages directly to your newsletter subscribers’ inboxes.
  • Educate existing and future donors: Non-profit newsletters can educate existing and potential donors about your organization’s work. Use them to send your newsletter subscribers embedded videos or links to educational blog posts on your website. Whatever form this valuable content takes, you’ll find email newsletters versatile tools for educating your audience and rallying them around your cause.
  • Solicit donations and volunteers: If you do an excellent job of sending your newsletter subscribers educational and engaging content, your non-profit newsletter can aid your fundraising efforts. Also, some members of your target audience can feel so strongly about your cause that they’ll be the first to volunteer if you request help. 
  • Detailed analytics: Email marketing tools like GetResponse can help you track your newsletter’s performance. They provide information on performance metrics like click-through rates and conversions. These analytics can help you identify the topics your target audience resonates with, shaping your future marketing campaigns.

Email newsletters also permit interaction with your donors, as you can create surveys to collect feedback and suggestions. The versatility a newsletter for nonprofits offers your organization means you have several ways to keep your community engaged.

Don’t have a newsletter? Consider using GetResponse for your nonprofit’s email marketing and get 50% off.

10 non-profit newsletter ideas 

Here are a few ideas you can adopt for your nonprofit newsletter. Other nonprofits use these helpful tips to keep readers engaged, seek financial assistance, and build relationships:

1. Share success stories

Success stories make excellent content for nonprofit newsletters. You can use these inspiring updates to inform your audience about a recent accomplishment or milestone you’ve hit. 

Care Australia does so in the image below:

CARE Australia eNews January 2019 featuring a smiling child in front of a water pump


Source

Success stories top this list of nonprofit newsletter ideas because they help show that your organization is pursuing and hitting its goals. Donors need to see that the nonprofits they support are moving in the right direction and doing good in the world. Thus, publishing a success story is heartening and can encourage readers to keep supporting your cause.

As to what makes a success story, no accomplishment is too small. Sharing news about your organization being featured by a news outlet can communicate your nonprofit’s growing profile. 

A charitable milestone (e.g., providing shelter for X number of homeless people) shows donors where their money is going. And so on. 

So long as the story communicates that your organization is making strides, it’ll do.

2. Promote upcoming events

You can use your nonprofit newsletter to promote your upcoming events. 

Seminars, fundraising events, outreach initiatives, and more make compelling content for your target audience because they provide interaction opportunities. 

From your audience’s perspective, these events let them meet face-to-face with those who run the organization they’ve been supporting. From yours, the events allow you to put a human face to your organization.

This newsletter entry will include details like the event’s location and date. You’ll also have to provide information on how your readers can attend. 

Also, depending on the type of event you’re hosting, you may need a way to know who’ll be turning up for it. For example, if you’re hosting a virtual seminar, you can include a link to a well-designed landing page attendees can use to register their interest.

To conclude this email, include a clear call to action, communicating the steps you want your readers to take (register and/or attend). 

3. Share volunteer spotlights

Like event announcements, volunteer spotlights can be great nonprofit newsletter content for connecting your organization with its donors.

This style of newsletter spotlights beneficiaries who’ve played an active role in your organization’s cause via volunteering. You can spotlight individuals or whole organizations.

Volunteer spotlights can make all the difference when you eventually request volunteers. They can also be a form of social proof in that they show your audience people like them whose contributions go beyond the financial.

The key to making this nonprofit newsletter idea work is to make it easy for people to volunteer. That entails providing as much information as possible about the commitment needed, what the volunteers will do, where they can sign up, and so on. This information will help people decide whether they’re willing and able to get involved.

4. Share educational content

Whether you decide on a weekly or monthly newsletter format, educational content should form a crucial part of your newsletter communications. It’s necessary because it helps contextualize the societal issue your nonprofit tackles.

This nonprofit newsletter idea can take many forms. For example, you can educate your readers about your industry. You can also inform donors about how you will use their donations to advance your cause. 

That said, we recommend prioritizing educational content your audience can use to better their lives and the lives of others. Some nonprofit newsletter examples that fit that description include:

  • teaching audiences how to reduce their carbon footprint
  • explaining the factors to consider when adopting an abandoned pet
  • providing first aid tips, and so on

The NRDC’s newsletter below is an excellent example of educational content:

NRDC article on carbon offsets as a partial climate solution

Source

When you provide educational content your audience can apply in their own lives, your readers could come to view your newsletter as a helpful resource.

5. Seasonal reports

Seasonal reports are straightforward updates you give your newsletter readers about your organization’s activities. You can publish these newsletter entries quarterly or annually and use them to market your nonprofit.

These updates may include valuable information about:

  • your organization’s accomplishments during a calendar year
  • how your nonprofit has allocated resources and utilized them
  • plans for the future, and so on.

Brevity is key when delivering seasonal reports, so aim to summarize the key information in a few bullet points. You can include a link to the full report and host it on your website. 

6. Media coverage

Media coverage of your organization’s cause can make excellent content for your next newsletter entry. This type of content shows readers that your organization is growing in prominence and can encourage them to donate more to support said growth.

You can share links to articles that cover your organization, interviews (video and audio) of your organization’s representatives, and more.

The benefit this newsletter idea provides is the reputational boost you get from third parties singing your praises.

Typically, your newsletter content will have messaging that communicates the good your organization is doing in the world to readers. In the case of media coverage newsletter entries, the media outlets do it for you. 

The effects of such glowing reviews are twofold: your donors feel pride knowing their contributions have helped, and a third party justifies their continued patronage.

7. Partnership announcements

If your nonprofit has partnered with communities, companies, or other organizations, tell your readers about the partnership. Partnership announcements–like event announcements and success stories–offer another avenue to show donors the strides your organization is making to reach its goals.

The relevant information you’ll need to cover to keep the content engaging includes:

  • a section spotlighting your new partner
  • the nature of the partnership, and
  • how the partnership will benefit your organization’s cause.

You can also tell your newsletter’s readers to get involved (if possible). For example, if the partnership benefits them, explain how your subscribers can claim the benefit. 

8. Community highlights

Community highlights inform your nonprofit’s newsletter readers about the events going on in their communities. 

These emails are excellent for positioning your nonprofit organization as an entity that gets involved in the communities it operates in. Since they highlight fun events, they help dispel the notion that most of your communications aim to raise money.

Regarding the content of community highlight emails, you can spotlight special events like festivals, market fairs, concerts, and more. It also helps to include pictures of your organization’s representatives attending the events and meeting with the locales. Such images will humanize your organization in the minds of your readers.

9. Relevant news articles 

Not all of your newsletter entries have to be original content. You can also share articles that discuss important news and current events related to your industry. These messages will provide a summary of the event. 

When sharing news articles, the main factor to consider is whether such news affects your organization, readers, or both. You’ll need to share news relevant to your industry and donors and explain why it matters.

Don’t forget to cite and link to reputable news sources when sharing news articles. Spreading misinformation, even unwittingly, could hurt your organization’s reputation and credibility. 

Thus, take the time to cross-reference the article you’d like to share with other existing articles that cover the same news.

10. Call to action

One of the main objectives behind starting a nonprofit newsletter should be to guide your readers into taking specified actions. Thus, you can regularly send them calls to action. Your calls to action will remind your newsletter subscribers about how they can support your nonprofit’s cause. 

Here’s an example:

Help for Heroes volunteer recruitment flyer for August collection event


source

While these emails typically consist of requests for donations and volunteers, they don’t end there. You can also use a call to action to ask your readers to spread the word about your organization. Your readers can use word of mouth and social media to spread the word about your organization and its cause. 

Thus, a call to action can attract new subscribers in addition to attracting more financial support and part-time volunteers.

Nonprofit newsletter examples 

Are you ready to create a newsletter for your organization? The following non-profit newsletter examples can inspire you during the creation process.

A. American Red Cross

American Red Cross Giving Day promotion with child holding a Red Cross cup

Source

This newsletter entry by the American Red Cross is as straightforward as they come. It asks prospective donors to donate money to help a family in need. 

From the email’s contents, you can tell that the Red Cross has solicited donations for its Giving Day initiative in the past. In this latest campaign, the nonprofit set an ambitious target of helping 20,000 needy families.

The main factor that makes this newsletter entry effective is how the Red Cross supplies the numbers needed to help its cause. For example, it mentions that “$88.50 can provide 1 family with a day’s worth of food plus blankets.” Breaking down the numbers this way tells potential donors where their money will go and provides an idea of what they can donate.

B. Habitat for Humanity

Habitat LA Builders Ball 2023 announcement with honorees and event details

Source 

Habitat for Humanity’s newsletter entry (pictured above) is the perfect example of a volunteer spotlight email. The organization hosts an annual event called the Builders Ball. This ball honors donors and partners who support its cause (to provide decent housing for poor communities).

In the 2023 edition of the Builder’s Ball, Habitat for Humanity honors three people. The organization awards these honorees the titles of Foundation Builder, Dream Builder, and Builder of the Year. 

In doing so, the nonprofit showcases how its donors are helping its cause. As discussed earlier, the messaging has the potential to inspire subscribers who’ve yet to volunteer to get involved.

C. Sierra Club

Sierra Club commentary on WMATA's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2023

Source

This archived newsletter entry by the Sierra Club is an amazing example of a newsletter that tackles current events. In this case, the nonprofit provides commentary on the New York Metro’s proposed budget for 2023.

The writer, Matt Litt, a member of the organization’s Clean Energy and Smart Growth committee, examines how the $4.6 billion allocated to the Metro will be used.

Sierra Club’s newsletter entry is relevant to its subscribers because the budget affects their transportation. Also, as a grassroots environmental organization, a budget that involves an urban environment is right up the organization’s alley.

D. Get Healthy DeSoto Inc.

Get Healthy Newsletter promoting sleep health tips and subscription form

Source

Get Healthy DeSoto regularly sends its newsletter subscribers educational information. In the picture above, the organization references one such newsletter entry in a blog post on its website.

The newsletter entry tackles good sleep habits and offers suggestions for readers who have trouble sleeping on how to alleviate the problem. Considering that not all the organization’s readers have insomnia, Get Healthy DeSoto likely employed email segmentation before sending the email. 

Get Healthy DeSoto’s newsletter subscribers who face difficulty sleeping will no doubt find the content educational and helpful. 

E. New York Public Library

New York Public Library Tech Fair 2022 flyer with date and event details

Source

The above newsletter entry by the New York Public Library is your quintessential event announcement email. It promoted the nonprofit’s first Tech Fair and asked subscribers to participate.

In addition to the standard information (date, time, venue, etc.), the New York Public Library also included a QR code. Newsletter subscribers who were interested in attending could use it to purchase tickets to the event. 

In closing

You’ll have plenty of content ideas to create a fun newsletter for your nonprofit organization. 

You can share success stories, announce upcoming events, spotlight volunteers, and share educational content. Other content ideas include seasonal reports, partnership announcements, media coverage, community highlights, and news articles. 

In between all those suggestions, sending calls to action will ensure you get volunteers and donations.

Whichever ideas you choose to pursue, the example newsletters we’ve highlighted should offer all the inspiration you need.


Nael Chhaytli
Nael Chhaytli
Nael Chhaytli is a Digital Marketing Expert and a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at GetResponse with a diverse background in marketing specializations. He has used his expertise to drive success and growth for businesses in the service, SaaS, and e-commerce sectors.
Share