Write a Great Newsletter in 5-4-3-2-1!

5 - Include 5 things in every letter:

  • Specific date (e.g., January 29, 2011)
  • The Navigator logo (Available on NavCentral. Since it’s a registered trademark, please do not alter.)
  • Personal salutation (e.g., Dear friends, or Dear John and Sue,)
  • Contact information (including your first and last name)
  • Handwritten signature on each letter in blue ink, so it stands out

4 - Mail at least 4 paper newsletters per year as part of your overall donor communication and ministry plan. (Use Facebook, email, texting, Twitter, etc. to supplement traditional communication.)

3 - Remember the 3 people involved in the support process: God, you, and your ministry partner.

Donor cycle:

  • You asked; I gave; you told me what God did; I gave again.
  • You asked; I gave; you never reported; I stopped giving.
  • You asked; I didn’t/couldn’t give; you told me what God did; I gave later.

2 - Make your newsletter readable in 2 ways:

  • Content—focus on an interesting story about what God is doing in the ministry.
  • Mechanics—write well. 

1 - The power of 1:

  • 1 page
  • 1 good topic
  • 1 great opener
    • An interesting quote – “I felt like I was talking to someone who had risen from the dead,” Jean said after we left the hospital room.
    • An intriguing fact – In Russia, “flagging” a car can be a convenient and inexpensive form of transportation.
    • The action point of a story you tell in the newsletter – I didn’t know it would have this much impact.  How could under-standing the Latin root of the word “obedient” change everything?
    • A startling or “tickler” statement – Thirty-three pizza boxes, bones from 14 slabs of ribs, and 20 two-liter bottles.  I often wonder what the garbage collector thinks when he comes to our house.
    • A question – How do you reach neighborhood youth?
  • 1 ministry story
  • 1 good photo and caption
    • Show your subject’s personality through some sort of action.
    • Capture the eyes.
    • Crop excess background.
    • Avoid group shots.
    • Avoid the obvious in captions.
  • 1st-person writing
  • 1st-class postage stamp

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