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Why a newsletter?

  • Blogging, newsletters, vlogging, online marketing, hashtags, tweeting, snapchatting....connecting with people these days seems to have developed a language of its own. As a small charity it’s easy to feel drowned by the very idea of trying to market your cause, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you need a degree in social media to even start.

    As a small organisation with a small team, but with a big heart and even bigger aspirations for our work in our community, we decided to launch a newsletter.

    Why? As a small community group in Manchester passionate about our role, we had over the years built up a core of supporters. We felt a duty to let them know their support was valid and contributed to our ongoing work which continued to be rewarding. It was the simplest way to reach out to our baseline supporters and also, an opportunity for supporters to choose us! Offering individuals and companies to be added to our mailing list means that you give them the choice to find out more and the peace of mind that they are already interested in what you do. And those then receiving your newsletter are more likely to pass it on to like minded people.

    Since our first newsletter, we have been offered to write guest blogs, approached by local media and increased traffic to our website. So it does work! Here is what to do next.

    How to start your newsletter

    • Do you know that clipboard of email addresses you collect when you’re networking or holding events? Yes that one that may be a bit dog eared or crying out to be added onto your email account. It starts with that. The people that have given their email addresses are already interested in what you are doing.  So dust it off, switch on your computer and create a list
    • Write. Sounds simple right? The problem is in our brains, maybe we think we’re not great writers or we feel that we don’t have what it takes to engage our audience. Start with a list of what your charity has done in the last month/quarter
    • List what you have planned for the next month/quarter
    • Embellish the lists with your motivations/feelings around your activities. Are you particularly proud of a project/achievement? Did an experience move you emotionally? Are you passionate about any particular aspect? Tell your audience!
    • Acknowledge your supporters. Thank them for their contributions. There’s nothing like feeling valued.
    • Call to action: What is going on in your organisation which needs the further support of your followers? Maybe a fundraising campaign or a callout for volunteers
    • Trust yourself; your work is valid and authentic: get that across in your newsletters and you will connect with the right people

    As an exercise itself, writing the newsletter is a useful reflective tool and confidence booster. It’s often amazing to actually write down all the great stuff you have done and are yet planning to do to re-affirm your own dedication to your cause.

    Be positive. When you start, great things happen. Remember if you don’t tell people they won’t know. Be heard! Start today.

     

    Aisha Malik is a medical doctor and co-founder of Capoeira Conviver Community Group and Manchester Capoeira Academy. The group has been offering Brazilian Dance-Martial Arts classes in inner city Manchester since 2007, and has gone strength to strength opening a new space this year and being featured on That's Manchester TV. Capoeira Conviver continues to hold classes and provide outreach work, promoting health, well being, fitness and embracing diversity throughout the arts.

     

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