Nonprofit Radio for Dec. 17, 2010: Enviable eNewsletters & Bank of America High Net Worth Study


There were big technical problems on Friday, Dec. 17th, which kept the show from streaming. We recorded it, but it didn’t go out. So, the High Net Worth Study and Enviable Newsletters show will be streamed on New Year’s Eve, 12/31, during the regular show time. Also, we’re finally approved on iTunes, so this and other episodes will also be there for you to download and listen to after the broadcasts.

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

Compliance. Board relations. Fundraising. Technology. Volunteer management. Accounting. Finance. Marketing. Social media. Investments.

Every nonprofit faces these issues and big nonprofits have experts in each. Small and medium size nonprofits have Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts throughout the country join Tony to take on the tough issues facing your organization.

Episode 20 of Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio for December 17, 2010

Tony’s Guests:
Scott Koegler, editor, Nonprofit Technology News.

Scott is our regular tech contributor.

Enviable eNewsletters: How to create the strongest eNewsletters that move your donors & volunteers to action.

Claire Costello, the National Foundation Executive for Philanthropic Management at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Bank of America High Net Worth Study: What’s in the numbers and what do they mean for you?

You can download the study here: 2010 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy and on the show’s media page.

Here is the link to the podcast: 022: High Net Worth Study & 7 Principles for a Successful Newsletter

When and where: Talking Alternative Radio, Friday, 1-2pm Eastern.

You can subscribe on iTunes and listen anytime, anyplace on the device of your choosing.

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Durney welcome to the show on the aptly named host of tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent, i’m back. I’m live back from bangladesh, sri lanka and thailand where was for the past two weeks? And during those weeks we had interviews from the national conference on philanthropic planning on the show this week, the bank of america, hi networth study claire costello, bank of america merrill lynch’s study expert is going to talk about the numbers in the high net worth study and what they mean for your fund-raising and donor relationships, who makes the giving decisions? What motivates high net worth donors to give? What do they expect from you after they give? And why do they sometimes stop giving to non-profits we’re going to talk about all of that with claire costello and then seven principles for a successful newsletter. Scott koegler, the editor of non-profit technology news and the shows technology contributor, joined me, joins me, scott and it’s a lot of newsletters. He’s not a one tech pony, if you will if you allow that pun, he has suggestions specifically seven principles for newsletter success in your communications that he’s going to share with us? There isn’t gonna be any tony’s. Take two this week. We need the time for the guests. So tt two returns next week on our christmas eve show, and after this break, the high net worth study, which is that interview recorded on site at buttercup bake shop, right down the street on west seventy second street here in new york. Stay with us after this break. Co-branding think dick tooting. Good ending. You’re listening to the talking alternate network to get you thinking. Nothing. Is your marriage in trouble? Are you considering divorce? Hello, i’m lawrence bloom, a family law attorney in new york and new jersey. No one is happier than the day their divorce is final. My firm can help you. We take the nasty out of the divorce process and make people happy. Police call a set two one two nine six, four, three five zero two for a free consultation. That’s lawrence h bloom, too. One, two, nine, six, four, three, five zero two. We make people happy. Are you suffering from aches and pains? Has traditional medicine let you down? Are you tired of taking toxic medications, then come to the double diamond wellness center and learn how our natural methods can help you to hell? Call us now at to one to seven to one eight, one eight three that’s to one to seven to one eight one eight three or find us on the web at www dot double diamond wellness dot com way. Look forward to serving you. Hey, all you crazy listeners looking to boost your business? Why not advertise on talking alternative with very reasonable rates? Interested simply email at info at talking alternative dot com welcome back. I’m with claire costello now, and she is bank of america merrill lynch’s expert on their high net worth study. Claire is the national foundation executive for philanthropic management at bank of america merrill lynch, and there she is responsible for providing thought leadership and identifying best practices for films, tropic families and non-profit institutions. And i’m glad that her practice and banks study brings her to the show tonight. Claire, welcome. Thank you very much. Happy to be here. We’re on site, not in the studio. As you can tell by the sound of the recording. Claire, what is the the history of the bank’s study? Why do they what do they do this? Jai networks? Well, the bank considers it a very important part of i thought. Leadership for the sector behaviours in-kind worth individuals around giving over important because worth individuals are responsible for upwards of two thirds of all individual e-giving and as much as half of all giving, including corporate donations on other private donations. So it’s a very important segment of our e-giving population. A very influential segment. And it’s critical to understand. Thinking how they behaved and how they manifest e-giving behaviors miree e-giving season so this is the third iteration of the study it’s, a biannual study we partner with the center on flandez beat indiana university, which is a well regarded academic think tank around all things e-giving and we’re proud to have them as our research partner, so together with them, as i said, this is the third one, the first beginning in two thousand five, i’m looking into not only behaviors, but also that psychographic someone it’s, unlike e-giving usa, which is often compared to which looks quite importantly at the general populace, should not find it worth it at their demographic behavior, you know where they give how much they give. We delve into that as well as the cycle with the cycle graphics, meaning you know what their motivations are, what they’re thinking is around their particular gifts and behavior. So with that we’ve launched just now the two thousand ten study, which looks both at some of the long term training information, that bastard course of study and some new areas of inquiry that we’ve just been curious about thickly timely, of course, as always, we could ask so many more questions, but we don’t have time for a little study down every year, painfully to exclude some very interesting enquiries, but that would just simply don’t have time or money to enquire about. It would take any respondent hours to go into all the questions if we had our brothers, how many questions are there in this? I know the question count. I can’t recall what it was twelve pages of questions, okay, and what’s the methodology. How do you select the people that it’s sent to it’s actually the largest random study of its kind way? Do not pull our clients contrary to many other studies. Mrs of line study, conducted again by indian university on our behalf buy-in all nine digit zip codes, the attempt with great success too dahna you get into a rather insular segment of our of our society, that is to say behind it worth communities, and they do so with the response to this year study was five point six percent, which i’m which is up from last year, last of these four point three percent, so an increase in response rate, i am told by statisticians far and wide, that five point six well, a low number to a lay person has actually been running impressive response cerini particularly again, as i said, among his reverence, who are sick and how many people is the study center we mailed twenty thousand wait received in excess of a thousand responses back, some of which were eliminated to do too either offgrid dahna buy-in complete responses, our wealth, qualification levels, etcetera. And so i think the final count somewhere in excess of eight hundred between eight hundred nine, okay? And the centre at indiana university believes that this is all statistically valid, certainly in terms of confidence levels, it said absolutely, and where it’s not statistically significant, but where it was the loss of interest, even anecdotally, that is all indicated in the report. So anything reported here is appropriately labeled us it’s significant forces with meaning being on the data set well, let’s dive into the substance of her report. I know you’ve talked about this and a lot of different places. What are the highlights that you like to share with the audience? Keeping in mind our audience is small and midsize non-profits well, i think by large, despite the declines e-giving levels, that is to say there was a precipitous drop in average amount given by this kind of worth set of respondents to the tune of about thirty four, thirty five percent. So so, you know scharpnick line, however, think what there are several data points within the state that mitigate against that number. And i think taken as a constellation of data points really are quite heartening for non-profits and in particular, i’m referring to the fact that despite the drop in actual dollars, that respondent didn’t did demonstrated steadfastness and a deep sense of loyalty to the organizations they funded that we care this is seen in the fact that they did not stop giving to anymore organizations, and they have stopped giving to a previous study again, steady that they increased their volunteerism significantly, both in terms of the number of people volunteering and a number of hours that they volunteered, they report wanting the same things from their organizations in other words, they haven’t really yeah change course dramatically in turn, there’s, some jiggering off of what they’re seeking and why they choose a particular order organization but that’s really quite financially driven and not a material change, really. From previous years. So there are a lot of indications that forget it, that that they understand that given this counter cyclical and the first to meet the need, they’ve just done so with fewer dollars. But with no, no, no less bigger and dedication party talking alternative radio. Twenty four hours a day. Oppcoll are you feeling overwhelmed in the current chaos of our changing times? A deeper understanding of authentic astrology can uncover solutions in every area of life. After all, metaphysics is just quantum physics, politically expressed hi and montgomery taylor and i offer lectures, seminars and private consultations. For more information, contact me at monte m o nt y at r l j media. Dot com are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level, and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. I will help you get to the root cause of your abundance issues and help move you forward in your life. Call me now and let’s. Create the future you dream of. Two, one, two, seven, two, one, eight, one, eight, three, that’s to one to seven to one, eight one eight three. The conscious consultant helping conscious people. Be better business people. I really need to take better care of myself. If only i had someone to help me with my lifestyle. I feel like giving up. Is this you mind over matter, health and fitness can help. If you’re expecting an epiphany, chances are it’s not happening. Mind over matter, health and fitness could help you get back on track or start a new life and fitness. Join Joshua margolis, fitness expert at 2 one two eight six five nine to nine xero. Or visit w w w dot mind over matter. Y si dot com. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Well, i guess this claire costello, national foundation executive for a bank of america merrill lynch, and we’re talking about this year’s high net worth survey clear. How about some of the data points that you think your most interesting? Oh, they’re so money, way asked some some new questions this year that we hadn’t asked before one of particular duitz again heartening for your audiences that we asked, as between corporations, large and small government sectors, federal, state, local congress, etcetera on the non profit sector were respondents place the greatest confidence in solving domestic amglobal ills issues, and resoundingly, they placed their faith in the nonprofit sector, and government is quite lows and white low on dh this second behind the province was individuals themselves. So taken again in the aggregate what you with the story that that tells is that individuals together with non-profits they believe in are there they’re solution, teo navigating in the troubled world and so that that was, i think, a great active faith, an endorsement for the non profit sector. Yeah, very encouraging, your right. And in terms of the e-giving decisions, can we talk a little about who’s involved in the family e-giving decision? Sure, let me just say that the the banks are full study is on my blogged mpg devi dot com just go to the post for today’s show december seventeenth, and you’ll find the pdf that you can download, and i think claire and i are about to be talking about the chart on page seventeen called transmitting philanthropic values the role children or younger relatives play in charitable giving. How about that? Clear the family role in deciding where and in what ways to give sametz we saw we’ve seen excuse me continuously through the history of the study that there’s tremendous family involvement on dh we see primarily that high net worth individuals are are themselves transmitted these values of taking taking upon himself, tio educate their children of the next generation, or grandchildren would have you in the values and practices of e-giving so that has been a strong trend in terms of personal hands on teachings around giving we also seem we ask for the first time in this version of the study, about family traditions and and how net worth individuals are engaged family traditions by that i mean, you know what? Another person through e-giving volunteering some kind of holiday custom around e-giving dahna you know, in any discussion, frankly, your year long, depending how they manifest, they’re giving practices and the majority of mind of yours have at least one giving tradition. If not so, that was also, you know, evidence that the value of the practice now the culture of e-giving still very much alive now am i reading this right, though? Because this the figure six on page seventeen shows that about seventy two percent of families don’t involve children or younger relatives there? Is it mostly a couple’s decision? Well, it could be we asked again for the first time in an effort to kind of peer into the black box that is the kind of work household, how e-giving decisions were made in the vast majority, or made collaboratively forty one percent not only discussed with jointly, decide a smaller portion discussed collaboratively, and then one or the other of the couple would decide and there’s various sort of configurations thereafter, but in one form or another, the majority do collaborate, reflection, the numbers your chart that you’re referring to may, in fact be that the average age of the children in this case, old and varied. So some of these respondents responses excuse me, random, based on the demographics of our sample, which itself was random in terms of age of children, who’s involved so that the actual decisions may not have relatives. But the culture and around giving the transmission of that culture is very much alive and collaborative. Okay, what do we know? The average age of the respondents, the average age of the fundez in this study where sixty six years old okay, the majority, fifty one percent were retired. The average income level was between. I think the at the average income was ten point seven million dollars. Though our threshold for entrance to the study there, our definition of wealth was quite low. And we do that on purpose so that we can synch up with the irs studies in there for provider richard cross correlation there isn’t so but but even though we set with the wealth definition relatively low for the purposes of entering to the study again, the average networth proves to be quite high. City is ten points. Okay? And so talking about this collaborative nature e-giving the implication for non-profits is it’s important to involve the family? Certainly the spouse, if, you know, relate the primary relationship might be with the husband or wife, but involved the wife or the husband in your activities and even in your communications because e-giving is a collaborative decision, most definitely, and recent studies put out by the women’s flint against two coincidently also indiana university, not a part of this study, but recent data that i referring you two with biggers talks emphatically about how women are the well formers, in fact, in the respective glamarys very much the growing influence and have been for a long time, but increasingly so and in particular also responsible, more so than the man in the household for nurturing the value set of children. So by all means, if you are fund-raising out there make sure that at a minimum, you’re speaking to the woman in the household and all the better optimally to engage the entire family we’ve seen in this in our study, the time tested correlation between increased engagement with an organization and increase e-giving levels, so the more you could do to involve the family, the better. Off, you’ll be i’m with claire costello, national foundation executive for bank of america merrill lynch. We’re talking about the banks, high net worth study, claire let’s, talk a little about what donors expect from cerini lorts well, actually, before we go to the expectations of what they give of, where they give why they’re giving what some of the donor motivations are forgiving, the primary reason remains an altruistic on, which is that respondents indicated that they give at the rate of about seventy two percent in order to make a difference. And where do we go taxes for in this ranking of motivations, taxes are very much at the bottom, and they have been here a long time it’s very much a misconception that taxes dr e-giving they certainly our primary influencer and how you organize your giving? That is to say, whether you pick of foundation dahna advise fun or any other structures vehicle forgiving because the tax implications varied and very important infrastructure in your wealth and your e-giving that said it’s often been said that e-giving excusing the taxes will get you in the door, but they won’t keep you in the room that you need much more of a connection to stains that same e-giving and that’s been true. That said, this study was the first time in which we saw heightened sensitivity to any forecast changes in the tax. Yeah, there were questions about what might happen so it’s interesting to compare the actual motivations that donors claim taxes fall low, but in your questions about state tax, possible changes or elimination of charitable deductions, what were the results there again, we saw much more tenderness around those issues than we’ve ever seen in the past. You know, i’d like to think broadly that it’s not because of what the tax policy ultimately proves to be, but the uncertainty created by the chatter in washington that continues to this day on the overarching financial straits the country’s in so if you look at the the factors that influence e-giving three of the top four that were in place in our last study remain in the top four, with the exception of one which is feeling financially secure that moved up from the fifth slot to the second slideshare study so much time if you tie that exactly if you tie in that need. For financial security with tax question again, i think it all wraps around the fact that there’s uncertainty and then in certain certainly inform e-giving as well a cz many other things in our daily lives, so i don’t know we won’t know until the next study or until, in fact, the tech krauz has changed to look back and see whether it’s a causal relationship there, but it’s no surprise that they saw a heightened sensitivity around the tax questions both respected the income tax deduction in the state, tax elimination because they were very much up in the air and remain so as they said, today’s durney so let’s move to the to the expectations then donors have from the non-profits e-giving to what there’s a lot of sensitivity in the current environment around accountability, transparency, proper, proper practices and i think that’s reflected in your service. Yeah, again, i think the expectation of non-profits falling too broad categories good governance and personal attention and under the good governance spanner they donors are looking for demonstration of sound business and operational practices first and foremost. Secondly, that appropriate mount is spent on overhead and other administrative costs that’s a very big issue had had a measure what’s appropriate to put into program versus administration recognition that some charities do very on site work in very much on site work in foreign countries are going to have high overhead. Oh, sure, classic examples that is man most against drunk driving fremery cost, at least early on, was mailing costs, so it shows up on the straight and narrow, but is actually part of their mission in any way. So so just one example about how metoo keenan discerning eye behind those numbers because they are not meaningful in and of themselves, they need to be put in the proper context, but certainly and then also under the banner of good government, they want transparency and full financial disclosure. So another important thing to keep in mind as you publicize your annual reports and otherwise with your constituents under the banner of personal attention, donors are looking for their contributions to be acknowledged in a timely fashion, including receipts for any gifts, in-kind or monetary. Do we have some evidence that that receipts proper acknowledgment is not being made? I don’t know, except that they asked for it at the rate of eighty five percent. So we can’t draw any implication there that it’s not being done, maybe it is being done well and they appreciate it. Therefore they wanted to continue, so no, they don’t want their personal information distributed. They do want you to honor and anonymity where it’s requested, and they want request that the donors made for the use of the gift so pretty straight forward requirements. But they do want to make sure you’re on your toes dotting your i’s, crossing your teeth on all of those areas do you know if they were dahna survey questions that listed sameh areas of expectation that did not rank among the ones you just mentioned? In other words, are you familiar with questions that were actually asked him where their members to marry is that good? I’m just worried warrant too important to the donors? Yeah, i think you know, the smallest ranking came in it about five percent, and that was to offer involving with the organization, which is interesting when you look at the increase in the volunteerism i get, says it’s, volunteers are self starters that they will go ahead and forging your opportunity. Don’t need jared, although i would not take that indication percent residents truck non-profits not hyre don’t engage way see in other areas that personal engagement is very important and we’ll see if there is another dahna chart a data point that says emphatically they choose organizations based on their knowledge, their personal knowledge and insight, and engaging with an organization. So this may just be and in terms of what they actually expect a new organization to do, as opposed to what’s important to them. When when deciding mission so it’s a slightly different question, it might be nuance in that regard. There are other, more important things apparently, like sending a thank you note, like providing information about the organization effect all of those at about forty fifty percent, they all hover in the same department around what they expect. They certainly want communication around impact on effectiveness, and they all kind of resonate in around the same communication that is transparent that conveys thie progress made by the nonprofit organization toward accomplishment of their mission. That’s critical, the outcome, outcomes, outcome, communications, right wherever possible, how the gift of the donor roland and then also in that first section you talked about good governance, a lot of implications there for board members for development, proper board procedures around around accountability, financial issues, transparency, whistle blower. I mean, all these types of policies that air that are now becoming critical for non-profits to maintain that have been for a long time on the for-profit science? Yes, where’s that logical to go next after after looking at what well, i mean don’t expect is why they stopped getting to an organization. As i said, they stopped giving congested earlier, okay, stop giving any more organizations and they have stopped seven this is a pot no, showing that again they stood by, albeit with fewer dollars. They stood by organizations that they care about support. So number one up from about forty two percent last year to fifty last study to fifty eight point nine almost fifty nine percent this time around is that the donor was frequented fixes we solicited to frequently or inappropriate amounts. Wait, we don’t know whether that was in fact, done given needs the height needs of non-profits in a shrinking economy, our weather, the donor’s themselves also feeling financially constrain or perhaps more sensitive. To the asks, but at any rate it came up on the richter scale quite loud that they stop giving to our positions was too frequent or inappropriate solicitations, meaning amount and have it i’m sorry, tell us again, how did that compare to the survey? Two years ago, it went up from forty two percent to almost fifty nine percent. Thank you, and the second was that they decided to support other causes a tte the rate of about thirty four percent. This drops from fifty one on the last day third on the list is to where they stopped giving wass that their household circumstances change, and the reason that significant is because encompassed within that choice is losing your job using one of her house will incomes and the fact that that was not more oven influencing factor as to why folk stuff e-giving i think is an indication again that despite those circumstances within the household, that people stood by the organizations that they cared about in-kind i’m looking at page sixty five b after again the pdf is on my block and mpg a dvd dot com distorted post for today’s show on page sixty. Five figure, fifty. I see that three of of the reasons that high net worth household stop supporting organizations are within the organization’s control you mentioned to frequent solicitation or ask for the wrong amount. I also see organization changed leadership or activities on dh down the bottom. That still ten percent inaccurate recordkeeping. So three of these factors are well within the organization’s control. Absolutely. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. This is tony martignetti aptly named host of tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent technology fund-raising compliance social media, small and medium non-profits have needs in all these areas. My guests are expert in all these areas and mohr tony martignetti non-profit radio fridays one to two eastern on talking alternative broadcasting do you want to enhance your company’s web presence with an eye catching and unique website design? Would you like to incorporate professional video marketing mobile marketing into your organization’s marketing campaign? Mission one on one media offers a unique marketing experience that will set you apart from your competitors, magnify your brand exposure and enhance your current marketing efforts. Their services include video production and editing, web design, graphic design photography, social media management and now introducing mobile marketing. Their motto is. We do whatever it takes to make our clients happy contact them today. Admission one one media dot com hey, all you crazy listeners looking to boost your business, why not advertise on talking alternative with very reasonable rates? Interested simply email at info at talking alternative dot com durney let’s talk about it, the people who help donors make their giving decisions, people outside the family unprofessional professional advisors can you talk to that? The chart on page seventy one little bit? Sure, what we’re seeing in this study is compared to the last two, frankly, is continued trend away from thie advice of non-profit organizations staff in an across the board advisory capacity, so we’re seeing a trend, therefore, tours the consultation with traditional financial advisors like accountants, lawyers on and well structures wait, take this to be one of many data points in the study that together tell the story of a more sophisticated donor with more use e-giving vehicles we saw that e-giving peoples was the largest subset your recipient of dollars this year, up about twenty one percent over last year. So clearly donors are becoming more structured, more conservative about they’re giving. And so obviously when you’re when you’re doing that, you need financial advisors and well structures and tax accountants and lawyers to help you do that. That said, it is not that they don’t value the advice non-profits but they do so more in the context of mission formation and establishing a purpose for their e-giving and helping them two guys, the substance less so the form e-giving so we do see still an important role for non-profit letters buy-in and staff and advising purpose of the mission. Ilsen i see something interesting on this chart on page seventy one that piers or pure networks are actually more important to the donor buy-in in terms of mission, definition and creation, then are the non-profit person? Yeah, i mean it that’s not if you think, through just a social circle an actual tendencies in collaboration donors, particularly perhaps in this in this financial of society, and also non-profits are purposely and respectfully biased, and they, you know, they represented organizations they represent. So i think donors may understand that they may seek a sort of a broader network of piers and others, you are engaged with organizations to balance out those opinions. I mean, they do not differ by that much, i think no hyre non-profit personnel are consulted in this regard, about thirty seven percent, right and peers at about forty forty so it’s right close. But, you know, i think one should not underestimate the influence of pierre, so if you have in your constituents face someone who was connected, someone who has powerful, you’re network or roll index, you know any way that you could engage that person, a cz your advocate would put you in good stead, given the influence of pierce on this and non-profits are routinely encouraged to used boardmember zoho our donors to reach out to their own peered networks, and the evidence here is just that it doesn’t stop with bringing people in, but also throughout stewardship and cultivation process and gift closing process, his peers to be really valuable, absolutely again, that goes back to the volunteering statistics, personal engagement statistics and all of that kind of folds in on itself to say offgrid enlist in an effective way and invoke away some key donors. You will probably do yourself be more efficient way to attract more donors that counts buy-in fired-up kapin i see one thing a little disturbing is that non-profit personnel are providing about four percent, three point nine percent, to be exact of the tax and legal advice as a consultant, i’d rather that should said xero point xero hopefully that advice is not really substantive in detail well, we don’t know the nature of that device in particular, but i would imagine it is that’s. A fairly low percentage could be in the context of don’t advise. Fundez yeah, is this the simple differences in tax benefits between dahna advised funds and foundation, with fairly straightforward fact of him code. Our tax follow-up so again, dahna i don’t know what the precise nature point. We’re just in the remaining seconds. We have left anything you want to of closing conclusion with for the audience, um, only that it’s a very rich study and run seventy five pages long, and you can sort of a line that data and an infinite ways to tell many many different stories encourage your audience to have a look and feel free, of course, but any questions you may have, and we hope that it provides some assistance to you in your day to day work and know that hyre we as an institution or behind your work, this piece of leadership helps support you in doing so. Apparently, our donor is r two when they place an enormous amount of faith in your ability to do your job well and accomplish your mission. So thank you all of you for doing what you do every day. My guest has been claire costello, national foundation executive for films, opic management at bank of america merrill lynch and a reminder that you can download the full report for seventy five pages on my block and mpg geever dot com stay with us after the break, we’ll have scott koegler talking. About the value of e news letters to your organization. Stay with us. That was my pre recorded interview with claire costello on the bank of america hi networth study. You might have mention heard the background noise. I’m sure you did, just as i said earlier, that was pre recorded at our satellite studio in the buttercup big shop on west seventy second street because there was a little snafu here at the studio, but the show goes on and used my iphone actually to record that interview with claire, and i’m very pleased now to bring back a frequent visitor to the show. Scott koegler scott is the editor at non-profit technology news he’s, the show’s technology contributor, and he and its many newsletters he is not a one tech pony if you will allow that he’s here to talk about your communications and your newsletters and to share his seven principles for a successful newsletter. Scott, welcome back to the show. Well, thanks a lot, tony. Appreciate it. One of my favorite subjects, of course. And, uh, just i might just do a little bit of full disclosure here. Producing newsletters for organizations is my business, so i expected the things that i’m talking about today will be valuable to folks, and if they’re interested in knowing more, i’ll leave them to my site that said let’s, go what is the ok, what is the value of a newsletter just in case non-profit listening needs motivation? Why should they spend the time that it does take to produce a newsletter? It’s real simple, it’s, it’s communication non-profits pretty much like any organization need to communicate to their constituents, to their members, to the people that they’re serving and it’s in these days of kind of distributed environments, it’s pretty unlikely that everybody involved is going to actually meet at the same place at the same time. So, you know, there have been, uh, phone trees and and conference calls and those kind of things, and there have been paper newsletters for decades. Generation’s probably the new way of doing this is online or email newsletters, and so to answer your question, why do they need it? They needed to communicate so there the people that they’re serving and that they’re that they’re requesting help from no what’s going on and your seven principles, which we’ll get to. You very shortly applied toe to e newsletters as well as print they do. They’re they’re really for for news letters in general, but most of the work that i do is and is in online. Uh, some some small portion of the newsletters that i produced online actually do show up a cz as print, but that’s kind of a by product, okay? And your e book is seven principles for a successful newsletter. Why don’t you run down what the seven principles are? And then we’ll have timeto talk in detail about a few of them. Sure, let’s, just start at the top, and i think this is aside from being the first one, it’s also the most important one, and that is no and grow your audience, you need to be able to speak to the people that you’re talking to and in terms of things that they want to know, so you need to know who they are. The second one is to focus on the purpose, and that is be sure that the newsletters that you send out are actually talking about the things that that have to do with their constituents with your readership. The message points be clear about the things that you’re talking about. If you’re talking about a particular subject, stay on topic don’t wander all over the place. That’s really more of a general editorial, kind of a message there. Um, consistent content kind of goes along with message points. It really is e-giving quality information. Whatever it is, however you need to produce that. Make sure that it’s good that it’s uh, if it’s audio sure it’s good audio video make sure it’s good video if it’s text you know, be sure that you get the right people to write it. And that it’s been edited a call to action number five ask ask your people to do whatever it is that you are intending for them to do. If you have constituencies that you’re looking for donations, we clear about that? Ask them, um, number six consistent delivery and that really has to do is just producing your con your newsletters on time at the same frequency rate all the time. Don’t start out saying you do it. Going to do a weekend equally newsletter and do too, and then don’t produce one for another six months on. The seventh one is has to do more with the users, and that is a user. Options provide options. Some people like to get, uh, text rather than html in their email and as your email lists growed there’s the topic called segmentation, where you send one version of your newsletter to one group and another two another duitz so those are the seven principles in a real quick rundown, you said knowing your audience is probably the primary, what do non-profits need to know what information do they need to know about their audience before they can produce on effective newsletter using the other six principles non-profits air in a kind of a different position in that if they have people that have signed up as members or have signed up to receive their newsletter, you have a pretty good indication that they already are interested in the kind of things that that non-profit is is doing so you have a little lead on the set up there, so just be sure that the things that you’re talking about are are pertinent to those folks, and then the of the second part of that is grow your audience so you want to be sure that the people that you’re talking to i have the ability to forward your email, to ask their friends and associates to also sign up for your newsletters and just, in other words, spread it. This is a fight, hopefully a viral kind of an approach to spreading your word. Scott. We have just about a minute before ah break should non-profits on lee send to people who have opted in absolutely, absolutely otherwise is called spam, okay, so so the non-profit needs to have a process for having people opt in, expressed their preference to receive this newsletter. Exactly right, exactly. Okay, we’re going to take a break. My guest is scott koegler he’s, our regular tech contributor, but today we’re talking about his e book. Seven principles for a successful newsletter would take a break. Please stay with us. Talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. Are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level, and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. I will help you get to the root cause of your abundance issues and help move you forward in your life. Call me now and let’s. Create the future you dream of. 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Scott, just following up on what we touched on the break right before the break, this methodology for opting in what’s your recommendation for how non-profits should set that up so that people can do so uh, the most straightforward ways to put a link on the website that so sign up for our newsletter that’s a pretty standard thing, and it’s, a byproduct of the mailing list service that, uh, i’m guessing any of the non-profits that already have newsletters are using it’s, not it’s something it can be set up just my way of saying where to get more information on this. If you go to your company newsletter dot com uh, the westerns khun sign up for this book that i’m talking about, a lot of what we’re talking about is in there, um, there’s, another option for requesting your constituents to sign up for the newsletter, and that is that if you have meetings, if you have actual physical gatherings, you can have a sheet that has people give their email address and, you know, check a mark that says i want to sign up if you do any any connective ity with your with your constituents by email, it’s just notices and updates. You can ask them in those emails to sign up and provide them a link to go sign up, and those are probably the best way of doing it. Ok? And also, if you’re sending direct mail that’s, not a newsletter, but if you’re sending solicitations or some other piece of direct mail it’s very common to have a reply piece and one of the checkoffs on that reply, peace could be include me on your your newsletter or your e newsletter list, right? And actually, this time of year, i know that non-profits will be something out there statements for the end of year latto contributions, so this will be a perfect time to add a separate little sheet in the envelope says you know, whatever it is, sign up for our newsletter, go to this site on on the on a website or just give us your email address on this one. You mail it back to us, your next couple of purpose is that next to focus on the purpose and the on message maybe we could talk about those together. You have them as separate. What do you ah out encouraging non-profits to do around those two. Those two principles? Well, yeah, they are. They’re tightly related if you have whatever your topic is for your non-profit focus on that focus on the purpose and in fact, and miners letters when i send them out, i used is a very abbreviated format. I only send about two to three articles in my newsletters, and they’re very focused on one specific issue. So i mean, you mean all the all the articles are on one one on one subject? Exactly. Okay, now, that doesn’t have to be the same all the time. But be sure that if your if your title of your newsletter talks about e-giving for the year, be sure that you have at least two or three of the articles in there talking about giving and what what what’s come from that what you’ve accomplished e-giving what’s your recommendation for the length of these articles. Um, typically i go for anywhere from three to five hundred words short articles. I think everybody is pressed for time anymore and a lot of us have very short attention spans. So five hundred words is about the limits and maybe six or seven if it’s something that really needs to be covered. That’s outside. Yeah, that should be the exception. The six, six hundred or more. It sounds like. And what about the use of photographs? Oh, yeah. Tony photographs. In addition, teo video and audio. You make a lot of use of those kind of content piece it’s. So easy to get video anymore. Everybody has a a digital video camera or just telephone line up with with a video cam in it. Uh, photographs are great. I used photographs, especially as intro pieces for the for the articles. So there’s kind of a thumbnail image at the lead of every article, just to give it the full context and a little something to look at. And that video doesn’t have to be high quality. Like you said, people have cell phone videos, right? Sometimes the the low production value video can be most interesting. It is, and it has it has more to do with context. So if you have something it’s pertinent to your recipients, foul means used that. I tell you, one secret to this is audio is really the most important part of a video, so if you could get good audio, uh, you got ninety percent of the maid and the video kind of people will follow along, and i’m thinking even outlet’s major news outlets like cnn, they’ll they’ll broadcast cellphone quality video because it’s me, it’s, it’s breaking news. Yeah, exactly. So that it has more to do with content and what people can see than anything else. And on the photos. Do you recommend the use of stock photos? Are they okay? Stock photos are great. They they are, you know, by nature generic. So if they illustrate the point properly, then that’s. Fine. Uh, if you have photos of events and, you know some of your members, whatever it is that the projects that you’re doing, those are much better because they actually give your recipients some connection to the project. And we’re bleeding over into the next of your principles, which is quality content. Anything else that you want to say about that we’ve already already gotten into it? A little bit. You know, the old saying content is king it’s. If you don’t have something that’s worth reading, people will figure that out pretty quickly, so just make sure it’s good and one of the things that i get called on quite a bit for is help with creating content, not organizations have writers now that’ll organizations most organizations don’t have time to create content, so they call on us to create that for them, and i then neither do some writing myself or i call on freelancers that i know that turn a whole variety of different specialties, and we go through an editorial process to make sure that the content suits the medium, talks about the message and is of the highest quality i’m talking to. Scott koegler he’s, the author of the e book seven principles for a successful newsletter and of course, these are regular tech contributor, but today we’re talking about his role as a newsletter editor in lots of realms, not just for non-profit technology news scott, it sounds to me like if an organization thinks they may not be ableto spend the time to develop content every other week, or even every month they shouldn’t commit to a weekly or a monthly newsletter. Maybe they should maybe for them, quarterly is sufficient or every other month. Yeah, absolutely. There are. The frequency rate is is really up to the organization. And whatever it is that you that you described to say that it’s monthly be sure that you could make that commitment. I always suggest that people, especially for doing it themselves, commit to a longer period in between. So maybe it’s every two months, maybe its quarterly. Of course, if they’re contracting for services on dh, they’re using, you know, service like myself. Then, you know, just tell us what to do, and we will meet those deadlines. So it really depends on what kind of capabilities you haven’t house and what kind of commitments were able to make. Scott, we have just a couple of minutes left. I would like to try to get to all seven of your principles. The next one is a call to action, i think that’s self explanatory. But is there more more detail than just that phrase you wantto give the audience? It is very self explanatory and certainly there’s all kinds of nuances to it. But whatever you send out a communication to constituents to your subscribers, whatever the audience might be, you have some reason for doing that. Aside from just saying, hey, we’re still here if it is just saying, hey, we’re still here them hey, we’re still here. What? This is what we’re doing and this is what we would like you to do if it’s a special time of year it’s a, uh, call for contributions, be sure that you say that and say it in the level of detail and honesty, the way that you’re normally custom with communicating with your constituents, it could be now please go ahead. Teo, i’m sorry. I mean, this is your forum, this is your people that are receiving the email have said they want to receive it from you, so i’m not saying take advantage of that as in, you know, go overboard but don’t let their expectations down. They want to know what you’re what you’re doing, what you want and it could be instead of solicitations, which is a very worthy purpose, but it might be request for volunteerism could be a simple is like us on our facebook fan page wei have just about a minute left deliver on time is that is self explanatory. Is it? Sounds. Yeah, i think we just talked about that. You know, consistent delivery. Whatever you commit to deliver and your last one. Those user options. Yeah. Uh, the basics are let users subscribe unit, html or text options. But beyond that, in a larger agency where you’ve got large donors, moderate donors and volunteers, you may want to actually segment your list and send out different versions of your newsletter to those different segments of participants. And we have had previous shows that talking about email segmentation. And specifically that was the show with maria simple, the prospect finder talking about research and how that research can contribute to really valuable segmentation on. And also there was a show with tim kenan, who is the principal of mcvicar and higginbotham that’s, a print and direct mail shop. And he also talked about email segmentation. So just to follow up on your point, scott, to wrap up why don’t you remind people again how they can get your e book? Where should they go? Yeah. Thank you, tony. I say go to your your company newsletter dot com it’s all one word your company newsletter dot com pretty self explanatory just sign up there. I will send you a confirmation. I will send you the e book and you’ll get my about every two to three weeks. My newsletter you can feel free to unsubscribes anytime i won’t inundate you. And, um, if i can help that’s great. Hopefully the book and the content on the newsletter will help you. D’oh. Scott, thanks for again for being on the show again. Thank you, tony. My guest has been scott koegler, the editor of non-profit technology news and lots of other news letters, and that was seven principles for a successful newsletter want thanks, scott and also claire costello from bank of america merrill lynch. We talked about the bank of america hi networth study next week, i’m looking, we’re going to check in with our resident recruiter, paula marks, and our non-profit job seeker leonora to evaluate leonora has revised resume and we’re going to hear paula’s ongoing advice for the job search process. We’re keeping tabs on leonora search once a month and then now also next week. Endowment emergency catherine miree believes there’s a crisis swirling around how endowments are invested allocated and spent, and you’ll hear the second part of that interview from the chronicle of philanthropy from the national conference on philanthropic planning, which i did in partnership with raymond flandez of the chronicle of philanthropy. You can get our insider alerts and like us on our facebook page there, over one hundred, people who like us already, are you one of them? That’s, a facebook dot com, tony martignetti non-profit radio, the creative producer of tony martignetti non-profit radio, is clear. Meyerhoff, our line producer and the owner of talking alternative broadcasting, is sam liebowitz. Social media is by regina walton of organic social media. This is tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Join us next friday at one p, m eastern here on talking alternative broadcasting at talking alternative dot com.

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