DC Central KitchenAs you muscle through engaging donors and other supporters in the actions you need, it’s crucial to have your thank you and follow-up ready to roll.

NOW is when you have their attention. In fact, the first three months after your people give, sign a petition, register for a program, or attend an online volunteer orientation is your now-or-never period for courtship. If you haven’t done a good job of it by then, the relationship may be off for good.

Don’t risk it! There are so many doable engagement methods. Take the fantastic e-newsletter produced by DC Central Kitchen (DCCK), the most vibrant, innovative food distribution and meal recycling program I know.

Here are five ways the DCCK team shapes its e-news to strengthen supporter relationships. It:

  1. Meets the promised email delivery schedule. You and I both know how easy it is to skip an issue or two, or more. DC Central Kitchen comes through time and time again. That’s a good indicator of its reliability in delivering programs.
    DC Central Kitchen
  2. Uses clear and consistent branding, placing the DCCK logo at the center top of every issue. Readers are reminded of the organization behind the e-news in a flash.
  3. Provides the same rich, relevant content formula each and every issue. Each issue begins with a compelling photo illustrating a short feature story, followed by a brief ask. Next comes three to five DCCK news headlines (each linked to the full story), interspersed with mini-asks.

This standardized formula trains readers on what to expect, so they don’t have to waste a moment figuring it out. Having a set content framework also saves you time and anguish in creating your e-news—there’s no need to reinvent the wheel each time.

DC Central Kitchen

  1. Leads with a single gripping photo and headline. Who can resist a smile like this one? This dynamic intro is a moving and thought-provoking opener for each month’s “conversation”. Most issues incorporate social sharing buttons here so readers can share the photo and story out at the moment of connection.
    Call to Action
  2. Follows with a clear, doable call to action. DC Central Kitchen nails the right sequence here. They engage readers with the photo and story, then ask for the next action. No better way to grow relationships.

Kudos to DC Central Kitchen’s communications and fundraising team. They’re doing a great job keeping their people close. Subscribe to DCCK’s e-news for inspiration and ideas.

How does your email newsletter to keep your people up-to-date, connected, and active? Please share your methods—and questions—hereThanks!

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