ood email writing is friendly and conversational. While there are certainly times where the newsy, facts-only journalistic style can work, most nonprofit newsletters should be much more personal, and even a little chatty.

People give to and support nonprofits for highly subjective reasons. Your supporters get something deeply personal out of their affiliation with your organization as a donor, volunteer, or advocate. So why would your response back to these passionate people be institutional, monolithic, and completely objective?

You need to break out of the “501(c)(3) speaks to the masses” writing mode, if you want your email communications to be successful.

Here are a few ways to make your writing feel more personal to your readers:

  1. Speak directly to your reader by calling them “you” and refer to yourself and your nonprofit as “We” or “I.”
  2. Use bylines. Let your readers know who is writing the article.
  3. Make people central to your content. Include your staff, donors, volunteers, clients, and others by name in your articles.
  4. Tell stories. Tell stories in your e-newsletters to engage your donors in your work, to reinforce their giving decisions, to inspire them to do more, and to encourage more word-of-mouth marketing on your behalf.
  5. Include headshots or photos with people. Show your readers who’s talking and who you are talking about.

Your supporters give their time, talents and gifts with passion for your cause. They are part of the family. Write to them that way.