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Communications & public relations advice for nonprofits

March 2015

Communications & public relations advice for nonprofits

Brought to you by your friends at Anat Gerstein, Inc.

Your Newsletter: Informing or Annoying?

If your inbox is like ours, each day you receive an ample number of newsletters from organizations proudly boasting about their achievements, latest news, and fundraising drives. But how much is too much–or too little? Is the content informational or simply annoying? And, are you trying to squeeze too much information into too little space?

This month, we are sharing five ways to tip newsletter readership in your favor.

#1 Have a good subject line.

If you are reading this, you are either a loyal Anat. newsletter reader or the headline grabbed your attention. Whatever you do, do not use “March 2015 Newsletter” or anything close to that as your subject. DO NOT USE ALL CAPS, because it could get caught up in some spam filters. And, for the same reason, avoid subjects that sound like sales pitches.

#2 Have just the right amount of text.

Make the newsletter “readable” for those who skim. Use headlines, subheads, and bold text to grab a reader’s attention. For email newsletters with longer items, use two short ,attention-grabbing sentences and link to the full piece. Keep longer pieces to no more than 300 words, which translates to about a 90 second read.

#3 Connect with the reader.

As much as possible, include personal stories to connect with readers. Think super-short versions of The New York Times’ Neediest Cases.

#4 Mix it up.

Combine text, infographics, photos with captions, and video for a more engaging newsletter.

#5 Make it shareable.

Add links to social media and ask readers to share your newsletter on their social media networks.

There is one key to a successful nonprofit: strong management. You can improve your organization’s management and overall success by applying for the 2015 New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards, produced by the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee. The application process is active now – so hurry up! Winning nonprofits receive a total of $60,000 in cash, and more.

Pitching Notes: Lissa Blake
Publisher, New York Nonprofit Press

This month, we are introducing you to Lissa Blake, the new publisher of the New York Nonprofit Press, which provides coverage of the nonprofit industry in the New York City area. Lissa, who grew up on Long Island, has an event production background and is overseeing a new look, feel, and content for the New York Nonprofit Press.

“I want New York Nonprofit Press to be the resource that nonprofits depend on for breaking news, current trends, predictions, and information on their industry,” she says.

We sat down with Lissa to find out what is in store, so you can better determine whether you have the right stories at the right time for the New York Nonprofit Press. Read the full Q&A here.

$0.88 of Every $1 for Programs: That’s Nothing to Brag About!

The following article by Anat Gerstein appeared in the New York Nonprofit Press in March 2015.

The New York nonprofit sector was shaken recently with the announcement that FEGS, a behemoth nonprofit with a solid long-standing track record in the human services sector, was shutting down because of a huge funding gap. Some believe that FEGS might have run into trouble because of reduced government reimbursement rates, which fail to cover the cost of running programs and providing services–a challenge for many nonprofits.

But, a larger issue looms. Nonprofits are coming up short on funding their full administrative costs and supporting the kinds of administrative capacity expansions–such as creating a research and evaluation team–critical to all well-managed organizations. Some people call these costs “overhead,” but “management” or “administrative costs” is much more fitting.

There is some good news: changes in the guidance from the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB), called “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards,” became part of the Code of Federal Regulations on December 26, 2014.

To continue reading, click here.

We currently work with 14 nonprofit organizations on a retainer basis – providing them with year-round services ranging from media relations to functioning as their outsourced communications department (developing all collateral, annual reports, and newsletters; running social media channels; managing website content; creating videos; drafting all donor communications including appeals, campaign books, and fundraising campaigns; pitching press stories; and, providing strategic media and crisis communications). We also work with nonprofits on a project basis.

To see a full list of clients, visit: www.anatgerstein.com

If you want to learn more about how we can help your organization, contact Anat Gerstein at 718-793-2211 ext. 100 or at anat@anatgerstein.com.

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