Church newsletters are a staple of congregations everywhere. No matter the size or denomination, churchgoers want to stay in the loop. Whether you’re sharing scripture, messages from church leaders, or photos from recent events, the possibilities are endless.
Best of all, church newsletters foster a sense of community, encouraging your congregants to stay connected with one another and with church leaders.
To kick off your church bulletin efforts, explore these key concepts:
Here at Snowball, we aim to provide nonprofits like churches with the best fundraising tools on the market to boost revenue. We’ve helped organizations of all shapes and sizes strengthen their relationships with their supporters and communities, propelling them toward their goals.
From our experience, effective fundraising all comes down to communication! For churches, newsletters are the best way to establish an open line of communication and capture supporters’ attention.
If you’re new to the newsletter world, no worries! They’re an easy concept to understand (but a tricky one to master).
Essentially, church newsletters are publications that inform readers about current events in and around the church. Most churches pass out their bulletins during the service, but email newsletters allow members to receive church news wherever they are.
Church newsletters go by many names, some of which you may have heard. These include:
The content in your bulletin should vary based on your church and its current events. Start with these essential building blocks for your church newsletters:
Once you’ve established a solid foundation, experiment with other content. To grow your repertoire of content ideas, visit our church letter basics guide.
Designating who does what for your church newsletters is an important step in the process. Doing this ensures that one person doesn’t get stuck with too much work. Plus, the more people who get involved, the better! Everyone involved will feel responsible for the success of the publication, encouraging them to do their best work.
When setting up your newsletter’s timeline, use this as an outline for delegating responsibilities:
Change up the author every once in a while. You’ll find that readers will be much more engaged when viewing a new perspective.
You want enough content to inform readers but not so much that they quit reading. Depending on the platform, vary the length of your church newsletters based on the following suggestions:
Whether it’s online or on paper, consider breaking up articles into columns (like newspapers do) to make it easier to read. To reach the largest audience, experiment with both a paper and a digital version of your church newsletter.
Now that you know how to write the bulletin, it’s time to focus on handing it out.
First, you’ll need to assess your audience size. Since larger churches may run into the issue of having too much to report too often, consider sending out weekly or biweekly publications.
By that same logic, smaller churches may have fewer updates to report and therefore might only need to send out a monthly newsletter. They may only have enough to fill one bulletin per month, but that one publication is sure to garner some attention!
Then, consider how much information you’re including. More in-depth articles necessitate thorough research, writing, and editing time. To include top-notch content in every newsletter, you might find it best to stick to a monthly schedule.
On the flip side, if you’re merely posting quick updates and upcoming events, saving everything up for a monthly newsletter may be overwhelming. Instead, crank out a weekly newsletter highlighting each point.
Finally, determine the best means of distribution. Start with a paper copy to pass out during the service. Try to create one for each week. For members who weren’t able to attend the service, send out an email newsletter in addition to your paper one. Remember, you’ll reach the largest audience if you employ a digital and a physical strategy.
In any case, make sure you actively promote your church newsletter. Rely on greeters to pass out each week’s church newsletter. Then, update your email subscribers. To keep the whole congregation in the loop, send paper newsletters to those who request them.
For more tips on engaging congregants, explore our tips for church communication.
Church bulletins are made up of several components. From the design to the content itself, each element must work together to capture and garner church members’ attention.
Like we mentioned, church newsletters are easy to understand but difficult to master—especially if you’ve never actually written one before. So that you can effectively kick off your efforts, let’s review several key church newsletter tips.
The content of your newsletter should be your first priority. When crafting your bulletin, consider these tips:
Your church newsletter is a great opportunity to promote your text-to-tithe number. If you’re sending it via email, include a link to your church’s giving page too. All the hard work your staff puts into constructing your bulletin each week may spark a feeling of generosity.
Once you have stellar copy, you’ll need to focus on organizing it and presenting it in an enticing way. Remember, human beings are visual creatures. Follow these effective design tips when pulling together your work:
Remember, visual appeal plays a large part in reader engagement. If it’s difficult to read, congregants won’t stick around for long—no matter how well-written it is.
Check out what the experts at DNL OmniMedia have to say about nonprofit web design. Maybe you’ll get some inspiration for formatting your church newsletters.
Once you’ve taken the above church newsletter tips into account, take a few extra steps to promote readership. Start by outright encouraging both existing and potential members to subscribe to your email newsletter. To start, pass around an email sign-up sheet at all of your church events and watch your subscription list grow!
Then, add a social media sharing button (or two or three) to your email newsletters. This is great for spreading the word to those who might be interested in joining your church.
Remember, you can stare at analytics all day long, but nothing is quite as helpful as honest feedback from readers. Every once in a while, send out a brief survey to gauge readers’ opinions. Then, act on the results.
When members see that you’ve incorporated their feedback into your church newsletters, they’ll be far more invested in your publication. People appreciate knowing their voices are heard. Best of all, having an open dialogue with your members means they’ll be more engaged across the board.
Once you get into the swing of producing church newsletters, you’ll need to change up your approach every so often to keep members interested.
To fully engage readers, start by establishing consistency with these church newsletter tips:
When you establish consistency with your bulletin, readers will look forward to reading your publication every week (or month). Who knows? Maybe one of the above church newsletter ideas will be their new favorite segment!
Once you’ve established some consistency in your church newsletters, try shaking things up! You don’t want to bore congregants with the same content in each publication. To keep persuade them to keep reading, consider the following:
Here at Snowball, we’ve learned which communication strategies work and which don’t. Through our careful research, we’ve found one method is growing increasingly popular: technology.
As society grows more and more reliant on technology, you need to adjust your strategies accordingly. Specifically for church newsletters, digital methods are especially valuable.
Start by experimenting with your layout. One design style may work for a while but will eventually become monotonous and uninteresting to readers. To freshen up your bulletin, try out these tips:
Modern fundraising is all about adaptability. To expand your fundraising potential, check out our overview of online fundraising.
Once you modernize the bulletin itself, transition your focus to your distribution methods. You’ve learned that your best bet is to create a physical and digital version, but how can you do this without spending excessive time doing so? Simple: use email software! Email software allows you to:
To fulfill your unique needs, ensure that your email software allows you to do all of the above and more (like including intuitive giving buttons). This enables you to quickly distribute your well-designed newsletters.
After using your email software to distribute your church newsletter, review the key analytics it provides. Analytics are an important part of modern fundraising. They enable you to optimize the reader experience!
To promote readership, make sure you’re tracking these metrics:
To learn more, head on over to this overview of the different analytics all nonprofits should be tracking. Make sure to pay special attention to the email analytics section!
Church newsletters can do more than just provide updates on church events. They can also encourage donations from your generous members. Remember, once readers see all the work that’s going into the bulletin, they may want to reward your dedication.
Specifically, here are a few easy donation tools (which Snowball can help out with) to promote via newsletter:
Remember, don’t let supporters’ generosity fade. Take charge by featuring your fundraising tools in your email newsletter!
To sum up, church newsletters play a major role in capturing your congregants’ attention. From boosting event attendance to growing funds, bulletins have the power to completely transform your church.
It all starts with well-written copy, informing readers of the most up-to-date happenings in your church. When drafting your church newsletters, focus on conveying the most important messages while making sure they’re visually compelling.
Remember, you’ll be missing out on a great opportunity if you’re not funneling digital readers to your online giving platforms.
To establish a solid strategy, expand your tech toolkit. The right digital fundraising tools can substantially boost the impact and value of your church newsletters as you develop and improve them. Specifically, look for tools that are easy to use right out of the box and can adapt to your church’s specific needs.
To continue your research, explore these other useful posts:
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