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Know your audience
Find out who your primary audience groups are (donors, volunteers, students, the community at large…) 

Seldom can one newsletter speak to all these audiences, but using a carefully constructed layout will help you get more “mileage” out of your newsletter.

Know your purpose 
Do you want to inform, recruit, share ideas, or any combination of these purposes?

Choose your software
If you can’t afford to purchase additional graphic design software, you can use MS Publisher, MS Word (the least flexible for moving things around and inserting; formatting can also be difficult) or MS PowerPoint.

Find good proofreaders 
Have at least two people proofread to catch all spelling and grammar errors.

Go electronic 
Consider an e-newsletter, but do remember that some of your readers may prefer to receive a hard copy by mail.

Pay attention to layout 

  • Put your most important stories on the front page
  • Have front-page articles continue to an inner page to motivate readers to open the newsletter 
  • Bunch your white space, don’t just add some empty space after each article. Push each page into a nice, clean layout with white space at the end of the page. It looks more professional and makes reading easier.

Use as many pictures as possible 
Make sure images are:

  • large
  • diverse
  • colorful
  • crisp and clear
  • scanned (not copied)

Ask for professional help
If no one in your organization is adept at formatting a newsletter, it may be well worth your money to pay a professional to put together what you write.

Fanson, Barbara A. Producing a First-Class Newsletter: A guide to planning, writing ,editing, designing, photography, production, and printing. Self-Counsel Press, (a division of) International Self-Counsel Press Ltd. Canada and U.S.A.

Gregory, H. How to Make NEWSLETTERS, BROCHURES, & OTHER GOOD STUFF Without a Computer System. Pinstripe Publishing. 1987.

Williams, Patricia A. Creating and Producing the Perfect Newsletter. Scott Foresman and Company. 1990.