3 Emails to Cultivate Monthly Donors

KindfulJuly 07, 2016

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Email marketing is central to the fundraising goals of just about every nonprofit. Even though lots of attention goes to Facebook and social marketing, with over 3.9 billion email addresses currently in existence, email is the main common denominator shared by all of your contacts. Whether you’re 16 or 65, you probably check your email once a day. This is why email marketing is still one of the most powerful tools for the modern nonprofit.

When developing a winning fundraising strategy, it makes sense for nonprofits to focus on monthly donors. It takes tact to guide a one-time donor to the point of regular donations, but your investment will definitely be worth it. Monthly donors can be the backbone of a nonprofit’s success, reducing the number of donors who lapsed and providing a consistent and reliable stream of revenue for the sustainability of your nonprofit. Here are three emails that you can use to move a donor toward a regular giving commitment.

Email 1: Start With Thank You

The first 24 hours after a donation are super important! You are still near the top of mind for your donor and have the perfect opportunity to show them how important they are to your work. Send an email saying thank you and focusing on how important the donor is to your mission. (“This is all because of YOU!”) They don’t want to hear about the great things you do, they want to hear about the great things you can do because of them! And remember – there are lots of ways to thank your donors, but no matter what you do, make sure it’s genuine and authentic!

Email 2: Show Your Donors What They Can Do

The main reason donors choose to give is because they want to make a difference. Your job is to show them how much more of a difference they can make with continued support. Give them specific examples of how their donation affects real change in the real world. Maybe $10 provides a winter coat for one person at your homeless shelter. Or $20 provides a month of clean water for a community you serve in Africa. Whatever the case, create a tangible representation of what their monthly contribution will accomplish and send them a short email introducing them to the concept of monthly support.

Email 3: Start A Club

Who doesn’t like being part of the “in-crowd?” In this third email, don’t just ask donors to give you $30 a month. Ask them to become part of a special club of all your nonprofit’s best supporters. Create a monthly recurring giving program that has a specific name with specific goals. Give donors exclusive content like badges, newsletters, and even a few freebies (who doesn’t love a soft t-shirt?!) That way, recurring donors will always know that they’re working towards and it will be easy to share their involvement with others and encourage them to get involved too.

With these three emails, you’ll be on your way to a sustainable monthly giving program and a sustainable nonprofit organization. And you can make each of these emails even more effective by including excellent video and image content. Beyond the nuts and bolts of email craft, it’s important to remember the human factor. Each of your donors is a human being. They care about your cause and they want to know that their contribution makes a huge impact. These may just be emails, but they’re the way you turn an anonymous contact list into a cooperative group of people, working toward a common goal.

Want to learn tested and proven strategies from real organizations that can show you how to improve your cultivation strategies and optimize your email communications? Download our donor email cultivation study with NextAfter for free.

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Filed Under:   Communication