Email Marketing for Nonprofits

What Is Nonprofit Email Marketing?

Nonprofit email marketing is a form of donor communication that involves leveraging email as a tool to reach new donors, engage your existing audience, and share your mission and message with supporters. You can use email to send monthly newsletters to your donor base, keeping them in the loop on the impact their gifts are making. Using email automation, you can also ensure every donor who gives through your website immediately receives a “thank you” note as soon as that transaction is complete. Email is also the perfect way to update your audience about new programs, new initiatives, and upcoming events.

How Does Email Marketing Benefit Nonprofits?

Email marketing benefits nonprofits by offering them direct access to their audience at any given moment. Luckily for nonprofits, Americans spend roughly 5 hours a day checking their email, giving organizations every opportunity to communicate with their donors and keep them engaged.

In addition to engaging donors, sending an email is also a great way to issue a call to action. People are more likely to give when supplied with a quick and easy way to do so. Including some sort of clickable call to action in your emails–like a “Give Now” button, for example–encourages your audience to participate in online giving.

The best way to get started with email marketing is to invest in an email service provider like Mailchimp*, Emma*, or Constant Contact*. Email marketing software helps nonprofits because it allows you to schedule when you send, personalize emails through segmentation, and see insightful data on how your recipients interact with your emails. We recommend that you check and see if your donor management platform or nonprofit CRM already has a built-in email feature or integrates with other email service providers. This way you can keep all of your donor data connected and in one place.

Types Of Fundraising Emails You Might Send

Email marketing is helpful when it comes time to send fundraising emails. Here are four types of fundraising emails you might send.

  • Transactional Email
    Transactional emails are automated messages triggered by a donor’s specific action. Examples of these types of messages might include donation receipts or recurring payment notifications.
  • Campaign Update
    Campaign update emails are automatically sent to fundraising administrators any time a change is made to a campaign. For example, if a new fundraising page is created or an existing fundraiser hits their fundraising goal, a campaign update will be sent to all administrators to keep them in the loop.
  • Fundraising Appeal
    Fundraising appeals are used to ask for support from your audience, usually for a specific campaign, program, or event. Fundraising appeals should be concise and compelling, with a clear call to action embedded in the email.
  • Encouragement Email
    Encouragement emails serve to inspire and motivate fundraisers. For example, encourage fundraisers to reach their goals by sending percent-to-goal messages each time they hit a new milestone.

Bottom Line

Email marketing is an effective way for nonprofits to engage donors and promote online giving. Send emails to inform your audience about new initiatives they’ll find interesting or simply to stay in touch and show your appreciation for their recent donation. Reinforce your organization’s mission and include a simple call to action to encourage online donations.

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