Nonprofit email marketing is a marketing approach that involves the communication of non-profit organizations (NPO) with their donors and volunteers through email campaigns. It helps communicate with the target audience, update it on serious issues and impact, and share mission and values.
In this article, we’ll unveil the importance of email marketing for nonprofit organizations and teach you how to write converting emails. We’ll also review 10 best practices and some great examples for nonprofits.
Why is email marketing important for nonprofits?
The existence of nonprofit organizations such as churches, public charities, public clinics and hospitals, and volunteer services organizations depends heavily on their donors. That’s why finding the best ways to share their purpose, reach the target audience, and encourage them to help is crucial. Nonprofits use different approaches, including email marketing, to receive funding from individuals, corporations, and government institutions. It’s a cost-effective way to interact with donors and make them act.
As of 2022, there are around 4.3 billion email users. It indicates that many people around the world use their inboxes to send emails and receive updates from businesses and NPOs. Moreover, according to statistics, 99% of these people check their emails at least once a day.
Email marketing can help attain several marketing goals for charity and nonprofit organizations. First, once potential donors subscribe to your email newsletter, you can thank them for joining your mailing list. After that, you can introduce your organization to the target audience and tell these people more about your mission and values. Secondly, when having direct access to the audience at any time, you can interact with donors through emails and update them on important projects.
Thirdly, besides being a source of information, emails can encourage donors to act and provide help when needed. For instance, if you need to close an important fundraiser, send out an email campaign containing all the necessary information for donors and include a call to action. It will allow them to access a link where they can donate. Finally, building trust is also essential and possible with email marketing.
Now that the benefits of email marketing for nonprofits are clear. Let’s find out how to write a converting email. The information in the following section will empower you with the knowledge that encourages people to make donations and support your organization’s existence.
How to write a converting email for nonprofits?
Writing a good email is essential for all, including nonprofit organizations, since it can influence donors’ decisions. To do everything right, we offer you to check out the tips below and apply them to your email campaigns. Let’s dig in!
- Use email marketing service. Email marketing service is a platform that uses software to create and send professional email campaigns to a big number of subscribers. With this platform, you can send bulk email campaigns, use templates to create professional emails, segment your mailing list, personalize email campaigns, schedule the sending of emails, and send relevant emails to potential customers. A good service with an excellent reputation enables you to improve your email deliverability and open rates. Moreover, a platform with automation features allows you to send emails on autopilot based on customer behavior. For instance, you can send a welcome email when a prospect subscribes to your newsletter. SendPulse is an example of such a service that empowers you to create quality email campaigns for free.
- Create an outstanding subject line. The subject line is the first thing everyone sees when opening the inbox. An eye-catching subject line encourages donors to open the email and at least read it. Use a short and clear phrase to communicate your message. Make sure to retain the unique voice of your organization. Since a lot of people use their mobile devices to check their inboxes, create a subject line that is 50 characters or less in length. It should sound urgent to make donors open the email faster and act. To be more specific and convincing, consider using statistics or data points. Provide a complimentary message in your preheader. It should contain key details. Make sure that the information in the preheader doesn’t duplicate your subject line. Make sure it provides extra information your donors need to know about your incentive, project, or impact.
- Provide updates on your organization. When people donate, they want to know the results of your fundraising campaign. They need to know how much money you collected and what goals you reached. So, once the fundraising campaign is closed, update your donors on the results. Share stories of those in need and your volunteers, products provided, items bought, etc. It’s always a good idea to attach proof of your actions. You can take photos during volunteering and share them via email. They will demonstrate the activities you do to reach your organization’s goals.
- Make your emails sound grateful to donors for help. To encourage volunteering and donations, your emails should convey your gratitude for the support provided. Show that donors’ and volunteers’ time and money are much appreciated in your organization. People should feel they are needed. You can show it by sharing the impact of their donations and help. Use numbers to demonstrate the results. For instance, your email can include the following sentence “Your donation helped save x animal shelters.” For sure, not all of the volunteers and donors are active in their inboxes. But you can always change the situation. Consider sending personalized emails that include information on their particular donations and social impact. It will make them open the email and check it out.
- Add a call to action button. A CTA helps you encourage donors and volunteers to perform specific actions. It can be a donation or volunteer help. That’s why your call-to-action button should lead donors to the page where they can complete this action. The button can look like this: “Donate,” “Help Now,” “Volunteer Now,” “Refer a Friend,” etc. Make sure that your CTA is visible and straightforward and takes donors to the right page where they can donate or help.
Now that you know how to create a converting email, it’s time to explore some more approaches to incorporate email marketing into your organization right. Let’s check them out.
10 Email Marketing Best Practices for Nonprofits
There are many strategies you can use to reach your donors and volunteers. However, emailing them doesn’t mean they will perform the necessary action. We’ll uncover the 10 most effective techniques that work. Stick to our list to get the necessary results and complete your nonprofit’s mission.
- Send a welcome email to new subscribers. Subscribing to a newsletter doesn’t mean people are aware of what you stand for. That’s why welcome emails exist. They help introduce your organization to potential donors. You can cover the crucial points in a welcome or thank you email. Unveil your mission and values. Emails should include reasons for fundraising and the help you’ve already provided. Cover the details in your welcome email to show your impact and establish trust. This way, you’ll also be able to educate your new audience about your nonprofit organization.
- Interact with donors on special occasions and holidays. It’s important to reach your donors during the holiday season. Many of them might want to donate money and provide help to those who are in need. Consider engaging with your donors through emails during this time. Prepare a fundraising email and send it a week after Thanksgiving or another big holiday. Encourage subscribers to donate and gift people with food, clothes, or medications they need.
- Incorporate Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is a perfect time for fundraising. It’s a generosity movement that takes place on Tuesday after Thanksgiving. That’s the time when people donate money and provide support to those who need it. Consider this event for your organization if you want to collect more donations. Send emails informing people about your fundraising event. Your email should be short and to the point. Make sure to provide the progress of your fundraising campaign and the results.
- Update donors with your organization's projects. There are many ways to keep in touch with readers. One of them — send updates on your progress. It can be any information starting from the money you managed to fundraise to new projects you established lately.
- Use statistics as proof. Every storytelling needs facts and real data to support your opinion. You can do it by adding statistics to your email. This information should support your statement that this or that problem needs a solution immediately. For instance, if you want to go fundraising and build new animal shelters, you can provide the number of homeless animals abandoned by people. You can also add statistics about the percentage of cats and dogs living on the streets.
- Send emails regularly. Regularity of sending emails is a must if you want to grow your organization and make a social impact. For this purpose, consider creating a content schedule where you will mention the articles and the time when they need to be sent to donors. This way, you’ll increase the number of donors for your organization. However, be wise when sending emails and choose perfect intervals. No need for too many emails to your potential donors since they also receive a lot from brands.
- Personalize emails. Applying personalization manually will take your team a lot of time and effort. That’s why we recommend you consider a special service that allows you to create email campaigns and use personalization. SendPulse empowers you to create and send highly personalized emails and increase your open rates. Use variables to add receivers’ names to greet them in your emails.
- Segment the audience and send relevant emails. Email list segmentation ensures that you send only relevant emails to your target audience. Since people on your list are at different stages of their journey with your organization, there’s no need to send generic messages to all of them. It won’t be useful and effective for your nonprofit organization. You should choose topics your potential and existing donors are interested in. To segment your list, you need to pay attention to the following factors: donation amount, actions taken at your channels, level of engagement, and topics of interest. For instance, if a person donated $500 to support your animal help project, you can share similar projects with this donor. Your email campaigns depend heavily on the level of donor engagement. For example, a person who donated $5 once is less involved than someone who donates regularly. The higher the engagement, the more interactions you need with your donor.
- Make your emails look visually appealing. Use visuals (photos, infographics, statistics, videos, etc.) in addition to text. This is because it’s more difficult for receivers to perceive information when no other elements are included. Use visuals to divide your text into readable parts. Use photos from your volunteering and the help provided. Demonstrate to donors the impact you have on our society.
- Assess your email campaign's performance. You aren’t all done after running the campaigns. You still need to monitor and evaluate their performance. Set key indicators to figure out whether you reach your marketing goals. If something goes wrong, you need to conduct an analysis and identify issues. To improve the performance, you should eliminate them.
Now that you know how to send an effective fundraising email, it’s time to explore some excellent examples. Consider using these techniques for your organization to drive donations.
Nonprofit Email Marketing Examples
Many organizations provide social change to our society. They all use email marketing to attract new donors and volunteers and ask them for help. In this section, we’ll cover the best examples of email marketing for nonprofits to encourage you to use this channel.
FeedingAmerica is a charity organization fighting hunger in the US. This nonprofit food bank ensures food for people who need it. The organization actively uses email marketing to welcome new subscribers and encourage donations.
In the screenshot below, you can see an example of a welcome email from FeedingAmerica. The email is designed to thank people for joining the community and educate them about its mission. It uncovers the things volunteers do with the help of donations by providing real facts. You can see the number of people they ensure support to.
The email also contains links to their Facebook and Twitter pages and a button to contact the charity directly. At the bottom of the email, there are several CTAs to donate or explore the organization’s website.
Autism Speaks is a nonprofit organization established to create an inclusive world for all individuals with autism. The organization conducts research, provides support to individuals with autism, and does advocacy. To complete all these tasks, Autism Speaks needs support from donors. Reaching these people is possible with email campaigns.
The charity uses emails to update on the events. For instance, the organization had a fundraising campaign during Giving Tuesday. It’s a day after Thanksgiving dedicated to giving back. During this day, the organization accepted donations from those who wanted to help people with autism. With the help of an email, Autism Speaks informed those who participated about their impact. In 24 hours, they altogether managed to collect $100,000.
The organization sent an email to all subscribers to let them participate. They had the chance to do it by using the call-to-action button “Donate.”
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project focuses on preventing suicide among LGBTQ people. The project used email campaigns to update donors and volunteers about events, anniversaries, awareness days, and holidays. They are great occasions to contact your donors and interact with them.
The email below is dedicated to “Intersex Awareness Day.” The organization had a perfect opportunity to uncover this topic and explain what it means to be intersex. They also attached related research for receivers to check out. The email also includes a CTA at the bottom for individuals to make donations.
Congrats, now you know what nonprofit email marketing is and how to use it right for your organization. Hope that the examples above inspired you to create a quality email campaign to reach your donors. Use SendPulse to design professional email campaigns for free without any knowledge of the code.
- In this article, you can find a guide on email marketing for nonprofit organizations.
- This article provides readers with examples of nonprofit email examples.
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Last Updated: 24.08.2023