Email Marketing for Nonprofits

Using email to start and grow relationships is easy for nonprofits. It is an inexpensive way to reach out to supporters on a regular basis with informative and inspiring messages. Doing this can help your organization build an engaged community that helps to promote your mission, fundraising, and special events.

Sample Emails

Subject: Help Us Make History | StriveTogether Giving Day 2019


We have a chance to be a part of a day of giving  an opportunity to unite our community around causes in which we truly believe and help nonprofit organizations connect to the larger community.

We need your help! Please join our campaign and help us reach our goal of $xxxx and xxx donors! We need you to tell your friends and family members about the important work we do and ask them to join us in helping to make a difference.

Get ready to give! On December 3, starting at 12:00 AM on December 3, visit and make a donation. You will have 24 hours to make your donation, and all giving will end at 11:59PM on December 3.

Questions? If you have any questions or would like more information, let us know. [Add your contact information]. Thank you in advance for your generosity to our organization!

Subject: Ready to Lend a Helping Hand? | StriveTogether Giving Day 2019


We’re counting down the days to December 3 and StriveTogether Giving Day 2019. We need your help to make our campaign a success, and we’ve included a few easy ways that you can support us.

Share and share alike. Online days of giving are successful because of our own networks. Help us grow our network by sending this email to your network and ask your friends to do the same.

Be socially active. Use your social media networks: post on Facebook, tweet about StriveTogether Giving Day 2019, and share your love for your particular passion, whether it’s education, health care, animals, or the arts. Ask others to do the same.

Become a fundraising champion. Everyone loves a champion, including us! We really need fundraising champions to help drive people to our StriveTogether Giving Day 2019 profile on December 3. Contact us for more information on how to become a fundraising champion!

Thank you in advance for your support!

Subject: Today’s the Day | Put Your Giving Shoes On


StriveTogether Giving Day 2019 is TODAY, and we are asking you to join us in our efforts to make this the most awesome day of giving our community has ever seen!

We are writing to ask you to take five minutes to give to [name of organization, link to your StriveTogether Giving Day 2019 page]. After that, you can give to other nonprofits that do work that you support or just kick back and watch how high the giving can go at!

Your donation of any amount will help [give specific examples, or insert a sliding scale of what $25, $50, $100 etc can do].

Here’s how you can make a HUGE difference today:

  • Make a donation (link to your StriveTogether Giving Day 2019 page!)
  • Spread the word. Text a friend. Forward this email. Post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #GivingTuesdayC2C. Oh, and you can also just tell someone in person – that works, too.

Why use email marketing?

  1. Email is cheap!
    Your only expense is time, and if you use a scheduling service like Constant Contact, you can set it and forget it.

  2. Email allows you to connect with people instantly.
    Need your donors and volunteers to do something now? Email allows immediate dissemination.

  3. Your donors and volunteers can respond quickly.
    Turnaround time on emails is one to three days.

  4. Email gives you information on how your campaign is working.
    You can track open rates on emails and see how often your readers are using the links within them. Use this information to analyze how well your messaging is working, then tweak and send again.

  5. Email allows you to send the right message to the right reader.
    First time donor versus long time donor. Do you send them both the same message? What about volunteers? Your message should and can be crafted to engage your different constituents.

Let's Get Started

To begin a successful email marketing campaign the first thing you need to do is build an email list. Maintaining a complete and reliable list of constituents will directly impact the success of your campaign, events, and organization as a whole.

How to gather email addresses


Add a field for email on any materials that will be filled by your constituents. Be it a survey, a sponsorship commitment form or any other response form; this is something that should always be included. Also, at any event where there will be donors or volunteers attending, have a sign-in sheet and include a field for email addresses. Be honest about why you want this information and ask them to help you keep your records up to date. If you are consistently providing them with engaging information they will not mind you contacting them via email.


The best place to gather email information is on your website. Invite people to your website by including your URL in your signature line of your email, on all print materials an in social media posts.

Once an individual lands on your website, prominently promote where folks can register for your newsletter, find more information about volunteering/donating and view all of your special events. Keep in mind that less is more! Do not ask for tons of information; a name and email is enough to get them started.


There are so many ways to generate interest in your organization by asking your current volunteers and donors to share information to their social networks. Whether it is a fundraising campaign, special event invitation or newsletter, engage your community in spreading your message.

How to make sure your emails are being read

First and foremost, make sure your list is up to date. If you're sending emails to inboxes that don't exist anymore, you're doing nothing to help your organization. Make it easy for your supporters to choose what types of emails they would like to see from you and how often.

Experiment with subject lines and don't use the same one for every email. Keep your content short and sweet, and put the most important information at the top of the message.

Try sending emails on a different day. If you always send your newsletter on the first Monday of every month and your open rate is low, it may be time to adjust.

Creating an Effective Email Campaign

Whether you are sending one email message or multiple messages over a timeframe, strategic marketing is important. Be sure that each message builds upon the last and that they're directed to the appropriate segment of your community.

Create a Communication Schedule

In the days and weeks leading up to StriveTogether Giving Day 2019, it's important to determine how frequently you want to communicate with donors and volunteers. You may have to adjust your schedule based on the feedback you get. You don't want to annoy recipients or leave people feeling uninformed. Make sure to stay on top of the following items.

Coordinate all communications within your organization. If you have a marketing or communication department, work with them to develop a strategy for the entire organization. You'll need to communicate with all departments about what messaging is going out so as not to bombard constituents with repetitive or competing messaging.

Pay attention to day and time of delivered emails. You may find that most of your constituents are only reading email on the weekends or first thing in the morning. Target your messages for whatever time garners you the highest open rate.

Let the importance of your messaging determine the frequency. As you get closer to StriveTogether Giving Day 2019, increase the frequency. Don't overwhelm your readers with messaging early on, as it will decrease the attention given to later messaging.

Choose the right message for the right recipient

First and foremost, know your audience. Is your message being directed to all constituents? Or might it better serve your intent by segmenting your list for a target audience? Second, make sure your subject line is short and sweet; use action words that draw in the reader so that they will open your email.

Design the body of your email to elicit a response

A picture is worth a thousand words. Focus on images that draw the reader in, and consider font, colors and layout as well. Keep your message on brand.

Keep the meat of the message at the top or your message. If your readers have to scroll , they may not get the message.

Even better, just keep it short. Don't send a novel, just share a highlight. Your constituents want to know how you're using their dollars to support the organization's mission, but as opposed to sending a detailed list, share some highlights.

Send them to your website. Instead of putting everything in your email message, drive your readers back to your website. This allows you to keep your message short, but allow readers the opportunity to learn more if they like.

Personalize your message

Last but not least, always use your email marketing to create and develop relationships with your supporters by sending them messages that pique their interest, motivate them to action and engage them in conversation. Addressing your readers by name will add a personal touch to your messages and can help you to get a better response rate. A good email marketing tool can help you customize emails with recipients' names and allow you to track open rates, too.

Thank you in advance for helping make our StriveTogether Giving Day 2019 campaign a HUGE success!

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