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 | Give Local Midland

[Salutation],

Have you dreamed of making history? Of course, we all have. And now we have a chance to be a part of Midland, MI's 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 May 5th, starting at 12AM on May 5, visit https://www.givelocalmidland.org and make a donation to us and/or to any of the great participating nonprofit organizations in Midland, MI. You will have 24 hours to make your donation, and all giving will end at 11:59PM on May 5.

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? | Give Local Midland

[Salutation],

We’re counting down the days to May 5th and Give Local Midland. 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 (media) active. Use your social media networks: post on Facebook, tweet about Give Local Midland, 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 Give Local Midland profile on May 5th. 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

[Salutation],

Give Local Midland is TODAY, and we are asking you to join us in our efforts to make this the most awesome day of giving Midland, MI has ever seen!

We are writing to ask you to take five minutes to give to [name of organization - make hyperlink to your Give Local Midland 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 https://www.givelocalmidland.org!

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 Give Local Midland page!)
  • Spread the word. Text a friend. Forward this email. Post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #GiveLocalMidland. Oh, and you can also just tell someone in person – that works, too.

Communications Timeline


Download a Comprehensive Communication Guide to Prepare for Give Local Midland!



Major Milestones

Month 1

The Give Local Midland Team will:

  • Encourage nonprofits to sign up for Give Local Midland
  • Network with and recruit local community nonprofit leaders to expand and amplify Give Local Midland’s message to nonprofits, donors, and other general supporters

You should:

  • Sign up for Give Local Midland and customize your profile
  • Assemble your Give Local Midland team and involve them in planning how your Give Local Midland campaign will complement your annual fundraising strategy
  • Attend a webinar to learn about Give Local Midland, how to promote your Give Local Midland campaign, and how to recruit and utilize peer-to-peer fundraisers
  • Discover all the resources available for you to use in your nonprofit toolkit (email marketing, social media posts, graphics, planning guide, and more!)

Month 2

The Give Local Midland Team will:

  • Work with local newspapers, radio stations, and other media outlets to continue spreading the word to a wider audience about Give Local Midland
  • Continue offering trainings to nonprofits participating in Give Local Midland, and those interested in the opportunity, on giving day best practices.
  • Develop content for nonprofits participating in Give Local Midland to use, and for use on #GiveLocalMidland social media pages, Facebook and Twitter.

You should:

  • Craft your campaign story. How are you celebrating Give Local Midland? How will you use the funds raised during Give Local Midland? Why should donors give to you on Give Local Midland? Watch our Storytelling Training Video to learn more!
  • Recruit fundraising champions for your campaign. You can use your Board, volunteers, or staff!
  • Let your volunteers know you’re participating in Give Local Midland and you need their help in extra special ways! Give them meaningful assignments to fully engage them.
  • Develop your messaging plan for the next 2 months to ensure your donors know you are participating in Give Local Midland on May 5th. Download the email and social media timelines in the Nonprofit Toolkit to get a head start!

Month 3

The Give Local Midland Team will:

  • Provide more resources to local community nonprofit leaders to expand and amplify Give Local Midland’s message to nonprofits, donors, and other general supporters
  • Continue promoting Give Local Midland to nonprofits across the region

You should:

  • Send out a save the date email and social media post to all of your supporters! Download the Give Local Midland “Save the Date” graphic from the Nonprofit Toolkit to make sure your messages stand out!
  • Host a fundraising champion kick-off party to teach your fundraising champions best practices on fundraising!

Month 4

The Give Local Midland Team will:

  • Heavily promote Give Local Midland to all media outlets across the region
  • Finalize partnerships with local businesses to benefit every nonprofit participating in Give Local Midland

You should:

  • Post on social media regularly about Give Local Midland, using the hashtag #GiveLocalMidland
  • Email your supporters with additional details about Give Local Midland. How do they give? Why should they give? When should they give?
  • Ensure your campaign story and messaging are ready to go. Make a test donation to make sure you understand the process.

Day of

The Give Local Midland Team will:

  • Heavily promote Give Local Midland to all media outlets across the region
  • Provide 24-hour support to all nonprofits and their supporters

You should:

  • Post on social media regularly about Give Local Midland, using the hashtag #GiveLocalMidland
  • Email your supporters with updates and how they can help your Give Local Midland campaign
  • Thank your supporters in real-time on social media, in emails, or give them a call!
  • Celebrate!

Beyond

The Give Local Midland Team will:

  • Share statistics from Give Local Midland, including nonprofit success stories, and describe the powerful change that will happen as a result of the generous donations to local nonprofits.

You should:

  • Share the results from your Give Local Midland participation and what those results mean.
  • Thank your donors and let them know exactly what their donations mean for your program.
  • Send handwritten notes to your fundraising champions and your Board for their assistance.
  • Send periodic updates on how the donations you received are being used. Keep your donors engaged by letting them know how their money is benefiting your organization and your cause.
  • Engage with your donors on GiveGab after Give Local Midland by posting volunteer opportunities, fundraising, and hosting events!

General Tips


Create a Communication Schedule

In the days and weeks leading up to Give Local Midland it is 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 and you do not want to damage relationships 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 department have them help you develop a strategy for the entire organization. Otherwise you will need to communicate with all departments about what messaging is going out when 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. You want to 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 Give Local Midland you will want to up the frequency. Do not make the mistake of bombarding your readers with messaging early on, as it will only decrease the importance of later messaging.


Choose the right message for the right recipient

First and foremost you want to make sure you 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 message 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. Not only focus on images that draw the reader in, but also consider font, colors and layout as well. This is also a great way to include your brand within your message.

Keep the meat of the message above the fold. We all hope that if our emails are opened the whole thing is being read, but just in case, be sure the keep the most important items above the fold. If your readers have to scroll to find out what you want them to know they may just never 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 along with a nice summary.

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 peak their interests, motivate them to action, and engages them in further dialog. Also, addressing your readers by name will add a personal touch to your email communications, and can help you to garner a better response rate. A good email marketing tool can help you to do this and allow you to track open rates as well.

Thank you in advance for helping make our Give Local Midland campaign a HUGE success!