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 | 1BurkeGives

[Salutation],

Have you dreamed of making history? Of course, we all have. And now we have a chance to be a part of Burke County community'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 December 1, starting at 12:00AM, visit https://1burkegives.org and make a donation to us and/or to any of the great participating nonprofit organizations in Burke County community. All giving will end at 11:59PM, so make sure to get your gift in on time!

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? | 1BurkeGives

[Salutation],

We’re counting down the days to December 1 and 1BurkeGives. 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 1BurkeGives, 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 1BurkeGives profile on December 1. 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],

1BurkeGives is TODAY, and we are asking you to join us in our efforts to make this the most awesome day of giving Burke County community has ever seen!

We are writing to ask you to take five minutes to give to [name of organization - make hyperlink to your 1BurkeGives 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://1burkegives.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 1BurkeGives page!)
  • Spread the word. Text a friend. Forward this email. Post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag 1burkegives. 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 1-3 days.

  4. Email gives you information on how your campaign is working.
    Most people don't know that 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.

Communications Timeline


Download a Comprehensive Communication Guide to Prepare for 1BurkeGives!



Major Milestones

Month 1

The 1BurkeGives Team will:

  • Encourage nonprofits to sign up for 1BurkeGives
  • Network with and recruit local community nonprofit leaders to expand and amplify 1BurkeGives’s message to nonprofits, donors, and other general supporters

You should:

  • Sign up for 1BurkeGives and customize your profile
  • Assemble your 1BurkeGives team and involve them in planning how your 1BurkeGives campaign will complement your annual fundraising strategy
  • Attend a webinar to learn about 1BurkeGives, how to promote your 1BurkeGives 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 1BurkeGives Team will:

  • Work with local newspapers, radio stations, and other media outlets to continue spreading the word to a wider audience about 1BurkeGives
  • Continue offering trainings to nonprofits participating in 1BurkeGives, and those interested in the opportunity, on giving day best practices.
  • Develop content for nonprofits participating in 1BurkeGives to use, and for use on 1burkegives social media pages, Facebook and Twitter.

You should:

  • Craft your campaign story. How are you celebrating 1BurkeGives? How will you use the funds raised during 1BurkeGives? Why should donors give to you on 1BurkeGives? 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 1BurkeGives 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 1BurkeGives on December 1. Download the email and social media timelines in the Nonprofit Toolkit to get a head start!

Month 3

The 1BurkeGives Team will:

  • Provide more resources to local community nonprofit leaders to expand and amplify 1BurkeGives’s message to nonprofits, donors, and other general supporters
  • Continue promoting 1BurkeGives 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 1BurkeGives “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 1BurkeGives Team will:

  • Heavily promote 1BurkeGives to all media outlets across the region
  • Finalize partnerships with local businesses to benefit every nonprofit participating in 1BurkeGives

You should:

  • Post on social media regularly about 1BurkeGives, using the hashtag 1burkegives
  • Email your supporters with additional details about 1BurkeGives. 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 1BurkeGives Team will:

  • Heavily promote 1BurkeGives 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 1BurkeGives, using the hashtag 1burkegives
  • Email your supporters with updates and how they can help your 1BurkeGives campaign
  • Thank your supporters in real-time on social media, in emails, or give them a call!
  • Celebrate!

Beyond

The 1BurkeGives Team will:

  • Share statistics from 1BurkeGives, 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 1BurkeGives 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 1BurkeGives by posting volunteer opportunities, fundraising, and hosting events!