A nonprofit’s best resource for reaching their supporters is through a well-thought-out email strategy. Sending regular emails will help keep donors and volunteers in the loop with current news, success stories, and additional informational. It’s also a great way to develop more personal engagement with your audience, which will help you spread the word and increase donor support.

A thoroughly mapped out email campaign is an essential component for every marketing strategy. It will help ensure each email has a purpose in a natural progression because the emails you send will depend on what you want your audience to do and when. Your emails don’t have to be limited to teaching your audience about your cause. Read on to learn about six essential types of emails you should send your supporters to keep your engagement strong.


A newsletter that raises awareness on your issue, provides resources, or updates readers on activities going on in the organization are vital. You can send these every so often, like every new quarter, or as a first response to people who subscribe to your email list. This serves as an introduction to your organization and your mission.

Since this type of email will be recurring, you can save time by creating a template that will allow you to quickly update when needed and roll these out regularly. Be sure to add your logo, a branded header, or some photos to break up the text and make the content easier and more compelling to digest.  Choose a design that’s simple with short headings and links to drive traffic back to your website or social media pages.


Evoking emotion through personal communication increases the likelihood of a reader making a donation. Share stories about how you solved a problem or how you positively impacted someone. Let your readers know their support will enable your organization to reach many more people like the one you are featuring. Smart call-to-action buttons can take readers directly to a donation portal.

Creating useful and captivating content helps you to build a stable community that will stay involved in your work throughout the year. Don’t wait until the holidays; you’ll be more successful and collect more donations if you reach out to your supporters all year long.

An email campaign takes diligent, strategic planning. You’ll plan and create every email’s content, its objective, and the day it will be sent out. An email sequence keeps you organized and ensures you don’t have repeat emails. It also makes editing content less confusing should you need to pivot at any point.


An advocacy email can encourage people to act on issues they care about and support your cause. Be sure you clearly explain the issue and give a clear call to action. Make it easy for your audience to support you. Be direct, but try not to appear salesy.

Giving them options means that no matter how much time and effort they’re able to offer the cause, there’s something they can do to get involved. This shows your subscribers that even a minor donation or a couple of hours of volunteering can help contribute to positive results for the community or even towards global change.


Saying “thank you” and showing your donors appreciation helps to maintain good relationships with them. Showing them the impact that their time or donations make encourages them to stay proactive in your cause, and to spread the word about the work your organization is doing.

Try to send a “thank you” email after a donation is made. Most email marketing platforms allow you to easily set up a template to do this automatically. Try to make the email personal by including information about your supporter’s contribution or how long they’ve been helping your organization. Mention some details about the overall importance this has and how it contributes to your nonprofit’s big picture or end goal.


Sharing stories about the beneficiaries of your work, or the members/donors who help support it, positively reinforces the legitimacy of your cause and emotionally connects with your audience. Ask a supporter to share their experience, what they get out of it, and how it’s affected their lives.

More importantly, ask a beneficiary about how their life was made better because of your nonprofit’s work. Your readers want to know that your organization affects real people with real lives, just like them. The more personal it is, the more it will make a genuine connection and show your supporters you’re not a faceless entity, and their time and donations do matter.


Let your readers know about significant days either in the community or in your organization. For example, if it’s your founder’s birthday, you can host an event where sponsors will match every donation made in honor of the founder’s birthday.

There’s always a monthly holiday or even fun, random holiday like “National Dog Day” to celebrate. Find a day that can connect with your mission and use it to inspire action from your supporters.  You can put together content inspired by the day or offer resources to your readers about how they can get involved. For example, if your organization focuses on recycling programs, you can host a recycling event on Earth Day. Have a contest with a prize for the most pounds of plastic recycled. Or, have supporters send in photos of their recycling haul and feature them in the next newsletter.

Having a return for a good deed is another great way to get more people excited and involved. For example, you could have donation matches, a gift for every donation purchased, or a gift for every new person that joins as a volunteer.

You need to deliver great information to your audience, but your emails can go beyond that to entice more people to get involved.  Creating more personal content, like “thank yous,” and sharing victories, encourages better engagement with your audience and helps you to run a more successful and impactful organization.

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