2021 Email Marketing Guide For Nonprofit Organizations

By  //  June 17, 2021

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As a stakeholder in a nonprofit organization, you essentially have to look after a large number of activities with fundraising and expressing gratitude towards each donor being at the center in these testing times.

Naturally, we have to be budget-conscious, and email marketing is the most cost-efficient tool available for reaching out to donors. A study by Campaign Monitor had some interesting results for us: 42% of donors prefer to hear from organizations through an email, and 20.5% said that an email from a nonprofit inspired them to donate.

While these are facts, finding donors and inspiring them to donate isn’t an easy task. You will need to steer through lots of donation requests and convince them that your organization would uphold their feelings of humanity and charity. So, let’s start creating some miracles through emails. 

Why Email Marketing Is Critical For Nonprofits

Generally, a nonprofit organization has 199 Facebook followers, 110 Twitter followers for every 1000 email subscribers. Apart from a higher number of donors engaged, email marketing is considered the most fruitful method for nonprofits as it accounted for 28% of their donations in 2017.

Additionally, email is an official correspondence channel, so it’s deemed more accountable. They also help clear any doubts and make subscribers feel included in the initiative as it is a one-on-one communication medium. 

Email Marketing Best Practices For Nonprofit

You can give an upper edge to your email marketing campaign by the following time-tested best practices and achieve even better results for fundraising.

Some of the best practices are as follows:

  • Maintain a high degree of list hygiene by including genuinely interested prospects using a double opt-in form, regularly weeding out the cold leads.   
  • You can possibly segment your list based on volunteers, top donors, seasonal donors, and lapsed donors. You can personalize appeals to their name, history, and segment.
  • The subject line is critical in copywriting. Be contextual, personalized and follow character limits. Make full use of preheaders.
  • Be clear in your visual strategy and maintain it throughout the campaign. The visual strategy includes logo, fonts, multimedia, color palettes, and content blocks.

Types of Nonprofit Emails You Can Send | Nonprofit email examples that convert like crazy

Nonprofits can use email marketing not as just a communication channel but as a primary tool for making announcements, sending invites, onboarding new donors, and sending appreciation notes apart from regular updates about activities.


Below is an example from JustGive announcing joining hands with JustGiving and becoming a global charity. It also highlights how much JustGive contributed to the communities, informing subscribers that they will only see historical donations. You can easily design emails like this using free HTML email templates available on the Internet. They also inspired their donors to get involved further: 

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Sierra Club and FoodBank invited their subscribers to join a virtual fun run of 0.5K (about 650 steps) and a fundraiser to support needy communities of New York during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also design similar emails using responsive HTML email templates. Have a look at their emailer:

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Here’s how ‘Help for Heroes’ welcomed their new subscribers. They informed the recipients about the activities undertaken, which included contributions towards the sick, wounded service-men, women, and their families. They also asked the new subscribers to add them to their white list. This email has a simple layout; you can use  free HTML email templates to curate such mail:  

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Thank You

Here is an email/post-event survey from The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) thanking subscribers for taking an e-course regarding the protection of democracy. It also includes a post-event survey. You can design a thank you message like this through  HTML email templates.

(Image Credits)

The 5 Best Nonprofit Email Marketing Services

There are some differences between business and nonprofit email marketing tools. Most nonprofits run on a shoestring budget. The ability of email marketing tools to be able to work with expanding mailing lists. Let’s go through the five best email marketing services for nonprofit:

Mailchimp provides a special discount of 15% to nonprofits and an additional 10% discount for three months if you allow 2-factor authentication for the account.

OmniSend offers you 15,000 emails per month and 2,000 emails per day with an unlimited number of donors. 

Campaign Monitor also offers a 15% discount for nonprofits. It offers a powerful drag-and-drop campaign builder and hundreds of ready-to-use templates.    

Sendinblue has a good free plan that lets you have an unlimited number of contacts and 300 emails per day. It also offers in-depth analytics, powerful marketing automation features. 

GetResponse offers a whopping 50% discount to nonprofits. It also integrates social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  

Wrap Up

2021 is unique in the sense that as a nonprofit, you will find two types of donors. Among your regular donors, some will contribute less while others will skip completely. On the other hand, a new set of donors inspired by empathy would donate proactively, and you need to reach out to both of them. These have been testing time for the whole world, so be generous in recognizing their donation and volunteering. Hope this article will help to improve your reach. 

Author: Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free HTML email templates. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.