How to Write Successful Marketing Emails for a Nonprofit

Aug 10, 2022

If you are responsible for marketing for a charity or nonprofit, then you know just how important it is to maintain long-term relationships with supporters.

Over time, you will be more likely to receive more frequent donations for your nonprofit if you make the effort to send marketing messages that are designed to build, cultivate, and maintain these strong relationships. Because of this, email marketing should be an essential part of your strategy. With more than eighty percent of companies still using email marketing, it is clear to see that it is one of the most effective options out there. Despite other channels for digital marketing that are now available such as social media, email marketing is often chosen for its ability to generate a high ROI. Nonprofit email marketing gives you the chance to stay in touch with followers over a long period and maximise donations.

How to Choose the Best Email Platform for Nonprofits

When choosing an email marketing platform for a nonprofit, there are several factors to take into consideration which include:

Email Marketing Tools

When marketing a nonprofit, it is worth finding an email marketing platform or a software program that has built-in tools and integrations such as a CRM, where you can store a donor database and keep all information together in one easy-to-reach place. You can either choose a CRM that has built-in email marketing tools or if you are already using a CRM designed for nonprofits, then be sure to choose an email marketing platform that can be integrated with it seamlessly.

Best Nonprofit Emails Templates

Email templates refer to pre-formatted email designs that you can use when building your email campaigns. These days, email marketing software programs and platforms tend to come with a range of different email templates that are made to be used for your next email marketing campaign.

When considering the templates that you are going to access, it is a good idea to choose an email marketing software that was created also for nonprofits, or at the very least offers a lot of templates that are designed for nonprofits. This will give you a better chance of finding template styles and designs that fit in well with your campaign and your brand overall. By choosing an email marketing platform that is designed for use by nonprofits, you can pick from a range of tailored templates for campaign newsletters, fundraising, event marketing, and more.

Personalisation in NPO Marketing Strategies

How easy it is to personalise the emails that you send to market to supporters is a big factor to consider when choosing the right email marketing program for your nonprofit. Personalisation can make all the difference between recipients opening or deleting an email, and whether they engage with it or not, so it is important to choose an email marketing program for your nonprofit have various personalisation options. Personalisation can go further than just addressing your supporters by name, it allows you to get to know your recipients more and to tailor the content that you send them based on their individual preferences.

List Management of Nonprofit Email Addresses

Another main factor to consider before you choose the right email marketing platform for your nonprofit is how easy it is for you to conduct list management. Chances are like any other company that uses email marketing to connect with your audience, you are going to have diverse lists made of very different individuals that may fit into one or more categories. When choosing your email marketing program, think about how easy it is going to be for you to sort email addresses into different list segments. For example, you may have different emails to send based on whether somebody has donated before or emails that are designed for supporters who are fundraising on your behalf compared to those who send a monthly donation.

Ease of Use

How easy the platform is to use is another key aspect to think about before choosing the right email marketing program. Ideally, any good nonprofit email marketing software program should be intuitive, and not require a huge amount of technical knowledge to get right. The best programs are designed to be easy to use for even technophobes and have simple drag-and-drop editors for creating emails that you do not need to know a single line of code to navigate. It should be simple to learn and to figure out what you need to do to create branded email templates that can easily be saved and amended for use with your future campaigns.

Deliverability of Email Marketing Software for Nonprofits

Before choosing an email marketing program, it is important to consider the deliverability rate. The deliverability score determines whether your emails are more likely to land in email inboxes or spam and junk folders. The spam folder is the last place you want the email you have worked on so hard to end up, so it is crucial to find out more about the expected deliverability rate of the software program you are using, what they offer to help you improve your nonprofit’s sender reputation and other features that can help reduce the risk of this happening such as list segmentation or domain authentication.

Analytics and Reporting

To make sure that you are getting the best results from your email marketing campaigns, it is essential to choose a good email marketing tool that allows you to report different metrics and gives you lots of chances to track performance and see how the data measures up. With a platform that collects and analyses all the data, you can see how your campaigns are performing and make better, more informed nonprofit email marketing decisions in the future, allowing you to get more from your efforts and increase your ROI. Choose an email marketing software that enables you to track and measure a range of key performance indicators such as click-through rates, open rates, delivery rates, and unsubscribe rates.

Automation Options

Being able to automate email sequences and send targeted messages to your supporters when certain conditions are met is made possible through automation, which should be an important feature you search for when choosing an email marketing software for your nonprofit. For example, an automated email could be triggered by an action such as a new subscriber to your newsletter, automatically sending out an email to welcome them without any manual work required on your part.

How to Create a Marketing Plan for a Nonprofit Organisation

Aside from email marketing, there are many other marketing aspects for making a successful marketing campaign for any nonprofit. To create a marketing plan for your nonprofit, the first step is to determine your goals for the campaign. Think about what you want to achieve – do you want more donors to sign up to donate monthly, or are you interested in getting people to fundraise for the cause? Along with email marketing, there are various other options to consider including in your marketing plan, such as:

Social Media

Social media marketing can be an ideal option for nonprofits, as social media allows brands to connect with thousands of customers at the same time. Social sharing can be a great way to raise more awareness of your nonprofit and the causes that you support. You can use social media to engage more with your donors, share interesting content, host competitions and games, and much more.


While in-person strategies might no longer be as effective as they once were in a world that has been dominated by digital marketing, there is still a huge place for them when it comes to the nonprofit scene. Often, potential donors and supporters will be more inspired to take action after having a conversation with somebody representing the nonprofit, meaning that events, or even working out of public places like shopping centres, can help you market a nonprofit effectively by striking up conversations with people who are interested in the cause.

Web Search

Finally, making sure that your nonprofit’s marketing plan includes SEO and digital strategies is crucial. This could involve boosting your online presence with a business blog that provides interested supporters with more information on how their support or donations are being used or writing for publications about what your charity does, who it helps, and how to get involved. Doing something newsworthy can be an ideal part of a marketing plan for a nonprofit to get the name in the papers or being spoken about online, to generate buzz and encourage new supporters.

Email marketing for nonprofits can be an effective way to keep in communication with supporters, show gratitude, learn more about donors, run successful fundraising campaigns, and more.

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