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Non-profit Email Marketing Strategies

Are you looking for ideas to increase support for your favorite non-profit?

As a volunteer and supporter of several non-profits over the years, having an email marketing strategy is very important to achieving the goals of the organization.

Email marketing is a key tool to staying connected with your supporters. Sendpulse shared that a Campaign Monitor study showed that 42% of donors prefer hearing from nonprofits via email, and 21% of respondents claimed nonprofit emails inspire them to donate. Email marketing also accounted for 28% of the revenue generated by nonprofits in 2017.

If you are not sending your supporters frequent emails, you are missing a large opportunity to help your cause. Need help increasing your email strategy? Here are some marketing tactics to help you reach your goals.

  • Grow your email subscriber list. Resist the temptation to buy lists and work hard to create content that will help build a targeted email list organically. We shared advice on how to do this in our recent blog, Simple Tactics to Increasing Your Small Business Email List. Always include an option to voluntarily opt-in to receiving your emails and an option to unsubscribe at any time.

  • Develop an email marketing plan. Plan out your weekly emails based on your event calendar. Many non-profits have volunteers helping to support their efforts and having an email calendar will ensure you are consistent and stay on track with your email marketing efforts. Try to send at least 1 relevant email each week promoting your events, sharing success stories or monthly newsletters. Avoid sending too many emails per week or you risk your emails landing in the spam folder.

  • Create effective subject lines. Email subject lines are important to getting high open rates and avoiding spam folders. Here are some tips:

  • Keep them short! Subjects with over 50 characters will get cut off on mobile devices and per Star Chapter 67% of emails are opened on mobile devices.

  • Avoid ALL CAPS or exclamation points. These can trigger SPAM filters.

  • Words like "free” or "no obligation" could also trigger SPAM filters.

  • Tell your audience specifically what's in your email.

  • Measure you email efforts. Measure email marketing metrics to know how your email campaigns are doing and how you can make them better. Some key metrics to track are open rates, bounce rate, click-through-rates, unsubscribes, and total subscribers. There are many additional metrics to help you improve the effectiveness of your emails. Bloomreach provides a nice detailed guide on the different measures and how to leverage them in your email marketing efforts.

  • Proof your content. As with all your marketing efforts, ensuring quality content is important. Making mistakes happens to the best of us, but most mistakes can be avoided by sending test emails and proofing. Common areas for mistakes are subject lines, registration links, dates, cost and time, especially if you are leveraging templates or copying emails to resend.

Looking for more advice on helping to promote your non-profit? Subscribe to our weekly blog! Please share this with your friends and other volunteers looking for help with email marketing efforts


At It's All About the How Marketing Consulting we offer expert marketing support and practical tools to help improve your brand awareness and results. We can help with all aspects of your non-profit marketing needs from developing strategic marketing plans to weekly blog content. You can reach us at or check out our website at

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