3 Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits That Leverage Email Marketing

Want an easy and inexpensive way to generate donations for your nonprofit? Consider email marketing. Online giving is more popular than ever, and email can help support your fundraising efforts.

In fact, nonprofits saw a 10.4% increase in online giving from 2016 to 2017, according to the Blackbaud Index, and email marketing generates roughly one third of online donations for nonprofits.

Stats aside, email is a great way to keep donors, volunteers, and other partners up-to-date on what’s happening within your organization. It makes raising funds for your organization simpler and helps to keep donations coming in on a more consistent basis.

As the year begins to draw to an end, email marketing can help you meet, or even beat, your donation goals. Email is a secret weapon for fundraising– and it’s time to learn how to put it to use.

Campaign Monitor has created 12 Tips Nonprofits Can Use to Get Online Donations as an easy-to-read infographic to help nonprofits. Here are 3 tips from the infographic to help your nonprofit raise more funds:

1. Put Email Campaigns and Social Media Together

Email is a great tool for fundraising, but it works best when paired with social media. Using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest can get your message in front of the right people. Most social platforms have special accounts for nonprofits, and some, like Facebook, have donation tools too.

For example, The Royal Children’s Hospital uses Facebook to share different stories and occasionally asks directly for donations.

Including social sharing buttons in your emails is a must, and hopefully something you do already. In addition to this, be sure that the content you have in your email and on your social sites is valuable and can be shared on any platform.

For example, American Lung Association sent a thank you email and asked their readers to share their thanks on Facebook and included links to do so. Their Facebook post has the same image, to keep things consistent. This is a great example of using email and Facebook together.

Not all social media should be about donations. Be sure to mix up what your followers see, and give them ways to interact with your organization that doesn’t involve money. They’ll be more receptive to want to donate at a later date if you’re sharing valuable information throughout the year.

2. Optimize Emails for Mobile

It’s pretty safe to say that mobile phones are here to stay, and marketers need to adapt. More emails are opened on mobile devices than on computers these days, so making sure your emails work anywhere they’re viewed is vital.

As a nonprofit, you probably have limited time and staff to spend on emails, which is where mobile-friendly email templates can be a lifesaver. They’re pre-built to look great no matter what size screen they’re viewed on, you just need to add your fabulous content, links and engaging images. Keep your text fairly short, smaller screens means shorter attention spans, but still include the information that’s going to be useful to your readers.

For example, Whale and Dolphin Conservation has a great mobile-friendly email. Their image is eye-catching, the text is short and to the point and they have a great call to action button right in the middle.

California State Parks Foundation also has a good example of a mobile-friendly email. It’s short, has a great image, and right at the top is a donation link. They share the information they need to, but also make sure their readers have the option to donate from their mobile if they want to.

3. Use Compelling Images

A picture is worth a 1,000 words is so true when it comes to email marketing. Your images will make difference to how people view your organization and how they interact with your emails. Including images that tell your story can help get your message across and share your mission, all without words. And since attention spans are pretty short these days, that’s a pretty useful tool for fundraising.

Photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts on social. Keep that momentum up and use your images on your website, on social media and in your emails for a consistent experience.

Both The Royal Children’s Hospital and The Australian Red Cross use images that convey their message, show who they’re helping, and share what their mission is. Plus they have easy donation buttons in their emails, making it easy for readers to help.

Wrap up

Fundraising online is part of what all nonprofits need to do. Using email marketing makes it much easier to accomplish. You can also use it to stay in touch with donors and volunteers, to share events, and keep them up on how the funds are used. The more people see and interact with your organization, the more likely they are to donate. Use some, or all, of the ideas in 12 Tips Nonprofits Can Use to Get Online Donations infographic and get more donations for your nonprofit.

Author bio

Andrea Robbins is a demand generation marketer at Campaign Monitor. Her favorite things include getting outdoors, a good cup of coffee, and her Siamese kitty. Say hi on Twitter @andirobz

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