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Everything You Need to Know about Running an Email Campaign for Your Nonprofit Organization

Everything You Need to Know about Running an Email Campaign for Your Nonprofit OrganizationThe success of an email marketing campaign relies on a foundation of good organization, preparedness, and fine-tuning. Only with these things can you be sure that your nonprofit emails will affect your readers, leading to interest in your cause. To ensure you get off on the right foot and maximize your rates of success, here’s everything you need to know.

Use Reader Segmentation

When it comes down to it, readers only going want emails that pertain to them. Otherwise, they’ll simply send messages to the trash folder.

Consider your mailing list. You’ll have male and female readers from all different age ranges and demographics, perhaps even geographical locations. Segment your email list into groups.

“This means you can create custom emails for each demographic, making the content more appealing and more engaging to them,” explains Bryan Sylvester, an email marketer at Assignment help and a Huffingtonpost contributor.

Use Customized Donation Forms

Do your current emails currently all link to the same donation form page? If so, you could be reducing regular donors’ engagement with your organization, or at least donors who give more than once.

If you’re running a campaign to raise money for disaster relief, create a custom donation page for that cause. Then if you’re trying to raise money for non-emergency water aid, create another. This is a great way to engage your readers and give them a better experience.

Connect with Your Readers Emotionally

Use language that evokes emotion and connects to readers on a personal level. Although you may need to present distressing information in your messages, it’s vital that you use empowering and positive language as well.

This helps your readers to feel connected and to feel hope, making them much more likely to follow your cause and donate to your organization. Don’t forget to edit your emails professionally. You can do this by using editing tools like My Writing Way or Gradeonfire.

Get Your Timing Right

When it comes to actually sending your final emails, timing is everything. If you operate within a certain country, try to send the emails during waking hours and times that people will be checking their emails. These include early mornings and late afternoons (commuting times) and between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

You can also try and send your emails at different times of the year. For example, people are far more likely to donate over the Christmas period, so send more fundraising emails during the holidays. If you’re struggling for ideas, you can use email copywriting services like Essayroo or Letsgoandlearn to help.

Test Your Emails

It’s important to test your emails to make sure that they work and are accepted by your readers. This is known as A/B testing and often can be done using your email creation program or service.

A/B testing involves creating two versions of an email. For example, you use different subject lines, personalize one version and not the other, try different color schemes, or change the images used. You can even change things like fonts and font colors to make sure every aspect of your email is perfect in the eyes of your reader. Just be sure you test only one thing at a time.

Decide before you send the email how you will measure success. Open rates or click-through rates are two common metrics people use in A/B testing. Then send one version of the message to part of your list and the other to another part and see which does better. Many email programs automate this process.

Don’t forget to check through emails before sending them to make sure they are perfect. You can do this using grammar and proofreading tools such as Simplegrad and Writing Populist.

Analyze and Fine-Tune

Be sure to monitor the results of all your emails, even those you don’t A/B test. Look especially at open and click-through rates. Open rate simply describes how many people are opening your emails. If you’re sending out to 100 people, but only 1-3 people are opening them, you’ll know that  need to work on your subject lines. If someone hasn’t opened the last two or three of your emails, you may want to stop messaging them until the end-of-the-year giving season. This way, you’ll be able to entice readers into clicking on your email.

Click-through rate is the percentage of people that opened your email who also clicked at least one link in it. A low-click through rate means you need to improve the content of your emails.

Remember Mobile Readers

Around 66 percent of all emails are opened on a mobile device or a tablet. This means it’s essential that you optimize your emails for mobile viewing.

You’ll need to make sure everything is clear and formatted perfectly, so the recipient has the best reading experience. If your readers need to keep zooming out and rearranging the screen so they can see what’s going on, they won’t bother, and you’ll have lost out on potential engagement or donations.

To make this process easy, you can use the writing guides found at websites such as Via Writing and Academadvisor to make sure everything is perfect.


As you can see, there are many things that you’ll need to remember and consider when you’re writing emails for your nonprofit organization. Get yourself organized, do your research, and test your results, and you can be sure that you’ll optimize your process to create great emails every single time.

Gloria Kopp is a communication manager at Bigassignments. She is an author of Studydemiceducational blog, where she writes guides and reviews with students and educators. Gloria also works as a brand manager at Australian Help.

Topics: Communications Fundraising Communications Effective Emails