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Email Marketing For Non-Profit Organizations

Non-profit organizations find email marketing equally effective for raising funds and connecting with their communities when compared to for-profit organizations. Email is a credible and trusted channel among people as it is used as legal proof for official correspondence, something hard-wired into our brains. But asking for charity through emails doesn’t need to be boring- it can be, in fact, amazingly engaging since you’re celebrating your subscribers’ generosity. As an employee at an email marketing company, I had the chance to work on some amazing charity email campaigns, and today, I will share a few inspirations with my fellow marketers. Each of the following non-profit email inspirations will focus on a different approach, giving you enough room for developing your own outlook on the subject. Let’s get started:

Highlight Results To Foster Positivity And Trust

One of the most underrated uses of email marketing for non-profits is to actually market the results. Your subscribers will expect you to share the outcomes of their charity and see the positive change to which they contributed. This helps establish a feedback mechanism that supports accountability while it also gives your subscribers reason to continue working with you to enable the change they want to see in the world as they feel good about their contributions materializing. Have a look at the below example from The DonorsChoose Team as they share an achievement with their subscribers:

Good Email Copywriting + Good Images = Great Non-Profit Emails

Undoubtedly, email copies play a pivotal role in the success of any campaign, but when it comes to non-profit organizations, communication becomes even more necessary. Also, it’s tougher to write copies for charity-focused emails since sounding sales-heavy would equate with guilt-tripping your subscribers (and that’s a complete disaster!) On the other hand, not using impactful words and tonality would leave your message vague and uninspiring. Thus, we can agree with the fact that creating email copy for non-profits is all about using rich multimedia to create a synergy instead of merely complementing the message like in the below example:

Associate Your Product Sales With Charity

If you aren’t a non-profit organization but still want to associate your brand with a charitable cause, the best idea based on experience in an email marketing company is to associate your sales revenue with a charity. This way, you can entice your subscribers into purchasing things that they like and, at the same time, feel good about the purchase since a portion of their spending will go towards a cause they care for on a personal level. In the below example from Ashley & Co, the above-explained concept is well illustrated:

Enlist The Outcomes Of The Donations In A Clear Manner

At times, people over-explain the nobility hidden behind charities, and at other times, they understate the outcomes of the act. The simple way to approach the situation is to simply put down a list of how the non-profit will utilize the funds raised for charity and what will be the impact of the whole effort. This way, you can make it very simple to understand what exactly to expect out of the message, and it helps the subscriber take a call on whether they should donate or not, like in the below email example from Road Scholar:

Show Don’t Tell When It’s Not Easy To Understand The Impact

When you are looking forward to bringing a large change, it is difficult to explain its impacts without penning down long essays. However, you can cut down the length of your email copy with the help of illustrations. In the below example, the sender has equaled the donation amount of $15 for regenerative farming to one acre with the target amount to be $200,000, which is equal to 13,333 acres, i.e., more than 20 square miles. If they had simply stated that the $200,000 charity amount would be used to cover 20 square miles, there would have been hardly any impact on the reader:

Sound Empathetic Instead Of Emotional In Your Email Copies

One of the common email marketing mistakes made in the case of non-profit organizations is trying to sound overly emotional instead of sharing empathy. The former will lead to your readers feeling that they are being led on a guilt trip, while the latter helps them feel like a stakeholder of a collective cause. Transferring the leadership of the cause to the reader is a much better way to increase your conversion rate as opposed to using touchy content that sounds more like a melodrama than an appeal to come forward for good. Have a look at this example from Help for Heroes:

Keep Your Donors Updated

While sending messages for initiatives is a regular process, it is equally necessary to keep your donors updated about the recent milestones and give them hindsight. Letting them know of the cumulative output of the initiatives helps them understand how the community is achieving concrete results over time. This also instills trust as the subscribers would be able to verify the results over a longer period. Have a look at the example from CARE Australia that encapsulates the same:

Summing Up

Email marketing can help non-profit organizations reach their target audiences in a cost-effective way and build relationships with them. It also helps you connect with potential donors, volunteers, and partners. 

Email marketing is an effective tool for non-profit organizations because it allows you to build relationships with their target audiences and make lasting impressions so they can build a strong and loyal following that will be interested in your cause, and more importantly, it can help you raise funds for your organization. We hope that you can level up your non-profit email game with the help of the above-shared inspirations.

Read Also: Create a Client-Friendly Email Marketing Pitch That Wins!

Author: Kevin George is the head of marketing at Email Uplers, that specializes in crafting Professional Email Templates, PSD to Email conversion, and Mailchimp Templates. Kevin loves gadgets, bikes & jazz, and he breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on email marketing blog.

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