Maximize Fundraising: A Guide to Effective Year-End Emails

Maximize Fundraising: A Guide to Effective Year-End Emails

Maximize Fundraising: A Guide to Effective Year-End Emails

This post is an additional resource to Digital Marketing Therapy podcast episode 227 

Picture this: The year-end emails you’ve been sending out are finally getting the traction they deserve. Donors’ hearts and wallets open wide, bringing in funds that exceed your wildest dreams.

Pretty amazing, right?

Real talk…that’s not typically how it pans out. We all know year-end fundraising can feel like a mad scramble – so many emails to send, so little time.

You might be asking yourself: “Is there a better way?” What if I told you there is?

Embark on a journey where creating captivating content is no longer just a dream, but an attainable reality! Learn how to engage donors with personal narratives, enhance your campaign’s visual appeal through videos and testimonials. Master the art of structuring email campaigns for optimal impact. Inspire generosity by setting loftier giving goals.

Table of Contents:

Crafting the Perfect Year-End Fundraising Email

Your year-end fundraising email should be used to communicate the impact of your work, showcase successes from the past twelve months, and establish an emotional connection with donors that encourages them to donate. It’s your opportunity to share impactful stories, highlight successes from the past year, and create an emotional connection with donors that inspires them to give.

The Role of Personal Stories in Your Email Appeal

When it comes to crafting compelling content for your year-end fundraising email, personal stories play a critical role. They make abstract statistics tangible and inspire empathy in your audience.

So how do you write these narratives? Start by choosing a story that aligns with your mission and has direct relevance to the work you’ve been doing throughout the year. Then frame this story around one individual or group whose lives have changed because of donor support.

Remember, specificity adds authenticity. The aim isn’t just to make those who donate content; it’s about making them aware of what their money does when they choose to give for your purpose.

Showcasing Impact in Your Year-End Email

Beyond sharing personal stories, another way to resonate with potential givers is by showcasing impact. Instead of saying “we helped thousands,” provide specific numbers: “With last year’s funds we were able help 6 families rebuild after natural disasters.”

This level of detail not only creates transparency but also gives potential donors clear evidence that their contributions lead directly to positive outcomes—something essential for any successful fundraising appeal.

However, while data is important, don’t forget to connect it back to the human element. Connecting the data to actual individuals and their stories can be just as impactful as the numbers.

Incorporating Visual Elements into Your Fundraising Emails

To make your year-end fundraising emails more engaging and visually appealing, consider incorporating relevant images or videos. These could be photos of those you’ve helped throughout the year or a short video that encapsulates your mission and achievements.

This multimedia approach doesn’t only add visual interest but also helps bring stories to life in ways text alone can’t achieve. For instance, a picture capturing a beneficiary’s smile after receiving aid provides an emotional connection point that words often struggle to convey on their own.

Key Takeaway: 

Personalize and Impact: Craft your year-end fundraising emails with heart-touching personal stories that align with your mission. Show donors the tangible impact of their contributions, using specific numbers to add authenticity. Also, remember visuals can tell a story words often can’t, so include relevant images or videos.

Incorporating Visual Elements into Your Fundraising Emails

As the holiday season draws near, nonprofits ramp up their year-end fundraising campaigns. One effective tool in these efforts is email marketing. Just sending out a donation request isn’t enough – your emails must be distinctive if you want to have any success with year-end fundraising.

The power of visuals can’t be underestimated when crafting successful year-end fundraising emails. Including elements like videos, photos, and testimonials can make all the difference in engaging donors and encouraging them to contribute towards your annual fundraising goal.

Using Videos in Your Email Campaign

Videos have become an increasingly popular medium for nonprofit fundraisers due to their dynamic nature and ability to evoke emotion. They offer a way for you to share your organization’s story, mission or highlight ongoing support projects visually which tends to resonate more with people than text alone.

You could consider using video clips featuring team members working on-the-ground or beneficiaries sharing how they’ve benefited from your services. This gives potential donors a glimpse into where their donations go while adding authenticity and credibility that inspires trust.

The Power of Testimonials in Fundraising Emails

Testimonials are another form of visual content that carries significant weight, particularly if they come from board members who actively participate in project implementation or individuals who directly benefit from donations received during this critical time such as end-of-year season.

A well-placed testimonial offers social proof by showing others’ experiences with your cause. You may also find success incorporating quotes along with images within each donor data segment according to previous donation match history. This can help to personalize your year-end emails, making supporters feel more connected and valued.

Incorporating these visual elements into your fundraising email campaign not only improves engagement but also boosts the chances of meeting or exceeding your annual fundraising goal. By enhancing emotional connection through videos and building trust with testimonials, you’re creating a compelling reason for donors to support your cause during this crucial giving period.

Key Takeaway: 

Rev up your year-end fundraising emails by harnessing the strength of visuals. Videos, images, and testimonials are not just mere additions; they’re real game-changers. These elements breathe life into your cause, transforming it from an abstract concept to a tangible reality for potential donors. Let them see firsthand where their donations end up and hear others share about their encounters with your organization. This approach is bound to draw in more people and significantly raise those donation figures.

Structuring Your Year-End Email Campaigns

The key to successful year-end email campaigns is thoughtful structure. Constructing a year-end email campaign is akin to constructing a house – it requires an adequate base, the proper elements and a plan for accomplishment.

Crafting the Main Appeal Email

Your main appeal email serves as that foundation. Think of it as your big ask — an in-depth piece that encapsulates your organization’s mission, impact, and fundraising goal. But crafting this isn’t just about throwing facts onto paper; it needs strategy and finesse.

To start with, put yourself in your donors’ shoes. What would inspire them to support your cause? A heartfelt story showcasing how their contributions make real-world impacts could be one answer. This gives meaning to their donation beyond dollars and cents.

Incorporate elements such as powerful images or compelling quotes from beneficiaries to drive home the point. Just remember not to overwhelm with information overload – balance is key.

Breaking Down the Main Appeal into Shorter Emails

If we stick with our construction analogy – now that we have built our sturdy house (the main appeal), let’s furnish each room (shorter emails). These are more targeted pieces derived from your main appeal which can serve different purposes within your campaign such as status updates or celebratory messages. Studies show that shorter emails often get higher engagement rates than longer ones because they’re easier for readers to digest quickly.

  • Status updates: These can include progress towards your fundraising goal, new developments related to your cause or even a story about how previous donations have been used. Remember that these should be brief and impactful.
  • Celebratory messages: Did you just reach 50% of your fundraising target? Celebrate it. Sharing milestones not only builds momentum but also fosters a sense of community among donors.

In addition, consider sending personalized thank-you emails. A little gratitude goes a long way in making supporters feel appreciated and encouraging future giving. Use data from past campaigns to personalize the content – something as simple as using the donor’s name can increase engagement rates significantly.

Key Takeaway: 

Picture your year-end email campaign as building a house. The main appeal email is the foundation, an in-depth ask that captures your mission and fundraising goal with strategy and finesse. Break it down into shorter emails – rooms furnished with status updates or celebratory messages. Personalized thank-you notes add warmth to this home, making supporters feel valued.

Setting Giving Levels and Making Specific Asks

When it comes to year-end fundraising, setting giving levels can significantly influence your donors’ contributions. But how do you decide on the right amounts? The key is in analyzing your donor data.

A useful strategy involves establishing giving levels slightly above your organization’s average gift amount. This encourages donors to stretch their donations just a bit more than they might usually give.

The Strategy Behind Setting Giving Levels

Determining suitable giving levels for your campaign emails starts with understanding the typical donation range of your supporters. By reviewing past annual fundraising campaigns, you can identify an average gift amount that most of your donors are comfortable contributing.

This figure then serves as a benchmark when defining higher yet achievable giving tiers. It helps nudge potential givers into donating larger amounts without making them feel overwhelmed or unable to contribute meaningfully. This tactic is often used by successful nonprofit fundraisers.

Making Specific Asks in Your Year-End Emails

In addition to setting thoughtful giving tiers, it’s also essential that we make specific asks in our email campaigns – not just during this critical time at year-end season but throughout all ongoing support initiatives too.

An effective way of doing this involves segmenting the recipients based on previous engagement and gifts given earlier within the total annual timeframe. So, if one group of supporters usually donates $50, consider asking them to contribute $60. Or if another group regularly gives around $100, suggest they stretch their donation to match a slightly higher level.

Being explicit about the amount you’re asking for can often lead to increased donations as it removes any guesswork from the donor’s end. This strategy also helps in making your communications stand out amidst all other year-end fundraising emails that your donors might be receiving during this period.

The Power of Donation Match

Adding matching gifts into your campaign is another way to boost the overall impact. It’s a smart strategy that can significantly increase your fundraising results. Donors feel more urgency to give because they know their gift will be doubled.

Key Takeaway: 

Stretch Donations & Make Specific Asks: Analyze past donations to set giving levels a notch higher than the average gift. Be specific in your asks, tailoring them based on previous engagement and gifts given earlier within the year. These strategies can motivate donors to give more without feeling overwhelmed.


Discover the strength of matched giving. This method doubles the impact of every donation, magnifying your ability to make a difference.

FAQs in Relation to Year End Emails

How do you send a year-end email?

To send a year-end email, craft an impactful message, select your recipient list, schedule the delivery time in your email marketing platform, and hit ‘send’.

How do you write a year-end letter?

Write a compelling year-end letter by thanking donors for their support, sharing success stories from the past year, explaining upcoming projects, and making clear asks for donations.

How do you write a year-end fundraising letter?

Create an effective fundraising letter with personal anecdotes about beneficiaries of donations. Clearly articulate how further gifts can continue to make a difference. Always thank supporters for previous help.

How long should fundraising emails be?

Fundraising emails should typically range between 200-500 words. They need to convey important information while still being engaging enough to hold readers’ attention.


Mastering year-end emails isn’t rocket science…but it does require a bit of strategy and creativity.

You’ve learned how personal narratives can stir the hearts of donors, inspiring them to give more generously.

We’ve also talked about enhancing your campaign’s visual appeal with videos and testimonials – making it not just another email, but an experience!

You now know that structuring your campaigns strategically by breaking down longer main appeals into shorter updates makes for easier digestion (and hopefully better results!).

And let’s not forget setting higher giving goals! Remember: Donors rise to the occasion when they see their impact spelled out clearly.

It’s time you transformed your fundraising efforts with these insights. Make this upcoming year-end season count like never before!

Creating a Robust Language Guide for Nonprofits

Creating a Robust Language Guide for Nonprofits

Creating a Robust Language Guide for Nonprofits

This post is an additional resource to Digital Marketing Therapy podcast episode 221.

Ever felt lost in translation, even when everyone’s speaking the same language? Welcome to the club. A language guide, like a compass, points us toward clearer communication.

I remember my first time navigating corporate jargon – it was like deciphering hieroglyphics! It made me realize how important common ground is for effective conversation.

Let’s jump into language guides. We’ll uncover key elements of a good language guide and why they matter. We’ll delve into inclusive language, its significance, and how you can adopt it in your organization.

The end game? A comprehensive yet practical toolkit that helps communicate with empathy and clarity. Ready to turn confusion into connection?

Table of Contents:

Understanding the Language Guide

A language guide serves as a roadmap for communication. It outlines how we express ourselves and interact with others. Much like following GPS directions on an unfamiliar road, a language guide helps us navigate complex conversations.

The importance of a language guide cannot be overstated. It’s more than just grammar rules or vocabulary lists—it shapes our understanding and expression of ideas, feelings, and information. But why does this matter?

Imagine trying to assemble furniture without instructions—confusing right? A language guide works similarly by providing clear directions for effective communication in different contexts such as academic writing, business meetings, social interactions etc.

This doesn’t only address the search intent for “Language guide”, but it also promotes clarity, consistency, inclusivity in communications—an essential aspect in today’s globalized world where miscommunication can lead to unintended consequences.

Language Guide Overview

In essence, a language guide is akin to your trusty compass, directing you towards successful verbal and written interactions. You see: not all words are created equal. The way we use them—their tone or context—can greatly impact their meaning and reception by others.

If used effectively though (and that’s where your handy-dandy language guides come into play), they can bridge cultural gaps; eliminate confusion; even help avoid potential conflicts.

The Importance of Language Guides

  • Cultivates empathy: By using inclusive terminology suggested by these guides—we foster environments conducive to mutual respect & understanding between diverse groups;
  • Promotes effective communication: Imagine speaking ‘English’ in France and ‘French’ in England. Language guides help ensure we’re all on the same page, no matter where we are;
  • Encourages learning: These resources provide an opportunity to expand our linguistic horizons, appreciate different cultures & dialects.

Language guides can thus play a pivotal role—making communication not just possible but meaningful. After all, it’s not always about what you say; often—it’s how you say it.

Key Takeaway: 

Think of a language guide as your communication GPS. It does more than just list grammar rules or vocab—it shapes how we share ideas and feelings. Used well, it clears up confusion, bridges cultural gaps, and even prevents conflicts. With the help of a language guide, you can promote understanding between diverse groups and make sure everyone’s on the same page.

Key Elements of a Language Guide

A language guide is not just about grammar rules and syntax. It’s also an opportunity to foster inclusivity, sensitivity, and understanding through our words.

Understanding Message Types and Field Numbers

The core of any language guide involves breaking down the message types we use every day. For instance, in communication apps like Slack or Teams, different message types can include direct messages (DMs), channel posts, or thread replies.

We also need to understand field numbers. Think of them as unique identifiers that help keep track of which parts belong where in a sentence structure—kinda like putting together IKEA furniture.

Exploring Inclusive Language

Never has it been more essential to be inclusive. Inclusive language matters because it creates an environment where everyone feels respected and seen for who they are.

This means moving beyond gendered terms like “guys”, replacing ableist phrases such as “turning a blind eye”, or avoiding culturally insensitive idioms that may offend certain communities.

The Impact of Identity-First Language

“Identity-first”, sounds empowering right? That’s because it is. By allowing individuals to define themselves first – whether by their profession (“doctor”), nationality (“American”) or even health status (“autistic person”) – identity-first language gives control back into the hands of the individual.

An effective way to implement this would be asking someone how they prefer being referred to instead of making assumptions based on what you think might be appropriate.

Remember folks, when developing your own organization’s language guide, consider the importance of understanding message types and field numbers. More importantly, be mindful about using inclusive language to promote respect and sensitivity among all members. And lastly, let identity-first language take center stage in your communication strategy – because we’re not just talking words here; it’s people’s identities at stake.

Key Takeaway: 

A robust language guide goes beyond grammar, fostering inclusivity and understanding. It involves breaking down daily message types and using unique identifiers for sentence structure clarity. Emphasize inclusive language that respects everyone’s identities and let people define themselves first in communication – because words shape our world.

Creating an Inclusive Language Guide

Making a language guide that respects and celebrates diversity is no small feat. But, it’s essential to create a workplace culture where everyone feels seen and valued.

The first step in creating an inclusive language guide is acknowledging the diversity within your team. People from a variety of backgrounds, possessing different experiences and outlooks, exist.

Incorporating diverse populations means being aware of how certain terms might affect different people. Some words may seem harmless but could potentially be offensive or triggering for others due to historical or cultural reasons.

This is where addressing bias comes into play. Bias can sneak into our speech patterns without us even realizing it. An effective language guide helps pinpoint these biases so we can work towards eliminating them.

Promoting Equity through Communication

Promotion of equity should be at the heart of every communication strategy, including your language guide. Ensuring equity requires providing individuals with the resources they need to succeed, tailored to their unique situations.

Drafting Guidelines for Developing a Language Guide

  • Create clear definitions: The most effective guides don’t leave room for interpretation when it comes to using respectful terms.
  • Solicit input: Ask employees from all levels and departments what they think would make communication more inclusive.
  • Educate staff: Host workshops or seminars explaining why this initiative matters.

Collaboration Is Key

  • Avoid making decisions in isolation: Collaboration fosters buy-in among stakeholders which makes implementing change easier.
  • Foster open dialogue: Encourage team members to share their experiences and suggestions. This can help identify potential blind spots.
  • Testimonials from various stakeholders: Include testimonials in the guide, this will provide examples of how others talk about the organization. It’s a great idea to adopt techniques that foster inclusivity.

Remember, creating an inclusive language guide isn’t just about avoiding offensive terms; it’s also about choosing words that make everyone feel valued and respected.

Key Takeaway: 

Creating a language guide that champions diversity is key to fostering an inclusive workplace. Start by acknowledging team diversity, then understand how words can impact different people. Aim for equity in communication and solicit input from all employees when drafting guidelines. Remember: collaboration and open dialogue are crucial, and the goal isn’t just avoiding offense—it’s making everyone feel valued.

Implementing the Language Guide

So, you’ve got your language guide. But how can you make it operational in your organization? Well, let’s look at some practical steps.

The first step is training on the language guide. This shouldn’t be a one-off thing; it should be an ongoin’ part of staff trainin’ plans. It helps everyone understand why this change is happening and how they can contribute positively.

We need to consider legal implications as well. You see, language has power and misuse of certain terms could land us in hot water legally speaking. To avoid any missteps here, getting legal advice when developing or modifying our guide might not be such a bad idea.

Social Media Usage & The Language Guide

In today’s digital age, social media plays a significant role in communication strategies. Therefore integrating the developed language guide into these platforms becomes vital too.

How about we draft clear guidelines for all team members managing official accounts? These will include specifics on tone of voice and word choice aligned with our inclusive principles from the guide. Here are some additional tips on crafting social media content with inclusivity in mind.

Policies help keep things fair and consistent within organizations – that includes communication practices too. By including specific clauses relating to respectful interaction using our new-found linguistic prowess could make implementing changes smoother. Here’s an example of a policy that prioritizes respect in communication.

Involving stakeholders from various departments can help us make sure the new guidelines are feasible and relevant. Plus, it’ll give everyone a sense of ownership.

The Role of Media Coverage

Finally, media coverage is an important component of our organization’s outreach. This could be press releases or interviews – any public-facing content really.

We need to ensure consistency here too because this is where our organization’s voice will reach further than ever before. To maintain uniformity across all channels, let’s prepare some templates for common scenarios using our language guide principles.

Key Takeaway: 

Getting your language guide to work in your nonprofit means training staff consistently, considering legal aspects, and integrating it into social media strategies. Be mindful of policy implications while involving stakeholders for relevance. And don’t forget about consistency in public-facing content like press releases.

Evaluating Your Language Guide

It’s crucial to evaluate your language guide. It’s akin to getting a medical exam; you need to guarantee everything is running as expected. This involves looking at the effectiveness of your language guide and seeing if any revisions or updates are needed.

The evaluation process starts with analyzing how well the guide meets its objectives. If the goal was inclusivity, does it cover all aspects of diverse communication? Is there room for more nuanced expressions that cater to different groups within your organization?

Consider seeking feedback from those who use this tool daily – employees, stakeholders, even customers. Their insights can help pinpoint areas where improvements might be necessary.

Tips on Revising Your Language Guide

To start revising your document, compile all feedback received during evaluation and categorize them based on themes or issues raised.

Next up: tackle each issue head-on. Look at suggestions made by users and see how these could enhance clarity in communication while maintaining respect for diversity and inclusion principles already established in the original draft.

In case some parts need updating due to changes within the company or industry trends (we know change is inevitable), do so keeping relevance top-of-mind.

Maintaining Relevance in an Ever-Changing Landscape

We live in dynamic times which means we have new terms entering our lexicon every day (Hello ‘Zoom fatigue’.). Therefore, keep abreast with emerging terminology relevant to both internal operations and external interactions involving clients/customers/stakeholders etc., because let’s face it – nobody wants their lingo stuck in yesteryears.

Your language guide isn’t carved into stone but rather etched onto a whiteboard – open for continuous tweaks based on evolving needs and norms.

Finally, remember to share updated versions with everyone in the organization. A language guide that isn’t known or used is like a secret recipe lost in an old cookbook – useless.

Evaluating effectiveness of your language guide, making revisions when needed and ensuring it stays up-to-date are critical steps for maintaining clear, inclusive communication within any organization.

Key Takeaway: 

Think of your language guide as a living document, just like the dynamic times we live in. Regular check-ups ensure it’s working well and stays relevant. Gather feedback for improvements and tackle issues head-on. Keep up with new terms, make updates when needed, and share them organization-wide to keep communication clear and inclusive.

Language Guide Examples and Resources

If you’re looking to create or improve your organization’s language guide, it helps to see what others have done. We’ve got some killer examples and resources lined up for you.

Case Studies on Successful Language Guide Implementation

Diving into case studies can give us valuable insights. Take the example of Apple’s Language Style Guide. It perfectly outlines their brand voice, maintaining a consistent tone across all communication channels.

The tech giant didn’t pull this off overnight though. The key was in building upon each successful implementation stage. And voila – they achieved a seamless blend of information delivery with Apple-esque charm.

You don’t need to be an Apple-sized entity to achieve comparable success. Your own unique language style guide could become the cornerstone of your organization’s communications.

Utilizing Code Generators and Language Specification Tools

In addition to examining how other organizations do it, there are tools available designed specifically for creating comprehensive language guides.

Swagger, a popular open-source tool used by developers worldwide is one such resource worth checking out. This powerful code generator allows teams to define APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) using simple JSON format – making collaboration easier than ever before.

  • Acknowledging various groups through specific guidelines shows respect and inclusion.
  • The best practices gathered from diverse organizations will help fine-tune your strategy.
  • Last but definitely not least: don’t forget about those nifty code generators when crafting technical documents.

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The Role of Stakeholders in Developing a Language Guide

Creating a language guide is not an isolated task. It’s similar to throwing a dinner gathering, where each attendee adds their own distinctive taste to the event. And guess who your guests are? They’re your stakeholders.

Stakeholders play a vital role in shaping language guides. But why so? Because they know how they talk about the organization best. Think about it: would you ask someone else to describe your favorite dish at that party better than you?

You see, collaboration with stakeholders helps ensure everyone’s voice gets heard and valued during development stages. Their insights can help craft content that truly reflects organizational culture while promoting understanding across diverse groups.

Involving Different Stakeholders

Different types of stakeholders bring varied perspectives when developing these guidelines for communication. Employees might highlight jargon needing clarity or cultural nuances requiring respect.

Clients or customers could offer invaluable feedback on how they perceive and understand company messages – after all, who knows what resonates with them better than themselves?

Potential investors might suggest industry-specific terminology ensuring the guide remains relevant and impactful within its field.
This collaboration isn’t just beneficial; it’s essential.

Beyond Collaboration – Validation & Testimonials

Apart from contributing ideas, stakeholder validation plays another critical part in this process by reinforcing trustworthiness through testimonials which become valuable assets within the guide itself.
We’ve found out something interesting: organizations often include examples showcasing how different stakeholders talk about them as proof points highlighting their commitment towards inclusive communications. Check this out.

The language guide is like a menu at our dinner party. The more varied and comprehensive the language guide is, the better everyone’s experience will be. Involving stakeholders in its development ensures that every guest finds something to their taste.

Key Takeaway: 

Think of creating a language guide as hosting a dinner party – your stakeholders are the guests bringing their unique flavors. Their insights shape content that mirrors organizational culture and promotes understanding across diverse groups. Employees, clients, potential investors – all bring valuable perspectives to ensure clear communication. Stakeholder validation further adds trustworthiness with testimonials becoming assets within the guide itself.

FAQs in Relation to Language Guide

How to learn a language guide?

To master a language guide, start by studying its elements. Practice regularly and use it in your communication.

How do I make my own language?

Create your own language by defining its grammar rules, vocabulary, syntax structure, and phonetics. Keep practicing for fluency.

What is scientifically the best way to learn a language?

Studies show that immersive learning is the top method. This means living among native speakers or using apps with interactive lessons.

What should you learn first in a new language?

In any new lingo, begin with common phrases and greetings. Then tackle basic grammar rules followed by vocabulary expansion.


Creating a language guide isn’t just about eliminating confusion, it’s also about fostering inclusivity. With these tools, you are now prepared to create a language guide that not only eliminates confusion but also promotes inclusivity.

The importance of inclusive language? You’ve got that down. The impact of identity-first language? Now in your communication toolkit.

You learned how to create an effective and comprehensive guide for your organization. Remember: cater to diverse populations, address bias and promote equity!

The journey doesn’t end here though. Implementing this knowledge into practice is crucial; make sure everyone gets on board! With time, you’ll see improved clarity in communication.

Evaluate regularly, tweak as necessary and always keep learning – because great conversation starts with understanding!


6 Places to Promote Your Email List

6 Places to Promote Your Email List

6 Places to Promote Your Email List

Building your email is is something that is extremely valuable to your organization. This gives you an opportunity to connect with people, share your impact and increase your donations. The critical thing is to keep growing your list. While there are several strategies for growing your list, don’t forget about the little things you can do easily to make sure people know that it exists, and what they will learn and gain by subscribing.

Here are 6 different places you can let people know you have an email newsletter they want to get!

Before you get started

Building your list isn’t as simple as putting a quick form together to get their email addresses. People don’t want to get spammed and they don’t want to only get emails that are asking for donations. To get people to sign up you need to give them something of value. A lead magnet is the most common thing but not your only option. If you’re just getting started, think about what value you are providing in your emails. If you’re a pet adoption organization, it could be weekly discounts from your partner companies so they can save money on their pets. If you’re an enviromental organization it could be weekly tips on reducing your environmental impact. If you’re an after school program, it could be weekly resources to support your kiddos at home.

Think about what it is you do and how you can support your community. Putting these elements in your email newsletter sign up is going to make it more likely that your audience will want to sign up to receive it. “Sign up for our newsletter” will not see as many results!

Website footer

Put your email optin right above your footer. Users often scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to find quick links and easy access to information. This is a great place to gain their attention and encourage people to sign up.

Create a graphic to catch people’s attention and use a quick and easy form that includes first name and email address. In many website builders you can create this as a footer so it will automatically be added to every page you create. That saves you time and ensures that you’ll have an opportunity for people to sign up no matter what page you’re on.

Blog posts

If you’re creating blog posts then put your opt in in the middle of those posts. This is incredibly helpful especially if you have a lead magnet that relates to that content.

For example, let’s say you are a museum and you’re writing a blog post about the achievements of Leonardo DaVinci to help promote an upcoming exhibit. Maybe in the middle of the post you have an opportunity for people to download a guide they can use to plan their trip to the museum and give them more information on what they’ll learn while they’re there. Then, because you have your opt in in the footer they’ll have another opportunity to join your email list after they have completed reading the post and made it to the bottom of the page.

If you don’t have a unique lead magnet you can send for that blog post, that’s ok. Create an option for people to sign up with language about your newsletter that is more related to the topic of your post. In the example above it could say something like, Subscribe to our email list for more information on upcoming exhibits before they launch on our website!

Contact page

If people are interested in connecting with you the contact page is typically where they go first for all the information. Having multiple ways they can do that is critial because people like to communicate in different ways. They might want to talk to a person for a quick question. It my be a general inquiry with no urgency. Or it could be they want more information and email is a great way for that. Make sure there is an option there for them to get on your email list so they know they can get regular content from you and get to know you over time.

Not everyone is ready to take action right away – they need to be nurtured and find trust in your organization. Giving them the option to build that trust through your email newsletter is a great way to do that.

Pop up

Yes, these have a love hate relationship! But they work! Testing how you serve them up is critical. Then, as long as what they’re getting is valuable for them you won’t make them mad. 

If you don’t like popups you could also look at slide ins that come in on the corner of your page.

Email signature

Think about all the emails you send each day. You probably have your social media channels in your email signture but have you thought about putting a link to your email newsletter there as well? Mimic some of the text you have used in other places. This. isan easy way to get things in front of people you’re already connecting with.

Social media bio

If people are enjoying your content on social they’ll probably want a way to connect with you further. Your email list is perfect for this! Make sure its easy for them to find the link and take action. 


People may not sign up for your list the first time they see your email sign up. Or they might not be ready to dive in but soon they will be. Make it easy and clearly show the value so its a no brainer for people.

Crafting Your Donor Follow Up Experience

Crafting Your Donor Follow Up Experience

Crafting Your Donor Follow Up Experience

Once a donor gives you their money, how are you following up with them? How are you thanking them and engaging with them to set you up for success with a second gift down the road? 

It is a lot of work getting new donors but the work doesn’t stop there. How you treat your donors once they’ve given makes a big impact on if they give again, regardless of gift size. You probably have a follow up plan for your major donors and corporate sponsors. Remember that you don’t always know the capacity of someone donating on your website – or who else they know. Nurturing donors that give $5 as well as major donors leads to better sustainability and pool of donors to connect with.

Having a combination of offline and online elements will be a great strategy to keep you moving forward. The best part is that some of it can be automated. This blog post will give you some ideas for things to consider with designing your own donor follow up experience.

Create an Experience Map

Determine what you want the donor experience to look like. Be on brand and have fun with it! The goal is to keep them engaged and part of your community. You may have a different experience for different types of donors. For example, monthly donors, foundations/grants, corporate sponsors, event attendees, etc.

Brainstorm ideas and then line them out for each different type. If you’re just getting started, start with one and then go from there.

It’s important to include offline and online elements. You can start with the ideas below! Once you have it all lined out, create a template in your CRM so people know when they need to do a task post donation and nothing falls through the cracks.

Donor Email Welcome Sequence

A donor welcome sequence is a series of emails that a donor gets after they have donated. It’s usually 5-7 emails over a period of a couple of weeks. The goal of this sequence is to share more impact stories, let them get to know your organization better and set expectations for how you’ll be communicating with them.

Welcome sequences can make a huge impact because the open rates on the first email are the highest of any email you’ll send in the future. This is a great way to connect and set the stage for how you treat your donors.

Listen to Episode 122 of the Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast for a deep dive on the welcome sequence.

The best part of these sequences is that they are automated and you don’t have to manage sending them out manually. Just remember to leave space in the timing of the emails for the other elements you include in the experience.

Personal Phone Call

Phone calls go a long way – and not a lot of nonprofits take this step. This call could come from your Executive Director, Development Director, Board Member, etc. Determine the right person based off of the type of gift. 

Even smaller gifts or new monthly donors should be getting 1:1 phone calls. This gives you an opportunity to make a personal connection with donors, ask questions and take notes of how you can better connect in the future.

Ask great questions:

  • why did you choose to give to our organization?
  • what part of our program excites you the most?
  • how do you like to be recognized?

The goal is to make it about them and find out how you can make them feel special in the future.

Thank You Cards

Handwritten cards are a great way to personalize thank yous. Plus people love getting mail that isn’t bills or junk! Again, this is something not a lot of organizations are doing.

You can utilize volunteers and board members for this, or it can also be automated with software like Handwrytten. While this isn’t free, it is a great low cost option to make a great impact.

Send Swag

Swag is a great way surprise and delight your donors and allow them to showcase their support for your organization. It doesn’t have to be expensive! Stickers are great and can be used everywhere. You could also create window clings for their business or car windows. Of course t-shirts are great because people wear them out and about. 

Just like with other elements here, pay attention to your budget and gift size. For example, you might send swag to your monthly donors after six months to acknowledge their dedication and say thank you.

Ongoing Email Newsletters

Once they’ve donated you want to connect with them regularly. That way when the next campaign comes around they have heard from you about impact and you’ve stayed top of mind.

Emails can go out at whatever cadence you can do consistently. We recommend at least twice a month, but weekly is even better. These newsletters can include your blog content, impact stories, industry updates, tips and more. The goal is to position you as the industry expert you are so they know you are the best suited to move the cause forward. 

The more consistently and regularly you send these emails the more often you can make an ask of your subscribers.


Your donors are the reason you are able to create impact. Nurturing them and engagement with them regularly will help you with your retention rates and keep your fundraising running smooth. While you don’t have to do all the things listed here, build in a donor experience you’re excited about and your donors will be excited too. 

Creative Ideas for a Paid Newsletter

Creative Ideas for a Paid Newsletter

Creative Ideas for a Paid Newsletter

Email marketing is a great asset to your organization and has the highest ROI of anything in the digital marketing space. Imagine what you could do with a premium or paid newsletter. It’s a great way to generate income on a regular basis and provide tremendous value to your audience. It’s also a great way for people to engage with your organization and learn more about what you do and potentially become donors in the future.

What Should You Consider Before Starting a Paid Newsletter?

There are a few things that need to be considered in order to have a successful paid newsletter.


How often are you going to send out this newsletter? Once you start you’ll want to make sure you can be consistent with the execution. Remember that subscribers are paying to get the content so you’ll need to make sure you can deliver. How often you publish is totally up to you. Monthly would allow for more engagement with your subscribers but would be more work. It is not recommended to do it less than quarterly.

Tech and SignUps

How are you going to deliver the newsletter and take their money? This isn’t as complicated as it sounds. If you’re already using an email marketing platform like ConvertKit* then you can probably do it all in there. It’s just about creating a separate tag or segment to make it easy to keep track of. As far as sign ups go, create an recurring donation page on your website specifically for this paid newsletter.

The point is – use the tech that you already have. You don’t need anything new and fancy to make this happen.

Create a Brand and Unique Experience

Your premium newsletter, like your monthly giving program, allows subscribers to feel special and part of a community. Name your newsletter and create a new layout so those that subscribe can identify it easily. You don’t have to go too crazy here, keep it simple. Use a different primary color from your brand colors you already have.

Determine your Price Point

Your price will want to take into consideration:

🔹 value you provide in the newsletter.
🔹 how often you plan to publish.
🔹 any other features and benefits like discount codes or coupons that only subscribers receive.

Newsletters can go from a few dollars a month all the way up to thousands of dollars! However, on average they range from $10-$15/month. You might always want to consider an annual option.

When considering pricing, also think about introductory offers so you can get people in to try it out!

What Content Could You Put in Your Newsletter

All these considerations are great – but what do you put in the darn thing! Here are a few ideas for your newsletter. You could feature just one or create a combination of them.

🔹 Trends

Let’s say you’re a research organization. Providing trends in a regular email that people want to know about is great. Give them insights into the industry and new relevant information all in one convenient place. Become the go to place for resources and the expert.

🔹 Guides and Tutorials

Giving people information they can use on the regular is a great added benefit. For example, if you provide support for kids and mental health maybe you offer additional resources they can use for support at home. Or, if you’re pet adoption organization, it might be training tips or pet health resources. You might also include activities that people can do at home.

🔹 Insider Access

This can include a wide variety of elements. Discounts to your sponsors businesses, early acces or discounts to your events or services, etc. You could also create exclusive access to people on your team for Q&A sessions or experts in the field you work with. These could be live in person, virtual or pre-recorded sessions.

🔹 Daily Inspiration

These can be quick and short notes that relate to your orgnization and provide inspiration to your audience. Words of motivation, stories from your community, activities they can take daily to make an impact on your area of service.

🔹 Regular Tips

Let’s say you are providing meals kids. Your premium newsletter could include cost saving tips for creating healthy meals at home. Or maybe it’s seasonal recipies for your area so families can eat healthier, support local families and have meal ideas. You could market it as a way for family to cut back on their food expenses while also helping to provide food for other families.


A paid newsletter can be a great way for you to connect more with your audience, while generating income for your organization. Make sure you keep it in line with the values and goals of your organization. That way there is a natural tie in to larger gifts. Also remember to have fun with it! Get personal and connect with your subscribers.

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