Using email to create repeat donors

Did you know that emails are an effective way to create repeat donors for your nonprofit? Just as businesses use emails to create repeat clients and customers, nonprofits can also use this tool to boost their donations. 

A wonderful benefit to using emails as a fundraising tool is that it is cost effective. A recent study by Capterra Sales and Marketing blog indicates that emails create an average of $40 for every $1 spent on email marketing.

Do you want to know how to use emails effectively?

Below, are 3 steps you can take to successfully convert one-time donors into repeat donors, simply by using emails:

1. Add donors to a mailing list

Whenever someone donates to your nonprofit, we recommend collecting his or her email address and adding it to a mailing list. This will allow you to stay in constant contact with your donors, provide updates and remind them to give in the future.

There are a number of  email marketing services out there. We are particularly partial to SendinBlue, the service we use to send emails to our clients every week.

2. Emotionally connect between asks for money

Once you have a donor's email address, follow up. We say this often, but it is worth repeating: Donors like to feel emotionally connected to a cause or purpose. They feel good when they know that their money is being used for good. Unfortunately, numbers of small nonprofits go off of the donor's the radar until the next fundraising campaign. By this point, the connection between the donor and nonprofit has gone cold, and it can be difficult to generate future donations. Please don't make this mistake. In between fundraising campaigns, update past donors on how your nonprofit is doing. If you've reached a significant milestone, or have a compelling example of how your nonprofit has changed things for the better, let your donors know this. This keeps the connection warm, and makes it easier to raise money in the future. 

Bonus tip: We recommend scheduling regular communications with your donors. (For example, deciding to send an e-newsletter on the 15th of every month). This conditions your donors, causing them to expect regular updates from you.

3. Link past donations to future donations

When it comes time to ask for money again, we recommend making a personalized ask via e-mail (i.e., address emails to individual donors instead of sending a large campaign email). This will allow you to link a donor's past donation to future donations. For example, you might say:

Last year your donation of $300 helped us provide nutritious meals  to children who would otherwise go hungry. Will you help us by contributing $450 this year?

By following the above 3 steps, you can turn email into a powerful tool for successful fundraising efforts. 

As always, we're here if you need anything.

Wholeheartedly believing in you,

Erica & Bea