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12 Nonprofit Email Examples To Inspire Action


If you are a nonprofit organization with a focus on nonprofit email marketing, you are already on your way to success. Just as it is with most types of content production, sometimes, you simply end up with writer's block, have concerns about the time it takes to send so many emails, or cannot find just the right image to include to ensure the message appeals to your readers. You should know that there is a benefit to pushing through. Nonprofits have the highest open rates amongst the ranks of marketing emails, so it is not a marketing tactic you should overlook. 

We have put together this bank of email examples for a variety of occasions. For extra engagement, do not forget personalization, as it gives you the ability to inspire your readers to take action!


The Benefits Of Automation

Email marketing, at the most basic level, is sending a message to a group of people via email to inspire action. Whether that "group" is potential or previous donors, volunteers, or organization members, nonprofits often use email to reach out regarding important topics. 

As you look to improve your open rates or CTA click-through rate, in general, ensure you do not overlook the importance of maximizing your outreach through automation. 

When you create sets of emails in advance, you can automate them to go out to your audience at specific times and in specific situations. Automation is an incredibly powerful tactic to maximize productivity within your campaign, especially your emailing processes. Your readers, subscribers, and supporters can enjoy engaging with you, without you taking the extensive amounts of time to reach out to them all by hand. 

You may choose to keep a template or two for each kind of email, so you can rotate through the options and avoid being too robotic.


Fundraising Emails

A fundraising email is written with the intention of enticing potential donors to contribute. Take this time to educate them about what is happening in your organization, and ask earnestly for their support. If they are on your email list by choice, chances are, they actually want to know about your fundraisers. Be prepared to notify your community each time you hit a milestone, and at the beginnings and endings of your campaigns. 

Example #1: Donation Request 

This example is simple, personal, to the point, and has a clear CTA. It inspires the reader with useful and direct information regarding specifically how impactful revenue through donations has been in the past, and it makes it easy to navigate out of the email and onto the donation page. It also thanks to the people who have already donated, so the redundancy is negated if the recipient receives the info twice. Let’s take a look at another:

Example #2: Fundraising Support

This is a great example because it educates the reader substantially about the wholesome purpose of donating, leaving nothing to the imagination. It provides clear information about how to reach the sender, and it ensures the reader that the organization will give appropriate recognition to the sponsors with a list of the companies who have donated. That can mean useful viewability for the donors as well, which creates a win-win situation. 

Pro Tip: Note that this email is a bit long for our taste. Shoot for the same level of detail but aim to make it a hair shorter by being a tad more succinct.

Example #3: In-Kind Donations

When your organization is looking for non-financial action, like the donation of an object or piece of clothing, consider the approach you take. Perhaps there is a benefit to the donor that you can highlight such as offering a perfect opportunity for them to accomplish their spring cleaning while making a difference. This email has all of the most important info, including branding, locations, and dates, and the fonts and overall format are inviting.


Seasonal Emails 

It is a good idea to connect with your audience over the holidays, as it is an easy way to relate and get personal. Additionally, this is traditionally a "giving season." Most people, companies, and grant providers need to give out their budgets before the end of the year, which makes it a great time to gather funds, raise awareness, or recruit members. As an added bonus, everyone's a little happier when certain times of year roll around, and holiday-themed emails are usually opened at higher rates than others. You might have emails for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Giving Tuesday. The bigger the holiday, the more competition you will face, and all the more important it is to create a campaign around it. 

Example #4: Holiday Greetings

This email is a lot of fun to read as your subscribers imagine all of the ways they can make an impact around Hanukkah. They do not have to feel singled out, as it is designed to be sent to a large number of people. Because admission is free if the recipient sends in an RSVP, one of the key takeaways is the incentive to act. The graphics are fun and engaging while giving the recipient a good feeling about what they can expect if they were to attend. 

Example #5: Giving Tuesday

This works for Giving Tuesday because it is short, caring, and not too pushy. It also has an added level of versatility, acting as a "thank you," in addition to a request. As always, it is a good idea to keep the reader informed of the donation power. They chose to do this with a text hyperlink, which allows the reader to stay focused on donating unless they choose to explore it. 


Storytelling Emails

Emails with a focus on storytelling are meant to endear and nurture your readers. You capture their attention by reminiscing about an engaging previous event, and by the time they get to the CTA, they already want to be a part of your organization. This style is personal, authentic, and very effective. 

Example #6: Success Story

This story inspires the reader to get involved in this nonprofit’s work. They may not understand the details of how a BioSand filter works, but they get a clear picture of how it is helping this family. They do not have to even read to the end to clearly see the individual that has received the benefit. It uses a shade of engaging and calming blue that was likely mindfully chosen, which creates a sense of serenity around the concept of donating.

Example #7: Donor Appreciation Story

When we learn about Maria, we want to strive to create an impact similar to hers, and this example speaks directly to that inherent urge to be of service. It is personable, and emotional, and it inspires the reader to get involved by exemplifying how much gratitude Maria had around becoming involved with the organization. That is exactly the kind of energy you want to carry as you speak to your potential donors. 


Survey & Feedback Emails

These emails are completely based on collecting data. You can do this directly in the inbox, allowing them to fill it out and resend it, or you can guide them to your website or another external link that holds the survey. However you get them there, the point is to be asking your audience direct and effective questions. This can help you understand more about the member experience, which can help grow and adjust your program to be more effective. The goal here is to garner trust with your audience and acquire valuable feedback about any specific situations or processes. 

Example #8: Survey Invite

The purpose of this email is clear and easy to understand. The survey benefits not only the organization by allowing them to gather extremely valuable information to direct future programming, but also has the opportunity to benefit the young women who are important to the recipient. 

Also, note that given this survey is meant for young women, the email itself provides the details around the parental consent requirements. Not only is this the right thing to do (and potentially a legal requirement), it certainly adds a level of credibility to the request. 

Example #9: Event Experience Survey Invite

We included this example to show you how simple a survey invite can really be. All you have to do is notify the reader that there is an opportunity to take a survey, link them to it clearly, and give them a little bit of information as to why you are requesting the information. In this case, it is after a seminar that was hosted, as the sender is attempting to get feedback on it. You could utilize this format if you have a survey to send out after an event, listing the event name with your brand identifiers as you inform the reader of your gratitude for their attendance. 

Pro Tip: If you are sending a really important survey and need answers, then offer an incentive to fill it out. For example, you can offer a discount, t-shirt, or other benefit that the email recipient will receive upon survey completion.

Example #10: Targeted Questions

This is a great example of a few questions from a survey that is directly targeted toward donor motivations and future content creation. Because of this topic choice, the information acquired from the responses will be specific and probably extremely useful. Understanding the intentions of the members of your community is imperative to capture their attention, and keep them interested. You also have a much higher likelihood of connecting with people when you know what they desire and expect of you, so there are several benefits to creating targeted surveys as a part of your content strategy. 

Pro Tip: Be sure to ensure your reader that their opinion is really, truly important, because it is! Fill your surveys with short and simple questions that really target their experience, seeking to explore any blind spots you might have. Do not make them too long, or you run the risk of losing their attention before they are finished with the survey. 


Recruitment Emails

When you need to recruit volunteers, add supporters, or hire staff members for a given project or mission, it is useful to take to your pre-existing email lists. There are probably plenty of people in your audience who would be interested, so be sure to do your best to focus on people who are local. It is best to pull your team from your existing pool of members or followers, since they already know about your cause and care about it enough to stay tuned in. 

Example #11: Charity Recruitment

Again, short and sweet is better for this style. This example is recognizing the ongoing status of the subscriber in your community, and including any information that is imperative to their scheduling needs for upcoming events. The link for the sign-up sheet is included, taking any possible leg work out of the RSVP process. The photo shown highlights actual humans pitching hands, carrying the energy of camaraderie and togetherness for a full turnout. 

Example 12: Ongoing Volunteer Request

Here, we see a very efficient usage of colors, with a clear message to the potential supporter about where their help is needed. There is an easy registration day where people can learn more about what it would entail to volunteer, and as always, the most important information is extremely easy to see. A clear call to action is included: make a difference in a youth’s life by becoming a regular volunteer at your local shelter. 


Final Thoughts

Altogether, when you are executing an email marketing campaign, the point is to get your readers to complete the desired CTA. Feel free to use some of these examples, or our nonprofit email templates, as you design your own tactics. 

Most importantly, your email recipients will be looking for authenticity and clarity, as it appeals to the overall expectation of integrity within your organization. Always include your brand, and make your CTA clear. We hope you are plenty inspired to create a campaign and gather some new subscribers! 


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Communication & Marketing