The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

3 Things You Aren’t Using Email For (But Should)

Have you mastered the monthly eNewsletter? Do donors receive gift receipts in their inbox? And do you send donor appeals via Constant Contact like it’s no big deal. If so, it looks like you’re ready to flex your organization’s email muscle and take your donor communications to the next level! Here are three ways you should start using email to improve donor relations:

1. Email your annual report/impact report.

Greater Cleveland Food Bank ISSUU Girls Who Code ISSUU
The Greater Cleveland Food bank (top) and Girls Who Code (bottom) brought their annual reports online. Using the web-based tool ISSUU, print pieces are easily converted into interactive online pieces.


Annual reports are time intensive projects that require financial reporting, program summaries, and photos to make your years’ worth of work shine. Instead of sending your beautiful report by mail, send it electronically. By saving precious postage money, you can expand the pool of annual report recipients if you send it by email. Great online tools, like ISSUU, make it easy to display a print piece online. The Greater Cleveland Food bank and Girls Who Code took advantage of the online annual report to include tons of photos, interesting infographics, and bright colors. Plus, supporters can reference the report throughout the year because it won’t end up in the recycling bin a week after it arrives.

2. Email special greetings.

Your organization should make an effort to celebrate special events beyond year-end holidays. Does your organization help infants and young mothers? Mother’s Day is an obvious choice for a special occasion you should embrace. (Mothers2Mothers does a great job celebrating!) Does your organization support youth programs? Then use Absolutely Incredible Kid Day or National Kid’s Day as an opportunity to let your programs shine. You organization’s anniversary is another great reason to send a special greeting to your donors.

3. Email project updates.

Donors want to be kept in the loop when it comes to big financial projects like capital campaigns. Sending monthly updates and photos of your building’s remodel is the perfect way to show donors that their gift is making a concrete difference. Even if your organization isn’t undertaking a capital campaign, considers announcing when you achieve a goal. Did you serve your 5,000th client recently? Tell your donors! Did you help twice as many students attend college this year as you did last year? Send an email to your supporters! Just like family members and friends who send email updates, maintain your relationship with your donors by sharing exciting news with them right when it happens.

While everyone on your email list might not read every email you send, sending more frequent and compelling messages increases the likelihood that you’ll catch a donors’ eye. Don’t hesitate when it comes to sending an out-of-the-ordinary message to donors. Test and see what works best and listen to the feedback. In time, your supporters will start looking for that anniversary announcement or the stellar annual report in their inbox.

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About This Blog

Linda Lombardi
Content Manager

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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