Articles, Email Content, Email Marketing

Drive More Donations With These Nonprofit Email Examples

We don’t like to brag but email marketing is the clear winner when it comes to helping Nonprofits find, grow and keep their donor base. You can easily create and roll out powerful campaigns without exhausting your limited budget. Most importantly, you can deliver personal experiences that will encourage your subscribers to dig a little deeper into their wallets.

It’s time to throw generic email automation out the window and start introducing a more targeted approach. So here are 6 nonprofit email examples to provide some inspiration for your next campaign. Keep scrolling to learn how you can create a compelling and highly personalised content to stay ahead of the game in 2020 and beyond.

 Get Personal

Your subscribers’ inbox is a war zone. It’s everyone for themselves, as you battle it out to earn your subscribers’ attention. So to give yourself a fighting chance, personalisation is a must! But email personalisation goes way beyond just simply using your subscribers’ name in the subject line. By diving deeper into your donor personas you can gather the relevant data to take your email personalisation to the next level. 

Here’s how you can get on a more personal level with your subscribers:

  • Incorporate their name in a different way by embedding merge tags into your own custom image or video.
  • Create conditional content so you can make adjustments to your email content based on your subscribers’ interests and preferences.
  • Re-engage your inactive subscribers by sending them reminders based on their previous donation history.
  • Leverage the Vision6 automation feature to send a personalised series of emails to subscribers based on the desired action for e.g. subscribing to your newsletter.

Email Example

RSPCA Victoria uses the conditional content feature in Vision6 as a way to change the header image according to their users’ preference. In this case, displaying an image of a dog for their subscribers who are “dog lovers”, and an image of cats to appeal to all their “cat lovers”.

Dynamic email content

Create a Sense of Urgency

As a professional procrastinator, I know there’s nothing like a fast-approaching deadline to spring me into action. If you’re looking for immediate conversions, try mirroring this tactic by creating a sense of urgency in your emails. When put under pressure the human brain is wired to make quick impulse decisions which could potentially translate into some quick wins for you.

Specify an end date in your subject line, use countdown timers, urgent language, repetition, or alert your subscribers to a timely promotional campaign. However, be careful not to overdo it by going crazy with bold and capital letters. This will look like a desperate cry for help and may end up triggering spam filters.

Email Example

The nonprofit organisation, Barnardos sets a deadline in their emails which urge subscribers to donate in the final hours of June 30, before Australian tax time. The countdown timer not only reinforces this sense of urgency but provides a more visually appealing alternative to simply re-stating the deadline in the body of an email.

Example of email countdown timer


It’s time to pull back the curtains and let your subscribers see how you operate. Start flexing your wealth of knowledge and showing your subscribers all the good you’re doing. As an organisation that relies heavily on the financial support of donors, it’s important that you establish yourself as a trustworthy source to implement change. Shedding light on topical issues, industry trends or the latest statistics can all help build your authority as a Nonprofit.

You’ll often see organisations leverage alarming stats as a scare tactic to guilt their readers’ into making a donation. However, overusing this guilt-driven messaging can sometimes trigger the opposite reaction. Believe it or not, donations are more often triggered after being exposed to positive, inspirational content.

Email Example

Care Australia uses a statistic-based email to show their donors the impact they made this year. This helps reassure them that every dollar they spend with you is a dollar well spent!

Nonprofit statistic-based email example
Source: Really Good Emails

Show, Don’t Tell

We’ve all heard about the power of storytelling, so why not leverage your testimonials and success stories to inspire community involvement. If you have a powerful message you want to communicate to the masses, get in front of a camera. Using videos is great for lead-nurturing but can also increase your click-through rates by 300%. As an added bonus, videos allow you to easily drive traffic to your YouTube channel so your subscribers can binge your feed!

Here’s a few ideas tips for creating bingeable video content:

  • Share your success stories, testimonials and real-life experiences.
  • Invite your donors backstage and give them a “behind the scene” look into the business.
  • Make a recap video to flaunt the successful turnout of your latest event. This shows people what they missed out on but also allows your attendees to relieve the experience.
  • Create a meet the team video! It sounds corny but introducing your team members  provides a great window for your donors to get a feel for the company culture at a glance.

Email Example

Another great email example from the Nonprofit organisation, Barnardos, who use video to capture a heartwarming story aimed to stir your emotions. Interactive content like this helps build a rapport with your donors, while also providing concrete proof of your organisation’s positive impact.

Nonprofit email example with video

Strong Call-To-Action

More often than not we tend to spend more time thinking about our killer layout and compelling visuals to bring an email to life. What we tend to undervalue is the power of a strong call-to-action button. We all know how to design our CTA buttons to stand out. However, simply dropping one in there without a strong call-out message, won’t give you the love and attention you deserve.

In nonprofit emails we most commonly see messaging like  “Donate Today”, “Give Now” and “Learn More”. While these examples create a sense of urgency and use powerful action verbs, they are also very generic and overused. If you want your buttons to drive more clicks, put yourself in your subscribers’ shoes by using first-person speech for example “Count Me In”. 

Here’s some more call-to-action messages to help you stand out in your customers’ inbox:

  • “Let’s Do This” 
  • “Get the Inside Scoop” 
  • “Sharing is Caring”
  • “Be a Hero” 
  • “Help a Child Today”  
  • “Give a Meal” 
  • “Join the Fight” 
  • “Learn How You Can Help”
  • “Inspire Change”
  • “Support a Child”
  • “I Want to Volunteer”

Email Example

The nonprofit organisation, Charity Water certainly knows how to build anticipation by using unique call-to-action messages. Their CTA button not only complements the email copy but creates an intriguing and compelling case that will force readers to click -through.

Show Your Appreciation

All it takes is one small gesture to leave a lasting impression. A thank you email is a great example of how Nonprofits can nurture their quality leads into loyal donors. Don’t be basic and stick to your one size fits all email automation. Go the extra mile to make it personal so your donors feel like the praise is coming from a genuine place. Keep records of your event attendees, volunteers, subscribers’ donation history, and leverage this data to craft a special thank you message.

Email Example

Here’s an thank you email example by RWBH Foundation, who transformed their thank you message into a light-hearted video. Creating snackable content like this will not only boost your email engagement but makes great content for your socials!

Nonprofit thank you email

Looking for more examples? Check out our email inspiration page to see the stunning email designs that our Nonprofit clients cooked up in Vision6. 

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