The first thing most people do when they get up in the morning, or get to work, is check their email, right? That’s because there’s never a shortage of emails in your inbox; some you can’t wait to read, some you save for later, and others you just delete. How people interact with their emails isn’t something you can control, but making sure you’re sending the right emails to encourage engagement, is.

Every business sends (or should be sending) various types of information, from email newsletters to promotions, and nonprofits are no different. Here are three types of email campaigns your nonprofit organization should be sending to build rapport, educate, and hopefully gain donations:

Welcome email – If you’re not currently sending out a welcome email, you could be missing out on a stellar opportunity. A warm and friendly welcome email can make a positive first impression on new members, donors, volunteers, or your sponsors. A great time to send a welcome email is when someone subscribes to your email list. Keep the tone of your welcome email light, as you want it to be warm and approachable. Hitting someone up for a donation straight off the bat might be too much, too fast. You want your readers to feel like they’re part of your organization, your community, your world, so provide information, pictures or videos that makes them feel included and valued.

Newsletter  –  This is probably the most common type of email sent out by nonprofits, but there’s a reason.: An email newsletter allows you to share what’s going on with your organization, events, volunteers, fundraising or other relevant information. It’s an easy and effective way to communicate, and you can include calls to action to donate or volunteer to help drive your fundraising efforts. Content for a newsletter is exactly what the name implies, newsworthy information. Anything that’s important to your organization and would be interesting to your readers can and should be included. Sending a newsletter does require some commitment from you and your staff, as you’ll need to mail at least once per month to be effective, stay top of mind and get good engagement. By mailing your newsletter at this frequency, you’ll have the ability to send other email types too, without annoying your readers. For more help creating a fantastic newsletter, check out our free webinar Creating a Significant Email Newsletter.


Thank you email – First and foremost, your thank you email should be sincere. Once you have a thank you email, you’ll find there are many opportunities to use it. Just be sure to update it for each situation. You can send a thank you email when someone makes a donation, registers or volunteers for an event, subscribes to your email, after an event or other interactions someone may have with your organization.


We would be remiss if we didn’t mention fundraising emails, but that could be a blog post on it’s own! Here is a recent post with some tips on creating certain types of fundraising emails.

These three types of emails should give your nonprofit a great start to your email marketing efforts. What other types of emails is your organization sending? Let us know in the comments!

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