To maximize your donations and raise awareness for a shared cause, it’s all about nurturing relationships with your audience.

While you can use platforms like social media to stay connected, few marketing channels are more effective than email marketing. With a nonprofit newsletter, you won’t have to worry about an algorithm determining who sees your content. 

Nonprofit newsletters are often used to consistently deliver impactful information to loyal members of your audience. It turns missed opportunities into actionable messages that drive real results you can track.

Since 74% of nonprofits already send fundraising emails to their audience, it’s important to stand out when sending emails to your readers. Read on for our tips on how to write a nonprofit newsletter that wins donors.

What is a nonprofit newsletter?

A nonprofit newsletter allows you to connect and engage with volunteers and potential donors through email marketing. It essentially gives you a direct line of communication with your biggest supporters.

Your nonprofit newsletter content will always stay top-of-mind because your message will always be delivered to your email subscribers through their inbox. Also, you can track how well the emails are performing over time by looking at your open rates, click rates and more.

A nonprofit newsletter can help you:

  • Share important news about your organization 
  • Gain more volunteers for your programs
  • Maximize donations from loyal contributors
  • Create a stronger connection with your readers

One of the best ways to learn how to create great emails is to take inspiration from other nonprofit newsletter examples, but first, let’s talk about the necessary elements you’ll need to include in your emails.

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Fundamentals of nonprofit newsletters 

To personally connect with supporters and volunteers, you’ll want to craft a nonprofit newsletter template that’s easy to customize and reuse. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, so let’s cover the fundamentals of any nonprofit newsletter.

An interesting subject line

The first thing readers will see is your email subject line. It can make or break someone’s decision to open your email, so focus on creating a concise but captivating subject line. 

Since emails with personalized subject lines have 50% higher open rates, it’s worth taking this extra step. This can be as simple as adding someone’s first name in Flodesk or writing a subject line that’s tailored to their unique interests.

Quality email content

Without high-quality content, you’ll struggle to make a memorable impression once readers open your email. Creating extremely valuable content is the best way to ensure someone stays on your list for the long term.

Here are a few tips on writing quality content for your nonprofit newsletter:

  • Properly outline the content for each email
  • Use sensory words and avoid clichés
  • Write how you speak to sound more authentic

Powerful design

Once you’ve written your content, it’s time to focus on the design. In Flodesk, we provide a variety of professionally designed email templates and Layout features so you can personalize your nonprofit newsletter design.

To increase the perceived value of your organization, let’s begin with creating accessible email designs. You can start by including high-contrast colors, choosing easy-to-read fonts and ensuring everything looks on-brand.

How to create an amazing nonprofit newsletter

No matter if you’re working with a content marketing specialist or creating a nonprofit newsletter with an in-house team, you’ll be set up for success when you follow this step-by-step guide. You’ll improve your nonprofit newsletters when you keep these tips in mind.

Craft bold headlines and subject lines

Now that you understand the importance of subject lines, let’s talk about how to make them stand out. You’ll want to craft subject lines that are eye-catching but also short and sweet. 

With more email opens coming from mobile devices, try to keep your subject line to 25-40 characters long. When in doubt, shorten the subject line as much as possible!

If you want to add even more personality, add an emoji, which can raise your open rates by as much as 50%! Emojis are not only a great way to convey emotions and make a statement, but they also keep your subject line brief.

Once readers open your email, greet them with a memorable headline. Much like your subject line, it has to quickly make an impact. 

Here are some of our favorite headlines from other nonprofits:

  • “Tomorrow might be the day you’ve been waiting for”
  • “Nora gave $8.15. Will you?”
  • “Major Wendy saves a life”
  • “We are stronger together”
  • “We’ve got a story for you today”
  • “Can we be honest with you?”

Share compelling content

To increase support for your organization, use your nonprofit newsletters as a way to deliver the best content to your supporters. You never know what kind of impact a single story can have on an individual. 

By sharing how influential your organization’s work has been, you’ll be able to re-engage subscribers who may need an extra nudge to get involved. Compelling content often turns subscribers into volunteers and contributors. 

If you’re not sure what to send your supporters, here are a few places to start:

  • News stories your audience may not hear about anywhere else
  • Upcoming events your nonprofit organization needs volunteers for 
  • Latest events so your audience can put the date on their calendar
  • Important news about your organization or the local area you serve
  • Recent stories from people and communities your organization helps

Relevant links tell your audience where to go next if they want to learn more about your organization. By producing great content on a consistent basis with your nonprofit newsletter, you’ll share content that makes a difference.

It’s important to clarify your message and determine a goal for each email before it’s sent. Otherwise, you may try to accomplish too many objectives with one email. 

You may want to include e-newsletter links to:

  • A blog post that shares new ideas about how to get involved
  • A podcast interview that your nonprofit founder or another member of the team
  • A video that shows a day-in-the-life feature of someone your organization helps
  • Your website so supporters can learn more about your mission

Pay attention to your email design

To ensure your audience doesn’t simply ignore your emails, put more intention into your email design. Include ample white space and make sure your logo is visible. 

It’s best to follow your visual branding guidelines whenever you design your nonprofit newsletter. You can also customize your color palette by selecting up to five signature brand colors in Flodesk.

Also, think about the reader’s screen size before you start designing. Make sure you make a mobile responsive design by checking what it looks like on all screens inside Flodesk. A responsive design will ensure your email will look just as great on a mobile device as it will on a desktop.

Strengthen your call-to-action

Lastly, you’ll need a clear call-to-action (CTA) to guide readers to where you want them to go next. Most CTAs are presented through accompanying links or buttons in your email, and you can customize both within Flodesk.

Your CTA link or button should stand out, so don’t worry about it making a statement in your design. It’s not meant to blend in! You can include outlined buttons, filled buttons or customize the highlighted link text in your email content.

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10 nonprofit newsletter examples that get it right 

Now that you understand which elements make all the difference when creating your nonprofit newsletter, you’ll be ready to inspire more people to subscribe to your list by learning from example.

You can use these nonprofit newsletter examples as inspiration to help you raise money, connect with prospective donors, attract more volunteers or simply send the most important information to your biggest supporters.

No matter what you’re using a nonprofit newsletter for, you’ll be able to share stories, news and innovative ideas when you focus on better serving your readers. We’ve compiled a list of nonprofit newsletter examples with strong visuals and content so you can improve your own email marketing strategy.

1. Welcome email

Once someone signs up for your list, they don’t want to hear crickets. To ensure they don’t forget about your nonprofit, it’s best to jump into their inbox right away with a welcome email.

In your welcome email, you may want to:

  • Thank subscribers for joining your community 
  • Share relevant links, articles and information about your organization 
  • Set expectations for how often they’ll hear from you  
  • Keep them interested with a “stay tuned” message

In this example, Four Freedoms Park Conservatory properly sends a welcome email that expresses their gratitude. The content mentions that subscribers will receive a monthly newsletter along with news about upcoming events. Paired with stunning photography, nonprofit newsletter examples like these make a great first impression.

2. Blog feature newsletter

You already put enough work into your blog, so now it’s time to make sure your loyal supporters never miss your articles. You can accomplish this by adding a link to the latest article and a captivating image that illustrates what the article is about.

To make your e-newsletter even more effective, include a short summary or snippet from the article that entices people to keep reading.

Nonprofit newsletter examples with blog features work for social impact organizations like Charity: Water who hire nonprofit professionals that devote their time to creating soul-stirring stories about the lives they touch through their work. This gives readers an opportunity to see the impact their donation has made.

3. Annual review newsletter

When someone donates to your nonprofit organization, they want to see what their dollars are used for. This is why producing compelling stories that highlight the individuals and communities you serve is so important.

Using email marketing as an essential communications tool, you’ll be able to share these impact reports through an annual review newsletter. It’s best to use nonprofit newsletter examples like this as a way to show at a quick glance how many lives you’ve changed as a result of your community’s generous donations.

In this example, you’ll see how CARE Australia sends a special email to thank all contributors for their generosity. They also include a few statistics to show what happened as a response to their donation, like helping more than 2.1 million people in one year. You can share these numbers in simple bullet points or go the extra mile and include eye-catching icon illustrations.

4. Nonprofit campaign newsletter

To attract more engagement, some nonprofits may craft a campaign-related newsletter. A nonprofit campaign is a great vehicle for raising more money, helping to inspire groups of people to join new initiatives and become a part of a bigger mission. 

Using this kind of nonprofit newsletter template can help you create a campaign that’s share-worthy, making it easier for your audience to post about it on social media. When involvement increases, donations typically follow suit!

In this example, UNICEF decided to create a campaign with the hashtag #WaterIs. By publishing a series of newsletters and related content, UNICEF was able to raise awareness for this important cause. They even partnered with recording artist Beyoncé to help families gain more access to clean water.

5. Donation match newsletter

Another way to raise donations for a limited time is to offer a donation match program. This will help you re-engage cold subscribers and give them an opportunity to double their impact. For those who want to contribute smaller amounts, this provides them a great opportunity to get involved and feel like their donation is going further.

Nonprofit newsletter examples like this show what’s possible when you host donation matches. You can also partner with for-profit businesses that may agree to match any donation up to a certain amount.

In this example, WE created a donation match newsletter to inspire more subscribers to give to their organization during the holiday season. With warm imagery and a gorgeous email design, this newsletter makes a statement. You can write concise copy for this nonprofit newsletter example so it doesn’t distract from your main call-to-action.

6. Upcoming events newsletter

Nonprofit organizations will often host special events and galas to increase funds for specific projects or programs. Events present a great opportunity to gain support, get more volunteers and unify your audience with a shared cause.

In this example, Emerge Mothers Academy (EMA) creates a newsletter that acts as a final call to purchase tickets for their annual fundraising event. By listing all of the important event details in one convenient place, EMA is able to create a nonprofit newsletter that’s easy to skim and take action on.

7. Alumni relations newsletter

Some of the most generous contributors in your organization may be your alumni. This is common at universities and other nonprofits who offer long-term assistance. 

If you want to re-engage members who graduated from your program, an alumni relations newsletter may do the trick. Some nonprofits have whole teams devoted to alumni relations efforts while others have it as one part of their strategy. No matter where you are, inspiring past alumni members to give could be worth your time.

In this example, Road Scholar gives readers an opportunity to join forces with other alumni to fundraise for other individuals. This call-to-action will feel personal for those who have already experienced the same educational travel opportunities. 

We like the copy’s emphasis on becoming a part of the “extraordinary community of over 100,000 lifelong learners” in this compelling newsletter. Get creative with your own ideas!

8. Holiday giving newsletter

Since 31% of annual giving happens in the last month of the year, it makes sense why so many nonprofits focus their efforts on fundraising around the holidays. 

It’s best to prepare for this seasonal giving by creating multiple email newsletters ahead of the holiday season. Many nonprofits will be sending holiday-related newsletters, so it’s important for yours to stand out. 

To increase donations and ensure you reach your fundraising goals: 

  • Share a story that illustrates how readers can support the cause
  • Focus on your email design as much as your writing 
  • Bring more readers to your website by adding links
  • Highlight news and updates that are relevant to them
  • Offer a special bonus to your readers when they make a same-day donation

In this nonprofit newsletter example, St. Baldrick’s Foundation doesn’t wait until the end of the year to increase donations. Instead, this nonprofit sent a creative email campaign around Mother’s Day. Since the foundation funds cancer treatment and research for kids, it makes sense for them to put more effort into this holiday.

9. Multimedia newsletter

When possible, it’s best to go beyond the written word to share your story. In your next nonprofit newsletter, think about adding multimedia content. 

Multimedia content could be in the form of a video, podcast interview, infographic or any other content that benefits your organization. By sharing your message in unique ways, you’ll be able to meet subscribers where they are and produce content they enjoy consuming.

In this nonprofit newsletter example, Hennepin Theatre Trust continues their virtual roundtable video series titled “It’s the People.” Since 54% of subscribers prefer emails with videos, it makes sense to add a video into your next newsletter. Find out how to add videos in your Flodesk emails.

10. Informational newsletter

When you have a story to share and are looking to further educate your readers, you may want to send an informational newsletter. Unlike some of the nonprofit newsletter examples we’ve shared so far, this email isn’t focused on increasing donations, but, rather, informing your readers of the latest, most interesting news.

Although an informational newsletter may not directly lead to more donations, it can still be an extremely valuable part of your nonprofit newsletter strategy. In business, marketers are taught to strike a balance between informational and promotional content with the 80/20 rule. The same rule applies here for nonprofits!

In this example, Generous Giving shares an interactive timeline feature that shows readers a variety of stories that have resulted from the organization’s efforts over the last 20 years. This is a great way to show the legacy of your work as a nonprofit organization so no one will forget the impact of your donor community.

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