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Choosing the right email marketing platform for your nonprofit

Group of Candid staff and partners walking around inside a library

As a nonprofit organization, you are constantly searching for new donors. You are always reaching out to the public and trying to get more connections necessary to continue running your organization. 

However, donor retention is as essential as getting new donors, but this is something that many nonprofits fail at. The question is, what happens to the donor after they donate to you the first time? Do you just let them go after your fundraising? Do you continue to remind them of your organization’s existence? 

If you don’t take your time to constantly and adequately engage your donors—especially after the first donation—you’re likely to lose them. 

Building a loyal donor base allows you to raise more money for your nonprofit. This is because you accumulate donations from new and old donors rather than just the new donors you get after every campaign. Keeping in touch with your donors, new or old, keeps you in their minds. So, they are more willing to donate to your cause again. 

One of the best ways to reach and relate to your donors consistently is through an email marketing platform. Emails allow your nonprofit to build trust, overcome objections, and also demonstrate its accountability. You are able to report your projects’ progress to donors, so they see what they are donating towards. They will appreciate this, and it will motivate them to keep giving to your cause. 

The fact that emails are cheap, have a high potential to help you grow, and will generate a maximum return on investment (ROI) is the more reason why you should be on it. 

While there are different platforms that you can use, you have to settle for the one that is most suited for your needs and use as a nonprofit. So, here are some of the best email marketing platform options that you can use. 

1. MailChimp

The autoresponder feature on MailChimp helps you save time and maximize your email engagements, including forwards, clicks, social media shares, etc. 

It has different campaign types that can be automated, such as thank you emails (sent after donors give), welcome series (when they subscribe to your emails), as well as re-engagement emails (if they haven’t interacted with you after a while). 

MailChimp has other features that allow you to target people based on their preferences and behaviors, sending mail automatically within a set time with differing time zones, application programming interface (API) request trigger emails, and in-depth reporting insights. What’s more? They also offer a 15 percent discount to nonprofits

2. AWeber

AWeber has a wide range of features that are useful to nonprofits, such as an autoresponder feature for automating your campaigns and regularly contacting your donors. There are also numerous email templates that you have access to and can choose from when building out your emails. This allows you to settle for the ones that align the best with your organization’s branding and values. AWeber also has a reporting tool that helps your organization monitor your emails and see how successful they are in terms of engagements and provide you with metrics for click-through rates, open rates, etc. AWeber also offers nonprofits a 25 percent discount when using their services, as well as three complementary months. 

3. Campaign Monitor

Being able to track the performance of your email marketing campaigns is very important. Doing so allows you to find out how effective your individual campaigns were, if you need to improve anything, and figure out the parts you need to optimize for a better ROI. 

ROI for nonprofits relates to donations. It is also why you need to have the right tools in place to know the campaigns that have brought more donations. 

Campaign Monitor also has an App Store where you can download add-ons for extending your email marketing’s solution capabilities. This makes tracking donations easier with the right CRM solutions. Additionally, Campaign Monitor provides nonprofits using their product with a 15 percent discount.

4. Constant Contact

This email marketing platform gives a high rate of email delivery. This means that your emails will be going straight into your donors’ inboxes and not be tagged as spam, which is why it is popular among nonprofit marketers. It also doesn’t have a cap on the number of messages you are allowed to send per month, unlike other email platforms. So you can run different campaigns simultaneously. 

Also, Constant Contact helps you collect donations online in a secure manner, and you have a landing page where you are able to track your donations. The RSVP capabilities mean that you are able to send email invitations with built-in “Maybe,” “No,” or “Yes” responses. This allows your subscribers to give quick answers to your emails about volunteer events, upcoming fundraisers, etc. Constant Contact also offers a 20–30 percent discount to registered 501(c)3 organizations.

5. Benchmark

Benchmark offers different types of templates that you can choose from for your email campaigns. If you don’t find one that is suitable for you, you’re able to design one for yourself. This gives you more time which you can spend getting other things done. While you can’t do split testing with Benchmark email, you can continually monitor your campaigns and see how successful they are with the detailed reports you get on your subscribers’ responses. Benchmark also gives a 25 percent discount to nonprofits that use their services. 


Email marketing, being one the cheapest and most effective marketing methods, is essential for nonprofits. It takes a lot of hard work to get new donors, the same way you are required to retain old ones. You should not sacrifice your old donors in the effort to get new ones when you can keep them all with the help of an email marketing tool that lets you remain in touch.


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