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How to generate a steady stream of new donors online

Nonprofit Email Marketing, Nonprofit Fundraising, Nonprofit Websites

Looking for more donors?

Wishing you had an endless stream of fresh prospects?

Dreaming of an automated system that could foster new donor relationships while you focused on other pressing issues?

Well stop dreaming!

Make it a reality.

Regardless of the size of your nonprofit (or the depths of your pockets) you can generate a steady stream of new donors online.

It will take a little bit of time to get it all working perfectly.

But once it’s in place it will be a thing of beauty that will serve your organization for years to come.

Here’s a brief outline of what you need…

An optimized website

The first step in generating new donors online is to optimize your website to collect new leads.

This is one of the most important things you can do with your nonprofit website.

Your website needs to do a great job of introducing your organization.

It needs to tell gripping stories that introduce your beneficiaries, highlight the donor experience, and illustrate the impact of your organization.

And your website must be optimized to collect people’s email addresses.

Collecting their email address is a signal that they are interested in your organization and would like to learn more about your work, maybe even see how they can get involved.

This is the beginning of the relationship and an effectively optimized website will result in a steady stream of prospective donors.

A compelling call-to-action

Earning someone’s email address is not as simple as throwing up an opt-in form that says,

“Subscribe for updates!”

Nope. That’s not going to cut it if you really want to build a quality email list for your nonprofit.

You have to give them a real reason why they should subscribe.

What’s in it for them? What will they get in exchange for their email address?

I assure you, “updates” and “news” are not good reasons to subscribe.

You have to put yourself in their shoes. Look at your website from their perspective.

As a new visitor to your website, what is something you would actually be interested in receiving through email?

Really put some thought into this. Craft the most compelling call-to-action you can think of in order to earn their email address.

This is often the difference between a list that is unresponsive and an engaged list of excited subscribers ready to take action.

An Email Welcome Series Autoresponder

Then once you have earned their email address you need to have an email welcome series in place.

This email welcome series should elaborate on the content of your website.

Instead of an e-newsletter where you cram eight stories into one email, do the exact opposite.

Tell one great story, filled with emotion and vivid detail that really stirs the hearts of your audience.

Tell the story over multiple emails. Create open loops and generate curiosity so they actually look forward to receiving your next email.

And when you’ve developed empathy with your hero and reached the emotional climax of your story give them another great call-to-action to make a donation.

Automated & segmented email marketing

Not everyone will be ready to make a donation after your initial email welcome series.

That’s okay. You haven’t lost them yet.

You just have to meet them where they are.

So spend some time thinking through the donor journey of your nonprofit. You can use the donor journey as a road map for your segmented email marketing structure.

If your subscriber chose not to make a donation, ask them what they would like to learn more about.

Are they interested in becoming a volunteer?

Would they like to become a member?

Do they want to learn more about the work you do?

Do they want to learn more about how you use donations?

Let them choose what email messages are most relevant to them and then deliver.

Guide them through their journey to becoming a donor.

Showing appreciation and encouragement every step of the way


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Putting it all together

Putting each of these pieces in place will result in a steady stream of new online donors.

Your website gets them interested in starting a relationship with you.

The call-to-action gets them to commit to learning more over email.

Your email welcome series tells them an amazing story and asks them to get involved by making a donation.

And the follow up email marketing system continues to nurture the relationship and provide targeted and relevant content to your lists.

These are the four key pieces necessary to consistently generate new donors online.

No need to keep dreaming. Put these pieces in place and enjoy the reality.

Good luck and keep doing good work,

Jeremy Signature



1 comment… add one
  • Lawrence

    Subscribers should be all time engaged-to let them participate to whatever they think could be added value to what you deliver to your clients

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