I’ve donated to my fair share of nonprofits that resonate with causes I am passionate about, and what happens after kills me every time. Nonprofits are magnets for giving people—the kind that are pulled in by their heartstrings. The operational problem that arises for a large number of nonprofits is that the majority of donors aren’t recurring sources of funding—they are one-hit wonders.

The truth is that oftentimes one-time donors actually would make future contributions to their favorite nonprofits, but they simply forget…or don’t have the charitable organization top of mind.

How can we change that?

Smart nonprofits utilize their email database to release a series of timed email messages—a strategic drip marketing campaign—to their donors that act as strategic reminders or calls to action to donate. Here’s an example scenario of how nonprofits can use drip marketing campaigns to raise funds:

Nonprofit Drip Marketing Campaign Model

Step 1: Jack makes a one-time donation to his favorite charitable organization via their website

Step 2: The same day he makes a donation, he’s sent a heart-felt email (Email 1) thanking him for his generosity and for being a part of their cause

Step 3: A month later, Jack receives another email (Email 2) that reminds him of an event coming up the following week that looks to be something he’d enjoy

Step 4: He ends up attending the event and, the day after, receives an email (Email 3) letting him know that the organization hoped he enjoyed the event and includes a reminder with a link to donate for the cause

And being how Jack did enjoy the event and is starting to build an emotional bond with the organization he goes ahead and clicks that donation button…

A key to the success of a drip marketing campaign is for an organization to strategically develop a communications plan that isn’t poorly timed, off-putting, or overly generic. Frequency, messaging, and sequencing can make or break automated marketing efforts. Through the use of segmented email lists, emails can be sent out based on a number of criteria—like how much their initial donation was, or how they’ve interacted with the organization in the past, or where donors live.

There are various ways to strategize and execute a nonprofit drip marketing campaign that helps the organization achieve its’ various goals. One major win is that these drip emails are automated—freeing up organizational resources that can now be used elsewhere to further the cause.

Besides the usual monthly newsletter that is sent out to your general email database, how are you as a marketing, communications, or fundraising officer of a nonprofit using automated email campaigns to up your donations and reinforce your call-to-action? Data from yesmail shows that triggered email campaigns garner better performance results than a regular email send-out.

We’re big-hearted, big-brained creatives who have worked with a number of nonprofits over the years to further their cause. Need a strategic partner to help you champion donations through drip marketing campaigns? We’re your people.