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10 Tips To Create A Successful End-Of-The-Year Email Campaign For Nonprofits

10 Tips To Create A Successful End-Of-The-Year Email Campaign For Nonprofits

With 2022 coming to a fast close, now is the time to start planning and creating end-of-year email campaigns to thank your stakeholders and stay top of mind when they begin considering who to continue supporting.These campaigns are specially important because they set the tone for what’s to come in the new year from your initiatives, goals, and ongoing efforts to support your communities.

We know the importance of this season for nonprofit organizations. That’s why to help nonprofits craft successful end-of-the-year email campaigns, we asked CEOs and marketing professionals this question for their best tips. From leaning into “gifting” language to not being shy to make ‘the ask,’ there are several tips to help you launch memorable and engaging end-of-the-year email campaigns that leave members and donors excited for the year to come.  

Here are 10 tips for creating successful end-of-the-year email campaigns for nonprofits:

  • Lean into “Gifting” Language
  • Use Visuals/Infographics for Impact
  • Include a Video Recap of the Year
  • Tell Your Organization’s Story
  • Segment Your Emails
  • Reach Out to Avid Donors Through a Soft Launch
  • Avoid Repeating the Same Subject Line
  • Thanking Your Donors
  • Don’t Forget to Follow Up
  • Don’t Be Shy to Make the Ask

Lean Into “Gifting” Language

” The end of the year coincides with the holidays when most folks are in a mindset of goodwill and giving. Nonprofits can capitalize on this connection to humanity and frame engagement as a natural extension of the holidays. For example, a subject line might read, “There’s a gift you’re forgetting!” These occasions often remind people how blessed they are, plus they are conditioned to give gifts. By crafting messaging around gift-giving versus donation, you can leverage seasonal generosity and drive one final fundraising push for the year.” 

Michael Alexis, CEO, TeamBuilding

text reads: By crafting messaging around gift-giving versus donation, you can leverage seasonal generosity and drive one final fundraising push for the year. by Michael Alexis, CEO, TeamBuilding

Use Visuals/Infographics for Impact

“Visuals are super-effective when it comes to making your messages effective. They grab attention and evoke emotions. You need that to successfully launch end-of-the-year email campaigns. Use relevant images; you can capture your own or use stock images. Or, use infographics to spread awareness about your cause. For instance, if your nonprofit is working on improving the lives of homeless communities, include relevant stats in your infographics.

In short, visuals grab interest faster than text. At this time of the year, when every brand and charity organization is launching campaigns, there’s a high chance yours might get blended into the noise. Unique imagery and infographics can help you stand out from the crowd.”

Daniel Foley, Director of Marketing, SEO Stack

PRO Tip: With the rate of emails consistently increasing, make sure all images and visuals and optimized for mobile viewing

Include a Video Recap of the Year

“Include an inspirational video that serves as a recap of all that the non-profit was able to accomplish over the past year. Express gratitude to your donors and supporters in this video as well. Then you can make the ask for further donations to keep the non-profit’s initiatives going. A well-done video montage with moving music can be an extremely powerful way to convey a message. Showing rather than telling can make people feel more connected to your non-profit and, thus, more willing to support it.”

Miles Beckett, Co-Founder & CEO, Flossy

Tell Your Organization’s Story

“Create a compelling, cohesive email campaign that tells your organization’s story. Create a series of content-rich emails that include compelling text and images, and new appeal information. After that, you can even follow up with current donors. Create an email template for your campaigns with aspects like date, time, text, and image links. With these features in place, you’re ready to engage donors with a new offer.”

Ilija Sekulov, Marketing & SEO, Mailbutler

Segment Your End-Of-Year Email Campaigns

“Since the end of the year is always busy, many other non-profits will be reaching out, too. Make sure you send at least 6-7 emails up until December to stay top-of-mind for your supporters. Also, segment your emails to nurture your leads, and don’t become repetitive to the supporters who have already donated.”

Brenton Thomas, CEO, Twibi Digital Marketing Agency

Reach Out to Avid Donors Through a Soft Launch

“Gain some early momentum for your campaign by doing a soft launch to a select group of your loyal supporters two weeks before you send it out to the general public.

Craft an email introducing your campaign by emphasizing the value they bring to your cause, motivating them to help jumpstart your fundraising effort.

Write a compelling subject line that’s time and personalized but also has a sense of urgency: “The best gift you can give those in need this holiday season.”

Include a concise description of your campaign and its goals in the body of the email. And mention their previous involvement with your nonprofit and the impact their gifts have made.

You may also want to offer special incentives that only your most avid supporters will receive. Be sure to thank them and then sign it with your name above your organization’s name. Closing your email with a personal touch shows supporters how much you value them.”

Maria Shriver, Cofounder & CEO, MOSH

text reads: "Craft an email introducing your campaign by emphasizing the value they bring to your cause, motivating them to help jumpstart your fundraising effort" by Maria Shriver, Cofounder & CEO, MOSH

Avoid Repeating the Same Subject Line

“It’s not unusual to get no response from your prospects on the initial part of your email campaign. If that happens, avoid repeating the same subject line in your follow-up emails. The reason is that it only increases your chance of getting rejected again or, worse, being treated as spam. Make the subject line more personal and approachable instead of letting it sound generic and transactional. That will give your recipients the idea that the message comes from a real person and is not just automatically generated by the system.”

Sam Tabak, Board Member, RMBH Charities

Thanking Your Donors

“It’s never enough to thank your donors; after all, it’s all because of them that you’re successfully running a non-profit, and more importantly, the right people are being helped. Craft unique, warm, beautiful, and heartfelt thank you emails beforehand to thank your donors the moment they donate. You can even take a step further by delivering the physical hand-written thank you cards to their doorstep. The goal is to appreciate their valuable input in helping you accomplish your nonprofit’s mission. Make sure you’re doing that; in your emails, on social media, on your website, and on your donation page.”

Zephyr Chan, Founder & growth marketer, Better Marketer

Don’t Forget to Follow Up

“Bashing out the first batch of your emails and then waiting for donations to skyrocket is not what you should be doing. Chances are your donors are busy, they missed your emails, or they read your emails but forgot to process the donation. Constantly remind your donors with follow-up emails. Send at least 5 follow-up emails with different relevant subject lines and body copy — while keeping the same goal and narrative.

You can even take this further by segmenting the less active donors and targeting them with exclusive emails with the goal of re-engaging and, possibly, donating. The year-end campaign at least lasts one month or so. Throughout this period, keep monitoring the performance, and keep following up individually with your most important donors.”

Adam Fard, Founder, and CEO, Adam Fard UX Agency

Don’t Be Shy to Make the Ask

“Call to Action in email marketing is super important. In your year-end fundraising campaign, ensure you’re focusing enough on crafting CTAs that are compelling, bold, and make the ask. People need to feel the stir when reading those calls to action.

“Donate Now,” “Support The Campaign,” or “Raise Funds” — these calls to action are vague, common, and don’t inspire the action as much. Ensure your call to action are personalized and hyper-focused on your organization, campaign, goal, and your target audience.

For instance, “Name, Save a Child’s Life by Just Donating $5. Please Donate by Clicking Her. Or, “Name, Someone In Africa is Waiting for Your $5 Donation to Get The Meals for a Day. Please Donate Here”. Take these examples as inspirations only; craft unique CTAs according to your end goal and mission of your nonprofit.”

Tia Campbell, Director of Marketing, Practice Reasoning Tests

Start Creating beautiful, on-brand, and effective End-Of-Year Email Campaigns with BEE Pro

Whether you want to start sharing new initiatives, fundraising, or sending a simple “Thank you” note to your stakeholders, BEE Pro has got you covered.

Stakeholders want to see the initiatives their donations have supported, and you want to ensure that you’re staying top of mind in the new year, that’s why a well-crafted email campaign matters.

Not only does it communicate the impact that your organization has had over the year, but it also lets your audience know what to look forward to, keeping them excited to continue to support you. 

Regardless, here at BEE, we know that email plays a crucial role in nonprofits year-round. That’s why we are happy and proud to help nonprofits by providing them with free or heavily discounted plans. 

Depending on the size of your organization, we will apply a discount of 100% off to your Team plan or a 50% off discount on our Enterprise plan.

This program is for 501(C3) organizations based in the U.S. and international charitable organizations everywhere. To get started, fill out your application here!

Happy Designing! 


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Emily Santos
Emily Santos

Emily Santos is a Content Specialist with experience as a Brand Strategist and Designer.