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Nonprofit Leaders 3min read

4 Simple Ways to Boost Your Donations Via Email

Email is still a leading tool for targeted marketing, whether it’s for corporations or nonprofits. Too many organizations fall down on some of the simple ways to engage and retain their donors–most of all when it comes to asking for donations.

Clear calls to action, mobile-optimized email campaigns, and audience segmentation are all crucial. But the most basic element of all is right in your donor’s hand: the mobile device itself.

According to reports from leading researchers, smart phones and mobile devices are blowing away desktops in terms of reading email.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Image via eMarketer

Image via eMarketer

According to data published in December 2013 by Return Path, more than half of email opens worldwide during that month took place on mobile devices. Desktop and webmail opens clocked in at just around a quarter each.

In July 2013 Deloitte reported similar findings: according to their survey checking email was the number one activity performed on mobile devices overall, with nearly three quarters of smart phone users saying they checked email on their phones.

A Q3 2013 analysis by Yesmail showed revenues of $7.14 per click on mobile marketing emails vs. $3.26 for desktop.

Image via Litmus

Image via Litmus

According to Litmus, as of January 2014 49% of email was opened on smart phones, as opposed to 27% and falling for desktops.

There are numerous reports from researchers at ExactTarget, Nielsen and others. emailmonday has a great rundown of many of them with data presented in digestible chunks and more charts and graphs.

How to Fix It

Online donations via forms are still a significant and useful fundraising tool. But that shouldn’t be the only available option.

While 49% of donors expect to fill out an online form, younger donors often don’t (or won’t) dedicate the time and attention. How many millennials do you know who have a checkbook?

The key to engagement–and therefore action–is emotional attachment. Don’t just send email readers to a website where they have to leave the email, wait for the site to load, create an account or log in, fill out a form …

Close the deal while the recipient is actively engaged with the email.

How do you do that? You need to make sure you’re meeting your donors where they already are–whether it’s email, social media, your website or in person at fundraising events.

Here’s how to maximize your electronic donations from email readers:

  • Make sure your emails are optimized for mobile.
  • Conduct subscriber surveys to help segment your email lists.
  • Create clear calls to action that direct donors where you want them to go.
  • Make it simple for the growing mobile audience to donate without having to wait until they’re at a computer.

Check out how Givelify addresses the problem.

About the Author

Matt is dedicated to making the world a better place. He works passionately to help charitable causes use mobile technology to raise the funds they need. In addition to his role at Givelify, he volunteers with the Southside Animal Shelter and Kentuckiana Pug Rescue.

Matt Chandler