Why email can save fundraising

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The average person apparently checks their email 15 times a day.

That’s me on a disciplined day.

No matter how many social networks come and go (remember Ello? No, me neither.), we are all emotionally tied to our email like nothing else on earth.

It’s time to uncover the gold hidden in our email lists. 

Here are five reasons why a properly planned email marketing strategy can save fundraising.

Email is an untapped goldmine

In the ecommerce world, where companies are busy successfully selling billions of pounds of stuff a year, That’s well planned transactional emails, cross-selling emails and offers hard at work.23% of revenue comes from email.

How many charities can say 23% of their online donations is attributable to email? With the right email marketing strategy in place, it could be way more.

Only email can retain donors

42% of customers say email is central to retaining them as a customer. 

Pretty much the only time you’re going to hear from most organisations is by email. You don’t religiously check their websites, and most of them do’t phone you (unless it’s Payment Protection Insurance you’re after, in which case, I’ll call you later).

Combine a powerful reason to stay with the best channel for retention, and you have a strong plan for developing donor loyalty.

Segmented messaging = higher ROI

24% of marketers who segment their lists experience higher revenue. 

This is what they teach you on the first day of marketing school (and fundraising is a form of marketing); segment your target audience based on who they are, what they do and what they need from you.

Let’s say you send an email telling anyone who has donated online in the last month about your latest appeal. This is you emailing the right person the right message at the right time – not just taking a ‘spray and pray’ approach. Your targeted message will get a way higher ROI than if it just went to everyone on your database.

Email is the cheapest digital channel

Email doesn’t just raise money – using it can save you money.

It can cost less than a penny to send an email. Websites cost thousands of pounds in development, upkeep and hosting. Social media is cheap but as Facebook continues to shrink organic reach to as low as 1-2% of your likes, the scale is way smaller.

And let’s not even mention the cost of printed DM packs.

Triggered campaigns save your budget

You already have donor journeys in place. Your fundraising team (events in particular) already have a number of set processes for donor stewardship.

Creating triggered campaigns based on these most common processes can even save your fundraising budget through increased efficiency.

For example, your events team has a treasure trove of training tips, fundraising ideas and motivational case studies to send to its London Marathon runners. They can create a series of 10 emails, automatically triggered to go out to anyone who signs up as a runner, no matter when they signed up.

Then your events team can really put their feet up…


  • Know how much potential your email list has – for retaining donors, for inspiring supporters to become donors and more.

  • Segment your list – if you always send the same message to the same people every time, take action. Split your list out into different groups.

  • Automate your common processes – map out your most common message paths and create triggered campaigns from them

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