Non-Profits: Organize Volunteers and Grow Community Relationships with Email Marketing

Early one summer morning I knelt on a bike path creating a chalk drawing or “Art on the Street” as they call it.  While far from art, chalk is an excellent artistic outlet for anyone, since it can be done on sidewalks, walls, paper, essentially any drawable surface.  It’s especially easy for those, like me, who lack any artistic talent.

As I scribble on the bike path, promoting an upcoming fundraising event pertinent to cycling enthusiasts,  I began to consider how I ended up here, and the six other volunteers who, like me are creating chalk drawings to promote the same cause, at the same time, at different locations around town.

How did this happen?  It was organized through email marketing.  Email marketing is an effective way to coordinate volunteers and build relationships in the community.  On a weekly basis, this non-profit sends news, updates, and delegates various responsibilities to volunteers through an email marketing platform, ensuring success of its annual event.  While we meet regularly, email is the chief form of communication between volunteers and staff members.  This same non-profit keeps the community and event participants informed by providing regular event updates and teaching recipients about their cause.

Email marketing is effective for non-profits because: 

ChalkThe cost is low and generating quick results:  Email marketing can be inexpensive.  In fact, it can be cheaper than last summer’s rainbow chalk supply we used to leave messages around the city.

A few days after receiving this email the other volunteers and I were out at 5:00 am coloring the bike paths.  Typically, more than 80 percent of people have seen an email within 48 hours.

Email marketing allows for easy segmentation:  Many non-profits understand their volunteers are interested in different issues than others in the community.  Email marketing allows you to send personalized and targeted messages drawing from your database of contacts.

Email marketing builds relationships:  It’s crucial for non-profit organizations to build awareness for their cause, cultivate long-lasting relationships, and increase fundraising.  Grow strong community ties with email marketing by using it to share your cause and more importantly, learn about your community and what they support.  Strong relationships create trust.  Trust equals supporters who will fight for a cause!

How have you used email marketing at your non-profit? -OR- Have you received great email marketing from a non-profit? Tell us about it!

About John Golly

I started at Swiftpage in November 2012 as a sales manager overseeing Swiftpage's Inside Sales team. I enjoy coaching and developing my sales team and seeing them grow personally and professionally. I am passionate about social media and marketing communications. In my off time, I am an avid mountain biker, cyclist, and hiker who enjoys spending time with my wife (She loves cycling and triathlons.) and Chesapeake Bay Retriever (He loves playing fetch and swimming.). I also volunteer for a local non-profit organization helping them with marketing communications, social media, and increasing participation in a local cycling event.

5 Responses to “Non-Profits: Organize Volunteers and Grow Community Relationships with Email Marketing”

  1. I get many e-mails daily from numerous political and religious organizations. It is a way they can keep me appraised of what is happening in their particular areas of interest, and it’s a great way for them to do fundraising.

    • Thanks for the comment, Janice! I get a lot from the non-profit organizations I follow as well and I really appreciate it. Plus, I think I donate more as a result.

  2. Good write-up. I definitely love this website. Keep writing!


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