How Can Non-Profits Send More Engaging Email?

Retailers aren’t the only ones gearing up for the holidays — it’s a big season for non-profits too. But just how well do non-profits use email to connect with subscribers (and potential donors), engage them in a cause, and spur them into action? Return Path’s new research study, “Telling Stories: How Non-Profits Can Create More Engaging Email Marketing Programs,” focuses on answering these questions by measuring email use among 50 well known non-profit organizations.

Assessing the entire subscriber experience for 30 days, the study analyzes practices across a wide spectrum of organizations – from children, to health, to politics, animals, and museums. The study identified several areas of strength among these mailers, including 62% of organizations that sent a welcome message immediately upon subscribe (something only 40% of for-profit counterparts do), and a strong integration of social media elements.

However, there were a number of areas where non-profits fell short. Content strategy – a crucial element in connecting and engaging with new subscribers, and building support for the cause – was surprisingly one glaring opportunity for improvement. Many organizations leaned heavily on generic newsletters as their primary use of the channel, missing a huge opportunity to customize the experience with subscribers and potential advocates/donors of their organization.

Learn more about the non-profit study findings, view email samples from the organizations studied, and get recommendations for improving your organization’s strategy, just in time to optimize response for the 2009 holiday season! Download the research paper now.

minute read

Popular stories



BriteVerify email verification ensures that an email address actually exists in real-time


The #1 global data quality tool used by thousands of Salesforce admins


Insights and deliverability guidance from the only all-in-one email marketing solution

GridBuddy Cloud

Transform how you interact with your data through the versatility of grids.

Return Path

World-class deliverability applications to optimize email marketing programs

Trust Assessments

A revolutionary new solution for assessing Salesforce data quality


Validity for Email

Increase inbox placement and maximize subscriber reach with clean and actionable data

Validity for Data Management

Simplify data management with solutions that improve data quality and increase CRM adoption

Validity for Sales Productivity

Give your sales team back hours per day with tools designed to increase productivity and mitigate pipeline risks in real-time