Use email for better crowdfunding

With in-person events on hold, crowdfunding online has become a major avenue for nonprofits to rally supporters and raise donations. However, crowdfunding sites host thousands of campaigns that all compete for attention. Getting noticed can take a lot of work. 

It’s important to use the most efficient, direct way possible to connect with your followers and get them involved in your campaign as soon as it launches. Google for Nonprofits recommends hosting a livestream, for example, where you can explain your cause in detail to followers. Learn more with this webinar. But what about potential donors beyond your immediate social media circle? 

A study by Indiegogo shows that email marketing is 34% more effective than other forms of outreach for crowdfunding campaigns. And people often consider email a more serious form of communication than a social post. To get started with email marketing for your crowdfunding campaign, check out these three tips.



Build accurate email lists

While it’s tempting to email anyone and everyone about your crowdfunding campaign, the best email list consists of people you’ve developed a relationship with over time. It can help to divide these contacts into groups to send more personalized messages. For example, one group may consist of your major donors, another of your individual donors, and yet another of your corporate donors. 

You can also use your social presence to build your email list even further. Create a call to action on your social channels that encourages your followers to sign up for your emails.


Write a strong email subject line

Yes, the content of your email is important. But the hardest part about email marketing is getting people to actually open your emails. That’s where your subject line comes in. 

A generic or impersonal subject line (“Help our nonprofit”) doesn’t give people a reason to open your email. They might even think it’s spam. Using ALL CAPS, Title Caps, or unnecessary punctuation!! can also set off people’s spam detectors.

Keep your subject line short and to-the-point. Try and use 50 characters or less. However, even a short line might get cut off if someone views their inbox on their mobile, so start your line with the most important, descriptive words first. Also, a short subject line can still hint at the story behind your crowdfunding campaign and create a sense of urgency. “Plant 10 trees before the week is over” is more effective than “Donate to a good cause.”




Schedule regular updates

The email you send announcing the launch of your crowdfunding campaign is just the start. You can also plan email updates when something significant happens, such as a certain amount of money raised or when you want to share a story that will motivate people to donate. Updates can be done frequently, even several times a week. By splitting up which updates you send via email and which you post on social media, you can avoid accidentally annoying your followers.

Finally, at the end of your crowdfunding campaign, make sure to send out a personalized thank you email to those who donated, along with an impact report. 


We adapted this post from the lesson “How Crowdfunding Success Begins with an Email” in the Google Primer app. Download the app to discover more learning experiences at no cost.

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