One Simple Lesson Will Boost Your Non-Profit Organization’s Donations and Support

Money - email copywriting

Email Copywriting Boosts Donations (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

A few years ago, I applied for a couple of positions with a not-for-profit organization in Cleveland, Ohio.

I didn’t receive a job offer.

I received an email that left me wondering, “Who wrote this email and do they understand email copywriting?”

If a non-profit organization wants to cultivate good relationships with the public, corporate donors, and philanthropists, the email copywriting has to be spot on.

Here’s the email response I received:

Thank you for your interest in our organization. This position has been filled.

Best of luck with your future endeavors.

The response was a standard HR response. No connection was made.

I would have been interested in keeping in touch through a newsletter. After all, I applied for a job with the organization. Why wouldn’t I want to know more?

I wasn’t given links to social media, or the website where I could sign up for a newsletter.

Maybe the organization didn’t have social media websites.

Then again, it could have been an oversight by the person who wrote the email.

That oversight turned into an expensive one.

I can’t remember the name of the organization; therefore, I can’t make a donation or volunteer.

Here’s what I would have wrote:

Thank you for your interest in our organization. The position you applied for has been filled.

Please visit our website to learn more about future job openings.

Best of luck with your future endeavors!

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to stay in touch with us.

Do you see the difference?

The email I received is short and sweet, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

My email asks the job candidate to do something for the organization — visit their website.

It also indicates there could be future job openings which is why I’d want to visit their website.

I’m also wished the best of luck which is a nice touch.

One Simple Lesson to Boost Your Non-Profit Organization’s Donations and Support

The one simple lesson is email copywriting.

Write emails that will make people, even job candidates who don’t get the job, want to donate and support your organization.

Non-Profits Rely on Donations from the Public

It’s no secret that non-profit organizations rely on donations from the public.

Believe it or not, a job candidate is a part of the public.

If you work for a non-profit, why not take any moment you can to advocate and promote your organization?

For example, when you answer a potential job candidate, thank them for applying for the job.

You can also send them to your organization’s website where they can sign up for a newsletter to stay in touch with the organization. Who knows, they could make a donation now or in the future.

If you use tact and diplomacy and power words in your email copywriting, you could boost your non-profit organization’s donations.

Email Copywriting Could Make a Difference in Your Non-Profit Organization‘s Donations

If you work for a not-for-profit, make sure your email copywriting encourages people to donate and support the organization.

Your email copywriting should ‘strike a nerve’ and get an emotional reaction from readers.

Use power words such as:

  • Guaranteed
  • Useful
  • Urgent
  • Greatest
  • Important
  • Love
  • Terrific
  • Miracle
  • Wonderful
  • Genuine
  • Stunning
  • Greatest
  • Unexpected
  • Scared
  • Spotlight

Use power phrases such as:

  • Thank you
  • We appreciate your support
  • You’re valuable
  • Last minute
  • Tap into
  • Right now
  • Dreams come true

The goals of a not-for-profit organization are to raise awareness, money, and support.

Get Those Donations! 

Marketing and PR and email copywriting can and will make people donate to your organization now and in the future.

Gaining donations and supporters is easier than your think.

Be sincere, not pushy. Simply provide information such as a link to the website, newsletter landing page, or press release.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend or colleague, and sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!

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  1. Amandah: This is great advice for any organization – profit or non-profit. If we consider every encounter as an opportunity to make a good impression, it can pay off huge dividends down the road. Think about how many times you meet a person from your past. Wouldn’t it be nice if the reason the person remembers you is because of a good first impression?

  2. Thanks Cathy!

    I’m volunteering for two non-profits and have signed up for committee duties with one of them. I’ve already stressed how important it is to treat people with respect. You never know who’ll become a substantial donor in the future. It’s best to make a good impression versus a rotten one. I have stories of the latter. 🙁 As a volunteer, I’m shocked at how board members, employees, and ‘senior’ volunteers don’t understand the ‘art of building relationships.’ They leave you standing out in the cold, literally.

  3. Hi Amandah,

    A very nice post and a reminder to every businessperson (non-profit or for profit) that every communication with the public is an opportunity to bolster your brand and your cause. I hope board members and other non-profit associates read this post. They need it!

    My close friend and associate, Amy Tippins of the non-profit and the for-profit clothing line at is masterful in the way she treats every communication with the public. I’m going to send her over here to share her thoughts as well.


  4. Hi Samantha,

    Thank you for your comment!

    I agree that every communication with the public is an opportunity for a non-profit and or for profit business to reiterate their brand and cause. I cringe at some of the emails I received in the past from those in the non-profit sector. You never who’ll be a donor or volunteer now or in the future.

    Thanks again for your comment and adding to the discussion.

  5. Amanda, great blog post. Yes, it is amazing how many times non profits and for profits miss an opportunity to say “Hey, jump on board with our cause” with their marketing and communications. It is also so important for non profits to know that it helps to be a little more cutting edge with thier communications. Susan G Koman might have had a lot of money behind their organization, but who doesn’t see pink and think “Save the Ta-Tas”. Edge gets you a second look nowdays!

  6. Hi Amy,

    I agree that having a edge can work for a non-profit. Even something as simple as requiring volunteers to wear a volunteer t-shirt when they volunteer can do wonders for an organization. When volunteers are out and about others will see the organization if the name of the organization is on the back of the t-shirt. It’s a great way to advertise and communicate to the public that the organization exists, and it’s a conversation piece.

    Thank your for your comment and adding to the conversation!

Comments are closed.