Don’t Follow Donations with Silence

NTEN Conference


By Jamie Sargent

April 26, 2022

During the 2022 Nonprofit Technology Conference, Patty Breech, Founder and CEO of The Purpose Collective led an informative session on how to create a successful automatically triggered welcome email series for new donors. The ultimate goal of the series is to make the new donor feel welcome, validated, appreciated and to keep them giving beyond their first gift. It’s critical to think of this as a personal and warm conversation with your new donor.

She shared the following recommended cadence and content for a Welcome Email Series. You will see that most of these emails are not asking the recipient for an additional donation.

  • Email 1 – Send a simple message of gratitude from CEO/Founder (0-24 hours after gift)
  • Email 2 – Tell a first-person story of impact at 6th grade reading level (1-3 days after gift)
  • Email 3 – Increase their connection to your cause by asking the recipient to take another action such as completing a survey, signing a petition, attending an event, or sharing a photo on social media. (1 week after gift)
  • Email 4 – Tell another first-person narrative (2 weeks after gift)
  • Email 5 – Request recipient to become a monthly donor (3-4 weeks after gift)

This approach works because research shows the best time to contact someone is immediately after they take an action with you. Since the average nonprofit sees a donor retention rate of 40-45%, this means that more than half of the people who give to your organization will not give again. A welcome email series can change that. Thanks to The Purpose Collective for sharing their insights at NTEN. Learn more here.

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