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Fueling Online Fundraising By Amy Sewell

What you need to know to grow your online fundraising!

Email is your online fundraising backbone—accounting for around 26 percent of online revenue at most organizations. However, the size of your email file has a direct relationship with your ability to fundraise on this channel.If you are comparing online donations and email send dates you are probably noticing an interesting trend—the two are intricately tied together.

For every 1,000 fundraising messages sent, organizations typically receive $42 back in donations.*

Are you looking to grow?

Start by taking advantage of the regular interactions your organization already has with its supporters. If someone fills out their information—ask for their email address and emphasize the value that they will receive in these messages. With volunteers, mention that volunteer opportunities are distributed through email. For an event attendee, mention the quickest way to hear about future events is by signing up.

In addition to organic opportunities, it’s worth investing budget to help grow your network. One of my favorite ways to do this is to target audiences with ads and give them something of value related to your organization’s mission in exchange for their signup. Depending on your organization, a devotional, fact guide, or petition all work well.

Merely having people on your email file does not guarantee that they will become donors, however. Make sure you welcome new users appropriately (so that their first communication from you is not an appeal), send them regular stories of life change in addition to appeals. Make sure to pay attention to metrics like open rate, bounce rate, click rate, and conversion rate to ensure that your list stays healthy as it grows.

*According to the recent M+R Benchmarks Reports.


Amy Sewell, is the Vice President of Digital Solutions for Douglas Shaw & Associates. She has been working in the digital space for over 22 years, and drives the strategy behind all the digital projects completed at Douglas Shaw & Associates. Amy is driven by results and creates solutions that inspire donors and drive revenue for the organizations she serves.


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