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#WIIFM Wednesday: The Power Of A Virtual Handshake To Welcome New Donors

Happy Wednesday to my Community Family! 

Last week we asked for your tips and tricks for creating a successful Welcome! email for new donors using Online Express. Although we didn't get the tips we were hoping for on our blog we know it's because our community rockstars were busy participating in our Online Express Tip-Off. In any case, we've put together a formula for a sucessful welcome email broken down into three easy steps that can increase donor retention and take your fundraising to the next level.
Step 1: Define your pool of new donors who you would like to receive your email.

There are a couple of ways you can define this target group but a good starting point would be to create a dynamic query that groups together donors that have given their first gift within a specific range. For example, we can group together all donors who gave for the first time within the last month.

Tip: While you can tweak the date range you are using here just rember the sooner you thank and engage your donors the more likely they are to give a second donation.
Step 2: Build your Welcome email that your new donors will be receiving

So...what should you include in this email? We've found a successful email is comprised of three main parts: an introduction, a thank you, and a next step:

Think of the beginning of your welcome email as a first impression. When you meet someone new in person you always have to introduce yoursel and sending a welcome email to your donors is no different. Create a welcome email that is reflective of your organization’s brand and current work. Share your mission statement with your donors letting them know what drives you each and every day.

Tell your supporter how his donation will help and why it matters. Donors love to quanitify their donation by hearing about the difference your organization (and subsequently their donation) makes in their community.

Assign your donors with a “next step.” A couple good examples of a call to action include:
  • Taking a survey about what aspects of the nonprofit’s work matters to them
  • Watching a video
  • Signing a petition or an alert
  • Following on social media
Step 3: Send your email

Once you've successfully created your content you can Get Ready to Send. You can either send your email immediately or schedule it for a future date. We do recommend creating a "New Email" each month that will allow you to monitor your success in the email dashboard such as open rate and click rate.

Tip: By using the "Start from an existing message" function in Online Express you can quickly copy and tweak the email from the previous month without having to re-create the email each time.


By welcoming new donors not only are you increasing the likelihood that they will give again but you are also offsetting the cost of acquiring new donors by cultivating the donor base you already have. Below we created a simple example of a sample welcome email:


Do you have other ideas, tips, or tricks for welcome emails? Let's start a discussion below!
Posted by Grace Tate on Jun 14, 2017 4:39 PM America/New_York

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How do you not create a New Email every time?  I didn't think OLX would allow you to resend a Message that had been sent once, I thought they had to all be new messages?  (Unless something has changed since I regularly worked with OLX messages.)  I think it would actually be good to be able to use the same Message (and corresponding RE Appeal) to track welcome messages for a specified timeframe.  Otherwise, analytics would be for each batch of new donors, which might be rather small.  If they were all one appeal, comparison could be made using dates, instead of needing to include many separate Appeals to a report.
  • Posted Mon 19 Jun 2017 02:16 PM EDT
Thank you for this helpful information!
  • Posted Fri 28 Jul 2017 08:29 AM EDT