The Ultimate Nonprofit Email and Newsletter Checklist: Everything You Need to Know To Write Engaging Content

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As a nonprofit organization, communicating with your supporters is critical to your success. One effective way to do so is through email marketing. However, not all emails are created equal, and using the right type of copy can make a significant difference in the success of your email campaigns. In this article, we will discuss different methods of copy that nonprofits can use to improve their email marketing efforts.


  1. Storytelling is an effective way to engage your supporters emotionally. By sharing personal stories, you can help your supporters relate to your organization and see how it impacts people’s lives. For example, if you’re a nonprofit organization that provides clean water to people in developing countries, you could share stories of the people who have benefited from your work. A good story should have an introduction, a problem, dialogue, and a solution that grabs the reader’s interest and keeps them hooked to read the entire piece.

Short Copy

  1. Short copy is useful when you need to present information in as few words as possible to get the idea across. This type of copy works well for welcome emails, quick reminders about events or campaigns, and reaching out to potential supporters. Short copy is perfect for impulse clicks and snap decisions.

Long Copy

  1. Long copy is more about persuasion and is ideal for different types of emails such as relationship-building, nurturing, or engagement emails. You can use long copy when your supporters have never heard of your organization, don’t know what your nonprofit does, or for expensive products or services that supporters can’t justify purchasing. Long copy is excellent for overcoming objections and convincing supporters to take action.


  1. A series is a set of emails that takes the reader from the beginning to the goal. The most common type of series is a welcome email series, which helps establish a relationship with new supporters. Lead Nurture series focuses on nurturing subscribers through the entire sales cycle. Re-engagement series helps to bring cold supporters back to active status, while abandoned cart series helps to get potential supporters back and understand why they abandoned the process.


  1. Informative emails provide value to your supporters without expecting anything in return. These emails could be in the form of newsletters or nurture or engagement emails. You can provide tips, inspiration, or resources that are relevant to your nonprofit organization’s mission.


  1. Educational emails provide industry knowledge connected to your nonprofit organization’s mission or product. You can teach your supporters something connected to your nonprofit organization’s mission or the cause it supports. These emails offer bite-size information with a “read more” link to take supporters to your blog or article for the complete information. While it’s fine to add mini-promotions to the email, the main focus should be on education.

Using the right type of copy is critical to the success of your nonprofit organization’s email marketing campaigns. By incorporating these different methods of copy, you can engage your supporters emotionally, establish a relationship, and persuade them to take action. Experiment with these methods to determine which ones work best for your nonprofit organization and your supporters.


Here’s a checklist to help create the perfect email sequence for your organization’s weekly newsletters:

  1. Identify your goals: Before you start crafting your weekly newsletter, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Are you looking to drive more donations, increase engagement, or raise awareness about a particular cause? Once you have identified your goals, you can tailor your content to achieve them.
  2. Define your target audience: Who are you sending your newsletter to? Are they volunteers, donors, or supporters? Understanding your target audience will help you tailor your content to their needs and interests.
  3. Choose the right email platform: There are several email platforms available, such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Sendinblue. Choose a platform that fits your budget and has the features you need, such as automation and segmentation.
  4. Craft a compelling subject line: Your subject line is the first thing your supporters will see, so make sure it’s attention-grabbing. Keep it short, snappy, and relevant to the content of your newsletter.
  5. Create engaging content: Your newsletter should be informative, educational, and engaging. Use a mix of text, images, and videos to make your content more visually appealing. Use storytelling techniques to create an emotional connection with your supporters.
  6. Use a clear call-to-action: Your newsletter should have a clear call-to-action (CTA) that tells your supporters what you want them to do next. Whether it’s making a donation, signing up for an event, or volunteering, make sure your CTA is clear and prominent.
  7. Segment your email list: Segmenting your email list allows you to send targeted content to specific groups of supporters. For example, you can send different content to volunteers than you would to donors.
  8. Personalize your emails: Personalizing your emails can increase engagement and make your supporters feel valued. Use their name and reference past actions or donations to create a personal connection.
  9. Test and optimize: Always test your emails before sending them out to ensure that they are optimized for different devices and email clients. Use A/B testing to experiment with different subject lines, content, and CTAs to see what works best.
  10. Monitor your results: Use analytics to monitor the performance of your emails. Look at metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversions to see how your newsletter is performing. Use this data to refine and improve your email strategy over time.


Use these checkboxes to track weekly progress writing content for your newsletter:

Weekly Email Writing Checklist:


☐ Identify clear goals for the weekly newsletter

☐ Tailor content to achieve identified goals

Target Audience:

☐ Define the target audience for the newsletter

☐ Tailor content to meet the needs and interests of the target audience

Email Platform:

☐ Choose the right email platform

☐ Ensure that the selected platform has the necessary features (automation, segmentation)

Subject Line:

☐ Craft a compelling subject line that is short, snappy, and relevant to the newsletter’s content


☐ Create informative, educational, and engaging content

☐ Use a mix of text, images, and videos to make content more visually appealing

☐ Use storytelling techniques to create an emotional connection with supporters

Call-to-Action (CTA):

☐ Ensure that the newsletter has a clear CTA

☐ Make the CTA prominent and easy to understand


☐ Segment the email list to send targeted content to specific groups of supporters


☐ Personalize the newsletter to increase engagement and make supporters feel valued

Testing and Optimization:

☐ Test the newsletter before sending it out

☐ Use A/B testing to experiment with different subject lines, content, and CTAs


☐ Monitor the performance of the newsletter using analytics

☐ Use data to refine and improve the email strategy over time

By using this weekly email writing checklist, nonprofit organizations can create effective newsletters that achieve their goals, engage their supporters, and drive action.




Cartoon of AI robot typing on a computer keyboard*Compiled by online research, OpenAI outputs from licensed PLR content, plus editing, formatting and additional content provided by Johnson Publishing staff.