Learn how email appends help keep supporters' contact information up to date.

Email Appends — Nonprofit Catalog

With an estimated return of $36 for every $1 spent, email has an unbeatable ROI compared to other marketing channels. This channel allows you to connect with your entire contact list, create personalized outreach through segmentation, and ultimately push your mission to new heights. But to leverage this marketing channel, you need the right email addresses first.

An email append will allow you to find the most accurate contact information for everyone in your contact list. That way, your messages are delivered to your supporters’ inboxes successfully. There’s an entire world of data appending, but we’ll focus on how appending email addresses specifically can enhance your marketing.

What Is An Email Append?

Email appending is a marketing process that requires using known constituent data (such as names, phone numbers, and social profiles) to identify individuals’ current email addresses.

Using an email append services provider is the most efficient, reliable way for digital marketers to verify and update email addresses for their contacts. Professional providers have access to large databases of contact information. You’ll share your constituents’ data with the provider, which they’ll then use to match each individual to their most recent email addresses.

Why Should You Append Emails?

Email addresses are only beneficial if they’re accurate. Otherwise, your messages won’t be successfully delivered to supporters’ inboxes.

HubSpot estimates that email marketing databases degrade by about 22.5% every year. People occasionally make typos or use fake email addresses when filling out forms. Plus, your supporters may get locked out of their emails, change emails, or pass away. Appending emails is the most reliable way to correct any mistakes and fill in gaps within your contact list.

Email marketing databases degrade by about 22.5% every year due to typos, people changing their emails, and other factors.

Ensuring updated contact information will also enable you to:

  • Increase your deliverability and open rates.
  • Re-engage lapsed donors you’ve lost contact with.
  • Reduce manual labor necessary to correct incorrect emails.
  • Protect your IP sender reputation. Outdated email addresses are often reclaimed and used as spam traps, which can result in you getting added to a blocklist if you’re not careful.

Regularly appending emails will enrich your database, empowering your team to reach and retain your supporters. Depending on your data append provider, you might also be able to pull other helpful information, like social profiles, postal addresses, and employer data. In turn, you’ll create stronger contact profiles and open your team up to additional engagement opportunities.

Best Practices for Email Appends

Having accurate contact information is only useful if you have a solid plan for pulling and leveraging it in your marketing. Start outlining your approach for ethically appending and using the updated contact information you’ll receive. Let’s look at a few tips for getting started!

Only append emails for existing supporters.

NPOInfo’s guide to email appends states, “You should only ever append email addresses for people who have previously connected with your organization, whether they donated, signed up for your newsletter, or registered to volunteer. You want to make sure you’re leveraging email appending ethically.”

Pulling contact information for people who have never even heard of your organization can damage your reputation. So stick to only doing so for past and existing supporters.

Follow anti-spam laws.

On the topic of ethical marketing practices, make sure to respect when supporters opt out of your email communications. After all, anti-spam laws and opt-in rules still apply when you append emails.

If you send emails to people who opted out of or never signed up for your email list, you can wind up in some serious legal trouble. So before reaching out to any emails you appended, double-check that those individuals opted into your email communications. Otherwise, you risk damaging your reputation and relationships with supporters.

Regularly conduct email appends.

Get on a good schedule with your email appends, whether that’s monthly, quarterly, or bi-annually. This will make sure your CRM is always as complete and accurate as it can possibly be. Your organization’s off-season is the perfect time for this.

Let’s say you’re ramping up for a big fundraising campaign. The last thing you want is a sky-high bounce rate due to inaccurate email addresses. Before you launch your campaign, devote time to conducting email appends. Aim to wrap up about a month before your initiative’s official launch, giving your team plenty of wiggle room to get everything squared away.

Know how different types of organizations leverage email appends.

As with any marketing practice, it’s best to tailor your email append strategy to your organization’s priorities. At the very least, you should follow up with anyone you’ve been unable to reach via email once you receive your results.

Beyond this, Double the Donation’s email appends guide highlights these examples that you can emulate:

Different organizations benefit from email appends in different ways.
  • Environmental nonprofits can align their marketing practices with their mission. Eliminate unnecessary paper waste and opt for eco-friendly email outreach.
  • Schools can stay connected with alumni as they acquire new email addresses from new jobs and graduate schools.
  • Cultural organizations like aquariums, zoos, and museums can send new exhibit and event information to members and past visitors.
  • Political organizations can email information about important issues, allowing voters to review the information on their own time rather than texting or talking on the phone.
  • Any nonprofit can use business email appends to identify corporate giving opportunities.

Knowing how your organization will leverage contact information will empower you to make the most of your appended email addresses. Think carefully about your plans ahead of time, so you can start reaching out as soon as you receive your email append results.

Additional Resources

Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.

Phone Appends: A Nonprofit’s Data Enrichment Guide – You can append contact information other than email addresses. Build out your supporters’ profiles by appending phone numbers, too. This guide covers everything you need to know.

The Beginner’s Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Marketing – Learn how to create a foolproof marketing plan and make the most out of your appended email addresses.

Digital Marketing for Nonprofits – Nonprofit Catalog

Reaching people who align with your nonprofit’s message is key to being able to carry out your mission. Doing that can be easier said than done, but thankfully nonprofits have a range of tools at their disposal. Meeting your organization’s needs in this area can take many forms, but one of the easiest and most effective of these forms is digital marketing. If you aren’t tech-savvy, no worries – we’ve got you covered. Let’s explore the fundamentals of digital marketing for nonprofits so you can reach supporters near and far.

What is digital marketing for nonprofits?

According to Fifty & Fifty, digital marketing for nonprofits is the use of online channels to spread your nonprofit’s mission and attract supporters to your cause.

Why is digital marketing important?

Digital marketing allows you to spread the word about your mission past the bounds of your local community. It lets you reach like-minded people and potential supporters who may not have otherwise found your nonprofit. The ability to raise awareness online for your cause means that you can tap into networks of people who might be able to support you in a multitude of ways, such as volunteering, donating, and advocating for your cause. Beyond individual donors, digital marketing can also connect you with purpose-driven partners in the for-profit sector who are eager to engage in CSR partnerships.

How is digital marketing for nonprofits unique?

Unlike for-profit brands, digital branding for nonprofits should be centered around your mission and helping your beneficiaries. Your goal is to help viewers understand why your mission is important so that they want to get involved with your organization, so make sure to focus the attention on your beneficiaries instead of your staff or board members. After gaining their permission, be sure to feature photos and stories from your beneficiaries.

Graphic of the components of digital marketing discussed in the article

What are the components of digital marketing?

Digital marketing can be broken into the following components:

Graphic design

Getting viewers to pause and take in information can be challenging when the online world is so cluttered. You want people to stop long enough to take in the information your materials are conveying. That’s why including visually attractive and streamlined brand elements in your digital marketing is essential. Also, having a consistent aesthetic across all of your materials will boost brand awareness in your community. Use the same colors and fonts on all of your materials, from your logo to your donation page to your branded merchandise.

Digital Presence

Getting your audience’s attention is also a matter of getting in front of them more than once and keeping them engaged. If you keep showing up in front of viewers, they’re more likely to have their curiosity piqued and engage with your content or click through to your website. Make consistent profiles on social media, make a website with blogs, and produce other resources that your intended audience might be interested in.

Online Advertising

There are numerous ways you can approach online advertising, meaning that you can tailor your efforts to your organization’s specific needs, audience, and budget. Google Ad Grants for nonprofits is a great way to get started or boost your digital marketing efforts.

Web design

Make sure your website is educational, accessible, intuitively designed, and fast. These components will also help your website rank highly on the search engine results page, which will ultimately help you funnel visitors to your content and your mission.

How do we get started?

If you’re new to digital marketing and branding, consider working with a digital marketing agency for nonprofits. They’ll use their expertise in the nonprofit sector to craft a winning digital marketing approach that centers around your mission.

When brainstorming your digital marketing strategy, start by reviewing the basics, adding your organization’s unique branding, and identifying your ideal digital channels. Once you put it all together, you’ll be on your way to reaching new audiences online.

Other Resources to Explore

Nonprofit Catalog – Read more about essential nonprofit topics in our Nonprofit Catalog.

Nonprofit Newsletter Template for Nonprofit Marketers – Learn more about how to write a newsletter, a cornerstone of nonprofit digital marketing.

The Beginner’s Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Marketing – Check out this ultimate guide to get a general overview of nonprofit marketing.

Graphic of person carrying a purple gift

Year-End Giving – Nonprofit Catalog

Most nonprofits earn a significant amount of their annual revenue during the last months (if not the last few days) of the year. According to NPOInfo, nonprofits receive 17-22% of their total annual fundraising in December. If you also factor in Giving Tuesday, it’s obvious that organizations need to have solid plans in place for approaching donors toward the end of the year to secure the necessary funding.

Creating an effective giving strategy requires knowing why supporters are motivated to give. If you understand that piece of the puzzle, along with how to make a reasonable ask, you can use it to target your efforts in more specific ways. Honing in on this information will help you run successful fundraisers all year and figure out how to make the most of year-end giving.

What is year-end giving?

Year-end giving is the spike in charitable giving that happens during the last few months of the year. Since people are often more willing to give during this time, in part because of the holidays, it’s a good opportunity for nonprofits to take some extra time to refine their messaging strategy. The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as Giving Tuesday, has proven to be a particularly fruitful donation day in the past few years.

Graphic noting the ways the article says nonprofits can prepare for the year-end giving season

How can my nonprofit prepare for the year-end giving season?

It’s never too early to prepare for the year-end giving season. Having a solid strategy in place will allow your organization to see greater success while experiencing less last-minute stress. Let’s dive into a few ways your nonprofit can prepare.

Create a multichannel strategy.

Use multichannel marketing to communicate with supporters on multiple platforms such as email, social media, text, direct mail, and more. Spreading your message across multiple platforms helps you reach different audiences and build brand awareness. It also creates more touchpoints with supporters who encounter multiple messages on different platforms, providing more opportunities for them to act on one of your calls-to-action.

You can begin building your nonprofit’s digital strategy by:

  • Putting together a uniform brand guide ahead of time.
  • Creating a social media posting calendar.
  • Refreshing your website in advance.
  • Personalizing online communication.

Finding effective ways to reach your supporters online can elevate your organization’s fundraising efforts. This is especially true since the #GivingTuesday trend began, boosting the visibility of nonprofits and charitable giving near the end of the year.

Partner with a marketing consultant.

If you’re interested in trying a new marketing strategy for the year-end giving season, consider partnering with a nonprofit marketing consultant. Hiring an expert in the space will provide access to professional insights into your current fundraising strategies and help your team navigate the challenges associated with running a new fundraiser.

A marketing consultant will also be able to analyze and offer a customized approach for your organization.

Train your fundraising team.

Staying up to date on current trends in the nonprofit sector can help your organization raise funds in new and profitable ways. Working with your team to improve their fundraising skills prior to the year-end giving season can help your nonprofit secure more gifts and successfully follow up with donors at the start of the new year.

Encourage your team to attend relevant nonprofit webinars, listen to professional nonprofit podcasts, and take courses to improve their fundraising skills. Attending conferences prior to the year-end giving season can also be an accessible way to learn about ongoing developments in the nonprofit world.

Additional Resources

A nonprofit marketing plans will help you create cohesive messages.

Nonprofit Marketing Plan – Nonprofit Catalog

Nonprofits are challenged to do more with less. For marketers in particular, you’re tasked with finding the proper channels and developing powerful messages to amplify your organization’s work — all while battling limited resources. A formal nonprofit marketing plan gives you clear guidance on achieving that.

We’ll look at the components of a nonprofit marketing plan, giving you exact steps for outlining your own. You’ll have everything you need to develop a holistic marketing strategy. That way, you can form and cultivate meaningful supporter relationships through efficient communication.

What Is A Nonprofit Marketing Plan?

A nonprofit marketing plan is a document that outlines the promotional channels, strategies, and metrics your team will use to spread your mission. This document acts as a roadmap for promoting your initiatives. It provides specific branding guidelines to ensure every piece of marketing collateral is consistent and accurately reflects your organization.

Everyone working at the organization should have access to your nonprofit marketing plan. This allows them to refer to your objectives and align their activities accordingly.

How to Create a Nonprofit Marketing Plan

Especially if you’re a smaller organization, you’re up against established organizations. In other words, you have to go above and beyond to stand out and strengthen brand awareness. So let’s look at five key steps you should take when crafting your nonprofit marketing plan.

Follow these steps to create your nonprofit marketing plan.

1. Conduct a marketing audit.

Unless you’re just now launching your nonprofit, you likely already have marketing experience. That means you have a foundation to build off. Start crafting your nonprofit marketing plan by assessing your past campaigns. Getting Attention’s nonprofit marketing plan guide suggests that you answer questions such as:

  • Did you achieve the goals you set? If not, how far short did you fall?
  • What platforms did you use?
  • What key performance metrics (KPIs) did you track? Did they accurately gauge success?
  • What strategies should you use again, and what should you do differently next time?
  • Can you reuse any of the marketing materials for future campaigns?

These questions will help you understand where you’re currently excelling and falling short with your marketing efforts.

2. Define your brand.

You’ll want to create a brand style guide as part of your nonprofit marketing plan. This will keep your marketing assets consistent, helping to establish your brand identity. Define elements such as your:

  • Narrative and voice: Ask yourself what you want your nonprofit to be known for. Do you want to come across as a warm and compassionate nonprofit that provides families with a haven in their time of need? Or maybe you want to come across as a headstrong, no-nonsense team that will fight for families when they need it most. Choose your narrative and a voice that communicates that.
  • Colors: Kwala’s nonprofit branding guide explains that most organizations use 2-3 colors, including one primary color and one or two neutral accent colors. Think carefully about what colors are associated with your cause and will elicit the appropriate emotions. For instance, red can symbolize urgency and is commonly used with health and humanitarian relief organizations.
  • Typography: You’ll want to select specific fonts to use in your marketing materials and define in which contexts to use each one. Similar to colors, different fonts elicit different emotions depending on whether they look more playful or sophisticated.

Staying consistent will help supporters remember your brand, making it easier for them to recognize your marketing materials.

3. Define your audience.

Knowing who you’re trying to reach with your promotional materials will help you choose the right channels and messages for them. Based on your current audience, create personas that explain your typical supporters’:

  • Age range
  • Traits and motivations
  • Preferred communication methods
  • Giving preferences

Ideally, you’ll want to create a persona for your average donor, volunteer, advocate, and other supporters. Doing so will empower you to craft messages that resonate with different groups of people more meaningfully.

4. Choose your marketing channels.

Once you know who you’re trying to reach, figure out how you’ll reach them. Your nonprofit marketing plan should define the channels you’ll use to spread your message. While there are plenty out there to choose from, here are a few common ones you might employ:

  • Social media. A share button is a powerful tool. Determine which platforms your audience actively uses. Within your nonprofit marketing plan, lay out which platforms your marketing team should use and the types of messages that should be shared on each one. You’ll also want to set ground rules for interacting with followers. If you’re crafting a plan for a specific campaign, you can even include a posting schedule.
  • Google Ad Grants and Microsoft Grants. Paid search engine marketing is a powerful tool. Programs like Microsoft Ad Grants and Google Grants provide these typically-expensive resources to nonprofits free of charge. Through these programs, you’ll receive free funding to spend on paid search ads and amplify content from your website.
  • Direct mail. An awful lot of people still prefer handwritten postcards and letters. It provides a personal touch that can’t be replicated in the digital space. Include guidelines for what types of outreach you’ll send via direct mail, such as thank-you letters, campaign flyers, and project brochures.
  • Email. This is a go-to platform for nonprofit marketers because it lets you simultaneously connect with all types of supporters. Plus, most email marketing platforms allow you to segment your email lists, so you can craft more personalized outreach for each type of supporter. Define guidelines for your newsletter and any other outreach you’ll send via email.

With the expanding digital marketing space, the list of marketing platforms never stops growing! And while you’ll certainly want to use multiple channels, be selective in the ones you choose. Otherwise, you risk spreading yourself too thin. Instead of posting the same generic appeal across all platforms, you’ll need to adjust your messages based on each platform.

5. Select key performance indicators.

Your nonprofit marketing plan isn’t quite complete yet! You should include which KPIs you’ll use to measure your success. Note that you’ll want to break down your nonprofit’s metrics for each platform. Here are some common ones you might include:

  • Conversions. This is the number of desired actions someone takes to support your work. Great for any platform, this metric might include donations, volunteer registrations, or email newsletter sign-ups.
  • Click-through rate (CTR). Specific to search engine ads and email marketing, your CTR measures the ratio of users who click a specific link to the total number of users who viewed it.
  • Social media engagement. Get specific with these metrics by monitoring your likes, shares, and comments. Some social media platforms will even provide you with additional metrics like impressions to gauge your digital reach.

Tracking the right analytics will take the guesswork out of your performance. In your nonprofit marketing plan, list out the exact metrics you want to monitor, so you’re not scrambling to correct your strategies if your outreach underperforms.

Additional Resources

Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.

Nonprofit Marketing Ideas: Promote Your Cause Effectively – Dive into the basics of nonprofit marketing and learn unique strategies for promoting your mission with this guide.

40+ Marketing Ideas for Nonprofits to Spread Your Mission – Fold these ideas into your strategies and create a more robust nonprofit marketing plan.

Healthcare Website – Nonprofit Catalog

With a strong digital presence, your healthcare organization can connect with new patients, provide educational resources for the public, and even drive donations for your mission-driven cause. Explore the basics of healthcare website design and the tools you need to bring your digital presence to life. 

What is a healthcare website?

According to Morweb, a healthcare website is a digital hub that serves your target audience. Whether you’re a doctor’s office, disease prevention organization, or nonprofit advancing women’s health in your local community, you’ll need a way to connect with your patients, clients, or constituents online. Plus, a website can help people unfamiliar with your organization learn more, sign up for your services, or otherwise get involved. 

The exact content and resources your healthcare website will offer the public depends on your function in the community. For example, a health nonprofit will need a robust online donation page to advance its mission forward, while a doctor’s office will need a private patient portal to securely book appointments. To narrow down your content, reflect on how your website fits into your broader strategy to connect with the public. 

Common resources that healthcare organizations provide to their target audience through their healthcare website include:

  • A “Contact Us” page to help the public connect with your organization
  • An “About Us” page to provide background information on your organization and its purpose
  • A blog to provide updates on your organization and increase your brand visibility
  • Patient portals for signing up for appointments, paying bills, and more
  • Directions to your different facilities 

These resources will help your existing constituents develop strong relationships with your organization and allow prospective constituents to better understand your organization’s role. Over time, remember to review and refresh these resources so they stay up to date. This will ensure that your website features factual information so users don’t get frustrated by following the wrong directions to your office or emailing an outdated address. 

How do I design a healthcare website? 

Even if you don’t have previous web development experience, designing a website doesn’t have to be difficult. The right tools and strategies can get you started. Let’s take a closer look at how you can build a beautiful website in just a few steps. 

Follow these tips to design a comprehensive healthcare website.

Choose a healthcare-specific CMS

While you can build your healthcare website from scratch, this process is time-consuming and requires extensive coding knowledge. Instead, work with a content management system (CMS) with healthcare-specific features. A CMS, or website builder, is a user-friendly interface that provides all the features you need to bring your site to life, from building secure patient portals to developing a blog. 

Incorporate your healthcare organization’s branding

Branding sets your healthcare website apart from the crowd and boosts your digital visibility. Use your CMS to easily add in your organization’s visual brand elements like your color scheme, fonts, tone, and impactful images that relate to your mission. Branding gives a unified feeling to your healthcare website and boosts your organization’s credibility. 

Prioritize intuitive navigation

An important component of web accessibility is prioritizing smooth navigation. This means that users should be able to find the content they’re looking for without doing too much digging. Make your healthcare website easy to navigate by adding the following elements:

  • A navigation menu with workable links to your most important web pages
  • Clear headings and subheadings to organize your content
  • Minimalistic design to avoid clutter

If your organization accepts donations to help keep your doors open, call attention to your donation page using bold call-to-action buttons. Many of your supporters will be navigating to your website specifically to donate, so this streamlines the process of giving to your cause. 

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to create a comprehensive healthcare website for your audience! 

Additional Resources

Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog

6 Types of Nonprofit Web Design and When to Use Them – Use this guide to dive deeper into web design to perfect your digital presence. 

Graphic Design for Nonprofits: What To Know & 9 Free Tools – Learn how to make beautiful graphic designs to enhance your website. 

Your fundraising case for support should be a guiding document for all campaigns you conduct.

Fundraising Case for Support — Nonprofit Catalog

When asking potential donors to support your cause, you need to present them with compelling reasons why — What challenge are you working to overcome? What are your nonprofit’s plans to tackle it? How will donations drive impact towards that goal?

These questions and more should be answered in your case for support.

What is a case for support?

A case for support is your core message and set of reasons why potential supporters should donate to your current fundraising campaign. An effective case for support lays out exactly what donations to your campaign will accomplish so that donors will feel motivated to give.

A case for support is typically distilled into a central document and adapted into a variety of printed and digital supporting documents, mailers, slide decks, and more. It provides your fundraising team with the central narrative and key details they need, ensuring that all messaging (whether in conversations with donors or in broad marketing materials) is fully aligned with the campaign’s purpose and goals.

Essential Elements of a Case for Support

To create a compelling argument for your campaign and inspire donations, clearly communicate these essential elements in your case for support:

An effective nonprofit case for support should include these key elements.
  • The campaign’s purpose. What’s the challenge you’re working to address? Why does it matter?
  • Your solution and plan. How will your nonprofit address this challenge? What impact will your campaign have on your community?
  • Urgency. Why is now the time for your campaign and proposed solution?
  • Your unique position. Why is your organization up to the task? How have you driven impact in the past?
  • Costs and goals. How much will your plan cost? How much money do you need to raise to cover those costs? How will you raise that money from various sources?
  • How donors can help. What are the ways that donors can help drive impact via your campaign?

Underpinning these different elements, your case for support needs to clearly reflect your nonprofit’s unique voice, vision for the future of your community, and your priorities as an organization. The exact format and sections you use might vary based on the fundraising context, but if you can clearly show donors everything they need to know about your plan and why your nonprofit is worthy of support, you can drive amazing results.

When to Develop a Nonprofit Case for Support

Nonprofits most commonly create cases for support for large-scale campaigns (like capital campaigns) to help clarify their messaging while discussing the project with high-impact prospects. But cases for support can be extremely helpful in all kinds of situations Here are a few examples:

  • Campaign-specific case for support. This sets out the campaign’s purpose, goals, impact, and how donations will drive that impact.
  • Prospect-specific case for support. This document is highly tailored to a single prospect to reinforce their connection to your mission.
  • Event-specific case for support. This resource can be created to establish standard messaging to be used for an event, like a large annual gala.
  • General case for support. An all-purpose case for support more broadly explains your mission and how donations drive it forward. It can be used for general fundraising campaigns and adapted for more specific contexts.

How to Develop a Nonprofit Case for Support: 5 Steps

According to the fundraising experts at Graham-Pelton, these are the 5 key steps for developing a compelling case for support:

1. Define the purpose and audience.

Determine the specific context for this case for support—for instance, a specific campaign, individual prospect, event, or general use case—and its intended audience.

It’s important to understand who you’re hoping to motivate with your case for support so you can tailor the story it tells and the details it emphasizes to best appeal to them. Even for a general use case for support, it can be helpful to define a donor persona and write with their demographics, average gift amount, motivations, and interests in mind.

2. Gather a writing team.

You’ll need a team to write an effective case for support, ideally with a range of perspectives from across your organization. Leaders and board members, on-the-ground staff, fundraisers, and volunteers or advocates for your nonprofit can all bring helpful insights to create a well-rounded case for support that will serve its purpose.

If you’re developing a capital campaign case for support, you’ll seek input from external stakeholders like constituents and donors in a planning or feasibility study after you have an initial draft that you want to test out.

3. Tell your story.

Outline the core story that you want to tell based on the case’s purpose and audience. Try to create a narrative throughline in your story that encourages emotional connection and will show donors the role they’ll play in driving it forward.

Work with your team to create a first draft of your core narrative, gather feedback, make revisions, and repeat. You should end up with a story that clearly communicates why your campaign is important, what it will accomplish, and how donors will be a part of the solution.

4. Expand your story with supporting details.

Fill in your emotionally compelling story with additional details and numbers to create a complete, watertight case for support. Details can come from:

  • Statistics about the challenge your campaign (or overall mission) is addressing
  • Your overall strategic plan and specific program plans
  • Relevant budgets and financial projections
  • Actual stories, testimonials, and statistics about your programs and impact

Remember to tailor your details to best appeal to your specific audience. For instance, grateful patients might be most interested in a healthcare institution’s new research initiatives. Alumni might be most interested in the positive impacts of their alma mater’s athletic department on other aspects of the school’s operations.

5. Put it all together with visuals.

Once you have a finished draft that’s been through multiple rounds of revisions and input from a variety of different perspectives, you’re ready to put it all together. Compile the case for support into a finished document, and gather visual elements like photos, brand collateral, and infographics that can be used in different versions that you create. Brochures, one-pagers, digital versions, and more can all be developed out of the central case for support.

Additional Resources

Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.

The Top 4 Governance Mistakes that Nonprofit Boards Make – Do you serve on a nonprofit’s board of directors? Learn the most common governance pitfalls to avoid.

Why Donor Qualification Is Key to Fundraising Success – Understanding which donors to reach out to and when will help you fundraise more efficiently.

In this post, you'll learn all you need to know about nonprofit HR.

Nonprofit HR — Nonprofit Catalog

Your nonprofit relies on people to power its mission, including donors, volunteers, sponsors, and other supporters. But what about the people working behind the scenes—your organization’s staff members?

Your internal team has a unique relationship with your organization. Not only are they passionate about your cause and everything it stands for—they’re also employees of your nonprofit. And as an employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure that their employment experience is a positive one that keeps your internal operations strong so that you can serve your community effectively.

That’s where nonprofit HR comes in! Let’s dive into the basics.

What Is Nonprofit HR?

Nonprofit human resources (HR) is the part of your organization that manages the employer-employee relationship between your nonprofit and its team. This means your HR professional will be responsible for building out a hiring process, managing payroll, carrying out performance reviews, and more.

There’s a misconception that nonprofits are completely exempt from government regulations, and thus don’t need HR. This isn’t true. In fact, any organization with employees needs to comply with employment law. Having a robust HR strategy helps nonprofits adhere to these laws.

Plus, your nonprofit relies on its full-time staff. By optimizing their employment experience, you’ll increase your chances of retaining top talent. And, you’ll set yourself up for growing your team (and thus your organization’s capacity to serve its beneficiaries) down the line.

Nonprofit vs. For-Profit HR

Nonprofits and for-profit organizations both have to adhere to employment laws. And both want to retain their talented employees. But there are some major differences between nonprofit and for-profit HR. Here are some of the unique aspects of nonprofit human resources to be familiar with:

  • Mission-Driven Nature: Instead of trying to make a profit, nonprofits are trying to further their causes. Thus, all of the strategies that make up nonprofit HR will be intrinsically tied back to the organization’s larger mission.
  • Limited Resources: It’s no secret that nonprofits have to operate on lean budgets and with limited time. This can make it challenging to prioritize HR responsibilities and even put some organizations at risk for violating employment regulations.
  • Project-Based Staffing: For nonprofits, some funding sources will be program or project-specific, which translates into staff needs being program and project-specific, too. This can often make nonprofit staffing more complex than it is in for-profit organizations.
  • Recruitment: Nonprofits compete with for-profit organizations for talent. And, due to slimmer budgets, they can’t hinge their hiring efforts on salaries. Thus, nonprofits have to take a more holistic approach to compensation in order to stand out in the job marketplace.

Understanding these aspects of nonprofit HR can set your organization up to optimize its HR strategy and better manage your human resources responsibilities.

7 Key Responsibilities of Nonprofit Human Resources

Whether your nonprofit has an in-house team of human resources professionals or you rely on the assistance of an HR consultant, your HR professional will shoulder the following responsibilities:

This graphic lists the key responsibilities of nonprofit HR, which are explored in the text below.
  1. Compensation: Because nonprofits face the challenge of trying to be competitive employers while also managing tight budgets, many nonprofits opt for a total rewards approach that involves both direct (salary, bonuses, etc.) and indirect forms of compensation (paid time off, perks). Designing and implementing a total rewards approach that works for your nonprofit is a critical responsibility.
  2. Performance Management: Performance management, also known as talent management, goes beyond annual performance reviews. It is the process of continually training, coaching, and communicating with employees, and is important for boosting employee performance, engagement, and retention rates.
  3. Compliance and Documentation: Ensuring that your nonprofit complies with local, state, and federal employment regulations is a big task. Working with an HR consultant, lawyer, or insurance agent can be especially helpful for smaller teams.
  4. Recruitment, Onboarding, and Ongoing Training: Your HR professional will be responsible for designing what the employee lifecycle looks like at your nonprofit, from recruitment to exit interviews. Though others will be involved in this process (like managers or directors), your HR professional will build out the bulk of your strategy.
  5. Culture Building: An organization’s internal culture plays a big role in employee engagement and satisfaction. The right HR strategy can set the tone for your nonprofit’s internal culture. For example, your HR professional might help you develop an employee recognition program that shows employees that they’re valued and needed. These programs can involve sending thank-you messages, providing bonuses, hosting awards ceremonies, or providing opportunities for professional development.
  6. Payroll and Taxes: Alongside your financial professionals, your HR professionals will also be in charge of ensuring payroll is conducted in a timely manner, employees are classified correctly, and the right tax forms (like your Form 990) get to the IRS.
  7. Volunteer Management: Managing volunteers is an essential part of running a nonprofit, and your HR professionals can help you streamline your management strategy so that you boost your volunteer engagement and retention rates.

Honing your organization’s HR strategy is an essential part of running a successful nonprofit. And remember, though your HR professionals will design and guide your strategy, everyone at your organization has a part to play in making it a great place to work!

Additional Resources

Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.

Compensation Consulting: The Ultimate Guide (+Top Firms!) – Compensation is a critical aspect of the employee experience. Learn how compensation consulting works, and how to hire a consultant of your own.

HR Consulting Firms: 20+ Top Providers for Small Businesses – Working with an HR consulting firm can give your organization’s HR strategy an edge. Get recommendations for firms to work with!

A data append can provide your team with valuable information about your supporters.

Data Append – Nonprofit Catalog

Today’s marketers work with data every day and understand its vital role in maximizing return on investment for outreach. However, inaccurate contact information—among other crucial supporter data—can ultimately waste your team’s time, lead to a decline in supporter engagement, and hold back your team from achieving its mission. That’s where data appends come into play!

In a data-driven world, there’s no excuse for inaccurate data! Modern technology allows any organization to unlock the power of data appending for a relatively low cost. We’ll take a closer look at the basics, so you can start updating your constituents’ profiles and elevate your relationships with those who make your work possible.

What Is a Data Append?

Data appending is the process of adding new data elements to an existing database. Most often used by marketers, data appending allows you to use identifying information to fill in missing constituent data, such as phone numbers, email addresses, and postal addresses.

To append data, you’ll take the information your nonprofit’s collected on individual supporters and match it against a more extensive third-party database. To reduce the manual labor needed, many nonprofits turn to a trustworthy service provider to conduct the data append for them.

How Can Data Appends Help Your Organization?

There are plenty of reasons why you might append data for your nonprofit. For instance, you won’t have to reach out to supporters to update their information continually. Contacting them is time-consuming on both ends and likely won’t yield results.

In addition to streamlining information updates, data appending allows you to:

  • Clean up your nonprofit’s data and make sure your CRM isn’t cluttered with outdated or otherwise inaccurate data (such as those caused by typos during manual data entry).
  • Fill in gaps for missing information to ensure you have a complete record for each supporter.
  • Increase open rates by sending outreach to the correct email addresses, mailing addresses, and phone numbers.
  • Identify new segments within your audience so you can tailor your outreach and services to specific groups who share similar demographics.
These are the key benefits of data appends.

Ultimately, you just need to decide what types of information you want to append and how doing so will fit into your larger strategies.

What Are the Different Types of Data Appends?

As a nonprofit marketer, you already know there’s an endless list of data you collect for supporters. Knowing this, you’re probably wondering what types of data you can append for individual supporters. What’s more, which types of data are actually worth appending?

Knowing which information will actually propel your marketing efforts forward will help you spend your budget responsibly. While you’ll primarily want to append contact information, there are some other valuable data points you can append, resulting in richer profiles. Let’s explore some of the most common types!

This graphic breaks down the types of data you can append.

Contact Information Appends

Verify existing contact information and find missing details to make sure you’re reaching out to the right people. Here are some of the most common types of contact information you can append:

  • Email addresses. Email marketing is one of the most lucrative digital marketing avenues. Marketing research indicates that for every dollar spent, you can expect an average return of $36. That’s a higher return than any other form of marketing. But to experience those benefits, you’ll want to have the right email addresses for supporters!
  • Postal addresses. Even with the rise of digital marketing, direct mail isn’t dead. In fact, it’s a more personal form of communication that can help you steward deeper relationships when compared to mass emails and generic social media posts. People’s mailing addresses change all the time, so continually append postal addresses to keep them up-to-date.
  • Phone numbers. Reaching out via text or phone call can be a great way to connect with supporters. Plus, it opens your team up to more fundraising opportunities, like phone banking and text fundraising. Just like mailing addresses, people’s phone numbers change from time to time, too. Use data appending to make sure you have the most recent numbers for supporters.
  • Social profiles. With more than 4.2 billion active users, social media is a fantastic way to tap into a global network of supporters. Connect with your current supporters and encourage them to spread the word about your cause by interacting with your team online. Just make sure you have the right social media profiles for them!

If your email bounce rates are high or your call answer rates are low, it might be time to conduct a data append and make sure the information you have on file is accurate!

Employer Appends

An employer append allows you to add employment information for each of your contacts. This is a fantastic way to identify corporate giving opportunities. Double the Donation’s guide to employer appending breaks down a few ways this process can impact your fundraising, such as:

  • Uncover corporate giving opportunities. Research each company’s corporate giving guidelines to determine whether you have any available matching gift or volunteer grant opportunities.
  • Identify potential corporate partnerships. If several supporters work for the same company, use that information to kickstart a conversation with company leadership. You can even have supporters facilitate introductions with company leadership if they have direct connections.
  • Estimate wealth data. Knowing information like where your donors work and what their roles are can help you estimate their incomes and, by extension, their giving abilities.

With the right strategies, appending employer data can help create more robust supporter profiles and can impact your ability to reach your fundraising goals.

Demographic Appends

With this type of data appending, you can pull essential background information about your supporters, which will allow you to segment them into meaningful groups and send highly-tailored outreach.

NPOInfo’s guide to demographic appends lists the following standard demographic information that nonprofits append:

  • Net worth
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity and race
  • Income
  • Marital status
  • Presence of children
  • Religion
  • Political affiliation
  • Lifestyle attributes such as hobbies, interests, and occupations
  • Buying behaviors such as online product purchases and online gift registries

How you leverage this information will depend on your unique organization. For instance, advocacy organizations may want to verify contacts are of voting age or have a certain political affiliation before reaching out.

Birthdate Appends

Dates of birth help you to better understand how to connect with your supporters. When you get creative, you can leverage birthdays to improve supporters’ experiences with your organization. For example, you might use this information to:

  • Send birthday newsletters and gifts to donors.
  • Encourage supporters to launch a birthday fundraiser on social media where they ask followers to donate to your cause.
  • Verify people are of voting age before contacting them about an upcoming election.
  • Segment your donors into similar age groups to send targeted communications.

From simply wishing people a happy birthday to encouraging birthday fundraisers, there’s a lot you can do when you know supporters’ birthdays. Pair all the data you append to transform the supporter experience and cultivate stronger, more meaningful relationships.

Additional Resources

Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.

The Nonprofit’s Ultimate Guide to Data Append Services – Learn the value of data append services and how the process can transform your marketing strategies.

The Data Append Guide for Nonprofits Working on Data Hygiene – Dive further into the data append process and gain plenty of data enrichment tips with this guide.

Nonprofit conferences offer resources and networking opportunities.

Nonprofit Conferences – Nonprofit Catalog

Each year, professionals in different industries gather at conferences to discuss the most pressing events and issues in their sector. The same is true for nonprofit professionals. Nonprofit conferences are an opportunity for professionals in the mission-driven space to connect with and learn from each other, expanding their capacity to support their missions. 

What are Nonprofit Conferences? 

A nonprofit conference is a gathering of nonprofit professionals to discuss topics related to a central theme. Attendees hear speeches from industry experts, attend educational sessions, and network with other professionals. Conference activities are an opportunity for professionals to share their knowledge and gain actionable strategies for nonprofit growth. 

Nonprofit conferences may occur in person, with attendees traveling to a central location and gathering in a shared space, such as an expo center or hotel. In-person conferences allow attendees to easily browse different booths or network over coffee.

Virtual and hybrid conferences have made the conference experience more accessible. Instead of traveling, conference attendees have the option to engage remotely. With no need to navigate a conference center, virtual attendees can quickly explore digital booths and attend keynote webinar sessions. 

Hybrid conferences allow nonprofit professionals to attend in person or engage with virtual offerings. This flexible structure supports the varying locations, availability, and interests of different attendees.  

What are the Most Popular Nonprofit Conferences?

If you’re looking for a nonprofit conference to attend, there is no shortage of opportunities to put on your calendar. Here are a handful of the most popular nonprofit conferences to consider:


Hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, AFP ICON is the world’s largest conference for fundraising professionals. The conference is a major hub for nonprofit professionals to connect and learn from one another. Over the course of three days, attendees network with other fundraisers, hear from leading speakers, and choose from over 100 educational sessions. 

Nonprofit Technology Conference

NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) brings together nonprofit professionals seeking to use technology to further their missions. From tech experts to beginners, attendees of NTC’s keynotes and sessions will leave with valuable technology best practices. Informal networking sessions provide opportunities to share resources and make connections with other professionals.


Each year, CauseCamp curates a lineup of session topics and speakers that reflects current events in the nonprofit sector, allowing industry leaders to share insights with nonprofit professionals. CauseCamp’s breakout sessions are designed to leave attendees with actionable strategies for nonprofit growth. 

The Nonprofit Innovation & Optimization Summit

The Nonprofit Innovation & Optimization Summit (NIO) is presented by NextAfter, a leader in digital fundraising. Nonprofit marketers and fundraisers will have the opportunity to explore new technology, hear from digital marketing thought leaders, and network with other professionals. NIO’s offerings focus on research-driven practices and online fundraising innovation. 

Review NXUnite’s roundup of the top nonprofit conferences for more information on additional conferences happening this year. 

How Can You Prepare for a Nonprofit Conference?

Nonprofit conference organizers invite industry experts to speak at their events. If you’re invited to be a conference speaker, prepare by working on developing effective presentation skills.

Begin by getting to know your audience. How much experience do conference attendees already have with the topic? Understanding who you’re speaking to will allow you to tailor your presentation to the knowledge level and interests of the people listening. 

Giving an impactful speech requires both thoughtful presentation material and engaging delivery. Prepare for public speaking by working with a conference speaker coach. These professionals can help you develop your unique presentation style and play to your strengths. Working with a coach is also a great way to practice delivering your speech.

Create an emotional connection with your audience through storytelling. Share specific examples of what you’ve experienced while working with your organization, and offer takeaways that listeners can implement. Closing your speech with a motivational call to action leaves your audience with an impactful ending. 

Additional Resources

Understanding the nonprofit web design basics can strengthen your digital presence.

Nonprofit Web Design — Nonprofit Catalog

Your nonprofit website is one of your organization’s most valuable marketing assets. It’s supporters’ online hub and go-to resource for everything related to your organization. Whether you have an in-house graphic designer or outsource the work, you should take the time to learn the basics of nonprofit web design and ensure your site is the absolute best it can be!

What Is Nonprofit Web Design?

Nonprofit web design is the practice of conceptualizing and arranging content on a website to create a positive user experience. While web developers usually focus on coding and coordinating the technical elements on the “back-end” of websites, web designers focus on the visual elements that users see and interact with.

Specifically, web design encompasses steps like choosing layouts, images, color schemes, fonts, and other “front-end” elements. Optimizing your design and user experience requires you to balance aesthetics with functionality.

How Effective Nonprofit Web Design Can Help Your Cause

As your nonprofit’s primary digital asset, your website can (and should!) communicate your mission and establish a sense of respectability among users. A strong nonprofit web design tells your supporters that your organization is modern, professional, and reliable. In turn, establishing a sense of trust through your site will reinforce their confidence in contributing.

Plus, an effective design will help users navigate through your web pages, find the exact content they need, and tell them how to get involved quicker than with an outdated design.

Ultimately, a functional, user-friendly, and visually appealing nonprofit web design will make a strong first impression on new prospects and foster relationships with current supporters.

Tips for Designing Your Nonprofit Website

There’s no single “right” way that your nonprofit website should look. Rather, each organization’s website will look different in order to convey its cause and represent its brand. However, there are a few basic principles that will result in a cohesive nonprofit web design for any organization.

1. Create a consistent, branded user experience.

The last thing you want is for someone to be several minutes into browsing your site, decide to get involved by volunteering, and click through to your signup page only to be met with a webpage that looks entirely different from the rest of your site. This interrupts the user experience, makes them think they’ve wound up on an entirely different site, and can make them wary to continue browsing.

Instead, ensure every page on your site is fully branded to your cause and offers a consistent experience by featuring:

  • Your organization’s logo in the header
  • A color scheme that prioritizes your official colors and complementary ones
  • Images that showcase your beneficiaries, supporters, and cause altogether
  • A maximum of 3 different legible fonts

Creating a consistent visual experience will ultimately keep users on your site as they stay fully emerged in your content!

2. Strategically place your calls to action.

Your calls to action (CTAs) tell readers exactly how to get involved in your cause. Whether they find your site through a Google Ad, organically on a search engine, or from your social media, you want readers to know what they can do to support your work. Most often, this means asking them to donate, volunteer, register for an event, or sign up for your newsletter.

Consider where you place your CTAs. For example, most nonprofits feature a ‘Donate’ button in their header so that it appears across the entire site. You can also include them on your homepage, informational pages like your ‘About Us’ page, and blog posts.

The most effective CTAs include:

  • Clear, concise, and urgent language such as ‘Volunteer now!’
  • Bold text and eye-catching colors
  • Links to relevant landing pages, such as a volunteer registration or donation page

Take The Nature Conservancy’s website for example. They feature three well-placed, clearly-worded CTAs on their homepage, encouraging users to take meaningful actions:

The Nature Conservancy uses CTAs effectively, creating a strong nonprofit web design.

While CTAs are a must-have element for effective nonprofit web design, note that too many CTAs will clutter your page. Think critically about the most meaningful next action you want supporters to take when exploring different content on your site!

3. Include captivating imagery.

Illustrations, still photographs, videos, and other graphics are vital for creating a visually-engaging nonprofit web design. When choosing your imagery, keep these strategies in mind for a more cohesive look:

  • Feature your own photographs. Stock images can work well, but including photos of real volunteers, donors, and beneficiaries will make your site much more engaging and authentic.
  • Convey your brand. Any images you include on your site should be expressive and communicate your nonprofit’s story. Illustrations and purely decorative graphics should feature your brand colors, while photographs and videos should showcase those who support and benefit from your work.
  • Choose only a few images. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Avoid overcrowding your site with excessive images. Otherwise, you’ll risk a cluttered design that distracts users. Plus, too many images can slow your site speed down.

Choosing your images strategically can boost site engagement, drive more traffic, and ultimately boost your conversions. After all, humans naturally process images much quicker than text. Kwala’s fundraising flyers design guide mentions that:

The human brain can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. And when paired with text, visuals can also increase people’s retention of information, making it crucial part of nonprofit web design.

4. Feature a responsive design.

360MatchPro by Double the Donation’s fundraising research estimates that half of all nonprofit website traffic comes from mobile devices. What’s more, mobile users make up an incredible 33% of online donation transactions. Knowing this, you should ensure your site works seamlessly on mobile devices.

A mobile-responsive nonprofit web design is vital based on these statistics.

A responsive nonprofit web design will automatically reformat your content to fit any screen size, opening up your cause to more people.

You can take your mobile-first design a step further by compressing images to quicken your load speed, minimizing the number of pop-ups you include, keep layouts vertical, and use larger fonts.

Additional Resources

Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.

6 Types of Nonprofit Web Design and When to Use Them – Explore the different types of layouts and other tips to incorporate into your nonprofit web design.

Graphic Design for Nonprofits: What To Know & 9 Free Tools – Dive into the world of graphic design and find tools to kickstart your nonprofit web design journey with this guide from Kwala!