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Allyson Kapin 5 min read

Tips to Communicate with your Advocates and Donors Online

Engaging your constituents and building good relationships takes a lot of work. If you are looking to improve your online communications and content, Convio recently shared a great list of suggestions about different types of content you can send to your supporters, and how often should you send it in order to maximize open rates, click-thru rates and, ultimately, fundraising.


There’s a lot of debate within organizations about the value of enewsletters. If you’re an organization that produces a lot of content and has multiple campaigns or program initiatives happening, a monthly or even a quarterly enewsletter can be an effective way to summarize these events and tell activists and donors how they can get more involved. “The key here is not just to be regular, but to offer high- quality, engaging content," said Convio.

When to Send:

  • Monthly
  • Bi-Monthly
  • Quarterly



A personal eLetter from a prominent leader (like the President) in the organization is a great way to send an urgent appeal or even thank your supporters for their help in meeting a major fundraising goal or winning a campaign victory. An eLetter’s tone can help make your email communications more personal and less formulaic then standard appeals.

When to Send:

  • During an urgent and deadline driven campaign.
  • As part of a campaign wrap-up.



Who doesn’t like to be thanked or invited to special events? eCards has a single focus, but with an emphasis on visual design. eCards include timely topics like a save the date to an important event, an announcement that your annual report is available online, or a holiday card.

When to Send:

  • Holidays
  • Special events
  • After a constituent took an action or donated money


In terms of timing your overall online communications with advocates and donors, you’ll see the best results if you email them at least once a month, but the content must be valuable. Don’t email them, just for the sake of getting something delivered to their inboxes. Nobody likes to read boring or meaningless emails, so don't waste their time.

Some organizations have had success emailing their list as much as once a week, but it’s recommended that you test your timing and frequency to see what generated the best open, click-thru, and response rates. A good baseline is 19% for open rates, and 4% for click-thru rates. And don't forget that for each email you send out, people will unsubscribe. These rates are at about 0.41% per email.

What are some of your favorite tips to communicate with your advocates and donors online?


Allyson Kapin

Allyson has been named one of "Top Tech Titans" by the Washingtonian, one of the Most Influential Women In Tech by Fast Company, and one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media. As Founding Partner of Rad Campaign, she leads the firm's client and online strategic services. For over a decade Allyson has helped non-profit organizations and political campaigns create dynamic and award-winning websites and online marketing and recruitment campaigns. She works side-by-side with her clients to meet their web needs and maximize their online effectiveness to create real world impact.