PMA Consulting, LLC

How Often Should Nonprofits Be Emailing?

In our previous post, Communication is Key to Donor Cultivation, we talked about several avenues to explore when reaching out to donors. Today, we look a little closer at one of the most popular forms of communication – email.

A survey of nonprofit communicators is being conducted by Kivi Leroux Miller’s Nonprofit Communications Blog. While final results are not yet in, some interesting numbers are emerging about email practices of nonprofit organizations.

How frequently respondents expected to email their lists?

  • 44 % – Monthly
  • 17 % – Every other week
  • 12 % – Weekly
  • 12 % – Quarterly
  • 4% – Twice a year
  • 2% – Several times a week
  • 9% – Didn’t know

PMA tends to agree with Kivi’s suggestion to email at least monthly for most organizations. Donors don’t want to find a new email in their box every week from a nonprofit they support. However, going a few months without communicating isn’t going to inspire any confidence either.

A good monthly update covering a wide range of important items should suffice. You may find that a smaller segment of your donor base is interested in more consistent updates. For these folks, consider setting up a separate list that gets more frequent news blasts.

It really boils down to common sense. Think about how many emails you open up each day, and more importantly, how many you trash without ever reading?  If you can find that balance of regular contact that peaks interest for your contacts to keep reading, then you’re on the right track!