Email campaigns are a great relationship building tool

Email campaigns are a great way to keep in touch with your local community. In today's high-tec world, email campaigns should be an important part of your people-focused approach to community organization fundraising. People-focus is all about putting relationship building at the heart for your fundraising strategies.

Email is key internet technology, which has the ability to reach out further and with more certainty than any of the traditional communications channels (e.g. paper newsletters, local press, posters etc). Email fundraising can be a profitable business because your costs are minimal. When you send out the campaign to your contact list you're almost guaranteed to reach everyone. If you've built your relationships properly you'll be rewarded with high response rates.

As you build your relationships, collect email addresses from your supporters or better still if you choose a hosting company that gives you unlimited email addresses, then you can give everyone in your community their own email address (if they want one). That will make their email address look something like this: joe.bloggs@your-organization.com.

Not only does that address keep your organization at the forefront of peoples minds, it generates a sense of pride within them, in relation to in the organization. You should collect email addresses for your list at every opportunity. Good sources are your questionnaires and your membership forms. You should also have the opt-in page on your website.

Building up your list is very important because that gives you instant access through email campaigns, to many of your members and supporters. You can use this communications channel to sell your message, advertise functions, advertise fundraising campaigns or for any messages you need to get to your audience. The messages can contain links to your website to encourage them to visit. You can use it to request help from your volunteers and they can use it to communicate with each other.

Most email tools allow you to do merge lists. These make your email campaigns more personal. You send a single email out to your entire list of contacts and the mail client inserts their name into various parts of the message. Take advantage of this if you can. You should aim to contact your list through an email campaign at least once a month. Not all of these will be email fundraising campaigns. Some will be simply updating people with what is new with your community organization.

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