Tomorrow's Donor Tomorrow's Donor How to Start Collecting E-mail Addresses

How to Start Collecting E-mail Addresses

It’s difficult to imagine an e-mail cultivation strategy if you don’t have many e-mail addresses. Here are a few tips to get you started collecting them:

EVERY time you communicate with your constituents do not overlook the opportunity to ask for an e-mail address.

1. Many e-mail clients, such as MS Outlook, will allow you to automatically attach a “signature” at the bottom of every message you send. Consider having all of your staff and volunteers add a line to their signature that says, “subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter by visiting our web site at”. (This is where Tip #6 comes in handy.)

2. Instruct your staff/volunteers to ask for an e-mail address whenever they speak on the phone to a donor or member of your organization, even if that person just called with a simple question. The short script could go something like this, “May we have your e-mail address? We’d like to keep you updated on what’s going on with our organization.”

3. Include a line for “e-mail address” on any return-reply mailing that your office sends out including RSVPs for special events.
4. Have a method to collect e-mail addresses at any event you hold (sign-in sheets, raffle ticket sales or silent auction bids/purchases).

5. When making face-to-face visits be sure to ask the donor if he/she would like to receive e-mail updates.

6. On your web site provide a “subscription” field in which a visitor may enter an e-mail address to receive monthly or weekly updates from your organization.

7. Whenever you collect e-mail addresses it is also important ask for permission to communicate with your donors in this way about your organization.

8. Finally, provide an opportunity to find out more about your Privacy Policy. If you do not sell or give away their information let them know, because many people are concerned about how their information will be used. It is in your best interest to protect your donors/members by NOT giving away or selling their e-mail addresses. They may have given you permission to contact them but not to another organization. E-mail communication without permission is considered SPAM.

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