Nonprofit eCards: Essential Tips for Memorable Messages

The title of the post—Nonprofit eCards: Essential Tips for Memorable Messages

Capturing nonprofit supporters’ attention can be challenging. Even with a multichannel fundraising approach, plenty of other organizations and brands are vying for online engagement, creating competition for your nonprofit’s content. Your nonprofit needs a unique approach to online donor engagement, which is where nonprofit eCards come into play.

Nonprofit eCards, also known as fundraising or charity eCards, are digital greeting cards that nonprofits can use for a variety of purposes, including fundraising, donor retention, and employee recognition. They’re typically sent via email but can also be shared on social media or via text message.

This guide covers everything organizations need to know about nonprofit eCards, including:

Ready to dive into a new fundraising method that helps strengthen donor relationships and improve team camaraderie? These tips will give you everything you need to know to get started.

eCards are one of the most versatile nonprofit fundraising tools. Explore creative ways to use eCards.

What are some common uses for nonprofit eCards?

Nonprofits can leverage eCards in a variety of ways, including:

Ways to use nonprofit eCards, explained in the bulleted list below

  • Fundraising and cause awareness: Donors can purchase eCards on your nonprofit’s website to share with their family and friends, spreading the word about your nonprofit and encouraging others to give.
  • Donor, volunteer, or member appreciation: Your nonprofit can send appreciation eCards to share your gratitude with supporters for their involvement.
  • Employee engagement: Your organization can offer eCards for employees to use for peer-to-peer recognition or for managers to provide positive feedback.

eCards feature engaging visuals and creative graphic design, meaning they stand out in supporters’ inboxes and provide a unique donor touchpoint.

What are the benefits of creating fundraising eCards?

What makes fundraising eCards such a versatile, valuable tool for nonprofits? These messages offer the following benefits for any fundraising strategy:

  • Recruit new donors. Fundraising eCards that allow supporters to spread the word about your nonprofit and share ways to give can be highly effective for bringing new donors on board. Nonprofit marketing research shows that 88% of people have the highest trust in a brand when a friend or family member recommends it. By empowering current supporters to advocate for your organization, you can gain new support through word-of-mouth recommendations.
  • Inspire and retain existing donors. 55% of donors in the United States prefer to be thanked for their contributions via email. This makes eCards an effective and creative way to show your gratitude for donors’ gifts and foster ongoing relationships.
  • Increase member engagement and retention. If your nonprofit offers a membership program, eCards can also be a meaningful way to show member appreciation. Expressing gratitude for members can lead to higher program retention over time.
  • Engage volunteers. Use eCards to thank volunteers who participated in a fundraising event or reached a milestone in their recurring volunteer efforts with your organization. This can encourage them to get involved again the next time you need volunteer support.
  • Improve the employee experience. eCards can also help improve workplace culture and show appreciation for your nonprofit’s employees. By sending eCards to recognize employees’ accomplishments, you can inspire them to continue working at a high level to push forward your fundraising campaigns and other efforts.

As you can see, nonprofit eCards can help improve relationships with everyone involved in your fundraising efforts. Fostering relationships with volunteers, members, and employees as well as donors will give your nonprofit the well-rounded support it needs to succeed in its mission.

Examples of Effective Nonprofit eCard Campaigns

Let’s take a closer look at what eCard campaigns look like in action to understand different ways nonprofits can use this fundraising tool.

Cause awareness eCards: Peace Winds

Spreading awareness of your nonprofit’s mission is a key first step to earning more donations. Peace Winds America has used eCards to raise awareness of the issues refugees face around the world. The cards help spread the word about World Refugee Day and share the organization’s mission and logo.

Nonprofit eCards offered by Peace Winds

Supporters can use these greeting cards to spread awareness in a peer-to-peer marketing campaign and encourage more of their loved ones to learn about the Peace Winds mission.

Fundraising eCards: Wounded Warriors Family Support

Wounded Warriors Family Support is a nonprofit that serves wounded veterans and their families, providing services like veteran training and family retreats. The organization’s Share the Love eCard campaign enables supporters to send an eCard to veterans or scholarship recipients. Supporters can also send eCards that encourage their family members and friends to donate or show support on social media.

Fundraising eCards offered by Wounded Warriors Family Support

These eCards incorporate compelling images of veterans and their families along with clear calls to action (CTAs) such as “Will you #give with me today?”

Holiday eCards: Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County

Around major holidays, people tend to reach out to family members and friends they haven’t heard from in a while. Supporters will appreciate having the opportunity to send festive eCards to loved ones while supporting your nonprofit at the same time.

That’s exactly what happened with the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County’s Valentine’s Day eCard campaign. The nonprofit provided four eCards to choose from, each with an adorable animal photo and cute puns.

Fundraising eCards offered by the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County

The eCard page also fosters trust with donors by clearly explaining that by purchasing an eCard, supporters will directly help more animals receive expert care.

Donor appreciation eCards: Maryland Food Bank

Fundraising research shows that receiving a timely thank-you message is one of the top reasons why donors continue to give. eCards can be a memorable way to supplement your donor appreciation letters and make every supporter feel special.

The Maryland Food Bank offered tribute donors eCards to thank them for their contributions. Donors can choose an eCard for different occasions, such as expressing sympathy or wishing someone a Happy Birthday. They can personalize the card with the recipient’s name and send it via email, Facebook, or X (Twitter).

Nonprofit eCards offered by the Maryland Food Bank

In this donor recognition effort, supporters receive something valuable (the chance to connect with friends and family) in exchange for their gifts. This makes the organization’s stewardship approach much more memorable and meaningful for supporters.

Click here to view more example campaigns from eCardWidget.

Best Practices for Developing a Charity eCard Campaign

Feeling inspired after reviewing real eCard campaign examples? You might be ready to start your own campaign. Keep these best practices in mind to drive your eCard campaign to success:

Brand the eCards to your nonprofit

According to Kwala’s nonprofit branding guide, your brand is “your means of communicating your mission and values.” When you brand your eCards to your nonprofit, you spread awareness of your organization and foster brand recognition.

Incorporate the following brand elements into your eCard campaign:

  • Logo
  • Color scheme
  • Typography
  • Image style

eCard recipients will recognize and trust that your eCards are legitimate messages from your nonprofit when they see your official branding.

Conduct email and phone appends as needed

Email is the most commonly used platform for sharing eCards with your audience. If you’re missing email address information for certain supporters, it can be helpful to conduct an email append. Text is another popular platform for sending eCards, and you can append phone numbers as well!

In a data append, you’ll work with a professional data provider (we recommend NPOInfo) to add missing email addresses and phone numbers to your donor database. This helps ensure you can reach every supporter with your fundraising opportunities and appreciation messages.

Personalize the eCard to the recipient

Personalized emails have a 29% higher open rate and a 41% higher click-through rate than non-personalized emails. Allow donors to personalize their eCards with the recipient’s name and a personal message.

Include calls to action in your fundraising eCards

Fundraising eCards are meant to inspire recipients with images and text that celebrate your nonprofit’s mission. Give audience members easy ways to turn this inspiration into action by including useful CTAs. For example, you might include text and links that encourage supporters to:

  • Sign up for an event
  • Submit an online donation
  • Follow your nonprofit on social media
  • Share the eCard with a friend

Let supporters know exactly what their support means to your nonprofit, whether that’s providing necessary funds to accomplish your mission or helping spread awareness about your cause to a new audience.

Use eCards to promote matching gifts

Matching gifts are a type of corporate philanthropy in which businesses match donations that their employees make to nonprofit organizations. So, if an employee makes a $100 donation to an eligible organization, the company would make an additional $100 donation for a total gift of $200.

As you can see, matching gifts are an easy way to earn double the revenue from match-eligible donors. However, an estimated $4-$7 billion in matching gifts goes unclaimed each year, mainly because 78% of donors don’t know if they’re eligible for a match. Enter eCards!

eCards are an effective way to increase awareness of matching gifts. With a robust matching gift database like 360MatchPro, you can easily identify match-eligible donors and send them eCards to thank them for their donation and let them know how easy it is to get their gift matched.

Take a look at what a matching gift eCard could look like from a fictional animal welfare nonprofit called Cat Rescue Club:

An example fundraising eCard from the fictional nonprofit Cat Rescue Club that is promoting matching gifts

This eCard includes a clear call to action, along with the organization’s logo and a cute image related to its mission. This eCard helps keep matching gifts at the top of donors’ minds, increasing the likelihood that the nonprofit will receive more matched donations.

What You Need to Know About Nonprofit eCard Software

eCard software makes it easy to create and send branded eCards on a broad scale. eCard websites offer all the tools you need to design custom eCards and add them to your website or send them directly to supporters.

Our favorite eCard solution: eCardWidget

Example of what an eCardWidget-created campaign would look like

Our recommended eCard software platform is eCardWidget. eCardWidget is a user-friendly, versatile platform that is easy for anyone to use, even those without graphic design experience. With eCardWidget, nonprofits gain access to essential features such as:

  • Customizable eCard templates with options to add your nonprofit’s logo, website and social media links, fonts, and more
  • A drag-and-drop eCard designer that offers an intuitive editing experience
  • An address book that allows you to import your contact list from a variety of platforms including Google and Outlook
  • Options to sell eCards using eCardWidget’s built-in eCommerce options or by integrating with Shopify
  • Smart donation options that allow you to add multiple customizable giving amounts to your fundraising eCards
  • Social media sharing options for recipients to share via Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Learn more about eCardWidget here:

Ready to connect with supporters using creative eCards? Start a free campaign in minutes with eCardWidget

Other eCard solutions

Here’s a brief overview of a few additional eCard solutions to consider:

  • Evite is traditionally used for event invitations but also offers eCards for any occasion. You can upload your own design or use one of the pre-made templates.
  • Canva is a free online graphic design tool that offers templates and designs for multiple types of communications, including social media posts, eCards, letters, reports, and more. Nonprofits can also apply for the Canva for Nonprofits program to gain free access to the platform’s premium features.
  • Smilebox enables users to create animated designs for eCards, slideshows, invitations, collages, and more. Nonprofits can also offer eCards to donors during the checkout process, allowing supporters to select an eCard, add a personal note, and send it to a recipient of their choice.

Choose a user-friendly solution that offers plenty of support and allows you to easily customize your eCards to match your branding and support your communication goals.

Additional Resources on Fundraising eCards

Ready to jump into planning an eCard fundraising campaign? Get started with the help of these additional resources:

eCardWidget’s intuitive software makes creating and sending nonprofit eCards to your audience easy. Schedule a live demo today.