The New Rules of Email Fundraising

Problem Statement

Why is email such a strong channel for fundraising, what are the best practices in email use, and what are the behaviors and technologies driving change in people's use of email?

Email fundraising is more powerful than it’s ever been. The past decade was the most exciting decade for fundraisers—and it’s getting better.

Even with the explosion of new technology, fundraisers keep coming back to email. The reason is clear – for ten years in a row, email is the channel generating the highest return on investment (ROI) for fundraisers. For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI.

An explosion of new digital technologies has pushed email to evolve. But those same technologies can leave a fundraiser’s head spinning. How much time and money should you invest in email, and what are the most effective techniques for growing your house file and driving revenue for your organization?

This session will spotlight successful techniques in email fundraising, show user behavior around email, and discuss the technology changes that will keep email as one of the main digital fundraising channels.

Emily Stevenson
Environmental Defense Fund
Manager, Online CRM Fundraising
Emily Stevenson is the Manager, Online CRM Fundraising at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Since joining EDF in 2012, Emily has deepened members’ relationships with the organization through advanced segmentation, targeting, and behavioral–based trigger marketing to deliver the right message, at the right time, in the right way. Trained as a social scientist, she seeks to apply the science of decision-making and choice architecture to nonprofit marketing and is always looking for new ideas to test. Prior to EDF, Emily served as Membership Director of the Alliance for Natural Health USA, where she designed and implemented the organization’s first grassroots email fundraising program and launched a monthly giving program.

Brenna Holmes
Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey
VP of Digital
CCAH is an award winning multichannel direct response firm specializing in nonprofit fundraising. Brenna leads the Interactive Department and has an extensive background in cross-channel marketing and advocacy integration. Her specialty is integrating traditional direct marketing with the social web and search to maximize supporter engagement and organizational loyalty. She oversees CCAH’s growing digital team, manages the company website, Industry Voices blog and social media accounts ( & @ccahdirect). Since joining CCAH’s Interactive department, three years ago, she’s mapped the online advocacy and fundraising strategy for diverse clients such as the CSPF, PFAW, EDF, Sierra Club, City of Hope, The Trust for Public Land, AAUW and others. She serves as the senior online advisor for her clients, focusing on the development of innovative and successful cross-department digital media campaigns by applying cutting edge Web 2.0 techniques and integrating channels to change clicks into offline actions. At pervious firms, she worked in digital brand management and public relations and on several successful PURL campaigns for fundraising, advocacy, and GOTV efforts. She has two master’s degrees from top five programs at Syracuse University; the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in public relations and the Maxwell School in public administration.