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Avoiding Spam & Saving Your Online Fundraising
Created by Charles Vinal on 6/14/2017 9:19:36 AM

Email Marketing is a crucial part of most nonprofits’ online fundraising strategies. However, despite investments in growing their email programs and lists, many nonprofits’ email engagement rates (and online fundraising potential!) have declined significantly over the past year (1).

The reason? According to EveryAction’s 2017 Nonprofit Email Deliverability Report, many emails are marked as spam (or “junk mail”) and discarded before they reach a recipient’s inbox.

With today’s strict laws and sophisticated spam filters, knowing what can affect your email deliverability can help you improve your email engagement rate and online fundraising potential. I’ve included a couple of simple “do’s” and “don’ts” below to help make your emails spam-free.

Check Your Email: The List


  • Use risky words (e.g, Free, Great offer, % Off, etc.)
  • Make deceptive or misleading claims (e.g,“You’ve Won!”)
  • Use all caps
  • Use exclamation points
  • Include large attachments
  • Send an email with only images


  • Personalize emails with database merge fields (for first name, especially!)
  • Add an easy-to-find “Unsubscribe” link
  • Use a familiar sender name (forget the “
  • Check your HTML code for any errors
  • Add preview text
  • Use links (instead of attachments)


A one percent increase in spam could cost your association thousands of dollars in online fundraising potential annually (and lots of wasted time and effort!). By making these simple changes, you can increase your email deliverability and engagement.

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