In today’s technological age, online tools make many tasks more convenient. For example, instead of mailing greeting cards, we can now send eCards via email. While many individuals and businesses use eCards, they’re not limited just to these groups—nonprofit organizations can also leverage them for donor appreciation, supporter outreach, and other purposes. But how would you do that effectively?
That’s where this guide comes in. In it, we’ll cover:
- What is a charity eCard and how does it work?
- What are the benefits of charity eCards?
- How can you use charity eCards for your nonprofit?
- 4 aspects to focus on when designing charity eCards
- Examples of nonprofit charity eCards
- How charity eCard software can help
By implementing eCards strategically for your nonprofit, you’ll be able to engage your supporters in a new and unique way. Let’s begin by defining what an eCard is and how it works!
What is a charity eCard and how does it work?
An eCard is a digital version of a greeting card, sent electronically rather than through direct mail. Usually, they are sent through email or text and opened via a hyperlink by the recipient. They can be used by nonprofits as part of their communication strategy for raising funds, thanking supporters, or sending event invitations.
Just like paper greeting cards, eCards are usually sent for special occasions. However, since the sender can create them online, eCards can be customized to include messages, imagery, or color schemes for nearly any purpose.
What are the benefits of charity eCards?
While traditional charity greeting cards are still a great way for you to reach out to your nonprofit’s supporters, charity eCards provide many benefits, such as:
- Convenience. Digital cards forgo mail processing time and the hassle of physical mail delivery. With the click of a button, you’ll be able to send your charity eCard, and your recipient will get it moments after. It’s easy and fast.
- Greater outreach. Since eCards are virtual, you can send them to supporters all over the country or the world, resulting in greater outreach.
- Cheaper cost. Your nonprofit won’t need to worry about printing expenses or buying stamps.
- Eco-friendliness. Charity eCards allow your nonprofit to take another step towards becoming paperless.
- Customization. eCards are extremely customizable, so you can alter them to fit your nonprofit’s mission. You can even add videos instead of images, helping to engage your audience further.
- Interactiveness. Many eCards have interactive elements that help simulate the feeling of opening a physical greeting card. For example, some will let recipients click on an image of an envelope to reveal their card. Others allow you to add animations!
Charity eCards bring a myriad of benefits that your nonprofit can leverage to forge stronger connections with your supporters. Sending a creative and thoughtful eCard will show your supporters that you value them and want them to have a positive experience with your nonprofit.
How can you use charity eCards for your nonprofit?
Charity eCards have many potential uses, especially when they’re incorporated into your nonprofit’s supporter and donor communications strategy. Here are a few other opportunities for your nonprofit to send an eCard:
- Thanking your donors. Normally, you would send an email or a text expressing your gratitude to a donor who has just made a gift. Why not send a donor thank-you eCard instead? Making your donors feel valued will result in long-lasting and meaningful relationships.
- Showing appreciation for volunteers. Thank volunteers for the valuable contribution of their time and talent with an eCard that specifically calls out the impact of their work.
- Commending your staff. The people who work at your nonprofit play a large role in ensuring that everything goes smoothly behind the scenes. Commend your employees by sending them eCards, resulting in happier employees that are more satisfied with their work.
- Personalized tribute donations. Some individuals make donations on behalf of their friends and family. For example, one of your supporters may request that their peers make a donation to your nonprofit in lieu of receiving a birthday gift. You can give this supporter’s peers the option of sending them a charity eCard, proving that a gift was made, and wishing them a happy birthday.
- Advocacy. When a donor makes a gift, give them the option of sending an eCard encouraging their friends and family to support your cause as well.
- Online purchase. In exchange for a donation to your nonprofit, a donor will be able to send an eCard with a message they write in it to a peer for an occasion such as a birthday. This allows your nonprofit to raise extra funds.
Remember that the goal of the eCard is to express your appreciation in a unique and creative way. Design a fun card that conveys your gratitude to your supporters.
4 aspects to focus on when designing charity eCards
Choose a high-definition and well-composed image for your eCard. If you’re using your own photos, consider composition principles such as the rule of thirds to create a striking and aesthetically appealing photo. You’ll want to make sure that you legally own the image to avoid any copyright issues.
You can also use a stock image, but you’ll need to add some personal touches to it. This might be easier if you partner with a graphic designer. These professionals will be able to create images or edit existing photos to make them more captivating and engaging for your audience. Additionally, you can ask your graphic designer to add animation or other interactive aspects to your cards. For example, take a look at Teremana’s animated Valentine’s Day cards!
Your nonprofit should already have a cohesive brand identity including logo, colors, and design. Include this branding on your eCards so that viewers can easily identify that your nonprofit created them. Youth for Understanding’s thank you cards are a great example, as all of their eCards include their signature purple color. Branded eCards will also help you promote your organization’s cause—your supporters might share the eCards with their peers, increasing brand awareness.
You’ll want a short phrase to emblazon on your eCard. When it comes to writing this phrase, think greeting cards—you’ll want it to be short and sweet, and you might even include a pun. Commonly, greeting cards simply have well wishes written on them for the occasion, such as “happy birthday” or “merry Christmas.”
Aside from the phrase on the eCard, consider what message you’ll include inside the card. If you’re sending your eCard to a donor, include a heartfelt message thanking them for their support. If you’re creating eCards that donors can use after they make a gift, allow them to write their own message to the people to whom they’re sending their eCard.
Optimize for mobile
Mobile devices account for around 60% of global web traffic, which means it’s crucial that your eCard is easily accessible on mobile devices. Double-check the formatting of your donation eCard in mobile view as well as desktop view and make sure it looks good in both formats. Compress your images to ensure a faster loading speed.
Examples of nonprofit charity eCards
While charity eCards may be a new idea for many nonprofit organizations, there are many that have already implemented them. Here are a few examples of nonprofits already using charity eCards:
- Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit dedicated to providing decent shelter and reducing housing poverty for low-income families. Once supporters make a donation, they’re given the option to send a Christmas eCard to a peer.
- Wounded Warriors offers free eCards that supporters can send to veterans that the charity is helping or share on social media to increase awareness.
- Maryland Food Bank is focused on ending hunger in Maryland. After making a gift, donors can choose to personalize and send a donation eCard through email, Facebook, or Twitter.
- Peace Winds America allows supporters to send free charity eCards to spread the word about natural disasters and man-made crises, and the relief assistance that the nonprofit is centered around.
- Central Park Conservancy gives donors the option to make a gift on behalf of someone else. After they do so, they can send a donation eCard to that person informing them of the gift.
You can implement charity eCards in a variety of ways for your nonprofit organization—what matters most is your goal for using them. Consider if you’re offering them mainly as an incentive to donate, if you’re trying to spread awareness about your cause, or if you have another purpose. Then, evaluate how to best implement eCards to support your goal.
How charity eCard software can help
While your nonprofit can create its own eCards, partnering with charity eCard software can offer you many benefits. Some of the ways eCard software can help include:
- Create specific eCard pages. eCard software can help you design and create a webpage specifically for your eCards.
- Easy to share. eCard software often integrates with social media, email, texts, and other marketing channels, making it easy for supporters to share your eCards with their peers.
- Scheduling. Some individuals like to plan for eCards to be sent out in the future. A scheduling tool will allow them to do that, instead of requiring them to send the eCard at that moment.
- Track senders and recipients. By tracking senders and recipients of charity eCards, you’ll be able to gather data about potential future supporters and donors that you can target with marketing communications.
- Analytics. You can measure the impact of your eCards and get insight and statistics into metrics such as open rate, helping you revise your eCard strategy to better serve your goals.
eCard software such as eCardWidget allows you to embed an eCard widget directly into your website. It also offers other features, such as multi-language support, customizable email templates, and easy payment processing.
Conclusion and additional resources
Charity and donation eCards help your nonprofit stand out by giving you a convenient and new way to interact with your supporters. Make use of the unique advantages they offer by implementing them into your fundraising and marketing strategies. When it comes to creating your eCards, focus on visual appeal to ensure that your supporters are engaged!
If you’re interested in learning more about eCards, check out some of these resources:
- The Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Donor Recognition Strategies – If you’d like to dive deeper into using eCards for donor recognition, check out this guide.
- Birthday Fundraisers: How to Secure Year-Round Support – Birthday fundraisers are a unique way for nonprofits to strengthen their supporter relationships. Learn more about implementing eCards into your fundraisers.
- 20 Lovely Valentine’s Day Fundraising Ideas + Bonus Tips – Your nonprofit can leverage eCards to boost your fundraising results year-round. Get inspired with these 20 impactful Valentine’s Day fundraising ideas.