The State of Nonprofit Email Cultivation

A free report analyzing how 199 nonprofits communicate with donors and subscribers in the first 45 days.

About NextAfter   

NextAfter is an online fundraising research lab and consultancy that works alongside nonprofits to develop research as to why their donors give and put those learnings into practice to help them reach more people, acquire more donors, and generate more dollars to fund their world-changing work. 

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It's no secret that donor retention is, and has been, one of the biggest challenges that nonprofits face. And even with all the advances in data, analytics, and donor management –   organizations are no better at keeping donors today than they were 5 years ago

One possible reason is that much of the focus has been on fundraising or when, who, and how to ask. But much less has been written and researched around one crucial area that can influence donor engagement and retention: cultivation.

That's the focus of this brand new research from Kindful and NextAfter that looks at how 199 nonprofits are communicating with their donors and subscribers in their first 45 days with an emphasis on their cultivation strategies.

Some interesting findings from analyzing 2,589 emails to both donors and subscribers include:

  • Only 52% of nonprofits sent a clear confirmation of email signup or cultivation email in the first 2 days
  • 9% of emails were sent from just a person (as opposed to an organization or a person and organization)
  • Just 4.5% of donors received a survey or feedback email

In this free research report, you’ll discover key findings from this analysis of 199 nonprofits and get more answers to questions like:

  • What is the average ratio of cultivation to solicitation emails for donors and subscribers?
  • What types of content are being sent to cultivate new donors and subscribers?
  • When is the most common time and day to send an email?

You’ll also learn tested and proven strategies from real experiments with real organizations that can show you how to improve your cultivation strategies and optimize your email communications.

Get your free copy of the email cultivation research study

See how your organization’s email cultivation compares to others around the industry and discover new strategies to help increase online giving by requesting your free report using the form below.

What fundraisers say about NextAfter research:

"What I like about your materials is that you really understand development and how it works and the importance of the relationship and getting the most out of every encounter."

- Margaret, Layne Consulting

"Honestly- no other organization nails the everyday issues/tips/experiences of the fundraising shop like NextAfter. I really, really appreciate the work that goes into your findings as it is SO helpful for us in the digital fundraising field. Keep up the great work!"

- Anna, Lakehead University

 other fundraisers have also downloaded and trust NextAfter research studies.


About Kindful

Kindful was founded with a simple idea in mind: Nonprofits should be able to spend less time focused on their database and more time focused on their mission. We understand that running a nonprofit involves managing a lot of moving pieces. You’re changing the world, and you should be able to rely on partners who are not only experts in their field but who also care about your mission. Learn more at