Have you heard the story of The Dog with a Hole in His Heart?

His life was saved when a Massachusetts-based nonprofit, Fairy Dogparents raised over $6,000 from just one email and paid for his lifesaving surgery.

Anecdotes like these capture our attention and remind us of the selfless work being done by so many nonprofits and their volunteers.

But behind these incredible stories are daily responsibilities: like making sure enough volunteers and attendees show up to events, or problems: like figuring out how to find the first safe home for a rescued dog, and even sacrifices: like having to call on volunteers for immediate action in times of trouble.

Here’s how three nonprofits use email marketing to meet these responsibilities, solve these problems, and make these sacrifices for man’s best friend.

How OBG Cocker Rescue makes their events best in show

Oldies But Goodies Cocker Rescue, Inc. has been finding homes for in-danger cocker spaniels in the DC area for over 15 years. Working with a team of 200 volunteers, a network of shelters throughout the Mid-Atlantic, and a number of local businesses, they are able to give new life to aging dogs.

Events have always been essential to their success and promoting them through their list of over 1,700 supporters has helped them prove this “old” strategy still works. In the last year they have had record attendance, including over 100 people at their Uncorked Wine Tasting Event and 60 people at their OBG Bowl-a-thon.

OBG keeps their old strategy new by (1) providing a PDF flyer and encouraging fans to post them, (2) promoting their local sponsors, (3) linking directly to online registration,  and (4) updating supporters with results.

These excerpts from different OBG newsletters show how the nonprofit drives attendance at their events in 4 easy steps.

How Jack Russell Terrier Rescue turns tragedies to “happy tails”

People love organizations that work with animals because they shine a much needed light on those four-legged friends that need it the most.

For Ursula Meyer of Jack Russell Terrier Rescue of Ontario, a Canadian nonprofit that finds homes for “jacks” that have been displaced, abandoned, or rescued from dangerous situations, that spotlight comes from their email newsletter.

With over 500 subscribers and a 49% open rate, the Jack Russell Terrier Rescue Newsletter is the mouthpiece of their organization and gives attention to the animals that need it the most. With a featured “Jack of the Month” they are able to pick one in-danger dog to help find a home and then update supporters on their success by sharing their “Happy Tail” in future emails. (You can read some of these Happy Tails here.)

Jack Russell Terrier Rescue of Ontario gives rescued dogs a chance at the spotlight as the “Jack of the Month” and then tells their stories as the “Happy Tail”.

How Fairy Dogparents performed another miracle

When you hear the story of The Dog with a Hole in His Heart, it’s hard not to think that the Fairy Dogparents are actually capable of miracles … and it wouldn’t be their last.

Just a few months later Mia, a 4-month-old puppy that was struck by a car and missing from her family for five days, came to the Fairy Dogparents and found their contribution wouldn’t be enough to cover the dog’s $6,000 surgery.

Once again Fairy Dogparents turned to their email newsletter and list of over 2,500 subscribers to help cover the cost. In just three days they raised over $4,500. Mia’s story even gained attention from local media.

Fairy Dogparents told Mia’s story and gave their 2,500 email subscribers a way to donate to her cause. After, they followed up with an update and thank you email.

Why email marketing hasn’t gone to the dogs

You don’t have to be a dog person to take advantage of the opportunities that email marketing presents for nonprofits. Generating better attendance for your events, finding a safe answer to a complicated problem, or raising funds when you need them the most, are problems that all nonprofits, regardless of the nature of their work, can relate to and find benefit from with email marketing.

Has your organization seen real results from email marketing? Tell us in the comments below!