Colorado Nonprofit Association

Strategic Email Newsletters Grow Engagement and Impact

Screenshots lined up in a row of a sample email from the Colorado Nonprofit Association

As part of its mission to support nonprofits and the people they serve throughout the state, the Colorado Nonprofit Association (CNA) aimed to evaluate and strategically overhaul their email newsletter approach. Their goal was to inspire more members and community leaders to open and engage with the email newsletter content more regularly.

GFM|CenterTable audited the format, content and performance of CNA’s existing membership and community newsletters and conducted a comparative analysis of other successful nonprofit association newsletters across the country. We provided a strategic approach to overhauling the content and design of CNA’s newsletters, developed an editorial calendar and A/B tested everything from subject lines and send times to content topics. 

Our adjustments included:

  • Renaming the newsletter to Nonprofit COnnect
  • Adjusting subject lines and send times based on our new understanding of audience behavior and how to position the emails for increased engagement
  • Creating separate lists of audience members who receive different newsletter series based on their membership status and demonstrated interests—for example, one focused on training and another on public policy 
  • Refreshing the newsletters’ look and feel 
  • Regularly evaluating newsletter metrics and making adjustments as needed to maximize opens and clicks 
Screenshot of a Colorado Nonprofit Association email


Following implementation of the strategy, CNA’s newsletters saw dramatic increases in open rates and engagement. Open rates nearly doubled in two years, rising from 25% in 2022 to 44% in 2024. And while email engagement standards for the industry hover around two-and-a-half percent, engagement rates tripled, from 5% in 2022 to 15% in 2024.


increase in open rates


increase in engagement rates