The Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber's October 2021 Nonprofit Newsletter
The Nonprofit Committee brings you a newsletter once a month that focuses specifically on the issues confronting nonprofit organizations including an educational article and an article highlighting a Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber member nonprofit.
Email Marketing Best Practices for Nonprofits

by Lynn Amos

Why do e-mail marketing?
Contrary to some reports, e-mail is not going away. It still holds its place in a nonprofit’s overall marketing plan. Plus the automated e-mail marketing services continue to add features that make outreach easier and offer analytics so you can see how your audience reacts, adjusting your communications accordingly.
  • Grow a loyal supporter base: engage with your donors so they feel connected to your cause.
  • Maximize your organization’s time and resources: take advantage of templates, segmentation and analytics.
  • Boost engagement with your website and social media: if appropriate, choose a service that will post to your social media channels automatically.
What type of communications?
Though time-consuming to produce, an e-newsletter is important for maintaining relationships with donors, volunteers and other advocates in your community. If your resources won’t allow you to commit to a monthly newsletter, see if you can publish one quarterly. Some things to include:
  • Donation information
  • Upcoming events
  • Upcoming volunteer opportunities
  • Articles and blog posts related to your mission
  • Share successes to show an impact

In addition to a newsletter, you can use your e-mail service to send out periodic news as it happens.
  • Introduce a new team member
  • Thanks to a new corporate donor
  • Holiday greetings

Choose a reputable e-mail service.
Some services are free up to a certain number of contacts or e-mails sent over a given period of time. But sometimes it’s worth paying for a particular feature that will save time or return valuable analytics.

Build your contact list.
  • Export from your CRM and upload to your e-mail marketing provider.
  • Add a sign-up form on website and to share on social media.
  • Segment your list as it makes sense for your communications.

Get proper consent.
Obviously if someone is filling out your sign-up form, they want to hear from you. But if you’re adding subscribers manually, be sure they have agreed to receive e-mail communications from you. And be sure your template includes a way for readers to unsubscribe – this is a legal requirement.

Design for branding and engagement.
Customize the e-mail template to match your brand (colors, logo, font, etc.).
Keep the most important information at the top of the e-mail. A catchy headline will draw readers in. A two-column template gives you the opportunity for two headlines or one headline and a table of contents.

Images get much more attention than plain text so it’s best to include them whenever possible. If you don’t have an image about the topic at hand, here are some websites that offer free stock photos. Be sure to read the license agreement and give credit if it’s required. Google “free stock photos” for more choices.

Always include your mission or a short paragraph about your organization in case the reader doesn’t know you.

Include a donate button.

Include links to various pages on your website that correspond to the topic in the newsletter. When you look at your post-send analytics you’ll be able to see which subjects were most popular by the number of clicks to a given website page.

Take advantage of your e-mail service’s social sharing links and include links to your organization’s social media.

Time your communications for best response.
Take a look at your organization’s calendar and make sure that you are not sending out conflicting messages so that news announcements don’t overshadow a major donation campaign. Be aware of holidays or other times so that your communications are not overlooked. The best days to send are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.


For best success with your e-mail marketing campaigns, be sure that you are consistent in whatever you choose to do. It’s better to commit to a small plan and perform the actions regularly than to attempt a vision that can never be realized.
Lynn Amos is Principal of Fyne Lyne Ventures, a Westchester-based website and graphic design studio and Top of Mynd Cards, e-cards for businesses and nonprofits. Read more about her services at: and
For these upcoming events:
November 23, 2021 (Virtual Lunch)
Featured Speaker: Cynthia Knox of CHOPP
Topic to be announced. Thanksgiving food donations will be accepted.

Holiday Mixer
Date and time to be announced.
To request an article about a
specific topic, please contact
Lucille Geraci-Miranda at
To request that your nonprofit be featured in this newsletter, please contact Lynn Amos at
Featured Organization: Abbott House - Spotlight on Keon Programs of Abbott House

by Lucille Geraci-Miranda
Abbott House is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that builds lasting foundations under children, families, and adults with complex needs. Last year alone, they supported more than 4,000 children in foster care, unaccompanied immigrant minors, adults with developmental disabilities and struggling families in the New York Metropolitan area and the Hudson Valley by providing safety, promoting healing, and restoring hope. 

The heart of their work is dedicated to helping human beings recover from deep trauma or intervening to prevent trauma in the first place. Family comes first at Abbott House. They work hard to reunite families, create new ones, and make promising futures a reality so those entrusted to their care feel a sense of belonging rooted in home and community.

Since 1963, Abbott House has stood as a shining beacon of hope atop the hills of Irvington; a welcoming place where everyone belongs, and transformational change is always possible. Throughout the years it has quietly carried on this life-changing work, providing safety, healing, and hope to thousands of foster children, struggling families and adults with developmental disabilities, who struggle to heal from often unimaginable trauma and crisis. Many of these individuals are their neighbors – hundreds of families and individuals living right here in our surrounding communities.
Their services include:
  • Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRA’s) –16 homes 
  • Foster Care
  • Therapeutic Foster Care & Group Homes & Health Homes
  • Child and Family Treatment and Support Services
  • Community Schools Resource Program & Clinical and Counseling Services
  • Transitional Resources for Children (TRC) Program
  • Adoption & Foster Parent Training
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Non-Secure Detention
  • 270 family foster homes and six group foster homes.

With its diverse Board of 18 and staff of 600, Abbott House’s reach extends beyond individuals in care. They impact families and communities. Many people safely put their heads on a pillow each night because of Abbott House, including more than 100 individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. They have 16 residential homes, which are located throughout Westchester and Rockland Counties as well as the Bronx. Their homes provide a caring and safe atmosphere with round-the-clock support from highly trained and dedicated staff. Abbott House also operates three community-based Day Habilitation programs. 
The focus is for every individual to be a meaningful member of their community. Abbott House’s Day Programs are designed to offer an array of exciting, diverse opportunities encompassing health, well-being, recreational, and social activities.
After a three-year process, application to and review by the NYS Attorney General’s Office, Abbott House increased its services by merging with the Keon Center on November 8th, 2019. Keon Programs of Abbott House, located in Peekskill, provides services to adults with developmental disabilities and operates multiple community-based programs including site and community-based day programming, prevocational training, supported employment, community habilitation, and after-hours respite. Marianne Oros, former Vice President of the Keon Board and current member of the Abbott House Board, stated, “Keon Center has served the developmentally disabled since its incorporation in 1954. The merger is the best of both worlds, combining the strength of the Keon Center’s services with Abbott House’s depth and expertise.” 

A grand opening to celebrate Keon Programs of Abbott House was held on February 13, 2020, just before the pandemic hit. Abbott House immediately assessed their programs and moved swiftly to implement safety protocols and outreach to parents and community members to protect staff and all those entrusted to their care. Staff acted courageously, delivering critical, compassionate care, even in the face of their own fears, because they knew so many individuals who called Abbott House home were counting on them.
In addition to safety challenges, the outside programs and excursions that once provided individuals in their care with a greater sense of community and belonging, were put on pause. For adults with developmental disabilities who often thrive in an environment of structure and routine, the absence of these opportunities created feelings of anxiety and isolation. The direct support professionals who care for these individuals were challenged with finding creative ways to meet their emotional needs day-to-day within the confines of the residential setting. Their staff met these challenges head on with caring hearts.
“People Helping People” is the mantra of Keon Programs of Abbott House – and continues to remind all in the Abbott House family that working together makes a difference in strengthening our community for everyone. 
That sense of community support is needed more than ever as Abbott House plans to host a live gala on October 26th.  The “Loving Arms Awards Dinner” is the organization’s largest fundraising event of the year and a moment to celebrate their powerful, life-changing work. The event will be held at the Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown from 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm. Chaired by Marianne Oros, the event also features a virtual raffle and auction. For information about the dinner, including tickets, sponsorships, journal ads, or to experience the virtual raffle/auction visit the event page. Every donation will help support Abbott House in addressing the unique needs of all those in their care.
Lucille Geraci-Miranda, M.P.A. serves on the Board of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber Foundation, chairs the Chamber’s Nonprofit Committee and is President and Founder of Geranda Projects – Management Consulting for Nonprofits. Read more about her services at:
Follow the Chamber's Nonprofit Committee on Facebook:
The Chamber’s Nonprofit Committee provides meaningful opportunities for nonprofit staff, managers and board members to come together to collaborate, and embrace the importance of growth and sustainability. The Committee serves as a resource for ongoing professional development and as a forum for sharing best practices.

Committee Chairperson
Lucille Geraci-Miranda
Geranda Projects

Committee Members
Lynn Amos, Fyne Lyne Ventures
Ivy Fairchild, Landmark Consultants
Mary F. Foster, HVH2O and The Field Library
Chereese Jervis-Hill, Events To Remember
Tim Warn, Civic Member
Justin Wingenroth, The Dance Conservatory