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How to connect your domain to send emails through Engage
How to connect your domain to send emails through Engage

Connect your own domain or use a free Givebutter domain to send outbound emails to your supporters

Sunny avatar
Written by Sunny
Updated over a week ago

Engage is automatically activated for verified nonprofit accounts, but you will still need to set up your domain to send emails. Accounts that are not verified will need to first Request Access on the Engage tab.

Connect a domain πŸ”—

To get started using Engage, you'll need to add your domain. This is what allows you to send emails from your custom domain email address!

  • Go to the Engage tab in the left-side panel of your dashboard.

  • Click Set up domain or Settings.

  • Click Add domain.

arrows point to set up domain and settings

You can choose whether you'd like to use either of the following options:

add domain option screen

Your own domain 🏠

If you own a website domain through a third-party service, you can connect it (or its subdomains) to your Givebutter account. This will give Givebutter permission to send emails on your behalf.

  • Add your domain (this is formatted as "" – do not enter an email address here), add an optional reply-to email, and click Add Domain

add domain and reply-to email

Some domain providers require that the dot ( . ) at the end of the CNAME record be removed for it to run appropriately. If you are getting an error, try removing the dot at the end of the CNAME string in your settings and refreshing the status.

  • The domain connection can take up to 48 hours, depending on your domain provider.

When the connection process is complete, you can use the domain to send emails from Givebutter!

Givebutter domains 🧈

If you don't have your own domain to use, you can get a Givebutter domain for free! This will allow you to send emails from a custom address, without creating a website or purchasing a domain elsewhere.

Free Givebutter domains are formatted like this:

After you select Use a free Givebutter email address:

  • Create your subdomain name.

    • We recommend using your organization's name or initials. This goes after the "@" and before "".

  • Add a Reply-to email address (optional)

  • Click Add domain.

    use a free Givebutter email address
  • Click Refresh status if your domain hasn't verified within 5 minutes.

Completing setup βœ…

There are just a few remaining steps to complete once you've successfully connected your domain.

Add email senders βœ‰οΈ

After your domain is connected, you still need to add the email addresses you'd like to send emails from! If you've connected your own domain, senders must be real emails that exist on the domain you have connected.

  • Go to Email Senders.

  • Click Add New.

email senders tab
  • Enter a sender name. This will be the name that is displayed in the "from" field when viewed by a recipient.

  • Create a username for the email address. This will be the first part of your email address, ie. If you are using a Givebutter domain, it'll be formatted like the example image shown below.

  • Click Add sender.

add email sender
  • If you are using your own domain, a verification email will be sent to the email address you provided. Click verify email. Your email address will be verified automatically if you are using a Givebutter domain.

Branding 🎨

  • In the Engage tab, click on Branding.

  • Upload a logo – recommended dimensions 300x300px, max size 5MB

    • A logo is required to be uploaded before you can send outbound emails. If you prefer not to display a logo, you can upload a white square of the same dimensions.

  • Choose a brand color.

  • Add an email logo hyperlink.

See our guide on customizing your Engage email branding, which includes some more tips and tricks.

Address 🏠

  • In the Engage tab, click on Address

  • Enter your address information.

  • Click Submit.

Congratulations! You're now ready to compose and send your first email via Engage! πŸŽ‰

Common DNS providers 🌐

Here are some resources for creating DNS records with popular domain providers. If your service isn't listed here, go to your provider's site and search their support documents, or contact their customer support team for assistance with adding new DNS records.

Don't worry if you see terminology in your DNS provider that isn't consistent with what's shown in Givebutter:

  • "Name" is interchangeable with "Host"

  • "Value" is synonymous with "Data"

Failed connections 🚫

If a DNS record connection fails, here are a few things to check.

Is there a "." at the end of your CNAME record?

Some DNS providers require the addition or omission of the "." at the end of the CNAME record. If you have included it, and your record won't verify, try removing it, and run verification again.

Do the CNAME and/or TXT records match?

Verify that the CNAME records and/or TXT records provided by Givebutter match the records in your domain provider account.

Is the domain expired?

Check with your domain provider to make sure your domain name has not expired.

When was the last time you ran a verification?

Click the Check DNS button in your Engage domain settings.

Why is it not required to include Givebutter in our own custom SPF record?

When email standards were being formed, email providers used the SPF records of the From/Sender address domain to check for alignment. This meant that it was necessary to add a custom SPF record to DNS records in order to pass SPF alignment. This has since changed, and email providers no longer check the From field's domain when evaluating SPF and determining the results.

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