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Why are supporter emails sent from [email protected] ?
Why are supporter emails sent from [email protected] ?

Explainer for the reasoning behind our outgoing email structure

David Gravina avatar
Written by David Gravina
Updated over a week ago

You may have noticed that emailsl from supporters on Do Gooder are actually sent FROM Supporter-Name <[email protected]>

What's going on here?  Why isn't it coming from [email protected]?

Glad you asked! A few years ago some of the major internet email providers decided that they needed to reduce the amount of SPAM entering the email inboxes of their users. A big chunk of the SPAM emails they were getting used a technique known as 'address spoofing' where the email looked ˆˆlike it was from someone when in fact it was from the spammers. You can read a little about it here and

This was done to make you think the email to change your bank details was from your bank for instance. They decided to throw any emails that used this simple tricky technique into the SPAM folder which worked great for SPAM but it also caught all of the legitimate users of this technique (such as us!) who allow a real person to send an email on a web site using a web form by supplying their email address (but with the actual email sent from our servers).

To avoid having our emails go to SPAM we implemented our emails in accordance with Standard for ARPA Internet Text Messages RFC822 which means our emails are now sent FROM [email protected] (a no-reply catchall address from our domain) with the supporter’s name included in the FROM field. So our email has this header information:

FROM: Supporter’s Name <[email protected]>.
REPLY-TO: [email protected]

i.e. the supporter's actual email address is supplied in the REPLY-TO field which is the address a properly configured auto-reply – or human being – should respond too according to the RFC822 protocol.

We explain this in the footer of each email to help IT folks and others understand why this is being done and so that if a system isn't configured to reply to the REPLY-TO it can be once the technical team in charge of that system can review their approach.

The footer reads:


This email was sent by FIRST-NAME LAST-NAME via Do Gooder, a website that allows people to contact you regarding issues they consider important. In accordance with web protocol RFC 3834 we have set the FROM field of this email to our generic no-reply address at [email protected], however FIRST-NAME provided an email address ([email protected]) which we included in the REPLY-TO field.

Please reply to FIRST-NAME LAST-NAME at [email protected] .

To learn more about Do Gooder visit
To learn more about web protocol RFC 3834 visit:

We also do other things to ensure our deliverability remains high including using DMARC / SPF records and ensuring our white labelled sending IP addresses remain well respected by mail servers.  


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