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Create Your Best Fundraising Email in 5 Steps

It’s been rumored that emails aren’t important for donor engagement.  But, we’re here to inform you that this couldn’t be further from the truth.  Plus, we have some great stats to back it up!

In a 2015 survey of 5,000 marketers, 73% of them highlighted email marketing as being essential to their business.

Although you probably mean well with your current messaging, if you’re missing some primary components, then your fundraising emails could be viewed as just another plea for money.  

5 Steps to Creating Your Best Fundraising Email:

Be Donor-Centric

Use their name in the email instead of a generic “dear supporter”.  Tell them what their contribution can do or has done in the past for your organization.  Show your heartfelt appreciation for whatever support they’ve already given or intend to give.

 Tell a Story

Be a non-fiction storyteller by informing your readers about something happening at your organization or telling them a personal story of how that particular donor helped with a recent campaign.  Make it more interesting and personal by including photos and details from actual events.

 Practice Patience

Hold off on asking for money in your first email.  If it’s your first time emailing a new donor, simply express your gratitude and tell them how their contribution was helpful to your nonprofit.

 Use the Magic of 3’s

Except for your very first email, find creative ways to request a donation 3 separate times within each fundraising email.  

  1. Your first request could be within the context of a story about an event or campaign, where the story leads to a relevant call to action to help support it.  
  2. The second could be a more direct ask, where you let your donors know your exact fundraising goal and how much more you need in order to reach it.
  3. And finally, you can always include a call to action button at the bottom of each email that says something like, “Make a Contribution”, “Give a Gift”, or even “Donate Now”.

 Keep it Short and Sweet

Each fundraising email should consist of a maximum of 4 paragraphs with less than 4 sentences per paragraph.

Make sure to use proper spacing and include headers to separate the text. This helps make the email easier to navigate and more desirable to read.  If telling a story within your email, this will likely be longer, but continue aiming for a succinct and to-the-point message – with adequate spacing to prevent visual clutter.

 Now you’re ready to start formatting your best fundraising email!