Use These Fundraising Email Templates to Reach Your Goal Faster

Paige Kutilek
|6 min read

Fundraising Strategy

Email remains one of the most effective ways to raise awareness of your fundraising fundraiser and cause. But when it comes to writing fundraising email requests and other communications, even seasoned fundraising professionals can struggle to express themselves in a way that inspires donations.

It would be convenient if one cookie-cutter fundraising email template served everyone’s needs, but with so many kinds of fundraisers, it’s better to follow guidelines and tailor your fundraising emails to fit your specific crowdfunding fundraiser. It’s about finding the right mix of key information, personal touches, and simple ways to give.

To help you refine your fundraising pitch and reach your goals faster, we’ve put together a list of best practices along with fundraising email templates for some common messages.

Best practices for sending a fundraising email

Make your subject line count

Your subject line is not only your first impression—in many cases, it’s your first and last chance to get someone to open your message. Hubspot found that 33% of email recipients open an email based solely on the subject line. Follow these tips to catch your audience’s attention:

  • Keep your subject line short yet informative—the ideal length is fewer than 65 characters. Long subject lines often get shortened on small devices.
  • Pique interest so people want to learn more, without being “spammy.” Avoid all-caps and excessive punctuation.
  • Create a sense of urgency that inspires donors to take action.

Keep it short and sweet

Brevity is the key to an effective fundraising email:

  • Don’t overwhelm potential donors.
  • Limit yourself to four short paragraphs at most. Less is more.
  • Use subheads and white space for easy reading.
  • Include high-quality photos to help people connect with your beneficiaries.

Personalize your messages

The content of your fundraising emails should be personalized to the recipient—and to the type of recipient. Segmenting your audience and tailoring templates to those segments can boost your response rate. We recommend following these steps:

Get local media to cover your fundraiser

Few things boost awareness of your cause like local media. To get local media to cover your fundraiser, you’ll need to email a pitch to reporters. Emails to the press should look different from emails to friends and family. Reporters are used to receiving information in a specific format that helps them quickly scan for newsworthiness. The less work they have to do, the more likely they are to put your fundraiser in the news. The best pitches are short and compelling. You’ll need an attention-grabbing subject line and a concise (and personalized) pitch.

When writing your pitch, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your fundraiser about? Does it relate to recent articles or news trends? Is it connected to something topical?
  • Why should other people in your community care or contribute? What difference will it make to the community at large? What’s the relationship between the beneficiary and the community?
  • Why is it important as a news item? Why does the fundraiser matter now?

Use your answers to these questions to craft your pitch. Resist the urge to include unnecessary jargon, buzzwords, or marketing lingo. And avoid copying and pasting your fundraiser page description into the pitch, since that text is written for potential donors, not the press.

Email template: pitch to local press

Subject line: [write a short attention-grabbing subject line that will get someone to open your email, but avoid all-caps and exclamation points].

Hi [insert name],

I recently saw your story about [relevant article/story name], and wanted to share my story with you: [insert fundraiser link]

[Write two to three sentences about the fundraiser. This paragraph should be a simple overview of your fundraiser that explains why you started the fundraiser, why it’s important, your relationship with the beneficiary, and their relationship to the local community.]

So far, the community has raised [insert amount] to help [reiterate the goal].

Please let me know the best next steps. I’d welcome an opportunity to schedule an interview.


[your name]

[your contact info]

Recruiting friends and family to support your cause

Unlike emails to the press, emails to friends, family, and other community members should include a more emotional appeal to inspire action.

If you’re unsure of how to ask for donations, you’re not alone. Asking for money can make people feel vulnerable. For help, review the useful tips in Eight Donation Request Tips for Beginner Fundraisers.

When you write donation request emails to friends and family, use the following templates to get started. Don’t be afraid to add your own spin and make your personality shine through, to help people feel more connected to you and your cause.

Email template: donation request to friends and family

Subject line [short and compelling, avoid all-caps and exclamations]:

Dear [insert name],

[Begin with an emotional appeal to the recipient that relates to your cause. Introduce the problem you hope to solve with the fundraiser.]

While I’ve already taken steps to fix this problem [insert examples if applicable], I still need help with funding.

Would you consider donating to [insert fundraiser name]? Your donation would help [insert how it will help].

The process is simple. Just click the link to my crowdfunding fundraiser below to get started.

[insert link to crowdfunding fundraiser]

Feel free to share the fundraiser link on social media. The more exposure I get, the greater my chances of reaching my fundraising goal.

With love/Sincerely,

[your name]

Email template: time-sensitive donation request to friends and family

Subject line: Only [insert days] to help me reach my fundraising goal

Dear [insert name],

I only have [number] days to raise [insert the remaining amount needed] for [insert fundraiser name].

If you gave $25 [or insert other amount] to my fundraiser, it would help me [insert specifically how the money will help your cause].

The process is simple. Just click the link to my crowdfunding fundraiser below to get started.

[insert link to crowdfunding fundraiser]

Please share the fundraiser link with your friends and family on social media. It helps boost awareness for my fundraiser.

I appreciate all your support! I wouldn’t be able to accomplish [fundraising goal] without your help.

With love/Sincerely,

[your name]

[your contact info]

Fine-tuning your pitch

Whether you’re reaching out to the press or to family and friends, a clear, polished email will help you get the results you’re after, reach potential donors, and inspire people to take action. Once you reach your fundraising goal, show some appreciation for your donors—read How to Write a Donation Thank You Letter for tips. And if you haven’t already, start your free GoFundMe fundraiser today.

Start a free fundraiser

Paige Kutilek

About Paige Kutilek

I'm keen on creating meaningful and thoughtful content that will have an impact. I'm a dedicated individual with a creative touch who is always eager to learn more. Lover of cats, avocados, and tea.

The leader in online fundraising

security dashboard level handout mobile contact chart bar 33 customer support world 2
Donor protection guarantee

GoFundMe has the first and only guarantee in the industry.

Simple setup

You can personalize and share your GoFundMe in just a few minutes.

0% platform fee

With a 0% platform fee, you get to keep even more of your money.

Mobile app

The GoFundMe app makes it easy to launch and manage your campaign on the go.

Social reach

Harness the power of social media to spread your story and get more support.

24/7 expert advice

Our best-in-class Customer Happiness agents will answer your questions, day or night.