Use These Fundraising Email Templates to Reach Your Goal

| 10 min read Fundraising Strategy

Asking for help of any kind requires courage and vulnerability and seeking financial help can be particularly challenging. Thankfully, a solid fundraising email template can remove the fear of a blank page and give you a framework for writing email outreaches that will inspire others to give.

If you aren’t sure how to ask for donations, we’ve put together a list of fundraising email templates along with best practices that will help you reach your fundraising goals faster.

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Fundraising email best practices

Email remains one of the most effective ways to raise awareness of your fundraiser and cause. But even seasoned fundraising professionals can struggle to write a persuasive fundraising letter. These best practices can help you craft compelling communications that will inspire others to donate.

Make your subject line count

The subject line for fundraising emails is not only the reader’s first impression — in many cases, it’s your first and last chance to get someone to open your message. Hubspot found that 35% 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 but 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 but avoid sounding spammy. Don’t use all-caps and excessive punctuation.
  • Create a sense of urgency that inspires donors to take action.

Personalise your messages

It would be convenient if one cookie-cutter fundraising email template served everyone’s needs but you’ll want to tailor each one to avoid sounding cold or inauthentic. Try separating your email list by demographic, giving status, or other relevant factors. Doing this can boost your email open rate by 14.3%, according to MailChimp. If you’re running short on time, even adding the recipient’s name to the greeting can go a long way in making someone feel like you care.

Keep it short and sweet

Brevity is the key to an effective fundraising email. If you write too much, people will lose interest and give up reading. A clear and visually appealing format also plays an important role in an email’s readability.

Pointers to keep in mind:

  • Break up large paragraphs to avoid overwhelming potential donors.
  • Limit yourself to four short paragraphs.
  • Use subheads and bolded text for easy reading.
  • Include high-quality photos to help people connect with your cause.

Make the impact clear

How will donations be used? How will the funds change your life or improve the life of your beneficiary? Readers will want to know right away why you’re raising funds and exactly how the money will be used, so be sure to answer these questions within the first few sentences of your email.

If possible, explain what impact a £5, £25 and £100 donation would make. Some people may feel embarrassed making a small donation, so it’s important to emphasise that donations of any amount are welcome and every contribution will help you reach your goal.

Add visual content  

A high-quality photo or video can help break up text and draw people into your email right away, so definitely insert at least one image into your outreach emails. Make sure to avoid using grainy photos, logos or an image that isn’t related to your cause because these could make people wary of donating.

Recruiting friends and family to support your cause

When crowdfunding, friends and family will be some of your biggest supporters. Take special care when contacting them. An email template will come off as impersonal to those who know you well, so it’s particularly important to personalise these emails.

Some other points to keep in mind:

  • Unlike emails to the press, emails to friends, family and other community members should include a more emotional appeal to inspire action.
  • Don’t be afraid to add your own spin and make your personality shine through. This will help people feel more connected to you and your cause.
  • You might consider using more personal photos when contacting family and friends.

Below is a fundraising email sample you can adapt and send to those closest to you.

Email template: Donation request to friends and family

Subject line [short and compelling, avoid CAPS and exclamations]:

Dear [insert name],

You might have heard that I’m fundraising to [insert reason why you’re fundraising]. This cause is very important to me because [supply a personal reason that appeals to the reader’s emotions].

I’m encouraged by the support I’ve already received but I still need help reaching my fundraising goal of [insert amount].

Would you be willing to make a contribution to my fundraiser? A gift of any amount would mean the world to me.

To donate, simply click the link to my fundraiser below:

[Insert link to fundraiser]

It would also mean a lot if you could share my fundraiser link on social media. The more exposure I get, the faster I will reach my fundraising goal.

I’d love to talk to you in person about my fundraiser, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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 have only [number] days to finish fundraising for [insert fundraising cause].

If only [insert number] of people donated [insert amount] to my fundraiser, I would [be able to meet my fundraising goal/make significant progress toward my fundraising goal]. Would you be able to help make this a reality?

To donate, just click the link to my fundraiser below:

[insert link to fundraiser]

It would also really help if you could share my fundraiser link with everyone you know. The more eyes on my fundraiser, the better!

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

With love/Sincerely,

[Your name]

[Your contact info]

Get local media to cover your fundraiser

Few things boost awareness of your cause like media coverage. To get local media to cover your fundraiser, you’ll need to email a pitch to reporters.

Journalists are more likely to put your fundraiser in the news if you give them all the necessary information up front in a short and engaging email. Avoid using your fundraiser description as the pitch because that text is written for potential donors, not the press.

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?

Email template: Pitch to local press

Subject line [short and compelling, avoid CAPS and exclamations]:

Dear [insert name],

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

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

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

Thank you for reading my story and I’d welcome an opportunity to share more details with you.

Best regards,

[Your name]

[Your contact info]

Contact local businesses

If you’ve already sought the support of friends and family, asking local businesses for help is another way to keep the fundraising momentum going.

Keep these tips in mind when composing your outreach:

  • Focus on businesses that are known for supporting the community and giving back.
  • Reach out to businesses or organisations that align with your cause. For example, if you are raising money to offset the cost of your chemotherapy treatments, you might send outreaches to local organisations known for their support of cancer patients or their work in the field of cancer research.
  • In your message, include other ways that businesses can help you if they can’t contribute financially. They might volunteer their venue for a fundraising event, or they might donate items for an auction.

Below is a sample donation request letter to a company that you can use in outreaches.

Email template: Donation requests to local businesses

Subject line [short and compelling, avoid CAPS and exclamations]:

Dear [insert name],

I am fundraising to [insert reason why you’re fundraising], and I would really appreciate the help of local businesses like yours. [Summarise why you need help in 1-3 short sentences to provide background information and tie this into your local community].

So far, the community has raised [insert amount] towards my fundraising goal — but we still have a lot of ground to cover. That’s where your business comes into the picture.

Would you be interested in joining me on my fundraising journey by making a contribution to my cause? A gift of any amount can make a difference.

To donate, simply click the link to my fundraiser below:

[Insert link to fundraiser]

I’d love to talk about my fundraiser in more detail, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Best regards,

[Your name]

[Your contact info]

Tap into the Giving Tuesday buzz

Millions of people across the globe donate to worthy causes on Giving Tuesday. This makes the unofficial holiday a fantastic opportunity to rally support for your own fundraiser. Sending appeals to your network is an important part of planning a powerful Giving Tuesday fundraiser.

A well crafted email adds a sense of urgency and can encourage people to donate to your cause. Don’t forget to include your fundraiser hashtag in your appeals, and you might even consider throwing a Giving Tuesday fundraising event for maximum exposure. Read our blog post Top Ten Fundraising Event Ideas for fundraising event inspiration.

Our Giving Tuesday email template below helps you create an appeal for this specific event.

Email template: Donation requests for Giving Tuesday

Subject line: Celebrate Giving Tuesday by donating to my cause

Dear [insert name],

Happy #GivingTuesday! I’m raising money for [insert your fundraiser name] and I need your help on this special day to reach my goal.

I’m aiming to raise a total of £[insert amount] by the end of the day, which will allow me to [insert specific use, e.g.: “purchase 100 care kits for homeless women.”] The clock is ticking to make this goal a reality.

Simply click the link to my fundraiser below to read more about my cause and make a donation.

[insert link to fundraiser]

If you could also share my fundraiser link with your contacts on social media, it would help boost awareness for my cause.

I appreciate all of your support!

Best regards,

[Your name]

[Your contact info]

Begin raising more money with thoughtful fundraising emails

Whether you’re contacting the press or family and friends, a clear, polished email will help you reach potential donors and inspire people to take action. Once you reach your fundraising goal, show some appreciation for your supporters and write a donation thank you letter. And if you haven’t already, take advantage of fundraising on GoFundMe and sign up to create a fundraiser today.

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Written by nicola