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Fundraising Emails to Help Those Struggling During the Pandemic

Fundraising Emails to Help Those Struggling During the Pandemic

Fundraising emails can go a long way in raising both financial support and general awareness for a cause. But often, they can be extremely tricky to write. How do you ask people for their money without coming across the wrong way?

It’s a delicate balance. So today we’re sharing some tips and fundraising email examples from a handful of brands that did it right. Take a look at these fundraising emails and get some ideas on how you can help people — whether you’re looking to help those hurting due the COVID-19 pandemic or whether you want to contribute to Black Lives Matter efforts or other causes.

Fundraising emails can go a long way in raising both financial support and general awareness for a cause. Click To Tweet

Rework your mission statement

This is a great time to revisit your “why,” tweaking this statement to make it specific to the pandemic or anti-racist endeavors or any other cause. JDRF, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, did a great job of recasting what it stands for in light of COVID-19. The foundation clearly explained that COVID is impacting fundraising efforts and that T1D patients might be in need during this time. Similarly, if you’re fundraising for something other than the pandemic, communicate to your donors and readers how the pandemic is affecting your efforts.

Subject line: Last chance to close this gap (and double your income)

fundraising email example

Add a deadline

Creating a deadline for donations can give your fundraising email a sense of urgency, motivating people to give now before it’s too late. Jabari Brisport does this in their subject line, body copy and CTA, telling readers that “we’re down to the wire” and “we can do this!” This is a common strategy in messages about the last minutes of an e-commerce sale, and it works for fundraising emails, too.

Subject line: Only 5 hours left

fundraising email sample

Create a sense of community

If the hurry-up-and-donate fundraising email template doesn’t appeal to you, aim to create a no-pressure environment instead. That’s what Care/of did, sending a calm, pastel email that reminded readers we’re all in this together. The email mentioned how Care/of is starting the fundraising internally and then ended with a soft CTA asking readers to donate if they’re able.

This isn’t a “better” choice than creating a sense of urgency — both approaches can be effective. Make your decision based on whichever tone is more appropriate for your brand, and on what’s worked for you in the past.

Subject line: Help us support NYC health workers 

fundraising email template

Explain what the money will be used for

Before donating their hard-earned money, people want to know what that money is going to be used for. Chalait spelled it out: Its cafes were closed, staff members were struggling financially and 100% of funds raised would go straight to those employees and their families. It’s essential to be transparent about where the money is going as you craft the copy of your fundraising email campaign.

Subject line: Support our staff and take advantage of free shipping 

fundraising email

Don’t forget your fundraising email subject lines

These fundraising email subject lines sourced from our inbox all have a few things in common. For one, they’re specific, explaining what your money will do or what you can win. Second, they use terminology like “we,” making you feel like you’re part of the effort. And finally, they’re short and concise. Take a look:

  • Help end brain cancer with your gift
  • Help us make an impact for every mother
  • Your support got us here — we need you again
  • Raise more, save more with our fundraising program
  • Earn up to a $750 gift card during the Fashionable Fundraiser

Share stories

Storytelling is a powerful and effective tool to use in your fundraising emails. Our brains are wired to immediately connect with stories. So when you share a true story of the people you’re helping, your readers will be drawn in. Hot Bread Kitchen adopted this approach by telling the story of one of their donors — Masa Gong, who could personally relate to the kitchen’s mission and raised money for the nonprofit.

Subject line: Rebecca, be a Hot Bread Kitchen champion and fundraise for breadwinners. 

fundraising email best practices

Provide an incentive

Offer an incentive in your fundraising emails for people who donate. Many organizations will have different “tiers” of prizes or perks available based on how much people raise. Sunday Riley promised a thank-you gift for anyone who fundraised for a benefit 5K, adding that the first 1,000 people would receive something extra, too. Gifts like these not only encourage donations — they strengthen those all-important customer relationships, too.

Subject line: Calling all fitness levels (yes, you)

fundraising email ideas

Say thank you

When your fundraising email campaign is over, remember to send a follow-up thank you email. This message should specifically state how the money was used and what impact was seen. After a big fundraising push, the mission manager at Thrive Market sent a simple plain text message thanking donors and sharing the results.

Subject line: Thank you! $65,000 raised for COVID-19 relief

fundraising email thank you

Wrap-up: Use these fundraising email templates

Did these fundraising email ideas spur thoughts of your own? Get started with our fundraising email templates. The Support Fundraising email template, created by designer Andrea Dall’Ara, is specifically meant for fundraising during the pandemic. This free email template utilizes a simple interface with lots of room for you to share the information your customers need to give to a good cause.

You can also use a blank template or an industry-specific email template from our catalog, which has hundreds of email templates ready to edit.

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Hailey Hudson

Hailey Hudson is a full-time freelance writer based out of Atlanta, Georgia.