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Giving Tuesday Email Examples That Work

Oct 2022 - READ IN 7 MINUTES

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5 Giving Tuesday Email Examples That Motivate Donors to Act

Giving Tuesday has inspired millions of people around the world to give back during the busyness of the holiday season. Since GivingTuesday began in 2012, more fundraising organizations continue to participate each year, which can make the holiday feel a bit crowded. With so many organizations reaching out for donations, it’s important to strategize how you’ll engage your donors and motivate them to give.

With GivingTuesday donations happening mostly online, one of the best ways to engage your donors and spread the word about your campaign is through email marketing. A good GivingTuesday email campaign can help you get the word out early, and motivate donors to commit to donating to your cause. Below, we’ll highlight six different GivingTuesday emails to incorporate into your GivingTuesday email strategy and share a few fundraising email examples for inspiration.

But first, a word about campaign themes

Although there’s no rule that says you must create a theme for your Giving Tuesday campaign, we highly recommend that you do. A well-conceived theme will help to drive awareness, rally support, and make it easier for you to develop content to share on social media and in other channels. It will also help your Giving Tuesday email communications stand out in a crowded inbox.

For example, for the purposes of this blog post, we chose #GivingTattoosDay as our theme. Why? If every other email in your inbox is about #GivingTuesday, the one about #GivingTattoosDay is bound to stand out.

But why #GivingTattoosDay? Here are five quick reasons this hashtag can make you stand out:

  • It’s memorable. #GivingTattoosDay rhymes with #GivingTuesday. In behavioral science, there’s a principle called the Keats Heuristic that says, briefly, rhyming phrases are easier to remember.
  • It’s unexpected. Nobody expects their alma mater to email them about tattoos. Piquing someone’s curiosity is a great way to lift your Giving Tuesday email open rates.
  • It’s meaningful. Individuals choose to get inked for many reasons: to be part of a group, to be accepted by their peers, or to commemorate a significant life event. These are all sentiments that align nicely with our alumni peer-to-peer campaign. Also, recent studies conducted in the U.S. found that 47 percent of millennials have at least one tattoo and that age group falls squarely within our target demographic.
  • It’s a theme that’s endlessly “riffable.” When it comes time to create your Giving Tuesday social posts, email banners, stewardship videos, and more you’ll be glad you took the time to brainstorm a theme. You’ll see what we mean by endlessly “riffable” in the email examples that follow.
  • It’s easy and affordable to incentivize. Temporary tattoos! Did you know you can purchase custom temporary tattoos in bulk? What better way to show your school pride? Students, faculty, staff, and advocates sporting tattoos on social media could be a really fun way to build awareness and drive engagement.

You get the idea. Now, let’s explore the many ways you can run with a theme like this in your email communications leading up to, the day of, and the day after your GivingTuesday campaign.

1. Save-the-Date Teaser Email

It’s always a good idea to build a sense of urgency around your Giving Tuesday appeal, and creating a Save-the-Date teaser email is a great way to get folks thinking about your campaign even before you launch.

Pro Tip: Keep it simple. You don’t want to overwhelm your community with too much information too early in the campaign. Of course, if you’ve built a pre-launch campaign page you can include the link in your teaser email and suggest folks bookmark the donation page so they can check back after kickoff and keep tabs on campaign progress. Consider add a countdown clock to your pre-campaign page so potential donors are ready for your campaign’s launch.

Example: Save-the-Date Email

Sample launch email template for a GivingTattoosDay campaign.

Also, while this post is primarily about emailing your prospective donor community, keep in mind that you should have a separate communication strategy and cadence for reaching out to advocates and volunteers.

2. Launch Email

Your launch email is one of the most important communications of your Giving Tuesday campaign. It’s your opportunity to convey the significance and urgency of your initiative, generate excitement, and set the overall tone for your campaign. Your first email should include:

  • WHY/WHO: The purpose of your campaign and who it will impact
  • WHEN:  Campaign kick-off and close dates
  • WHAT: Details about major matches, challenges, and incentives
  • WHERE: A clear accounting of where donated dollars go
  • HOW: Easy ways to give

Make sure to use clear CTA’s to direct them to your giving page and information about ways to give other than online donations. Be sure to inject some fun into your communications and create a little philanthropy FOMO. You want prospective donors to feel like they’ll really be missing out if they don’t click through to your online campaign page. You may also use this email to share any donor-facing fundraising goals to get people excited to help you meet them.

Example: Launch Day Email

Sample launch email template for a GivingTattoosDay campaign.

3. Update Email

It’s important to update your community throughout your campaign. How often you reach out via email depends on a number of factors including the length of your campaign and your ability to segment your messaging to different audiences.

Campaign length: If you’re conducting a 24-hour Giving Tuesday campaign, you may want to limit the number of outreach emails you send the day of as inboxes will already be overflowing with messages from other nonprofits. Be judicious about your communications and make sure each email has a unique and compelling subject line. If your campaign will run for several weeks or through calendar year-end (CYE), you can and should reach out to your community regularly.

Audience: Ideally, how you communicate with the people who are already motivated and engaged should be different from how you talk to an audience who may be tuning in for the first time. That said, there are plenty of good reasons to send an update email to everyone on your email list, including to:

  • Remind people about the purpose of your campaign and all the ways they can make a difference
  • Report on the progress made toward your fundraising goal (e.g., at the halfway point, when donations are lagging, or when the campaign is close to hitting a milestone)
  • Alert your community to new matches, challenges, or incentives to keep the momentum going
  • Offer other ways to get involved (e.g., post messages of encouragement on social media, share your school’s campaign page with peers)
  • Notify stragglers that you’re extending the campaign

Example: Update Email

Sample campaign update email template for a GivingTattoosDay campaign.

4. Extra-Momentum Emails

It’s a given that excitement around your campaign will wax and wane, so you’ll want to be proactive and have one or two extra momentum emails in your back pocket for when donations inevitably slow down. Consider saving a big update, a compelling video, or a heartfelt message from an influential advocate for later in your GivingTuesday campaign.

This is a good opportunity to leverage stories from individual donors about why they give or stories from individual students about how they’ve benefited. Stories that put a face and a name to your cause are particularly compelling and can help to reignite passions around your purpose and convey a sense of urgency when it’s needed most. Extra-momentum emails can be the push your donors need to get them over the finish line and finally convert.

5. Last-Call Email

The last-call email is your final chance to move the needle on your Giving Tuesday campaign. A brief, carefully crafted message sent in the final hours is often just the thing to:

  • Nudge well-intentioned procrastinators to act
  • Inspire a last-minute rally among peers to own the leaderboard
  • Motivate donors to take advantage of soon-to-expire matching campaign funds

You should plan to send this email on the last day of your campaign, preferably in the evening. Keep it short and sweet—and direct with a prominent call to action.

Example: Last-Chance Email

Sample last-call email template for a GivingTattoosDay campaign.

While it’s a donor stewardship best practice to thank someone as soon as they make a gift, you will want to reach out again to your entire community once the campaign is officially closed with a sincere message of gratitude. Consider preparing a thank-you video ahead of time that shares the impact that the dollars raised will have on your school community. You should also extend special thanks to your volunteers and advocates as part of a separate email cadence. Finally, you should also reach out to those folks that you solicited for donations but did not make a gift. They are still an important part of your community and seeing campaign results in their inbox may just be enough to nudge them to contribute after the fact or to raise their hand the next time you ask.

Need a little help crafting your Giving Tuesday emails?

Now you can craft compelling donor outreach in a matter of minutes, using a free AI-powered utility trained to think like a fundraiser. Instantly generate targeted donor emails, invites, and more with just a few clicks. Then refine as you like to make the messaging your own. It’s fast, easy, and free. Try Donor Outreach AI now.

[Donor Outreach AI] makes GivingTuesday seem so much easier and way more possible.
Brittany Yantos Drew School

Get more Giving Tuesday tips—on demand

Giving Tuesday is an attention battle: you can win by being the easiest place to donate on a crazy, busy day. Watch “Giving ChooseDay: Pick Your Own Adventureto learn how to choose the best strategy for engaging your community. This popular webinar is now available on demand.  Watch now.

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