#GivingTuesday Email Templates and Best Practices

#GivingTuesday Email Templates and Best Practices text overlayed on a photo of glasses resting on a laptop

What’s your #GivingTuesday secret weapon? Your email list. Through email, you can make long-form, targeted appeals to those who have already donated to or expressed interest in your nonprofit’s work and send them straight to your #GivingTuesday page on Razoo to make a donation. Here, we’ll be sharing some #GivingTuesday email templates to help you get inspired, along with tips and best practices that will help you step up your email game for #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesday Email Templates and Best Practices text overlayed on a photo of glasses resting on a laptop

#GivingTuesday email templates

So, the idea behind #GivingTuesday email templates is that you can copy-and-paste them, customize a word here or there, and then send them off. But we’re hoping you’ll use these #GivingTuesday email templates as a jumping-off point and add more content about your nonprofit’s work and mission!

Sample 1 – Introduction to #GivingTuesday (Two Weeks Before #GivingTuesday)

Subject Line: What if we all gave on one day?

Body:
What if we all gave on one day? We can! On November 28, 2017, our community will come together for 24 hours of unprecedented giving day to support the amazing work of [Organization Name] through #GivingTuesday.

[Organization Name], a nonprofit that is dedicated to [Cause/Mission] is one of the charities participating in #GivingTuesday. Help us raise awareness and funds for [Cause/Organization Name] by saving the date and making a donation online on November 28, 2017 at [Link to Razoo Page].

Find out more by visiting [Insert Link] and remember – November 28, 2017 is the day to give!

Like us on Facebook [FACEBOOK PAGE] and Follow us on Twitter [@HANDLE].

Sample 2 – One Week Before #GivingTuesday

Subject Line: Let’s give together!

Body:
Every day, [Organization Name] works to mission/cause. Please join me in supporting [Organization Name] for #GivingTuesday on November 28, 2017. By giving just $10, you can strengthen mission/cause.

What: Give to Organization Name during #GivingTuesday
When: November 28, 2017
Where: Online at [Link to Razoo Page]
How: Like us on Facebook [FACEBOOK PAGE] and Follow us on Twitter (@HANDLE).

Mark your calendar for November 28, 2017! Early donations are open, so if you’d like to give now, all donations count toward our #GivingTuesday totals!

Sample 3 – One Week Before #GivingTuesday

Subject Line: Be a Hero and Support [Organization Name]

Body:
YOU can help [Organization Name] WIN BIG! Give during #GivingTuesday on November 28, 2017 and [Organization Name] could win up to [Prize Money] in grants and prizes! Your $10 donation will make an incredible difference!

What: Give to Organization Name during #GivingTuesday
When: November 28, 2017
Where: Online at [Link to Razoo Page]
How: Like us on Facebook [FACEBOOK PAGE] and Follow us on Twitter [@HANDLE].

Tell your friends! Forward this email! Share it on Facebook and Twitter. Help us get the word out about #GivingTuesday. Follow the leaderboard and help us get to the top!

Mark your calendar for November 28, 2017! Early donations are open, so if you’d like to give now, all donations count toward our #GivingTuesday totals!

Sample 4 — Day Before #GivingTuesday

Subject Line: Love [Cause/Mission]?

Body:
Tomorrow, November 28, many will come together for a special 24-hour online Giving Day called #GivingTuesday and I need YOUR HELP! I want to raise [$GOAL] in 24 hours to support [Organization’s Mission/Cause]. Please help me make a real difference.

Please support the vital services [Organization Name] does by donating online – [Link to Razoo Page] on November 28, 2017.

Like us on Facebook [FACEBOOK PAGE] and Follow us on Twitter [@HANDLE].

Sample 5 – On #GivingTuesday

Subject Line: Ready, Set, Give!

Body:
Today is the day – #GivingTuesday is here! I’m on my way to raising [$GOAL] for [Organization Name] in 24 hours. Will you help me?

Optional:

  • [Organization Name] is in ___ place on the leaderboard – can you help them move up?
  • Thanks to your generosity and enthusiasm, I have already raised [$X]. I need [$X] more – can you help me get there?
  • Share your support on Facebook and Twitter by telling everyone about #GivingTuesday.

Help me spread the word and let everyone you know that today is the day to give to [Organization Name]. Visit the leader board at [Razoo Event Page] and cheer [Organization Name] on!

Like us on Facebook [FACEBOOK PAGE] and Follow us on Twitter [@HANDLE].

Thank you for your support!

Woman at laptop
Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash

Running your email campaign

There are three basic phases to an email marketing campaign for #GivingTuesday:

  1. Build-up
  2. Day-of
  3. Follow-up

Build-up

The build-up phase of your campaign includes a “Save the Date” or introduction email, any email reminders you sent out in the week and days before the event, as well as including a #GivingTuesday reminder on any email blasts you send out after your first #GivingTuesday email.

You should make sure to weave #GivingTuesday into all of your communications — include a “Save the Date” in your e-newsletter, stick it at the bottom of any email blasts. Repetition is the key to making something stick in people’s minds to the more you repeat that #GivingTuesday is on November 28, 2017, the more likely they are to remember it. Take a look at your full calendar of e-blasts to make sure you don’t miss any opportunities to plug #GivingTuesday!

How often you contact your donors about #GivingTuesday is up to you. Here are the must-have emails you’ll want to make sure you send out:

  • Save the Date (send in early September)
  • Announcement that #GivingTuesday donations are open (November 22, 2017)
  • Reminder the day before #GivingTuesday (November 27, 2017)

Day-of

Email is going to be important on #GivingTuesday! Nonprofits typically see great returns with a well-considered #GivingTuesday email campaign. At a minimum, you will want to send these emails:

  • Kick-off email at midnight
  • Another email at the start of the workday
  • Mid-day check-in and CTA to donate
  • Evening email with totals and CTA to donate
  • An email at the start of any Power Hours you’re trying to win
  • An evening check-in and CTA to donate
  • Email warning that #GivingTuesday is ending soon (final hour)

Follow-up

The most important part of any fundraising campaign is closing the loop and setting the stage for your next effort. (End of year fundraising, in this case!) Razoo will send each donor an email with their tax receipt and the custom thank you message your nonprofit creates, but we recommend following up with all of your donors.

Plan on at least one email the day after #GivingTuesday. Thank your donors for helping you reach your goal. Tell them how much you raised and how it will be used. Something special, like a video of your entire staff saying thank you or an email from the Executive Director, are great ways to show your appreciation and keep your donors engaged so they will return to donate to your next campaign.

Woman's hands on computer keyboard

#GivingTuesday Email Best Practices

At Razoo, we often get questions like, “What is the best time to send an email?” and “How often should we email our donors?” The truth is that there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to email marketing. There is no magical number of times you should contact followers that will be sure to keep them engaged but avoid donor fatigue. If we knew of a foolproof subject line formula that lead to opens, we’d certainly tell you. But even if there are no cool “hacks” or tricks you can use, there are best practices you can follow to make the most of your emails on #GivingTuesday.

Segment Your #GivingTuesday Email List

Your supporters are individuals. They came to support your cause in a variety of ways and show their support in different ways. So you should be talking to them as individuals. Make sure you’re sending the right content to the right people, at the right time and frequency.

Take a look at what data you have about the people on your email list. How can you tailor your message to suit each segment? A good place to start is separating out major gift donors, recurring donors, one-time donors, and people on your list who haven’t made a donation yet. Here are some other ideas for segmentation:

  • Volunteers
  • Board members
  • Lapsed donors (last gave over 1 year ago)
  • Interests
  • Where they registered for your emails

A/B Test

If you’re not familiar with A/B testing, it’s testing the response to two variables and comparing the results. When it comes to email marketing, there are a lot of variables you can A/B test: subject lines, button placement and style, email length, colors, images, the list goes on!

We recommend doing your A/B testing during the Build-Up phase of your campaign. Try out different things and measure your results. Use that information to optimize your #GivingTuesday emails when it counts the most!

Optimize for Mobile

It’s a tale as old as time. You spend hours perfecting an email that’s a cornerstone in your fundraising campaign. You fine-tune the copy, make sure you have the perfect images, check and double-check your links … on your desktop computer. You forgot to use a mobile-friendly template and didn’t check how it looks on an iPhone before you sent it. A board member opened it on their phone and lets you know that it looks bad. You’re mortified, and your email performs poorly. But this is so easy to prevent!

Make sure you use mobile-friendly email templates. Programs like Constant Contact and MailChimp make it easy for you to see that a template is mobile-friendly. Stay away from features like columns, sidebars and side-by-side content boxes because they can cause layout problems on mobile devices. And test your emails on different devices to make sure they look good and function the way they’re supposed to!

Do Quality Assurance

Here’s some nightmare fuel for you: imagine sending out an email to all of your supporters with a broken link to your #GivingTuesday page. Scary, right?! Having a Quality Assurance (QA) process in place will prevent this nightmare scenario from ever happening.

Think of QA as a “check yourself before you wreck yourself” policy. You’ll want to assemble a team (at least two detail-oriented people) and a checklist. Here are a few things to include your QA checklist:

  • Check links to ensure they all work
  • Look at how the email displays in different browsers and on different devices
  • Detect and fix any formatting issues (line breaks, color display, alignment)
  • Ensure that alt-text is provided for all images
  • Check for typos, spelling errors or factual errors
  • Double-check that personalized fields are working properly

Include a CTA with an “Ask”

It’s all about the CTA, or call-to-action. Your subject line will get people to open your email and your content will keep them reading, but at the end of the day what matters most is the click-through to your Razoo page. So it’s important to make sure you’ve got a strong CTA. Here are a few best practices to get the clicks you want:

  • Be clear and concise. Your CTA button shouldn’t have two lines!
  • Include why it’s important in your appeal – your donors want to know how their gift will impact your work.
  • Don’t forget to include the ask. Believe it or not, it happens! A CTA button that says “Thank you for your contribution” is not going to be successful. This is because a) it’s not asking for anything, and b) it’s thanking the reader for something they haven’t even done yet (which can make them less inclined to click because they’ve already gotten the thank-you).
  • Keep it focused. Your email should have one CTA. You’ve heard of the famous jam study, right? When you give people too many choices, they tend to choose nothing. The same goes for including too many CTAs and links.

Keep Your Design Simple

It may be tempting to get fancy with your #GivingTuesday emails and add lots of design flourishes, but keep in mind that the most effective email designs are simple, easy to read and digest, use web-safe fonts and look great in all browsers, on all devices. Choose your color palette wisely and stay away from garish or clashing colors.

Make Sure Your Email is Easy to Read

Fundraising is an art and we don’t want to cramp your style, but your emails will perform better if they’re easy to read. Try running your copy through an online Readability Tester to clean up your copy.  

Hand holding card with #GivingTuesday logo and date on it
Register now!

About Linda Gerhardt

Linda spent most of her career in the nonprofit sector before joining Razoo. She has worked for animal welfare groups large and small, in nearly every position. She specializes in social media strategy, communications, and digital marketing.

Leave a Reply