Email is a powerful yet cost-effective way to let your audience know about your fundraiser.

But even if you know that already, it can still be hard to find the right words when asking people to donate their money to your organization and cause.

In this guide, we’ll show you a selection of fundraiser email templates that you can use to engage with your audience and encourage donations without needing to start from scratch.

We’ll also show you some best practices and advice for sending fundraising emails that resonate with your email list.

Let’s jump in.

Individual vs. Businesses: Does The Recipient Matter?

The first factor affecting your emails will be whether you’re asking individuals or businesses to donate to you.

If you’re emailing individuals, you usually won’t be able to personalize your emails as much as you could with a campaign targeting businesses because you’ll send a much higher volume of emails.

However, in truth, it doesn’t matter. Everyone receiving your email — whether they’re an individual donor or if they run a business — expects you to treat them as an individual.

We'll show you a mixture of templates that work for sending to both business donors and individual donors.

Checklist: Fundraising Email Best Practice

Before you send any emails, here's a checklist of best practices to ensure the emails you send will give you the best chance of hitting your donation targets.

1. Show What’s In It For Your Recipient

Your emails need to highlight the cause you’re gathering donations for. If not, no one will take the time to dig into your website and learn more. 

As well as that, consider adding extra benefits that come with a donation.

For example:

  • Will their donation lead to tangible benefits for the cause?

  • Will a donation give them access to any other benefits at your organization, such as invites to member events?

  • Can they get involved in any projects for your organization, such as volunteering or letter writing?

These are great ways to improve donation volume as your audience will feel more invested in the process on a personal level.

And, if you can get someone to take an extra step like volunteering or attending an event, they’ll be more likely to donate again in the future.

2. Make It Story-Driven

No one wants to donate to a faceless organization, no matter how good your promises are. To encourage donations, use stories in your emails.

Use real examples and case studies of work that your charity or nonprofit has carried out, and people or causes you’ve helped. For example, a story about how your nonprofit helped an individual overcome a personal struggle is more compelling than saying: “To date, we’ve helped 9,120 people with [problem]”. 

Linking your donation request to a relatable story is one of the best ways to drive donations as it’s emotive and compelling.

3. Use Your Subject Line and Snippet Effectively

Your email subject line is important if you want to stand out in your recipients' inbox and improve the chances that people read your email.

That doesn't mean you can use clickbait subject lines. That will destroy the trust your audience has in you.

Instead, keep it simple and use it to highlight the benefits of opening your email.

Here are two examples:

  • Help us support [cause]

  • We need your help with [problem]

Use words like "us" to foster a sense of community and make your recipient feel like they're already part of your organization.

As well as that, think about the ‘snippet’: that’s the words you use in the first line of your email that recipients can see before opening it.

4. Don’t Ignore Past Donors

19% of donors will donate again in the future. However, if someone donates to your organization twice, 63% will donate again after that.

It’s essential to segment your email list to ensure your high-value repeat donors are uniquely catered to. That could mean sending them more interesting content or finding ways to add more personalization to the emails.

You can use different call-to-actions in emails to existing donors. Instead of focusing on generating an initial donation, you can ask for high-value actions such as joining a monthly or recurring donation plan, or asking for higher-priced donations.

5 Fundraiser Email Templates You Can Use Today

Use these templates to quickly get up to speed and get your email campaigns ready to send. Remember, always tailor your templates to your organization and audience to ensure they align with your goals.

1. Fundraising Email Template to a Local Business

This fundraising works because of a few key elements:

  • It’s specific to the location of your recipient

  • There’s a success story highlighted

  • There’s social proof thanks to the mention of three similar companies

  • There’s a clear benefit for the donor

  • The call-to-action is simple and direct

Here’s the template:

Subject: Help us support environmental projects in [location]

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Last year your donations helped us plant over 1,000 trees in [location], which are on track to absorb thousands of tonnes of CO2 in their lifetime.

We’ve been lucky enough to have the support of companies in [location] such as [company 1], [company 2], and [company 3], and their donations played an important role in this initiative.

This year, it would be great to have {{}} onboard with us. You’ll be featured on our website and be highlighted as a supporter in our promotional materials in [location].

Would you be interested in supporting us on this?



2. Encouraging Businesses to Register as a Monthly Donor

Asking local businesses to become donors doesn’t have to be daunting. Highlight the key benefits for the business, like advertising, promotional opportunities, and the chance to support important local initiatives, and many will be happy to help.

This template works because:

  • There’s a unique, personalized opening line that couldn’t be sent to anyone else

  • You’ve clearly researched other organizations that they support

  • There’s a clear and simple call-to-action

Subject: Becoming a donor for [organization]?

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

It’s been great to see the success that {{}} has had lately — a few members of our team visited and sampled your coffee last week, big thanks to your team for the hospitality.

As your business has always been involved in local projects such as [example #1] and [example #2, I wanted to see if you’d be interested in becoming a donor for [organization]. 

All of our monthly donors are featured on our website, and get special mentions at events we hold throughout the year around [location].

Do you have time for a 20-minute call to discuss it this week?



3. Fundraiser Email Template to a Wider Audience

If your organization works in a local area, you should already have a list of subscribers living or working in the area. In this case, we’re raising money for local schools, but there are only a few days to go before donations close.

This template works because:

  • It’s related to an issue that many people in the area would care about

  • There’s social proof as the number of donors is mentioned

  • There’s a unique benefit for donors

  • The call-to-action is clear

Subject: Can you help us hit our targets?

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

If you’ve kept up with our last few emails, you’ll know that we’re hard at work raising funds for schools around [location].

The support from our community so far has been incredible, and after hundreds of donations, we’re currently just $3,500 away from our target — with four days left to go.

We’d be extremely grateful for any donations. We’ll also be hosting a few events around [location] where donors will have priority access.

If you’d like to donate, click here — it takes less than 60 seconds.



4. Event Invitation and Reminder Email

Events are a powerful marketing tactic for charities and nonprofit organizations. They’re a great way to foster a real sense of belonging for donors as well as offering an incentive to raise money. Events, such as a charity 5K run, can be a great way to hit your fundraising goals without making prospective donors feel like there’s nothing in it for them.

This template works because:

  • The opening line is personal

  • You remind recipients of the event details

  • You’ve included useful information to help people attend

Subject: Will we see you at the 5K on Saturday?

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Will I be seeing you at [organization]’s charity 5K run on Saturday?

100+ people have registered so far, so it’s looking like it’ll be a great event. All donations from the event will go to [cause] and it’d be great to have your support.

The run will start at [location], at [time]. Click here for the event page with all of the details.

There’s no fee to enter, and you can donate on the day if you’d like to.

See you there?



5. The Thank You Email

After someone donates to you, it’s essential to follow up with a thank you email. It proves that you care about their donations, no matter how big or small.

Here’s why this email works:

  • It confirms that you received their donation

  • You thank them and make them feel valued

  • You let them know what they can expect from you next

Subject: Thank you for joining our mission

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Thank you for your donation. The whole team at [organization] truly appreciates it.

Your donation will help us fund local food banks, support new employment initiatives, and improve the lives of people who need help in our local community.

You’ll also be receiving your donor welcome pack in the mail over the next few days, which includes details on upcoming events and initiatives you can get involved with. We’ll also send you periodic updates to keep you up to date on our progress.

Thank you again,


Boost Donations with Follow-Ups and Reminders

Your donors are busy with their own work and life. There’s no guarantee they’ll see your first email. To make sure they do, send a sequence of friendly follow-up emails reminding people that you’re raising money.

These will massively increase the chances of generating donations.

Every follow-up should be unique in some way. For example: 

  • Adding a new success story

  • Highlighting projects that your volunteers have been working on

  • Framing your ask in a new way

Extra Tip: Keep In Touch Throughout The Year

To stay top of mind and ensure your fundraising emails deliver the results you’re hoping for, send reminder emails to your list throughout the calendar year.

Use these to: 

  • Highlight the work your organization is doing

  • Show how donations are being used

  • Show why your cause needs support

As well as regular updates, thank your donors for their support and past donations. You’ll show that you’re not just showing up in their inbox to ask for money, but want to keep them updated and build a healthy relationship with them.

When it’s time to send a fundraising email they’ll already know the benefits of donating and be ready and willing to help.

Making Sure Your Emails Land In Your Recipients’ Inbox

The more of your emails that land in your audience’s primary inbox, the higher chances you have of securing donations. 

That means you need to review and prepare your email account to get the best deliverability possible. If you want to learn more about improving your deliverability, check out our comprehensive guide to it here

Here are the key details you should know:

  • Set up your DKIM, SPF, and DMARC records

  • Warm-up your inbox using an email warm-up tool

  • Don’t use too many images or rich media in your emails

  • Keep an engaged list and only send emails to people who want to receive your campaigns

If you need confirmation of how healthy your email account is and whether your emails are likely to land in the primary inbox or in spam, you can periodically review your auto-warmer report.

Good deliverability isn’t complicated, but it does require some initial work to set up your email account.

Sending Your Fundraising Emails at Scale

As your email list grows, you need to find ways to send your fundraising emails to everyone without compromising on personalization or deliverability.

To do that, use QuickMail: a platform for sending automated and personalized emails to your email list at scale.

Importing Your Email List

If you have a spreadsheet of past and prospective donors that you’re ready to start emailing, you can quickly upload those. Make sure you’ve included all of the relevant information in your spreadsheet, such as email addresses, names, and any other useful identifying information you have on your audience.

Then, import your spreadsheet into QuickMail.

Ensure your contact details are correctly assigned for each one during the import process:

When the import is complete, you’ll be ready to start creating and sending your campaigns.

Creating Your Email Campaigns

Then, head to your Campaigns, and create a new campaign.

From here, you can add a new step, which will be the first email in your fundraising campaign.

Add your subject line, and email template in the editor, and save.

Anywhere you use an attribute such as {{prospect.first_name}} will be personalized based on the information you included in your spreadsheet.

Follow Up Automatically

You’ll need to follow up to ensure your prospective donors don’t forget about you.

Make sure to add a new Email step, with a delay after your first email. Depending on your goals, you could have a short delay, or, extend your campaign over a longer period.

Following up is a great way to ensure your audience doesn’t miss out on a chance to donate. Use them to highlight compelling reasons to contribute to your cause.

Track The Success of Your Campaigns

The ultimate metric for your capital campaigns is whether or not you hit your fundraising goal.

However, there are other ways to monitor the performance of your emails on an ongoing basis.

Using QuickMail you can see useful metrics including:

  • Open rate: A strong indicator of whether you’re landing in your audience’s primary inbox or not

  • Clickthrough rate: With click tracking. you can measure how many people are clicking on your linked call to actions

  • Reply rate: If your emails are focused on generating replies, you’ll want to see if it’s working. If you’re asking people if they’re free for a call and you’re getting no replies, you can try alternating your ask to see what works

Over time you can find ways to improve and optimize your campaigns to hit your donation targets more effectively.

Wrapping Up

Email is the perfect channel to engage with your donors at scale.

These templates will help you put together email campaigns that are personalized, relevant, and show your audience why it’s worth donating to your cause.

Use these templates as a starting point, and edit them to fit your nonprofit or charity's unique audience and needs.