#GivingTuesday 2020 Email Templates

GivingTuesday email templates

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GivingTuesday, the Global Day of Giving, was created in 2012. It’s grown exponentially since then, with nonprofits around the world raising money and celebrating generosity on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. 

If your organization participated in GivingTuesday the past, you may have marketing and fundraising materials to pull from. After all, you’ve already built email templates, created communication flows and gotten your campaigns down to a science. 

Unfortunately, to risk a major understatement, things are different in 2020. 

This year, you can’t simply plug in your new details into old campaign templates. In order to address the current crises and be truly responsive to your donors, you have to acknowledge the ways that donors’ lives have changed. This means, at the very least, you’ll need some new donor tags and segments. 

If you haven’t participated in GivingTuesday before, you may be wondering if 2020 is really the year to take the plunge. To find your answer, look to your donor data. Are donors engaging with your communications? Are they giving, even if the amount they give has changed? If so, GivingTuesday may still be worth exploring. Tough times don’t eliminate generosity and your campaign may be a welcome opportunity for donors to connect with the things they care about most. 

6 Part GivingTuesday Master Email Template

Before we can start adapting to appeal to specific donor segments, let’s look at the basics of a GivingTuesday email template. 

Personal Salutation

Greet your donor warmly by name. 

Message of Gratitude and Introduction

Right off the bat, you need to do three things in this email: thank your donors for the support they’ve given you already, introduce or reintroduce GivingTuesday, and acknowledge the realities of 2020.

’Thank your donors for the support they’ve already given. Instead of generic, “Thank you for being a supporter” use donor segmentation to personalize the message as much as possible. “Your peer-to-peer campaign made such a difference this summer,” “It was great to see you at our virtual gala in May.” 

This is also where you briefly introduce GivingTuesday and your goal to the donor. If they gave last year on GivingTuesday, make sure to reference that. If you participated in the 2020 May 5 GivingTuesday Now event, include that, too. 

And finally, the elephant in the room. This year isn’t like other years. You don’t have to dig deep into pandemics, elections, or natural disasters, but if you totally skip acknowledging current crises, you’ll risk disconnecting with your donors. 

Story of Impact

On GivingTuesday, it’s very easy to accidentally make the story of your email “There is a thing called GivingTuesday.” This is not likely to spark a lot of passion from your donors on its own. 

Show how their contributions changed a life or made a difference with a quick story. Use a quote from someone who was helped, share a picture or video of a program in action, or simply explain the problem you’re tackling and what kind of progress you’re making. 

Your CRM helps make it possible to tell specific donor groups the kind of stories they’re most interested in. If you know you have donor personas that care most about particular programs, create stories that speak directly to their passions. 

Call-to-Action

Invite the donor to do one specific thing like make a donation, share on social media, or forward the email to friends. 

There are several things a donor could do on GivingTuesday to help your campaign, but it’s best to limit yourself to one call-to-action per communication. Don’t ask them to donate, share, and forward all at once–you’ll muddy the message and risk distracting or overwhelming your donors. 

Use your CRM to determine the best donation amounts and asks for each donor. 

Signature

Your email should be from one real person. It can be the executive director,  but it doesn’t have to be–a program worker, a board member, or a volunteer are all good options, too. It makes sense to match the sender to the segment you’re sending to. An email from a volunteer coordinator they know may mean more to volunteers than an executive director they’ve never met. 

PS

Exact figures vary, but it’s safe to say that a stunning majority of people read the postscript first. As the last thing in the email, it’s also one of the most memorable. Don’t miss out on this valuable communication device. 

Fill In the Blanks

Dear/Hello/Hi [Name],

[Message of Gratitude and Introduction]

This GivingTuesday our goal is to raise [$] for [Program] to [name specific impact].

[Brief Impact Story]

[Call- to-Action]

[Signature]

[PS]

GivingTuesday Master Template In Action

Here’s what a GivingTuesday email using the six-part master template looks like. 

Subject: Make a Middle Schooler’s Day on December 1!

Header Text: Middle School doesn’t have to be this lonely!

Hello Sarah,

Practically everything has changed at Growing Organization this year, but one thing has been sure, strong and unchanging: Your support. 

As we navigate this truly unique year, you keep showing up for the kids we serve. It was wonderful to see you at the virtual gala in May, and your peer-to-peer birthday fundraiser really helped us out in August. Thank you!

December 1, 2020, is GivingTuesday, a global day of generosity. This year, our goal is to raise $10,000 to make our middle school mentorship program virtual and reduce loneliness for sixth and seventh graders.

Eighth-grader Ava was all set to become a peer mentor this year, after being a successful mentee in sixth and seventh grade. She says, “I’m so excited to help other kids because having a mentor helped me so much. Before I had a mentor, I had a stomachache every day before school, I was so nervous about being there. My mentor helped me practice relaxing and being myself. I want to help someone like that.” 

We want that, too, but we’re going to have to go online to make it happen. 

Right now, we have 30 sixth and seventh graders who have applied for mentors, but we need to revamp our training, monitoring, and coaching systems to work entirely online before we can match them up. Will you help us reach these students with the help they need? 

Your gift of $35 this GivingTuesday will make middle school less awful and friendship a lot easier for an Our Town student. Make it today! 

Whether you’re a sixth-grader or a grownup, we all need someone we can count on. I’m glad we can count on you, Sarah!

Sincerely,

Mari Smith, Peer Mentorship Coordinator

PS–For ten years running the biggest social concern seventh-graders had was bullying, but this year it’s loneliness. An online mentor will help with that a lot! Give today to make it possible. 

Adapting Your Email Templates to 2020

You should always adapt your email templates to respond to donor signals and appeal to donor personas, but this year it’s particularly important. It’s likely that many of your supporters are having a hard time, one way or another. If you don’t respond to that, you risk donors finding you irrelevant and uncaring. 

A general principle to keep in mind for GivingTuesday and beyond is that generosity takes many forms. Just because someone is unable or unwilling to donate doesn’t mean they can’t be generous. Donors can also share their time, influence and expertise.  

For Donors Who Can’t Donate This Year

There are a lot of reasons people may not be able to give money this year. Job loss, medical expenses, and a general sense of insecurity can all influence giving. Listen to your donors–if someone has told you they can’t donate, don’t ask them for money.

Your first option is to send a thank you note for their past support without any ask at all. Simply remove your fundraising information and ask from the template. However, if the donors have social media presence or spheres of online influence, you may want to ask for a social share instead. Adjust the call-to-action and PS to reflect that ask. 

Dear/Hello/Hi [Name],

[Message of Gratitude and Introduction]

This GivingTuesday our goal is to raise [$] for [Program] to [name specific impact]. Will you help us spread the word?

[Brief Impact Story]

[Call- to-Action–Ask again to share]

[Signature]

[PS–Add specific share ask]

Here’s how our original email template would change:

Subject: Help us spread the word!

Header Text: Middle School doesn’t have to be this lonely!

Hello Sarah,

Practically everything has changed at Growing Organization this year, but one thing has been sure, strong and unchanging: Your support. 

As we navigate this truly unique year, you keep showing up for the kids we serve. It was wonderful to see you at the virtual gala in May, and your peer-to-peer birthday fundraiser really helped us out in August. Thank you!

December 1, 2020, is GivingTuesday, a global day of generosity. This year, our goal is to raise $10,000 to make our middle school mentorship program virtual and reduce loneliness among sixth and seventh graders. I want to invite you to share the campaign with your social media network.

Eighth-grader Ava was all set to become a peer mentor this year, after being a successful mentee in sixth and seventh grade. She says, “I’m so excited to help other kids because having a mentor helped me so much. Before I had a mentor, I had a stomachache every day before school, I was so nervous about being there. My mentor helped me practice relaxing and being myself. I want to help someone like that.” 

We want that, too, but we’re going to have to go online to make it happen. 

Right now, we have 30 sixth and seventh graders who have applied for mentors, but we need to revamp our training, monitoring, and coaching systems to work entirely online before we can match them up. Will you help us spread the word? 

Let’s come together as a community to make middle school less awful and friendship a lot easier for an Our Town student. Here’s the link to share!

Whether you’re a sixth-grader or a grownup, we all need someone we can count on. I’m glad we can count on you, Sarah!

Sincerely,

Mari Smith, Peer Mentorship Coordinator

PS–For ten years running the biggest social concern seventh-graders had was bullying, but this year it’s loneliness. An online mentor will help with that a lot!  Can you forward this email to 5 friends? 

For Volunteers

Asking volunteers for money can be a little tricky because you have to make sure to acknowledge the entire range of their contributions to your organization. You’ll want to avoid suggesting that you’re only interested in their money.

However, volunteers can also be passionate donors, so you shouldn’t entirely avoid soliciting them. Listen to their signals, then you can decide if it makes sense to suggest a monetary donation.

To adjust your template for volunteers, make sure you reference their service in your message of gratitude and introduction. That section should reflect their intimate knowledge of the programs you’re talking about. 

Dear/Hello/Hi [Name],

[Message of Gratitude and Introduction]

[Specific thanks for volunteering]

This GivingTuesday our goal is to raise [$] for [Program] to [name specific impact].

[Brief Impact Story]

[Call- to-Action]

[Signature]

[PS]

 

That template adjustment might look something like this:

Subject: You know the difference a mentor can make!

Header Text: Keep the mentorship program thriving in 2021

Hello Sarah,

Practically everything has changed at Growing Organization this year, but one thing has been sure, strong and unchanging: Your support. 

No matter what we’ve thrown at you during the past six months, you’ve rolled with it. Find a way to safely celebrate the graduating eighth-graders? You did it. Switch over all our in-school materials to home-delivered packets? You were ready to take it on. The volunteers have truly outdone themselves in 2020. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

You won’t be surprised that we’ve decided to make the middle school mentorship program entirely virtual. It won’t be easy, but we know that with your help, we can make it happen. That’s why we’ve dedicated our GivingTuesday fundraiser to raising the money to do it. Our goal is to raise $10,000 before midnight on December 1.

I know I don’t have to tell you the difference middle school mentors make. We have 15 new prospective mentors, but no way to safely train and monitor them. 

Eighth-grader Ava says, “I’m so excited to help other kids because having a mentor helped me so much. Before I had a mentor, I had a stomachache every day before school, I was so nervous about being there. My mentor helped me practice relaxing and being myself. I want to help someone like that.” 

We want that, too, but we’re going to have to go online to make it happen. 

Right now, we have 30 sixth and seventh graders who have applied for mentors, but we can’t match them until we revamp our training, monitoring, and coaching systems to work entirely online. Will you help us reach these students with the help they need? 

Your gift of $25 this GivingTuesday will make middle school less awful and friendship a lot easier for an Our Town student. Make it today! 

Whether you’re a sixth-grader or a grownup, we all need someone we can count on. I’m glad we can count on you, Sarah!

Sincerely,

Mari Smith, Peer Mentorship Coordinator

PS–For ten years running the biggest social concern seventh-graders had was bullying, but this year it’s loneliness. An online mentor will help with that a lot! Give today to make it possible. 

For a Corporate Match

One way your donors can maximize their impact is if their employer offers an employee giving program or corporate matching. With so much going on, they may not be aware of the program or remember it, but with social scraping and automation, you might be able to find out if they work somewhere with a program. Then you can tag donors in your CRM to specifically target this kind of giving.

Corporate matching isn’t just about your organization getting more revenue, although that’s certainly great. It’s also about providing donor satisfaction. Matching funds allow donors to give more to something they’re passionate about. It’s essentially free money for them to donate, and when they participate in their employer’s program, they’re using a benefit. 

Change your message of gratitude and introduction and call-to-action to make this kind of ask. 

Dear/Hello/Hi [Name],

[Message of Gratitude and Introduction]

[Inform them of matching eligibility]

This GivingTuesday our goal is to raise [$] for [Program] to [name specific impact].

[Brief Impact Story]

[Call- to-Action with Reference to Match]

[Signature]

[PS]

See It In Action

Subject: Double your impact this GivingTuesday!

Header Text: Use your employer match to make a middle schooler’s day!

Hello Sarah,

Practically everything has changed at Growing Organization this year, but one thing has been sure, strong and unchanging: Your support. 

As we navigate this truly unique year, you keep showing up for the kids we serve. It was wonderful to see you at the virtual gala in May, and your peer-to-peer birthday fundraiser really helped us out in August. Thank you!

December 1, 2020, is GivingTuesday, a global day of generosity. This year, our goal is to raise $10,000 to make our middle school mentorship program virtual and reduce loneliness among sixth and seventh graders.

I wanted to make sure you know that as an employee of (CORPORATION), you have the opportunity to double your gift with employee matching. 

Eighth-grader Ava was all set to become a peer mentor this year, after being a successful mentee in sixth and seventh grade. She says, “I’m so excited to help other kids because having a mentor helped me so much. Before I had a mentor, I had a stomachache every day before school, I was so nervous about being there. My mentor helped me practice relaxing and being myself. I want to help someone like that.” 

We want that, too, but we’re going to have to go online to make it happen. 

Right now, we have 30 sixth and seventh graders who have applied for mentors, but we need to revamp our training, monitoring, and coaching systems to work entirely online before we can match them up. Will you help us reach these students with the help they need? 

When you make a gift of $25 this GivingTuesday through your employee giving program, you’ll make $50 of impact. Make middle school less awful and friendship a lot easier for an Our Town student. Make it today! 

Whether you’re a sixth-grader or a grownup, we all need someone we can count on. I’m glad we can count on you, Sarah!

Sincerely,

Mari Smith, Peer Mentorship Coordinator

PS–For ten years running the biggest social concern seventh-graders had was bullying, but this year it’s loneliness. An online mentor will help with that a lot! Give today to make it possible. 

To Suggest a Next Step

For some of your donors, a GivingTuesday gift is not their next, best action. As you listen to their donor signals, you may find that what you really want to do is invite them to learn more about your programs.

This invitation can still follow the same basic template structure. Adjust the message of gratitude and introduction and call-to-action to make sure they know you’re not directly fundraising.

Dear/Hello/Hi [Name],

[Message of Gratitude and Introduction]

This GivingTuesday, we’re focusing on/celebrating/calling attention to [Program you’re fundraising for]

[Brief Impact Story]

[Call- to-Action–Invite to learn more]

[Signature]

[PS]

Here’s An Example

Subject: How can we make middle school less lonely?

Header Text: Learn more about middle school mentorship

Hello Sarah,

Practically everything has changed at Growing Organization this year, but one thing has been sure, strong and unchanging: Your support. 

As we navigate this truly unique year, you’ve really shown up for the kids we serve. Thank you again for your generous gift this spring. 

December 1, 2020, is GivingTuesday, a global day of generosity. This year, we’re celebrating by focusing on our middle school mentorship program. 

Middle school can be rough for a lot of kids (I know it was for me!), but a mentor can transform the experience. 

Eighth-grader Ava is a prospective mentor, who had a mentor herself in sixth and seventh grade. She says, “Before I had a mentor, I had a stomach ache every day before school, I was so nervous about being there. My mentor helped me practice relaxing and being myself. I want to help someone like that.” 

Right now, we’re working on transforming our in-person mentorship program to a virtual one so that we can safely make sure every kid who wants one has a mentor, whether they can meet in-person or not. I’d love to show you what we’re working on, would you like to schedule a Zoom call together to talk about it? 

Whether you’re a sixth-grader or a grownup, we all need someone we can count on. I’m glad we can count on you, Sarah!

Sincerely,

Mari Smith, Peer Mentorship Coordinator

PS–For ten years running the biggest social concern seventh-graders had was bullying, but this year it’s loneliness. We need to connect kids with mentors ASAP! 

Be Responsive This GivingTuesday

More than ever, nonprofits have to show donors that they’re listening. This GivingTuesday, use automation, your CRM, and this template with segmentation to offer each of your donors an appropriate, personalized message that they can take action on and say, “yes!” to.

Responsive Fundraising: The Blueprint for Engaging Modern Donors

Traditional fundraising strategies no longer work. This blueprint explains why today's donor expects more, and how nonprofits are shifting to responsive fundraising.

Get the Blueprint