Here’s great way to write fundraising subject lines

Subject lines are tough. That’s one reason your email open rates are lower than you wish.

Here’s a helpful post from the Fearless Fundraising blog, Email Subject Lines for Gift Officers that might help energize your search for better fundraising subject lines:

  • Greetings from [org name] – hoping to thank you in person
  • Congrats on recent story in [publication] – question about [related topic]
  • Eager for your feedback on [topic]
  • Visiting from [org name] next week – lunch?
  • Connecting with [school name] alumni in [location]
  • [Mutual connection] recommended I get in touch
  • Reaching out from [org name] – hoping for your advice on [area of prospect’s expertise]

These subject lines require person-to-person knowledge in order to fill in most of the blanks. So how can they be useful to a more general audience of donors?

Think of them as brainstorming prompts. What do you share with your donors?

  • Maybe you’re in the same city or area.
  • Maybe you practice the same faith.
  • Maybe there’s some kind of professional or vocational connection.
  • Maybe you share a passion for something specific in the arts or culture area (like opera or American history).

Think about the things you have in common with your donors. Then write genuine emails about those things. If you do that, I think you’ll find the subject line is a lot easier to write.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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