9 ways to make your email fundraising work better

This is the time of year when email shines in fundraising.

Between the many holidays, Giving Tuesday and the final week of the year, this is when email works best.

Here are some powerful email tips from NextAfter, at 9 Proven Steps to Write a Better Year-End Fundraising Email Appeal:

  1. Send your year-end fundraising email from a believable human. The sender visible in the inbox should be a person, not your organization.
  2. Add value and mystery to your subject line. It should communicate that the email is of value to the recipient, and it should do so in a way that sparks their curiosity.
  3. Don’t customize your preview text. Let the preview text just show the first words of the message.
  4. Say hello and call your donor by name. Be friendly and human and use their name. Like we do in personal emails.
  5. Follow the rules of basic fundraising:
    • Explain the problem at hand. A human-sized problem that the donor wants to help solve.
    • Propose a solution. Action the donor can take that will make a difference.
    • Articulate the donor’s impact. Impact that’s meaningful to the donor.
    • Add an incentive to give now. A deadline or other reason to give now
    • Provide a clear call-to-action to donate. Be specific about what they can do. (“Support us” is not specific!)


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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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About the blogger

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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