6 Handy Fundraising Email Templates for Nonprofits

You can’t fundraise without building strong donor relationships. And the key to that is efficient communication targeted to different donor groups and personalized for each donor. According to Double the Donation, every 1000 emails that nonprofits send for fundraising appeals gets them an average of $42 in donations. Also, smaller organizations receive the most donation…

9 minutes read
6 Handy Fundraising Email Templates for Nonprofits

fundraising email templates

You can’t fundraise without building strong donor relationships. And the key to that is efficient communication targeted to different donor groups and personalized for each donor.

According to Double the Donation, every 1000 emails that nonprofits send for fundraising appeals gets them an average of $42 in donations. Also, smaller organizations receive the most donation revenue per fundraising email.

You can see how crucial these email communications are for your nonprofit’s fundraising.

Nonprofits send fundraising emails for several reasons, including urgent donation appeals, in-kind gifts for upcoming auctions, and end-of-year campaigns.

The 6 different fundraising email templates that we’ve shared in this article will help you create personalized emails that connect with different donor types and raise more funds for your nonprofit.

6 Fundraising Email Templates for Nonprofits

1. Urgent donation request to supporters

Every nonprofit will face a time when they need funds quickly. If you’ve done your due diligence and built solid relationships with your donor base, you can send an email at times like this and see an outpour of support.

The following template can give you a starting point, but ensure you personalize this email wherever possible.

Subject line: (Donor Name), We Need Your Help!

To (Donor Name),

We’ve appreciated your support over the last (number) years and couldn’t (nonprofit’s mission) without donors like you. We’ve done our best to keep our donors up to date on all changes to our programs through the years and are determined to remain transparent in every situation.

That is why we’re contacting you today.

(Nonprofit Name) needs your urgent help for (explain the situation). A donation of $(amount – as per donor’s giving ability researched from your database) from you can help us (desired result).

Please find the link to our fundraising campaign. You can reach me at (Email) for any questions regarding your donation or for more information on the campaign.

Your long-term support for (nonprofit program or event) has helped us continue our work with (beneficiaries). I know we can count on your help to address this issue today.




(Nonprofit Name)

2. Year-end giving request

End-of-year campaigns are crucial for nonprofits. 28% of nonprofits raise at least half of their annual revenue through year-end giving requests.

The best way to encourage year-end giving is with a powerful story. This email template can help you tell an exciting story that encourages gifts from your donors.

Subject line: (Donor Name), Your gift this Christmas can help children like Samantha

Dear (Donor Name),

Ten years ago, Samantha walked up to her new foster home. All she had in her hands was a small garbage bag full of ratty clothes that no longer fit her frame. She didn’t own anything of her own and was sure she never would.

Unfortunately, Samantha’s story isn’t uncommon. Thousands of foster children are sent to their new homes with only a few small items if anything at all. Samantha is grown now and she works with our nonprofit (Nonprofit Name) to ensure other kids never feel like she did.

You can help Samantha and us on this journey by helping children in need.

This year, your kind donation of $(donation amount – personalize it with donor research) will help provide children with a new bag full of clothes and toys just for them.

Click here to make a donation to our Christmas campaign. Your donation will be tax deductible and you’ll receive a donation receipt in your inbox immediately after the donation.

Donors like you can change lives. Please help us make this Christmas a happy season for children like Samantha.




(Nonprofit Name)

We have an episode on The Nonprofit Podcast, where our experts Cara Augspurger and Kara Schmid have shared tried and tested tactics to write year-end giving appeals that work. Give it a listen here.

3. In-kind donation request to a local business

Nonprofits that hold auctions as part of their fundraising events need a way to collect items. The best way to do this is by sending in-kind donation requests to businesses.

Your nonprofit can use the following template for any event auction.

Subject line: Request for a Silent Auction Item

Dear (Contact Person’s Name),

Did you know our organization (Nonprofit Name) is helping (explain nonprofit mission)? Our donors are extremely passionate about this cause and share their passion and support with companies that help us meet our goals.

With our upcoming (Event Name), we hope to meet the fundraising goal of $30,000 to be able to help (talk about beneficiaries and the possible impact). For that to happen, we’ve included a (live/silent) auction and need items that fit our donors’ interests.

We’re reaching out to 10 local businesses that can support us with suitable auction items and we realized that your company’s (products/services) are a perfect match!

We’d love to discuss how (Company Name) can help us with a (gift example). In exchange for your gift, your company will receive (list all marketing opportunities).

I look forward to discussing this opportunity to collaborate with your company when you’re available. Feel free to reach out to me at (Email or Phone Number).




(Nonprofit Name)

4. Sponsorship request to company

In-kind donations aren’t the only way companies can help. This email template will help you get started, but don’t limit yourself.

Nonprofits can reach out to businesses for sponsorships, donations, matching gifts, volunteers, and more.

Subject line: Join us for (Event Name) on (Date)

To (Contact Person’s Name),

It’s that time of year again. Our (number of years) Annual Gala is scheduled for (event date), and we look forward to having (Company Name) join us as (Sponsorship Title).

Your donations to (Nonprofit Name) in the past have helped us (explain the impact they helped create). (Number of attendees) people from our community attended last year’s event and were introduced to your (products/services).

We look forward to sharing more about your company with our community and supporters this year. Please visit the sponsorship page that includes a form for you to understand each level of sponsorship and make a donation. We’ve also added several new marketing opportunities at every sponsorship level.

I look forward to speaking with you about this sponsorship opportunity and answering any questions you may have. Please reply to this email or contact us at (Email).




(Nonprofit Name)

5. Follow-up request email

After sending a sponsorship request or appeal for a significant gift, you should never stop after only one email. A follow-up email request can remind donors and companies of your request. They also give you another opportunity to brainstorm a creative way to ask.

Subject line: (Donor Name), we miss you

Dear (Donor Name),

I’m reaching out to you today because we haven’t heard from you. I recently sent you an email about our (Event or Campaign Name) and would love to know if you’re interested in joining us.

Your previous donation of $(amount from your database) helped us (talk about the impact of their previous donation). We’d love to continue our relationship and ensure that you see how your gifts have made a difference.

When you have time, please visit our (event or campaign page) to learn more about this year’s (event/campaign). I look forward to speaking with you if you have any questions.

Reply to this email or contact us at (email address and phone number).




(Nonprofit Name)

6. Bonus – Email to pitch the media for a fundraising event

Nonprofits may have a few different reasons to communicate with their local press. One of the most common reasons is to inform them of an upcoming event.

While many media sources have automatic systems to publicize your event, you can also send a press release with an enticing subject line and basic event information. This email template will give you a better idea of how to start this conversation with a reporter.

Subject line: Appeal for a story on (Nonprofit Name’s) (Event)

Dear (Contact Name),

I recently read an article on (topic) published by (Publication Name). Our organization (Nonprofit Name) has been working for (number of years) to address issues that your article put forward.

(Write more on your nonprofit’s purpose and why the media should be interested. Mentioning your impact with real numbers would be effective.)

I was hoping you might like to do a story on our upcoming fundraising event (Name of Event) taking place on (event date). With this event, we hope to meet a fundraising goal of $20,000 to help (talk about beneficiaries). To learn more, you can check out our event page here.

So far, we’ve managed to sell tickets worth $5000 and we’re positive that an article in your reputed publication would help us reach our goal.

If this sounds good to you, we can talk about our event in detail and the impact we aim to create with it. My team and I would be happy to help with all the information you’ll need for the story.

I’d also love to invite you to learn more about our organization at the event.

Looking forward to speaking with you soon. Feel free to reply to this email or call (phone number).




(Nonprofit Name)

6 Tips to Help Utilize a Template for the Best Fundraising Email

With all these templates at hand, your next step would be to customize them to fit your organization’s brand, tone, donor demographics, and fundraising needs. Here are a few tips to make this process easier and more efficient for your nonprofit.

1. Personalize your subject lines

The first part of a fundraising email you can’t ignore is the subject line. Your email’s subject line is the first, and often only, thing donors see.

It also determines whether your email ends up in your primary, promotions, or spam folder. If your email ends up in the donors’ spam file, you can kiss that donation goodbye.

To get your email in donors’ primary or promotion files, you must personalize your subject line and ensure it catches donors’ attention. Storing donor demographics and program interests in your database makes it easier to segment donors and send personalized emails.

Donorbox securely stores your donors’ information with all the details they input while making donations. You have the ability to update donor profiles and add communication notes. You can also add your offline donors to our database. Next, you can segment donor data by applying basic and advanced filters to personalize your email communications.

donor segmentation on donorbox

Donorbox Donor Management - Learn More!

2. Thank them first

If you’re lucky enough to get donors to open your emails, the first thing they see can’t be a request for money.

Fundraising is about relationship building. Do you start conversations with your friends, family, or boss asking for money? Of course not. You start with some small talk and butter them up, then you nicely ask for a raise or more allowance.

Donors are no different. Your fundraising email should start by thanking them for their support and explaining how their donations have made a difference. Once you’ve clarified how much you appreciate their help, you can ask for a gift.

3. Clarify gift impact

Donors will give more if they see how their gifts can make a difference. You must get specific and share how exact gift amounts will have an impact.

One way to do this is with a story. Stories help people remember and care about your cause. They also give donors a role in that cause. Donors should see themselves as a Yoda who is there to help the hero of the story reach their goal.

In situations where showing future impact might be difficult, you can talk about how their last donations helped your beneficiaries. This motivates them to make another donation to help.

With an effective donor database that stores your donor and donation information, this should be a breeze. Donorbox helps keep track of donations and segment them to find out more. You can also integrate with CRM tools like Blackbaud RE NXT, HubSpot, Salesforce, and more to utilize this data for in-depth analysis before writing your emails.

managing donations on donorbox

Track & Manage Donations With Donorbox

4. Don’t forget the images

Remember that a picture can speak a thousand words. Photos of kids or animals can say even more and often give nonprofits a better return.

If your organization doesn’t work with children or animals, don’t despair. A video can be even more powerful. You can share an interview with your Board Chairperson or Executive Director or a 360-degree video tour of your facility.

Make sure all images and videos help tell the story as to why you need donations.

5. Include a CTA

Finally, it’s time to ask for a donation or other Call-to-Action (CTA).

You should include a CTA several times throughout the email by adding it in the text and with a donate button. When creating a CTA button, it’s essential to match your organization’s branding.

6. Bonus tip – Improve your email open rates

In 2022, the average email open rate was 16.97%. But Jennings Wright, the Founder and Executive Director of Ten Eighteen Uganda, managed to triple this rate – that too, twice a week! In the below podcast episode, she shared,

Every organization no matter who they’re serving has a personal story to tell, and the way to do it is as if I am sitting here having coffee with a new friend!

It’s just one of the tactics she put into practice to achieve that success. Get more insights by listening to this episode.

Get Started With Donorbox

In Conclusion

As you can see, your nonprofit needs to send fundraising emails to various contacts for different reasons. The text of each fundraising email will depend significantly on your end goal and the relationship you’ve already built.

We hope the 6 fundraising email templates we’ve shared help you get started but remember to personalize your email whenever possible.

A powerful donor database like Donorbox Donor Management would help you segment your donor profiles and facilitate the process of personalization.

We have a number of other features to help elevate your fundraising and donor management. From Recurring Donations to Crowdfunding to Text-to-Give to Events to Memberships, and many more, learn about them on our website.

Sign up to start fundraising now.

Explore our collection of guides, free templates and samples, tips, and best practices on the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog. Subscribe to our newsletter to have us send our best resources to your inbox every month!

Avatar photo

Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development.

  • linkedin
  • url

Join the fundraising movement!

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive the latest blogs, news, and more in your inbox.

Take your donor experience to the next level!
Join the 50,000+ nonprofits already raising funds online.
Join Our Newsletter
Get a monthly curated round-up of our best posts and feature updates. (You can unsubscribe anytime.)
Join Our Newsletter
Get a monthly curated round-up of our best posts and feature updates. (You can unsubscribe anytime.)
Join a 30min Demo to see how Donorbox can help you reach your fundraising goals!
Join a 30min Live Demo to see how Donorbox can help you reach your fundraising goals!