Write a great fundraising email

writing an effective fundraising email

Hi everyone! If you’re looking for an example of a great school fundraising email, here’s one from an actual FarmRaiser campaign last year that was very effective. Feel free to use this as a starting point for your own emails, and update  it with links to your online fundraising market, websites of the local farmers and artisans, and appropriate dates and personal information, etc. If you have any additions or tips, feel free to leave them in the comments section. Scroll down for our analysis and explanation of why this works — with a little practice, you’ll be writing effective fundraising emails in no time.

Subject line: Eat, drink and help ACDS fight hunger

Hi Steve

Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined — would you like to help me fight hunger by drinking a really good cup of coffee? I’m writing to you because I’m selling some awesome healthy, local products from Vigilante Coffee, Truly-Life Eco Gifts, Blue Ridge Produce, and Fruitcycle as part of a fundraiser my school is hosting to support Stop Hunger Now, a program that packs backpacks full of food and sends them to areas of need. Will you please help us by buying of a pound of coffee, or box of fruits and vegetables through our online fundraising market 

Our fundraising campaign is different this year because it’s not a fundraiser–it’s a FarmRaiserThat means that when you buy from our online market, 85%+ of the price will support the ACDS Campaign to Stop Hunger Now and our local food system. If you don’t live in the Alexandria area but still want to support this cause, you can make a donation or purchase a Community Basket, which benefits our cause and provides fresh food for local food bank. Click here to strengthen our local economy and fight hunger.

Thanks again for your support! I’ll talk to you again in a day or two to see if you have any questions.

Love,
Lauren

P.S.  You can buy products with a credit card in my market, but if you’d like to pay with cash or check, no problem–let me know and I’ll take care of that. Our sale ends on _______. If you purchase something, I’ll bring it to you on or just after _______(distribution date).

That’s it. If you’re ready to go, just copy this fundraising email example and paste the text into your email program, fill in the blanks and change all the links to the appropriate ones for your campaign, and start sending them out. Let’s break it down and see what makes this so effective:

Subject line: Eat, drink and help ACDS fight hunger <–the subject line is the most important line of your fundraising email, it should be both catchy and accurately descriptive

Hi Steve, <–make sure it’s addressed to their name, generic emails are less likely to be read

Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined — would you like to help me fight hunger by drinking a really good cup of coffee? I’m writing to you because I’m selling some awesome healthy, local products from Vigilante Coffee, Truly-Life Eco Gifts, Blue Ridge Produce, and Fruitcycle as part of a fundraiser my school is hosting to support Stop Hunger Now, a program that packs backpacks full of food and sends them to areas of need. Will you please help us by buying of a pound of coffee, or box of fruits and vegetables through our online fundraising market [link to your personal market].

[It’s really important to make your case for supporting your fundraiser in the first paragraph of your email. The first sentence gets attention, while highlighting the large problem you are addressing, while offering an easy thing that the recipient can do to help.  The second sentence provides clear detail about the fundraising campaign.  The final sentence in the first paragraph is a direct personal appeal with a clear CALL TO ACTION .] 

Our fundraising campaign is different this year because it’s not a fundraiser–it’s a FarmRaiser! [they might not know what a FarmRaiser is, so the link to the video can help explain it quickly] That means that when you buy from our online market, 85%+ of the price will support the ACDS Campaign to Stop Hunger Now and our local food system. If you don’t live in the Alexandria area but still want to support this cause, you can make a donation or purchase a Community Basket, which benefits our cause and provides fresh food for local food bank. Click here to strengthen our local economy and fight hunger.

[The second paragraph of your fundraising email provides additional arguments: it supports the local economy, there are many ways to participate, it’s easy, etc., and closes with the second CALL TO ACTION]

Thanks again for your support! I’ll talk to you again in a day or two to see if you have any questions.
[close, and offer to follow up — make sure you actually follow up, because it sometimes takes a few emails or phone calls to reach someone]
Love,
Lauren

P.S.  You can buy products with a credit card in my market, but if you’d like to pay with cash or check, no problem–let me know and I’ll take care of that. Our sale ends on _______. If you purchase something, I’ll bring it to you on or just after _______(distribution date).

[ The P.S. is a place for final details, additional appeals or arguments for the cause]

We’d love to hear your feedback on this, or other email techniques — please post them in the comments below, or send us an email. Please see other articles in this series if you’re looking for tips for selling on social media, or want help in merchandising your market


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