As a non-profit, you may have started sending your fundraising emails to encourage end-of-year donations. While there can be a flurry of fundraising emails arriving in inboxes everywhere, there are some things you can do to help yours stand out. Here’s what you should do to make your own year-end fundraising emails a success:

Give ample time & follow-up  – You’re sending an end-of-year email, generally to meet tax deduction deadlines for those procrastinators out there, so send it in November to give folks plenty of time to donate. Make sure to monitor your email analytics and track anyone who didn’t open the first email, or click the donate call-to-action button or link, then send a follow-up email.

Get personal – Studies show that people are more likely to respond to emails that include personalized elements. Consider including your recipient’s name, or take it even further by including links to the recipient’s previous “giving history.” VerticalResponse allow users to segment lists based on contact information, as well as campaign activity. By using this level of segmentation, you can send a much more targeted email.

Include a donate call-to-action button – Because you’re asking people to take action with your email (make a donation), make sure your call-to-action is simple and clear.  Use a contrasting color and place your call-to-action near the top of the email so it’s easy to find and use. Remember, VerticalResponse has a free button tool that allows you to create a call-to-action button in any color you need.

Give people reasons & donating options – Since people are receiving many requests for donations this time of year, provide them reasons to donate. Also, make sure you mention whether you provide different donation options to give the greatest flexibility. An effective best practice is to explain how different donation levels have an effect on the people you serve.

Before you send your fundraising emails, test out each step your recipients will experience to ensure everything is working correctly. This includes testing personalization in the email, the donation button – in the email and on your site, the donation form and proofing all the copy.

Conclusion:  There are many reasons people and companies donate this time of year, tax breaks, sure, but it’s also a time for reflection on the year that’s passed and the one about to start, and many people want to help those in need. Try using a last-minute fundraising email for your non-profit and see how you can increase your donations before the ball drops.


Receive a $10,000 grant for your non-profit organization just by writing 140 characters or less. Enter the Deluxe Short + Tweet Grants Program by midnight November 4th!

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on November 20, 2013 and has been revamped and updated for relevance.

© 2015 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

Related Blogs

Ready to apply what you've
learned about Email