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How to create an effective fundraising email

Email is undoubtedly one of the best ways to reach a fundraising audience.

Not only is it cost-effective, you can also track valuable data such as click-through-rate, email opens and remove from lists requests. This data helps a charity get to know donors on a deeper level and also helps create more effective campaigns.

That is, IF the campaign is executed effectively.

If email communication is approached without a strategy, there’s a danger of bombarding an audience and risking the valuable data fundraising outcomes are built on.

If you’re about to launch an email campaign or are testing the waters of this form of communication, here are our essential tips to ensure maximum success.


To encourage support, communication must be personalised and unique to each donor. Always use a first name (or title and surname if preferred) and in the case of existing donors, refer to the amount and date of the last gift.

This level of attention will show donors you genuinely pay attention to their contribution encouraging them to give again.

Segment data

Sending a bulk email to a database without detailed segmenting will undoubtedly deter potential donors.

Give a general update of an existing campaign to all recipients and manage data to effectively insert relevant copy depending on the recipient’s donation and communication history.

Nothing ruins credibility more than thanking a donor for a donation they didn’t make. Or, worse, failing to acknowledge someone for their kind support.

Timing is everything

If appeals haven’t met targets, avoid using email haphazardly to boost income.

While email is a useful tool for a last-minute campaign, the communication must be structured so avoid using it to keep asking people who are obviously failing to respond.

Remember that you aren’t the only charity asking a donor for money, so it’s important to time campaigns strategically.

Hyperlink to the website

Ideally, a charity website is filled with case study pages detailing how donors have helped achieve your mission.

Always hyperlink to these case studies in an email for two reasons:

Firstly, recipients will see first-hand why their support is so vital, stirring empathy and encouraging them to give again.

Secondly, linking to your website will take the reader to the ‘donate now’ button on your web page, making it easy for them to give again.

Analyse data

An email campaign can offer the most effective insight into donors over any other form of communication. After each campaign, conduct a detailed analysis to find out how you can make improvements for the next campaign. With the correct reporting system in place, you can even identify the time donors like to donate to time the next campaign at the point the donor is likely to give.

Data is the most valuable tool on which to build fundraising outcomes and relationships with donors and analysing data is as essential as the campaign itself.

How can SupporterHub help?

SupporterHub is a CRM and data-management tool that can help maximise the potential of email campaigns and reach targets by using the following features:

  • Data segmentation
  • Personalisation
  • Donor history
  • Donor preferences
  • High-level analytics

To find out more about how SupporterHub can help your charity grow, contact us today.