October 13, 2020

10 Giving Tuesday Email Examples That’ll Make Your Donation Drive a Success

Reading time about 12 min

Looking for Giving Tuesday email examples? Welcome aboard. Now before you think you can robotically copy their formula, let’s set the record straight—persuading people to donate is tricky. 

Several cognitive biases and underlying motivations influence decision-making. To know exactly which bias to activate can be daunting. Though since you’re here, consider this problem solved. In this blog post, we’ll analyze some stand-out Giving Tuesday emails and the psychology behind why they convert. But first…

What is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM). People donate to or volunteer for causes and charities closest to their hearts.

This now-contagious generosity movement started in 2012 and has since then picked up momentum. In 2019, the Giving Tuesday organization reported a 28% increase in online donations compared to 2018. And it’s expected that this year around $605 million will be raised compared to last year’s $400 million.

Yes, it’s still a prediction. The US unemployment rate is high and the COVID vaccine is nowhere in sight, but the August/September search trend says there’s an 80% year over year increase in the Giving Tuesday search. Clearly, people want to give. 

Even if not, the Giving Tuesday email examples below will help you kindle people’s urge to donate.

10 Giving Tuesday Email Examples to Inspire Your 2020 Campaign

These Giving Tuesday email examples will inspire you to fine-tune your campaign strategy for many years to come. So here goes. 

First, a warm-up Giving Tuesday email to loyal supporters 

….who’ve over the years steered your donation drive toward success. Tell them you value their change-making pledge and to stay tuned for more Giving Tuesday emails from you over the next few days. 

In their email, Operation Warm gives donors full credit for giving a gift of hope to those in need. Moreover, to make sure they don’t forget to give this year they provide an “add to calendar” option, which is a smart addition to this email marketing campaign.

Giving Tuesday email example by Operation Warm with a "save the date" CTA

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Here’s one from CARE Australia. The heading says “because you care” to kickstart a one-to-one conversation. Plus, the statistics become a shared moment of pride.

Example of an email to supporters by the charity CARE that uses statistics to show impact

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Why do these Giving Tuesday emails work?

As humans we have a strong desire to be seen as someone consistent in their behavior and beliefs. Naturally, when repeat donors receive an email that appreciates their generosity, they prepare to donate again. 

So far as the statistics go, recurring donors give 42% more over 1 year than a one-time donor. Even if they want to donate for purely altruistic reasons, your email will ready them to play their part. 

Follow-up with a Giving Tuesday announcement email

Focus on the impact you’ve made in the past. 

  • Mention how much you raised over the years and how it benefited your cause.
  • Include statistics for donors to see where their contribution was used.
  • Use images and photographs to evoke emotions and crack their hearts open. 

Charity: water does all the above convincingly. The photograph, which acts as a directional cue, and the accompanying message evoke feelings of hope and empathy. At the end of the email, they also give an option to read more about their fundraiser. This is particularly useful for first-time donors who might want to know more. 

What’s also worth noting is their email subject line—This #GivingTuesday, make history with us!. It creates a curiosity gap that gets the recipient excited about the event and makes them want to open the email. The lesson being, your subject lines should build excitement and pay off too. 

Giving Tuesday email announcement by charity: water

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Why does this Giving Tuesday email work?

We believe every decision we make is a good one. So when donors receive an email affirming their kindness and acknowledging them for supporting a particular charity, it reinforces their confidence in their decision-making. Result? They donate again. 

The same applies to first-time donors. Seeing the good done by the charity or a small business like yours, they feel good about having chosen you.

Next, hype donors and potential donors with stories

Good stories come from people with the gift of gab. They can make you feel a whole bunch of emotions, such as anger, sadness, suffering, empathy, and hope. 

In that regard, this email from Help for Heroes—though not a part of their Giving Tuesday campaign—is a good example of how to melt hearts. You can see Carl’s life change in front of your eyes.

Example of a charity email by Help for Heroes that uses storytelling

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Moving on, storytelling needn’t be restricted to written words. Explore videos as an alternative format. Sears, in one of their Giving Tuesday emails, share a video captioned “Watch the work Sears and St. Jude—and you—are doing together’”. It’s the phrase “and you” that makes donors feel like they have an important role to play in someone else’s life. Meaning? They’re persuaded to donate.

Giving Tuesday email example by company Sears with a video promoting their charity partnership

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Why do these Giving Tuesday emails work?

Both stories center around one person. This one person hook is important to trigger the identifiable victim effect. Turns out, it’s easier for people to empathize with the struggle of an individual over an abstract, nameless group of people. Ultimately, this motivates them to help in any way possible. 

Moreover, the most striking part about such stories is that they don’t depend on a history of shared experience. If they’re told well, they motivate people to feel others’ pain and do something to end it. So run with this idea and trigger empathy through your Giving Tuesday emails.

Nudge supporters to make a lasting impact

Many charities and nonprofits mention how far they are from their fundraising goal while some add a ticking timer or notify how long before the donation drive ends. These are all techniques to get people back on the donate-right-away state of mind. So you know what to do.

For list subscribers who’ve already donated, you could thank them and simultaneously ask them to forward your email and/or share it on social networks. You can amplify your reach and get closer to the finish line—even better, exceed your goal. Just make sure you add social sharing buttons and a preloaded message to make it easy to share. 

Here’s how to leverage this conversion tactic. Note that this is a classic email personalization move. The recipients respond well to such emails because they are relevant and specific to the actions they’ve taken. 

Example of a personalized email by Be My Eyes asking subscribers to share the email with their network

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Speaking of personalization, with Sendinblue you can send emails tailored to each contact on your list. And it goes beyond addressing people by their names. You can easily create rules to send email content that corresponds to the information you have on subscribers, such as their donation history. Go for it.

Why does this Giving Tuesday email work?

Credit goes to the foot-in-the-door technique in which you follow up your first request with another one. 

The email also gives a concrete reason to share, which is important as people share stuff if they can extract value from it. In this case, by forwarding the Giving Tuesday email, the sharer hopes to be recognized as a force of change and in the process convince more people to donate. #goodkarma

Tell subscribers you or your partners will match their donations

Matching campaigns—you know—double the funds raised and the impact. But do more than just announce your collaboration. As good practice, focus on the impact each dollar is going to accomplish. Even better if you add a time-ticker or a progress bar to amp up the persuasion quotient. 

Here’s North Shore Animal League’s Giving Tuesday email that uses all three persuasion tactics and makes their call-to-value action stand out.

Giving Tuesday match funding campaign by North Shore Animal League

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Yes, it’s a call-to-value because you’re asking people to do more than just donate. It’s a gift. Sample how Honest Paws ask donors to “help a shelter pet” rather than using the run of the mill CTA.

Giving Tuesday email example by company Honest Paws, promoting their product donations

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Why do these Giving Tuesday emails work?

The answer is—urgency. With a time-limit attached to the matching campaign, donors experience an imminent sense of loss if they don’t donate. So they donate because it’s a win-win. 

The urgency is also in the call-to-value as this is the one chance for donors to help and make a difference where it counts. 

Further reading: 5 Email Call to Action Best Practices to Jumpstart Your Email Conversions

Finally, send a thank you note the next day

Tell your donors that you cherish their support. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate email, but one that has sincere thanks coming from you. This note of gratitude is important to build transparency and trust.

Feel free to add how much you raised and how you plan to use the funds. You could also redirect them to stories of real people who benefited from the fundraising in the past. Again, CARE Australia’s email is a good example of how it’s done. They use personal pronouns to make the donor feel like they’re directly involved in making each person’s life better. 

Example of a thank you email to donors by the charity CARE sharing real stories

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Alternatively, here’s an example from Natura that keeps the spirit of generosity alive, to inspire your own Giving Tuesday thank you emails. No, they don’t ask people to donate again—rather through the dynamic hashtag they imply that giving could be a year-long thing.

Giving Tuesday email by Natura thanking customers for their support

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Why do these Giving Tuesday emails work?

Even though these emails are sent to several people at once, it’s the second person pronoun “you” that gives the impression this message has been personally written for them. 

That said, take time to write your earnest thank you emails that flatter recipients—each one of them—and make them feel proud of their inherent goodness.

Take These Giving Tuesday Email Examples to the Next Level

We know you can, especially now you know the psychology behind what makes people give. 

So then, are you ready to create yours? With Sendinblue’s intuitive drag & drop email builder, you can design attractive and engaging Giving Tuesday email campaigns. Plus, on the Free plan you can send 300 emails a day and store unlimited contacts. We say—give it a shot.

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