Fundraising Email Subject Lines: Ways to Improve Open Rates

Fundraising email subject lines are your chance to close the…

Fundraising email subject lines are your chance to close the deal. They are your chance to convince potential donors that your nonprofit is the right choice for their donation.

Every email you send prospects have a subject line. They carry enormous weight. Subject lines are the first thing prospects see, and they are responsible for playing a pivotal role in your fundraising campaign.

Email subject lines that entice recipients to open your emails can be difficult to come up with. Subject lines that attract donors to open up and contribute can be even more difficult to come up with. 

You don’t have to be an experienced copywriter, though, to get more opens and, consequently, raise more money.

So, how do you make your fundraising emails stand out and increase your open rates? Read on.

person showing both hands with make a change note and coins
person showing both hands with make a change note and coins

What is Fundraising?

Fundraising provides invaluable support when you’re exploring a new area or if your current initiatives have run low on funds. Fundraising is working towards getting outside support through non-monetary, tangible means.

It means raising or obtaining money for a cause or project. For organizations, it usually means asking a donor to invest in a project they believe in.

Fundraising is an important part of any organization’s operations. Fundraising provides the organization with the resources to do its job as a standalone operation or a critical part of a larger operation.

Fundraising Email Subject Lines: Five Key Ways to Improve Open Rates

For your email fundraising campaign, the subject line is everything. It affects the number of people who open your email and sets the tone for the rest of your engagement with your donor. 

1. Less is More

Subject lines should not reveal your entire email. Don’t reveal too much information in the subject line of your email.

Reveal just enough information in the subject line to pique their interest. Let your audience know why they should open it right now.

Adding a layer of mystery allows you to discuss your offer in greater detail. To make an informed decision, recipients are forced to open their emails based on the subject lines of their emails.

2. Personalize the mail

Use “you” or the recipient’s name in the subject line to show that the email is personalized.

To avoid appearing sleazy, ensure your email doesn’t come across as self-serving. 

Your communications must be personal and natural to be taken seriously. Calling someone by their name naturally increases the chances of a conversation.

3. Time Factor

Don’t use your topic lines to reminisce. Now is the time to use time indicators to boost relevance. The time factor is effective because they give recipients and donors a specific deadline to open the email. 

Using today, tomorrow, this week, this morning, etc. in email subject lines may help you stand out and attract donors.

Sending an email without using time indicator phrases may give recipients a reason to put off reading it.

4. Use “Opportunity” in your Plea

Using the word “opportunity” in your plea can help you get people to donate.

For example:

It might be a way to raise money for an organization’s specific campaign or start a new program for a single-family or individual. An opportunity to raise awareness of a social issue may arise.

Giving is a way for the donor to make a positive impact on the world, and that has a direct effect on the recipient.

5. Use of Emojis

“Can the use of emoticons in emails encourage more millennials to open their emails?”

Email marketing programs may send emails with emojis in the subject line to Promotions or Updates.

There is no benefit to using emojis; the disadvantage is that they are less visible in inboxes. It’s not helping us open your fundraising emails if it’s geared toward millennials. 

Lessons Learned from Fundraising via Email

1. Retest Repeatedly

Do you want to learn how to conduct your a/b tests? Running your a/b testing will tell you exactly what works to improve the number of people who open and donate to your organization.

2. Originality Matters

You may sound inauthentic by cramming all the proven strategies to improve fundraising email subject lines. Make sure your subject lines are written to make you sound like a real person.

3. Focus on Content

Subject line selection is merely one aspect of the work. Your preview text, copy, design, and other necessary call-to-actions are all important factors in achieving your goals.

To Wrap Up

Email subject lines are one of the few places you have to pique the reader’s interest. It has the ability to compel donors to open the email. So when writing your subject line, consider the tips above to help you quickly win the reader over.

Frequently asked questions

How do you ask for donations via email?

[Donor Name], today I’m going to ask you to support [cause]. You can make an exemplary impact by donating just [amount]. Please donate, [a specific action]. We thank [cause’s] efforts during this [adjective] time. It’s supporters like you who help us change the world every day.

How do you ask for donations to a coworker?

Your coworker may collect money using the “pass the bus” method most commonly used for your job. You can do this by speaking directly to people in your office who have sick coworkers’ conditions and needs. You could ask them for a donation. As with the other methods, it may benefit to have a suggested amount.

How do you write an effective subject line in an email?

  • E-mail subject line examples inspire you.
  • Keep it simple and sweet.
  • Send a familiar name.
  • Don’t use the no-reply type of sender’s name.
  • Use personalization tokens
  • Segment your lists
  • Make no false promises.
  • Tell them what you find inside.

How do you politely ask for sponsorship?

  • Companies with values that align with yours should be chosen.
  • Reward them with something.
  • Make a strong, clear, and engaging proposal.
  • Don’t wait until just before your event to ask for sponsorship.
  • If you know the amount of money you need, get it outright.

What makes a catchy subject line?

Content shouldn’t be too descriptive, or too personal, so people will check out your content. No matter what your approach, keep your audience in mind and try different words and phrases to determine what they prefer.

How do you attract sponsors?

  • Research potential sponsors. Take a look at your existing supporters.
  • Tell your organization’s story.
  • Provide sponsor incentives
  • Engage with established companies.
  • You can legitimize your pitch using data.
  • Find the right person.
  • Use time to build strong connections.
  • Follow up

How do you sponsor a cold email?

Consider your goal when writing a cold email to potential event sponsors: to start a conversation and finally schedule a meeting to discuss the sponsorship opportunity. Writing the email alone does not guarantee you will get a deal. Start a conversation, not sign a contract.

Why are short subject lines desirable in email?

The average length of sentences, the percentage of difficult words in a message, and the accuracy of the message are recorded. What is the point of short subject lines in email? Depending on the recipient’s email system, a long subject line can be shortened.

What should be the subject line for a fundraising email?

  • The ‘problem’s not solved without you, Your First Name’s help.
  • 24 hours remain for helping a population in need.
  • Today is the best gift you can give to someone.
  • Spend by midnight to help transform lives.
  • First Name’ is the name you can use to describe you as a hero.
  • You can make a difference by doing one simple act.

What should be the subject of email for sponsorship?

Subject lines like “Met you at an event”. Let’s connect!” sets the context for your message and invites you to continue the relationship. The same goes for emailing a referral. Just ask, “Referrer name recommended I get in touch.”.

What should I title a donation request email?

  • Your donation status is determined by your first name.
  • Give the world a little better!
  • Your gift to [organization name].
  • This year, [the potential donor] contributed. Do you want to help [an organization name] again?

How do you ask for donations?

  • Do research beforehand
  • Make sure you establish a good relationship before making an ask.
  • Find them where they are.
  • Practice your pitch
  • Different types of communication are possible.
  • Make yourself genuine, direct, and specific.
  • Embrace rejections
  • Repeat how many times you thank you.
Fundraising Email Subject Lines: Ways to Improve Open Rates

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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