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Raising money for a charity or crowdfunding event is tough.
Even though you might be championing a great cause, asking people for money can be daunting, especially if you've never done it before.
On the one hand, you want to make sure that you're doing everything possible to make your case, but you also don't want to seem pushy or insincere. It's a difficult balance to strike.
One of the best ways to solicit donations is through email. With email, you can reach a large number of people without having to make an in-person ask. And, if you craft your email carefully, you can make a compelling case for why someone should donate to your cause - at scale.
A great donation request email can make the difference between getting a few dollars from someone and getting nothing at all. If your email is well-written and persuasive, you're more likely to get people to donate.
Conversely, if your email is poorly written or doesn't make a strong case for why someone should donate, you're likely to get few (if any) donations. With this in mind, let's take a look at how to craft the perfect donation email:
The subject line
The subject line of your email is the first thing people will see. You want to make sure that it's clear, concise, and to the point. The subject line should give people a good idea of what the email is about, without being too long or too short.
However, it's very important that you do not ask for donations or come off as pushy here. The goal of the subject line is simply to get people to open the email. Once they're reading it, you can make your case for why they should donate.
Otherwise, you risk people simply deleting your email without even reading it.
A good subject line for a donation request email might be something like, "How You Can Help Make a Difference."
When it comes to writing the greeting, it's all about knowing your audience. If you're emailing someone you know, you can use a more informal greeting. For example, "Hi (name)" or "Hello (name)."
If you're emailing someone you don't know, it's best to keep things more formal. In this case, "Dear (name)" is a good option.
Personalization is great, but don't get too carried away.
Next up you need to explain your overarching mission. Why are you raising money? What will the donations be used for?
It's important to be clear and concise here. You want people to understand why you're raising money, but you don't want to bore them with too much detail.
Think of it like an elevator pitch. You want to be able to explain what you're doing in a few sentences. Try to focus on the emotional impact of your work and explain how donations will make a difference in people's lives.
You can even include a short success story to further illustrate the impact that donations can have.
Explain your current project and fundraising goals
After you've explained your mission, it's time to get into the nitty-gritty of your current project. What are you trying to raise money for? Why is this project important?
If this is for a specific campaign or crowdfunding event, make sure to include the relevant details here. For example, how long the campaign will run and what the fundraising goal is.
Try to paint a picture of what your project will achieve and why it's important. The more concrete and specific you can be, the better.
If possible, include some images or videos to further illustrate your point.
Now that we have all of the background information out of the way, it's time to make the ask. This is where you finally request donations and offer a link where people can donate.
When making the ask, it's important to be specific about how much you're hoping people will donate. If you can, write a short explainer of how each donation about will help the cause, giving examples where possible.
The more 'real' you can make it to the reader and how their donation will help, the more likely you are to get them on board.
For example, "A donation of $5 will help feed one person for a day" or "A donation of $25 will help pay for one month of medication for a shelter dog."
It's also worth noting that people are more likely to donate if you offer multiple giving options. Not everybody is working with the same budget, so be sure to offer plenty of flexibility.
Finally, learning how to sign off an email is just as important as learning how to start one - especially when you're asking for donations.
In general, you want to end with a strong call to action. This is your last chance to convince someone to donate, so make it count.
In addition, the sign-off should thank the reader for their time, and possibly give links to extra resources where they can find out more about your campaign.
You can even thank them for their donation in advance, or let them know that you'll be sending a follow-up email after they donate.
Emailing people for donations doesn't have to be difficult. As long as you follow the structure outlined in this article, you'll be well on your way to success. Remember to focus on the personal connection, make a strong case for why you're raising money, and be specific about how donations will help. And most importantly, don't forget to say thank you!
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