You’ve done the hard work of brainstorming a fundraising event idea, hammering out the details, assembling volunteers, and compiling a potential guest list. It’s no surprise you want to craft an event invitation that gets your recipients as hyped as you are.
Look no further!
This guide will cover what to include in a nonprofit event invitation and give you three event invitation templates to build on.
We’ll largely focus on email event invitations, since they’re one of the most common — and affordable — tactics to get the word out. You’ll also learn other methods to promote your event, whether you’re hosting a one-day bake sale or a two-week conference.
Set the tone for your event and boost your attendance numbers with these event invitation templates, design ideas, and tips.
Essential parts of a fundraising event invitation
Event invitations pull double-duty — they need to inform your audience about what’s coming up while also motivating them to attend. Because you’re likely sending them via email, they also need to be succinct and easy to skim. Here are the invitation elements you should focus on the most:
- Subject line: One survey showed that 35% of people open emails because the subject line is appealing. Keep yours short and use energetic terms. For example, "Are you ready for Fall Fest 2023?” or “The countdown is on for Donut Dash!"
- Image: An image draws readers in and helps cut through the text. Show past event images or simply feature your event name and key details with a colorful background.
- Personalized greeting: Including your recipient's name is a quick win.
- Event description: This is where you "sell" your audience on the event. Your invitation wording should mirror your demographic. For instance, a cooking class invite for millennials might sprinkle in a few 🍔 , 🍳, and 🔥 emojis.
- Date, time, and location: Be as detailed as possible. If it's a virtual fundraising event, include when the live stream will start and how to tune in.
- Ticket price: Are there early bird discounts? VIP packages? Raffle ticket bundles?
- How to RSVP or register: This is your major call to action (CTA), typically a large, colorful button that links back to your fundraising event page. Be direct and ask your recipients to buy tickets, RSVP, learn more, etc.
- How to donate money: Not everyone can or will attend, but they may donate. Include a smaller CTA button or link to donate.
- Other important details: Will there be a dress code? A Valentine's Day theme? Cash bar? Include the need-to-knows.
- Contact information: Let recipients know how to reach you if they have questions.
3 fundraising event invitation templates
We’ve put together three editable templates you can use whether you’re hosting a typical ticketed event, formal event, virtual event, or a large conference. These outlines are a great starting point, but remember to use the tips we covered in the previous section to tailor each invitation to your audience. Let’s dive in!
General event invitation template 📅
Subject line: [Event Name] to benefit [who or what your fundraiser will support]
Hi [Potential Attendee’s Name],
[Draw the reader in with a brief story, question, fact or other hook that makes them want to continue reading.]
[Name of your organization] is hosting [Event Name] to [explain what you’re trying to accomplish and why it matters]. We’ll have [list of activities, items for sale, speakers, and other event details you want to highlight]. It’s all happening on [event date and time] — book your spot today.
Date: [Full event date(s) and time(s)]
Location: [Venue address or virtual event link]
Tickets: [Price for each ticket type]
[Add a CTA button like “Get tickets" and link to your event registration page]
Can’t make it to the event? Simply donate by [list payment options, like donating online or mailing a check].
Follow [your social media handles] for news and updates and contact [your contact information] with questions.
Formal event invitation template 👗
Subject line: You’re cordially invited to [Event Name]
Dear [Potential Event Attendee’s Name],
We’re pleased to announce this year’s [Event Name]. We invite you to join us for [time when the event takes place, like “an evening”] of [list of activities and event highlights].
All proceeds will benefit [who or what your event will support]. [Briefly explain the significance of your mission and how their attendance will make a difference.]
Date: [Full event date and time]
Event schedule: [List a simple itinerary, like “6:00 p.m. Dinner and cocktails” and “7:30 p.m. Silent auction”]
Location: [Venue address or virtual event link]
Cost: [Cost per person or table]
[Add a CTA button like “RVSP now” and link it to your event registration page.]
Please RSVP by [cutoff date].
If you can’t attend, please consider making a contribution of [suggest an amount] by [list payment options, like donating online or mailing a check].
Conference event invitation template 📣
Subject line: [Conference Name] passes available now!
It’s that time of year! Don’t miss [Conference Name], the one-of-a-kind annual gathering of the [name of your community, group of supporters, etc.].
Register today and secure your full-access conference pass to join us for [number of days or weeks your event lasts] of [list of activities and event highlights] with your peers and an exciting lineup of speakers and special guests.
When: [Full event dates]
Where: [Venue address or virtual event link]
Tickets: [Price for each ticket type]
[Add a CTA button like “Book your spot” and link it to your event registration page.]
If you can’t make it, simply donate by [list payment options, like donating online or mailing a check].
Stay connected with us: Follow [your social media handles] for news and updates and contact [your contact information] with questions.
Bringing your invitation templates to life
There are plenty of drag-and-drop email design tools you can take use to transform your plain text into an eye-grabbing invitation.
Mailchimp, HubSpot, and Campaign Monitor all offer free email builders.
You can create mobile-friendly templates or prepare printable versions for invitation cards in minutes.
When it comes to your invitation design, the sky's the limit as long as your event details are easy to read. Check out this Adobe Stock livestream event flyer, annual event flyer, or festival flyer for a few different takes on invitation layouts. In any case, look for templates you can edit either in an email builder or tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign.
You aren't limited to fundraising event invitation templates, either. You can easily take a party invitation for a baby shower, birthday party, bridal shower, or even a wedding invitation and plug in your content. (Just make sure you delete any mentions of marriage or diapers.)
Other ways to spread the word about your upcoming event
Your event promotion strategy doesn’t end with your initial invitation or reminder emails! Here are some additional outreach ideas to make sure you fill every seat in the house:
- Update your website home page with an event countdown and sign-up button.
- Snag a well-known influencer to attend and have them promote the event to their followers.
- Recruit peer fundraisers and have them compete to sell tickets in their inner circles.
- Set up a corporate sponsorship and ask for marketing and advertising support as part of the deal.
- Write a short press release and submit it to local media outlets.
- Post frequent updates and teaser images on social media leading up to the special event.
Nail every event detail from start to finish ⭐
Release the confetti! You’ve now got three effective event invitation templates and promotional ideas to spark the interest of your donors and volunteers and, most importantly, raise money for your cause.
Next up? Make sure your event is seamless — from event registration to your thank-you notes — with a powerhouse fundraising platform like Givebutter. We help you sell more tickets and collect more donations at your next event with features like:
- 🎫 Unlimited paid and free tickets
- 🔥 Simple promo codes
- 💸 Optional add-a-donation for tickets
- 📅 Convenient calendar plugins
- 📱 QR codes to register and sign in
- 💛 Plus, our 70+ other fundraising features
Best of all? It’s free to sign up — get your event page up and running in seconds.
Rachel is a fundraising and marketing consultant for nonprofits whose aspiration since she was 16-years-old is simply this: help others, help others.