Mapping out your Giving Tuesday email communication plan will allow you to be thoughtful about your messaging and help your mission stand out on a busy day of giving. Keep reading to learn how to create a Giving Tuesday email strategy (including a sample calendar), email best practices, and top tips for writing Giving Tuesday subject lines.
How to craft Giving Tuesday emails that convert
You put so much hard work into planning your Giving Tuesday campaign. Don’t forget to set aside time to develop a stellar email strategy that will help spread the word!
1. Map out your Giving Tuesday messages 🗓
A communications calendar can help you determine what messages you’ll need to send leading up to, during, and after Giving Tuesday and how many emails you need to write. From announcements, invitations, and updates to last-chance reminders, post-campaign reports, and thank-yous. Plan out your email communication so you don't overwhelm your supporters or miss out on an opportunity to connect with them.
Create an outline of every message you want to share with your community (or particular segments of your list) along with any important details. Include things like the date, time, images, and videos you want to include in your outline. Assign team members to write, update, and schedule each email.
Sample Giving Tuesday email calendar
Here’s an example of what your Giving Tuesday email calendar could look like. There’s not one best time to send Giving Tuesday emails. Instead, connect with donors a few times before, during, and after Giving Tuesday to make sure your message doesn't get lost.
- During the week of November 21-25: Campaign teaser or countdown
- November 28: Day-before campaign reminder
- November 29 (morning): Day-of opening announcement
- November 29 (midday): Progress update and reminder to give
- November 29 (evening): Final call to give
- November 30 (morning): Outcome and general thank you
- December 1: Personalized thank you emails to new donors
- December 2: Personalized thank you emails to existing donors
- December 5: Beginning of welcome series for new donors
2. Draft your Giving Tuesday messages: What’s your story? 📝
Planning and scheduling your Giving Tuesday emails ahead of time will help you to avoid the last-minute stress of trying to create the perfect message in a time crunch. With your team, decide on the theme of your campaign, your main call to action, and any specific words or messages you want to incorporate into your communications. Looking for some extra inspiration to get started? Browse through GivingTuesday’s own key messaging and talking points.
The best thing you can do for your readers? Lead with a story. You can share all the charts and numbers you want about your organization’s goals and outcomes. Still, your emails will pack the most punch if you center each around a personal story of someone directly impacted by your work—with their consent, of course. You can ask them to share a quote or offer to ghostwrite the entire email so it's written from their first-person perspective (Don't forget to include photos!).
3. Use donor-centric language 💌
Always use donor-centric language in your fundraising, which places the donor at the center of your message and makes them feel like they're a crucial part of your movement. As you’re trying to bring out the changemaker in everyone this Giving Tuesday, inspire your donors with empowering language and words that speak directly to the reader: you, we, us, and together.
Here are some examples of donor-centric language you could include in your emails:
→ “You are a critical part of the movement to stop climate change.”
→ “Because of your generosity, we can provide summer camp to 1,000 kids in California.”
→ “Your gift will help hundreds of people access clean water.”
→ “Together, we can end homelessness in our community.”
→ “With each gift, we are closer to ending children’s hunger in the United States.”
It’s wise to consider your voice in your messages as it relates to your mission and audience. Giving Tuesday is a fun and empowering day. Your emails can reflect a lighter tone, but sticking to a more serious tenor is okay if that matches your subject matter.
4. Convey your ask clearly 💎
As people skim through your messages on such a high-communication day, it’s imperative to make it crystal clear how you want your readers to contribute to your campaign. Whether you’re asking supporters to make a financial contribution, attend a fundraising event, share a post on social media, or sign up to volunteer, make that call to action the biggest and brightest part of your email.
If you have more than one way that supporters can participate in your Giving Tuesday campaign, consider featuring your main fundraising page as the only clickable link. Supporters can then find all the details for getting involved in the story section of your page.
5. Thank, track, and keep your donors engaged 🙏
Don’t forget to plan how you will share gratitude in your Giving Tuesday email strategy! Did you know that first-time donors who receive a thank-you message within 48 hours of giving are four times more likely to give again? Donors want to see the impact they’ve made and feel acknowledged for it. (P.S. Now is not the time to ask for another donation.)
In addition to emails and other personalized thank-yous via text or video message you'll already be sending, consider setting up an automated welcome email series for new Giving Tuesday supporters. This series will help them learn more about your mission and see how they can get involved beyond just this one gift.
Don’t forget to schedule time with your team to evaluate your Giving Tuesday email strategy. Assess what worked and what didn’t. What kinds of links got the most clicks? Which subject lines got the most opens—and the least? Evaluating these metrics will make your next Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign more successful.
Giving Tuesday email best practices
The more visually pleasing your Giving Tuesday emails are, the more likely people will keep reading—and click to donate. Here’s a not-so-fun fact: Nearly 75% of respondents in a recent survey said they might stop donating to an organization based on vague, dull, or irrelevant content and inconvenient formatting. But luckily, designing “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” emails (i.e., no HTML coding necessary) is now easier than ever.
Keep reading for some best practices for building professional-looking emails.
Use clear branding 🎨
Keeping your brand colors consistent and clearly presenting your logo will reassure potential donors that you’re not spam. GivingTuesday has also made all of their logos (and more) available so you can integrate them into your designs for this special campaign.
Keep it tidy 🧹
There’s so much awesome information about your cause that you may want to squeeze into these emails, but simpler is better here. Keep your photos uniformly sized and your paragraphs short. With Givebutter’s email platform, you can easily format your emails with the built-in Canva email editor integration to make graphics from designer-created templates.
Link to your fundraising campaign page several times throughout your emails by using colorful buttons, images, or text—you don’t want anyone to miss it! Try not to include any other links in these emails. You want the one click that people make to be to donate.
Use text that’s easy to read 🥸
Choose a simple font style in a larger size. Avoid light-colored font on a white background or white font on a red or pink background. Most readers will skim these emails, so use bold text to highlight any key points. Making your emails as accessible as possible for people with disabilities ensures that everyone has the opportunity to engage with your messages.
Top tips for writing Giving Tuesday email subject lines
Your supporters’ inboxes will undoubtedly be full of Giving Tuesday emails, so plan how you’ll make your subject lines stand out from the crowd and boost that open rate. Since you’ll be sending multiple emails throughout your campaign, put together a series of punchy subject lines to break through the noise. Check out these subject line tops tips before you start writing.
Keep subject lines to 9 words or fewer ✂️
Most email inboxes will cut off the subject line message if it has more than nine words. You don't need to include who your email is from or today's date in the subject line. All of that information will be available to the reader in their inbox.
Let preview text help tell your story 💬
Manually write in the second line of text you see in your inbox instead of just populating it with the first line of the body of your email. Let your preview text expand on or respond to your subject line, making your reader want to know more.
Build on the sense of urgency ⏰
Giving Tuesday lends itself well to an urgent tone since donors are encouraged to get involved on this one special day. Time-specific or goal-based language like “Help us reach our goal by midnight!” or “We just need 3 more donations to reach our goal!” can be a great motivator for donors.
Address recipients by their first names 💌
Your email platform should allow you to automatically program your supporters’ first names into the subject line and the opening greeting of your emails. The more personalized your messages, the more likely supporters are to open your emails.
Ask a question to peak curiosity 👀
Think of what makes you click to open emails from other groups or companies. Maybe an intriguing question or a hint that interesting information lies inside? Think of fun facts or questions related to your cause you can use, or if there are any enticing donor perks you can plug here.
Use humor and emojis, if appropriate 😄
Emojis can help your email stand out visually in an inbox. Just don’t overdo it, or you might end up in a spam folder. Plus, humor, when it fits the moment, can get you lots of clicks: “Help us shave Coach B’s head this Giving Tuesday 😲”
Let Givebutter be your fundraising hub this Giving Tuesday
Givebutter is proud to provide changemakers like you with the fundraising tools you need to raise more, give better, and unleash generosity this Giving Tuesday and beyond. Givebutter’s Engage is the only free messaging service that provides personalized email, text, and video with a robust fundraising platform and CRM. Plus, you can easily add your contacts to Engage before Giving Tuesday to create segmented audiences with tags, email and text supporters customized messages throughout your campaign, and make it easy to follow up with campaign participants after Giving Tuesday.
This Giving Tuesday, engage your community like never before with Givebutter by sending personalized emails, texts, videos, and more all in the same place and all completely free.
Ready to make your Giving Tuesday campaign butter than ever? Create your free account on Givebutter today to get started.
Plus, verified nonprofits could receive a $5K donation on Giving Tuesday from Givebutter!