10 Giving Tuesday Email Examples & Templates That Yield Better Donations

10 Giving Tuesday Email Examples & Templates That Yield Better Donations
17 November, 2023 • ... • 256 views
Natasha Zack
by Natasha Zack

One of the biggest annual charity events of the year is just around the corner (again)! In 2023, Giving Tuesday falls on November 28. Have you already started planning your email campaign? 

If you haven’t yet, you better start now because putting together a decent email campaign takes time. And if you still don’t know what Giving Tuesday is, it’s high time you found out. Keep reading to learn some essential Giving Tuesday facts, understand how to create a working email template for the occasion, and see some outstanding Giving Tuesday email examples. Whether you represent a nonprofit organization or a commercial company willing to support a noble cause, this article is for you.

What is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday typically stylized as #GivingTuesday, is an international charity movement that promotes “radical generosity” as a counterweight to radical spending of major e-commerce sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Also, it is a major annual fundraising event that happens on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Started back in 2012 by a group of enthusiasts in the US, the movement has been growing worldwide ever since. 

Today, Giving Tuesday is not just a movement, an idea, and an event, but also an independent nonprofit organization. According to official data from the Giving Tuesday organization, its charity network now includes 90 national movements and over 300 communities around the globe.

Why launch a Giving Tuesday email campaign?

Giving Tuesday is a major opportunity for nonprofits. An effective Giving Tuesday campaign can stimulate more donations than regular ones. And for business owners, this is a chance to show their audience that they care. With more and more competition in every domain, the social stance can be a differentiating factor persuading people to choose your product and not other options. Businesses can simply highlight some of the organizations and causes to support or run a sales campaign benefitting a nonprofit of their choice. You can see different examples of businesses’ campaigns for Giving Tuesday in this article.

Originally, Giving Tuesday was designed to harness the power of social media for the benefit of charity (hence the hashtag). But email has quickly become a medium for Giving Tuesday campaigns as well, since it has always been effective for raising awareness, engaging audiences, and encouraging donations. As per the Global Trends in Giving 2020 report by Funraise, regular email communication is 33% most likely to inspire repeat donations, next only to social media (36%) and far ahead of all the other contenders. Moreover, email is a remarkably cost-effective channel, plus it also has a great shareability potential.     

Not only that, but many people are also more in the mood for giving around the holidays. Statistics corroborate that: according to CBS, Giving Tuesday raised a record $3.1 billion in the US in 2022.  

However, Giving Tuesday email campaigns can be challenging. Firstly, people’s finances are drained after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and whatever is left over is being saved up for Christmas. Secondly, the competition is usually stronger during the holiday season. Also, the current economic turmoil adds to the challenge, so you should probably work harder to yield donations on Giving Tuesday this year.

So how do you make your donation requests stand out in your recipients’ inboxes this Giving Tuesday? We’ve got a great Giving Tuesday email template recipe to help you out. 

How to create a working Giving Tuesday email template

Every working Giving Tuesday email follows more or less the same structure. Here are the ingredients you need to craft a Giving Tuesday email copy that will speak right to your readers’ hearts and yield more donations for your cause. 

1. Grab their attention

Most professional emails start with an introduction, and Giving Tuesday emails are no exception. Even if your company’s logo speaks for itself, it won’t hurt to introduce yourself by name and add a brief greeting as a personal touch. You can even use sales prospecting email templates for inspiration, as introductions are equally important for sales emails and Giving Tuesday emails. You may also include a line to acknowledge your organization’s relationship with the recipient, especially if your mailing list is segmented

Another option is to put a prominent, attention-grabbing tagline in the introduction. To compel your potential donors to keep reading, it should be concise and meaningful. Below is an example of a tagline that instantly catches attention and conveys the essence of the Giving Tuesday spirit. 

A Giving Tuesday email headline that says ‘Tis the season to give back
Source: Really Good Emails

Tip 

Important as they are, the introduction and the opening line are only revealed to your recipients after they click to open. Before that, the sender’s name, the subject line, and the preview text (the preheader) are the only elements visible to them. To compel your recipients to read the message, you have to nail these three elements first — particularly, the subject line. The best fundraising email subject lines are concise and to the point but careful with words such as “give”, “donate”, and the like because they can trigger email clients’ spam filters.

2. Explain your cause

Now that the reader is familiar with you and your organization, explain the goal of your current fundraising campaign. What is it about? Why is your cause worth supporting? Where will the donations go? Addressing these questions in the email body will keep the readers engaged and help to convince them that your cause is truly important.

Here’s an example from an email that is not part of a Giving Tuesday campaign, but you can still use it as a model for your fundraising Giving Tuesday emails. 

A Giving Tuesday storytelling paragraph example explaining that people in the Bahamas need help to deal with Hurricane Dorian’s consequences
These two paragraphs provide just enough storytelling to engage the readers, explain the situation, and serve as a lead-in to the call-to-action. Source: Really Good Emails

3. Provide a clear call-to-action

After creating momentum with your emotional storytelling and/or convincing arguments supporting your cause, tell the readers what exactly you expect them to do. In Giving Tuesday campaigns, the ultimate target action is most often securing a donation, but there are several ways to phrase your CTA (call-to-action) to make it as compelling as possible. 

One way to do it is to emphasize your fundraising goal, as shown in the example below. When the recipients click, they don’t just “donate”, but “help a shelter pet”. 

A compelling Giving Tuesday CTA example — a Help a shelter pet text on a button
Source: Milled

However, simple CTAs such as “Give/Donate now” often work just as well. So running some A/B tests before a full-scale launch is always worthwhile.    

A clear and simple Giving Tuesday CTA example — a button with the Give now text
Charity: Water goes for a simple, straightforward CTA that matches the overall minimalistic concept of the rest of this Giving Tuesday email. Source: Really Good Emails

4. Explain the benefits of helping your organization

While some Giving Tuesday emails are very concise, others can include some extra information on how donating can benefit the donors. For example, you can mention that donations are tax-deductible, or that the donors will be recognized for supporting the cause in some way. Explaining how exactly you (or your partners) will use the proceeds from the campaign is also a powerful way to secure more donations. 

In this example, the brand highlights the impact donations will make, explaining who exactly will benefit from the proceeds and in which way. Mentioning that the effect stretches beyond Giving Tuesday makes the campaign even more irresistible. 

A Giving Tuesday email excerpt in which a mattress brand explains that the company donates one mattress for every ten it sells
Source: Really Good Emails

5. Thank your donors

Last but not least, never forget to thank your donors for their support and commitment. Don’t treat this part of your email lightly and write a simple “thanks”, especially if you’re addressing recurring donors or those who have previously contributed generous donations. 

The best practice is to close with a short line that appreciates the donors’ commitment, acknowledges their contribution, and creates a sense of community. To add a personal touch, sign the email with your name and job title (not just the name of the organization). 

Here’s a perfect example of a warm thank-you from Care Australia: 

A Giving Tuesday email excerpt with the text We couldn’t have done this without support from people like you! and a charity employee signature
Source: Really Good Emails

That said, you don’t necessarily have to follow the template above step-by-step. In real-life email marketing (and Giving Tuesday campaigns are a part of email marketing, too), there is always room for creativity. In the next section, we’ll demonstrate some amazing Giving Tuesday email examples that are all different, yet each of them works (and we’ll also explain why). 

10 examples of Giving Tuesday emails with high potential to secure donations

1. Operation Warm

Operation Warm is a US nonprofit organization that makes new warm clothes and shoes for kids in need. In the email below, the organization acknowledges its supporters’ efforts and highlights the impact they made the previous year. It also warms them up for yet another giving season well in advance:  

A Giving Tuesday email with buttons to add the date to the recipients’ calendars
Source: Brevo

Why it works: 

  • Sending emails well in advance is a great way to “soft-launch” the campaign and make all the necessary tweaks based on the early feedback from the most loyal subscribers. Reaching out early also helps build momentum before the full-scale launch. Once the first donations start flowing (which will likely happen early, thanks to the “add to calendar” buttons in this email), more donors will want to join in.  
  • The campaign image is also especially effective. It shows who benefits from the charity’s efforts — children. The kid in the photo is looking directly at the camera and at the photo viewer. This creates an emotional connection and makes the call for help more personal.
  • And of course, acknowledging the donors’ previous contributions is a proven way to keep the relationship going and encourage them to donate even more to make an even bigger impact. 

2. Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra

Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra (ICO) is a nonprofit orchestra based in Indiana, USA, that relies on its supporters to function effectively. The orchestra has always strived to support local talents and promote contemporary composers. In this email, the ICO appeals to a wide audience that includes not only potential and existing donors but also potential ticket buyers. 

An email explaining 3 easy ways to support the Orchestra this Giving Tuesday
Source: WildApricot

Why it works: 

  • The email headline is concise. Showing the steps to helping a worthy organization are clear and simple, which motivates email recipients to continue reading. 
  • Offering more than one way to support the organization and providing clear instructions increases the chances of securing more donations — or at least selling more tickets. 
  • A prominent “thank you” note at the bottom of the email is essential to keeping the relationship with current donors going. 

3. ACLU

ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is a nonprofit organization with a history that goes all the way back to the beginning of the 20th century. Today, the ACLU is successfully leveraging digital marketing to raise awareness about civil rights issues and raise funds to make meaningful changes. 

The email below is a great example of how persuasive a clear ask for donations can be, especially when combined with a couple of other fundraising email best practices. 

An email with a banner saying Giving Tuesday match and a CTA Match my gift
Source: Milled

Why it works: 

  • All the essential information is highlighted on the banner at the top of the email. Thanks to the progress bar and the numbers mentioned, the recipients can instantly see the impact they can make, and realize what’s at stake (the future of civil liberties, nothing less). 
  • Matched campaigns tend to yield bigger donations than non-matched ones because donors feel like they make a bigger impact with their contributions. Putting the “match” word front and center ensures no one will miss it. 
  • Continually mentioning the time constraints throughout the email copy creates a sense of urgency. While this psychological trigger is most often used in marketing emails, it works in fundraising campaigns just as well. 

4. Lyft

Lyft is an American “rideshare app” that highlights friendliness as one of its competitive advantages — and its core values, too. The email below showcases how a for-profit company can nail Giving Tuesday messaging while staying true to its brand image — being friendly and emphasizing a sense of community, in this case. 

An email with the heading We Ride for #GivingTuesday
Source: Really Good Emails

Why it works: 

  • The image at the top of the email combined with a prominent tagline and a matching CTA instantly creates a sense of community. Who wouldn’t want to join in when the company is so nice? 
  • Giving is made really simple in this campaign: you still get your rides, and you probably wouldn’t even notice the round-ups. 
  • You can choose from two charity organizations to support (the descriptions are conveniently provided in the email), and having options is always good — even when there are just two. 
  • Mentioning the exact sum the company has already raised helps donors understand the impact their contribution can make.  

5. Feeding San Diego

Feeding San Diego has been helping feed those facing hunger in San Diego County since 2007. As a charity organization, it relies solely on donations to continue fulfilling its mission — and that means nailing the right messaging is crucial. This email manages to strike all the right chords with some of the best practices nonprofits use in their emails year-round. 

A Giving Tuesday email example with a countdown timer
Source: Classy

Why it works: 

  • Yet again, all the essential information is placed at the top of the email, along with the CTA and an eye-catching image that instantly gives an idea of what this organization is about. 
  • The countdown timer adds a sense of urgency, clearly indicating that the time is up to make a donation right now. 
  • Since this is a matched fundraising campaign, it already has bigger chances of securing larger donations. But this email takes the idea even further by highlighting the exact impact donations will make, showing how dollars raised translate into meals. Put this way, the ask looks much more compelling. 

6. UsedPhotoPro

Who doesn’t love a cute kitten? And who wouldn’t want to help one, especially on Giving Tuesday? Animal shelters are in constant need of any help they can get, and Giving Tuesday campaigns are a great fundraising opportunity for them. Many partner with commercial businesses to extend their reach and collect maximum donations. 

Here’s a great example of such a partnership. Though 1% might not seem much, the email is so appealing that it has the potential to actually make a difference.  

An email with a banner photo of a kitten and a text saying Giving Tuesday and 1% of all today’s sales goes to help rescue animals
Source: Milled

Why we love it: 

  • First and foremost, it’s the design. Just look at this cutie! This girl Cassie can melt one’s heart in an instant, can’t she? But it’s not just the photo that makes this design work. The colors and the fonts provide the right accents, and the layout looks clean, simple, and pleasant to the eye.  
  • Second, the copy. While storytelling is good, clear and concise copy can work just as well (sometimes, even better). In this email, there is nothing superfluous — yet all the crucial details are still there.   
  • Last but not least, the CTA highlights the positive impact the customers can make by purchasing a product on this day. “Buy a camera, help a shelter pet” is not the same as a simple “Shop now” (an actual example from another Giving Tuesday email). 

7. WaterAid

What can be more effective than taking a pledge to double a donation? Only a commitment to triple it! WaterAid, an international nonprofit organization that started over 40 years ago, helps deliver clean drinking water to the remotest communities by building water systems. To such organizations, Giving Tuesday is an opportunity not to be missed. 

With such an email, a successful Giving Tuesday campaign should be guaranteed.  

An email telling the story of a janitor Manuel from Mozambique and showing necessary hardware to help him and other professionals
Source: Milled
  • First of all, the triple match pledge. To everyone wanting to make a change, this is a huge incentive because it multiplies the impact of every dollar given. 
  • Not only that, but this email also features beautiful storytelling. This is one of the main pillars of good email marketing content in general — and one of the most effective techniques for charity emails in particular. Making this story personal creates an even stronger emotional response.  
  • Also, this email explains where exactly the money will go. By providing images of water system parts along with the price tags, WaterAid helps envision the concrete impact each donation will make. 
  • Finally, there are options. By adding a “Can’t do a full bundle” section at the bottom, the fundraiser ensures even those who cannot afford large donations can still make a contribution.

8. Charity: Water

Clean water is so scarce in some areas that more than one charity organization is needed to mitigate the problem. Сharity: Water was established in the late 2000s, but it has already made a significant change, having raised hundreds of millions for its cause. Email campaigns have always been essential to this organization, and it knows how to handle them exceptionally well, too.  

An email with a banner text that reads A milestone seven years in the making and a photo of children washing their faces with running water
Source: Really Good Emails

Why it works: 

  • This email is another example of a warm-up done right. By showcasing what the organization has already achieved, it lays the foundation for the next email in the series — the one with a clear ask for a donation, most likely. In the meantime, those interested can learn more about the campaign and its goals on the organization’s website. And the more people understand the cause, the more likely they are to support it.
  • When the goal is within reach, people are more likely to double down on achieving it. This phenomenon is known as the goal proximity effect, and Charity: Water is leveraging it here with the “we’re 95% of the way there” statement. When there are only 5% more needed, and the goal is clear, people are going to donate more willingly. 
  • Finally, the layout. All the right elements are there in all the right places, so the email is really easy to scan and aesthetically pleasing. 

9. Simple Wishes

As mentioned earlier, email has a great shareability potential. That’s why many organizations are encouraging people to spread the word out on Giving Tuesday to amplify the impact of their campaigns. This is exactly what Simple Wishes — a female-founded company selling affordable breastfeeding apparel — is doing in this Giving Tuesday email. 

An email with a statement by the company’s co-founder encouraging readers to share the promo code
Source: Milled

Why it works: 

  • The target action is not just clicking to buy with a promo code, but also sharing the email with this code with everyone who might be interested. This is a great way to extend the reach beyond the existing mailing list, raise more funds, and, perhaps, also acquire new customers.  
  • Yet again, this is a beautiful piece of storytelling that is both personal and very relatable to the company’s target audience. By sharing their personal story, the founders reduce the distance between them and their customers and establish a deeper connection, making it easier for the customers to commit to their cause. 
  • The financial goal is clearly stated in this email, and the amount of money already raised is highlighted at the top of it. Knowing the exact sum raised helps donors better understand the impact they can make, and having the goal ahead is a benchmark to strive for. 

10. Everyday California

You can never thank your supporters enough if you’re involved in charity in one way or another. So, sending “thank-you” emails expressing gratitude and highlighting the results is a common practice for all non-profits and their partners. In this example, ocean sports gear and apparel seller Everyday California thanks its customers for helping support its charity endeavors in the most appealing way.  

An email with a message from the company’s co-founder expressing gratitude and celebrating the results they achieved
Source: Milled
  • The subject line and the preheader (not shown on the image) read “Thanks to YOU / we’re giving back more than ever”, and they summarize this email perfectly while stimulating curiosity at the same time. How much is “more than ever”? The answer is in the email, so one has to open it to find out. 
  • Yet again, this email is aesthetically pleasing: just one look at this turtle makes one feel better! What’s more, the image is highly relevant and gives a clear idea of what Everyday California strives to protect.
  • A “thank-you” section at the bottom features the exact sum raised so far, answering the question implied by the email preheader.   

However, the CTA here could have been better. As it now stands, the “shop now” button emphasizes the commercial nature of the business and dismisses the charity impact. Anyway, this email is still an awesome example.

Recommended reading 

Need some more inspiration for your charity emails for Giving Tuesday and beyond? Check out our article containing the best nonprofit email examples that actually convert!   

And if you’re curious about how you can contribute to the event, here’s where to donate for Giving Tuesday.

In conclusion

As of today, Giving Tuesday is one of the biggest charity events worldwide. For charity organizations as well as for commercial companies partaking in the event, this is a perfect occasion to secure generous donations. One way to do that is by running a Giving Tuesday fundraising email campaign. But with so much competition around, it’s not that easy to make your emails stand out. Using the template and advice from this article will help you put together a Giving Tuesday campaign that actually gets noticed and yields better donations. 

Let’s revise the main ingredients you need for a working Giving Tuesday email:

  1. An attention-grabbing introduction
  2. An explanation of the cause you are raising funds for
  3. A clear call-to-action
  4. A warm thank-you to your donors 

Use this template recipe for your first draft but remember: there are more ways than one to create a compelling fundraising email campaign. This is what our real-life Giving Tuesday email examples perfectly illustrate. Perhaps, one of these examples will inspire you to create your own awesome Giving Tuesday campaign that will raise record funds for your noble cause. As for the technical side of it, you can always rely on Selzy to plan and launch your email campaigns smoothly, on Giving Tuesday or any other occasion. Start for free, get up to 1,500 emails and try out all the platform’s features.

17 November, 2023
Article by
Natasha Zack
I’m a professional journalist with 10+ years of experience. Throughout my career, I’ve worked with various kinds of media — print, online, broadcast. Currently, I write copy for brand media and teach English part-time. I also have my own edtech passion project dedicated to teaching English via Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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