Help… what should we include in email templates? | npENGAGE

Help… what should we include in email templates?

By on Oct 12, 2010 | NONPROFIT-FUNDRAISING

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Today, a client asked me a great question, “What information should we include in fundraising email templates?”  It’s important to make a good first impression and participant emails can be a potential donors’ first introduction to your organization. While we want to encourage participants to share their story as to why they’re involved, we should give them a starting point. How many times have you had an encounter with writer’s block?  I’ve had tons.  Writing and sharing personal stories isn’t easy for everyone.  Help out your volunteers and arm them with the tools for success.

Remember: participants are great ambassadors for your organization, but they might not know what messages you want to convey to the marketplace. Use these email templates as an opportunity to create awareness and educate the public about your cause.

Here’s my take on what to include in fundraising email templates.

  • Use statistics  that are easily digestible. Instead of using large number like 15 million people live with XX problem, try using 1 in 5 individuals live with XX. It’s a lot easier for donors to understand and visualize 1 in 5 versus a million or billion people. If you want include the large number, try this: Today, 1in 5 individuals are living with XX, that’s nearly 15 million.
  • Include information about your organization, programs, and services. The work your organization is doing will inspire potential donors to break out their wallets and give.
  • Share with potential donors how their donation will make an impact: $20 provides XX, $50 can do XX, etc…
  • Include a fundraising goal. I’m participating in XX event and have a set a goal to raise $300.

What types of email templates should I create for participants? Provide your participants with a variety of templates.   Create two different fundraising emails, an initial ask and a follow up ask. Most donors will need to be asked more than once to take action. Include a couple  emails for team captains to use to recruit team members.  Be sure to provide a thank you email. It’s very important for participants to thank their donors. Proper thank you’s makes it easier to ask again next year. How about including a post event fundraising email? After the event, many participants will be motivated to do more, because they just had an amazing experience. Take this opportunity to encourage participants to keep fundraising.

What additional information would you include in your email templates?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amy Braiterman, principal strategy consultant at Blackbaud, supports customers with their peer-to-peer fundraising events with a process she refers to as “data-driven strategy.” Amy’s data driven strategy analyzes how effective event participants are using online fundraising tools and takes those results to develop an event fundraising plan. Prior to joining Blackbaud, Amy earned her fundraising stripes managing events for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Association and Share Our Strength. She shares her fundraising know how here on npENGAGE, by hosting educational webinars and speaking at customer conferences

Comments (3)

  • Mark Davis says:

    Amy – Great post and valuable information. Should organizations be concerned with the length of the email, especially considering how we live in the world of Twitter (144 characters) and smart phones?

    Thanks
    Mark Davis
    Blackbaud

  • Mark Davis says:

    Amy – Great post and valuable information. Should organizations be concerned with the length of the email, especially considering how we live in the world of Twitter (144 characters) and smart phones?

    Thanks
    Mark Davis
    Blackbaud

    • Amy Braiterman says:

      Great question. Yes, when creating email templates for participants they should be concise with meaningful content about the cause and organization. Ideally, templates should serve as a starting point for participants a source of inspiration to get the creative juices flowing. The most effective fundraising emails are those that include an individual’s reasons for participating.

      Let’s remember that while we want participants to share their story, sometime we’re lazy or not in the mood to write a meaningful email, so templates need to give the reader a reason to take action.

      While we live in a crazy world of 144 characters, I swear I struggle with adult ADD because of our ability to instantly access info, long emails are okay as long as the content is good. A personal story is great content.

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