Giving Tuesday Emails: The 3 Types You Need to Send

Connor Nolan

When thinking about your organization’s emails, it’s always a good idea to step back and think about the number of emails you get in a day. How often do you open an email for less than a few seconds? Or mark one as ‘read’ without actually looking at it?

During the last few months of the year, your constituent’s inboxes are likely flooded with messages — holiday promotions, event invitations, appeals from other organizations. How will your Giving Tuesday emails stand out from the crowd? 

This year, Giving Tuesday falls on December 3rd, If you haven’t yet, now’s the time to get your strategy in shape. In this post, we’ll be going over the three Giving Tuesday you’ll want to send: announcement emails, day-of promotional emails, and thank you emails. 

Giving Tuesday Email Best Practices

Giving Tuesday best practices are essentially just standard email best practices. As long as your existing strategy is covering all the basics (i.e. an engaging subject line, readable design, informative copy), you’re ready to jump into drafting your GivingTuesday emails. 

If you can, customize your email template to reflect your GivingTuesday campaign. Small touches, like incorporated the approved logos and images, can make your message stand out from your other appeals. 

For approved GivingTuesday logo files, visit the GivingTuesday website

The 3 Types of Giving Tuesday Emails You Need to Send

Announcement Emails

This year, Giving Tuesday will take place on December 3, 2019. Let your audience know that you’ll be participating with an initial outreach email to warm them up. 

Remember, the average nonprofit has a 24% open rate on any given email. That means 3/4ths of your contact base might notice if you only send one. Schedule 3-5 emails to go out during the month leading up to Giving Tuesday to make sure it’s in front of as many eyes as possible. 

An initial outreach email should:

  • Inform. Let donors know Giving Tuesday is coming up and give a brief explanation of what it is (and isn’t). Remind donors that Giving Tuesday isn’t exclusively monetary donations — they can give time, skills, and resources as well. 

“Of the 2018 Giving Tuesday participants, 28% gave money and 37% gave in other ways (donating food, clothing drives, and other forms of nonmonetary giving such as volunteering). 35% did both.”

Kathleen Murphy, Director of Digital Communication for #GivingTuesday. 
  • Include. Share your campaign goals with your audience. What are you trying to accomplish? And how can they pitch in? Remind them that by helping your nonprofit, they’ll be taking part in a worldwide event. Providing that context can be what incentivizes your contacts to give.
  • Thank. Let your audience know that they’ve been an integral part of your organization and that you appreciate their dedication to your cause. Gratitude is key at all points of the appeal process.

Three ideas for your initial Giving Tuesday outreach email’s subject line:

  • Are you ready, (recipient’s name)?
  • Save the date! A movement is coming.
  • Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday – What’s in it for you?

Day-of Promotional Emails

The emails you send on the day of your campaign should be focused on building excitement and encouraging donations. Timely communications can make supporters feel like they’re right there with you, so we suggest preparing 2-3 emails to send throughout the day. 

Your day-of promotional emails should:

  • Excite. Start with a kick-off announcement that restates your campaign mission and goals. Your messaging is going to be crucial here. Use energetic words and phrases to generate enthusiasm. Think “Today’s the day!” or “The Biggest Giving Day of the Year is Here!”. 
  • Share. Stories can hype-up your audience and emotionally connect them to your Giving Tuesday efforts. Include a brief excerpt from one of your success stories to motivate your audience and add some transparency to your campaign. 
  • Encourage. Get your donors to promote your fundraiser by telling them to forward the email to their friends and family. Small nudges like this can do wonders to promote reach.

Three ideas for your day-of Giving Tuesday email’s subject line:

  • Today’s the day! Help us get to [campaign goal]. 
  • It’s Giving Tuesday. Today’s the day to change lives.
  • Give Food. Give Love. Giving Tuesday.

A Thank You Email 

Show your new Giving Tuesday donors you appreciate them, and that you value their contributions to your mission with a prompt and sincere thank you. When done correctly, it can be a cornerstone of donor retention

Your “thank you” email should:

  • Be quick. A speedy “thank you” with an IRS approved tax receipt goes a long way with donors. Online donors expect added immediacy to confirm their payment was captured, so be sure to set up an automated thank you. 
  • Be personal. Include their first name (no “Dear Valued Donor”), and donation amount. Sign off on your thank you email as an actual team member rather than on behalf of your organization. Personalizing your thank you email isn’t as difficult as it sounds, the process can be streamlined through a mail merge system.
  • Be Social. Invite participants to follow your organization on social media so they can stay updated on the successes of your campaign. #GivingTuesday has organized a #MyGivingStory social media contest to boost generosity for this year’s 2019 event. Ask your participants to share a story about how or why they give back to their community. 

Three ideas for your Giving Tuesday thank you email’s subject line:

  • Thank you for your help. 
  • You make our work possible. 
  • Your generosity is appreciated.  


Just remember, the most important part of your campaign is to encourage continued engagement. Your emails should intuitively lead to actionable behaviors, and if you execute this strategy correctly, you will have no trouble accomplishing this goal.

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