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37 Email Subject Line Examples to Use for Fundraising

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Published May 24, 2023 Reading Time: 5 minutes

Coming up with an original email subject line is easier said than done. It takes know-how, creativity, and a clear understanding of your target audience. 

First impressions matter, especially online, and email subject lines have the potential to make your campaign—or not. Done right, these help smoothly capture each reader’s attention and inspire them to answer your call to action

To ensure email success with your next initiative, use the following email subject line examples as inspiration to guide your creative thinking.

37 Email Subject Lines to Inspire Your Next Fundraising Campaign

Here are some different types of email subject line examples and templates to incorporate into your fundraising campaign to make it more effective.

Focus on the Cause

Give your reader immediate insight into the impact of your mission by leading with a memorable subject line. Elevate a particular pain point you solve or feature a captivating statistic that communicates your good work. Then, briefly describe what their donation will make possible with a straightforward and emotionally powerful statement.

Different Subject Lines to Consider:

  • Help reach children in need.
  • 10 minutes could save 10 people.
  • Give the gift of change.
  • A little donation goes a long way.
  • Help feed 100s of children this month.
  • Your donation could save a life.
  • Join us in changing the world.
  • Make a lasting difference (starting today).
  • Be a part of something bigger.

Intrigue the Reader

Pique your reader’s interest with an effective email subject line that leaves them wanting more. Invoke curiosity to get them to open your message and keep reading through the email body.

Different Subject Lines to Consider:

  • Want to know the power of $10?
  • See what impact really looks like.
  • It’s a hand-up, not a hand-out.
  • You’d want the same—wouldn’t you?
  • Build tomorrow by starting today.

Use Urgency

Create a sense of urgency when writing email subject lines based on your campaign’s fundraising goal.

Use words that highlight the significance of the email content, such as “important,” “breaking,” “urgent,” “tomorrow,” “limited time,” “expiring,” and “now.”

Entice readers to take action and participate in your cause before they miss the chance by setting a deadline. Stirring up this fear of missing out (FOMO) is an effective approach to any nonprofit marketing strategy.

Different Subject Lines to Consider:

  • One week left to join.
  • We just need a handful more donations.
  • [First name], last chance to get your gift matched.
  • Give today, we’ll match tomorrow.
  • Time is running out.

Show Gratitude

Don’t overlook the importance of developing a relationship with email recipients. After all, donor stewardship is one of the most foundational elements of sustainable fundraising. 

So take the time to follow up with donors to thank them for taking action and contributing to your campaign. Similarly, lead with gratitude to appeal to potential donors and reiterate that their individual support makes your fundraising efforts possible.

Different Subject Lines to Consider:

  • We couldn’t have done it without you.
  • Look at the difference you made.
  • Your support changed lives.
  • Thank you for your support.
  • We appreciate you.
  • The world needs more people like you.
  • You brightened up someone’s day.

Personalize Your Subject Lines

Add a personal touch to your email subject lines to help increase click-through rates and open rates

One personalization option is crafting a subject line that incorporates the email recipient’s first name. You might even consider editing your sender name to be a particular person in your organization (like your CEO) instead of your organization’s name. This gives the impression of a personal conversation between two people and adds a more intentional element of connection.

Different Subject Lines to Consider:

  • [First name], look what you made possible.
  • We need your help, [First name].
  • Thank you for your donation, [First name].
  • Give the gift of food, [First Name].
  • Know anyone that might be interested, [First name]?

Incentivize the Open

Try weaving fundraising incentives into your subject line if you have any for your campaign. Perks may include invitations and vouchers or special recognition at your main event.

Another approach is to remind your prospective donor that they’re joining a special community of people making a significant impact. This sentiment is even more powerful when promoting a branded recurring giving program.

Different Subject Lines to Consider:

  • You’re invited to our annual celebration.
  • One donation earns you a ticket in our raffle.
  • Want your name in stone?
  • Every referral gets you another ticket in the raffle.
  • Want to take your donation one step further?
  • Interested in becoming a recurring donor?

5 Email Subject Line Best Practices to Increase Email Open Rates

Email is a crowded space. Most recipients receive dozens (if not hundreds) of emails daily, and they certainly don’t open every single one—there’s just not enough time. It’s your job to write great email subject lines that motivate action and avoid the spam folder.

Follow these email best practices to boost engagement and increase your open rates.

1. Keep It Short

Keep your email subject lines short and sweet. Experts suggest keeping it to five words or less, but experiment to see what performs best with your audience.¹ Try using emojis to communicate more with less, especially on mobile devices.

Pro Tip: Tools like Grammarly can help improve your copy’s readability and, therefore, increase your email engagement levels. 

You can also use A/B testing tools to fine-tune your subject lines and boost open rates.  Experiment with a few different types of subject lines, and your email-sending platform will find the best one based on initial engagement.

2. Add Preview Text

Add captivating preview text, the short bit of copy that appears next to your subject line, to hook readers.

This prime piece of real estate lets you add more context to your catchy email subject line and can be the pushing point that gets someone to open your email.

3. Deliver Value

Demonstrate the value of your fundraising email to a reader and how they’ll benefit from opening it. Tell your donor what’s inside and give them a reason to click to open:

  • Is there a great fundraising opportunity? 
  • Are you holding an event near them? 
  • Will taking action improve their lives or the lives of others? 

Can you provide any freebies?

Higher open rates mean your subject lines get the job done, but low click-through rates might indicate readers don’t find enough value or feel like your subject line is clickbait or spammy.

To track how your email campaigns perform, keep tabs on these metrics:

  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Click-to-open rate (CTOR)

4. Segment Your Audience

Segment your email list to ensure you send to the most appropriate audience—an email blast to your entire list isn’t always the right fit. You want to avoid alienating your audience and causing some recipients to unsubscribe from future sends.

Think about your audience’s behavior and demographics. For example, if you host a volunteer event in Austin, Texas, segment your emails to recipients in that area.

5. Send at the Right Time

Test different days and time slots to see what works best for your audience’s engagement. While the time of day and deliverability rate are crucial aspects of an email, there’s no single send time to guarantee a successful email campaign, which is where testing comes into play.

The most popular email marketing services, including ActiveCampaign and AWeber, come with easy-to-use automation tools. These tools simplify the process of creating and scheduling your emails ahead of time.

Launch a Better Fundraiser With Classy

These email subject line examples provide a great starting place for your fundraising campaigns, but there’s more. After your recipient opens your email, the next step is to drive conversion—and that’s where Classy comes in.

Classy’s comprehensive fundraising platform allows you to build customized donation websites, campaigns, and donation forms that can 2x your revenue. Along with safe, seamless payment processing, in-person, virtual, and hybrid event management, and world-class CRM, email, and marketing integrations, your nonprofit can achieve anything it sets out to accomplish.

Schedule a chat with a Classy expert to learn how we can help your nonprofit fundraise with ease.

Article Sources

  1. “Email Subject Lines: Best Practices, Tips, and Examples,” Best Practices, Twilio SendGrid, last modified on May 26, 2022,
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