Category: Campaign Best Practices

How To Ask People to Donate Money—The Nice Way

If you have to ask people for money for your trip or cause, you’ll want to approach it the right way. Check out these polite ways to ask for money for some fundraising inspo! ☆ For some people, asking for donations is a breeze. You know the type—they’re absolute experts in making just the right connections between the donor and the cause. These folks make it all look effortless. But for the rest of us, just thinking about how to ask people to donate money can leave us with sweaty palms and a case of the jitters!

view of jar of coins from above

If you know how to ask people to donate money, you won’t have to dig around in the couch cushions as often.

We know it’s important to know how to raise funds (especially when it’s for meaningful travel or a dedicated cause), but it can be intimidating. It’s important to build this skill, and we’re going to show you how.

First things first: It helps to have a go-to guide filled with nice ways to ask for money. Whether it’s figuring out the most polite way to ask for money donations, or brainstorming some fun ways to make the asking part a whole lot easier, we’ve got you covered! As you read on, you’ll learn some creative options for getting the money you need—including some ways to make it possible to get help from strangers, just by reaching out.

7 polite ways to ask for money

1. Write a letter.

It might seem super basic, but in our hyper-digital world, a well-written letter that speaks from the heart and conveys a direct but thoughtful message is a great way to make an impact. In fact, your potential donor might consider this a particularly polite way to ask for money simply because you took the time to write it out, address an envelope, put a stamp on it, and mail it rather than just type up an email and zip it off. Just make sure your penmanship is clear, your message is strong, and your grammar and spelling are on point!

2. Host a dinner party.

You know your audience best, and while some people might be willing to contribute to your cause after a couple of slices of pizza or DIY tacos, one of the truly nice ways to ask for money is to feed your potential donors an excellent meal. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or exotic. Whether you cook it yourself or get some help, the big thing is to make it a special occasion by serving up an experience along with the meal. You can serve vegan strudel or steak Oscar (it’s up to you!), but whatever you do, just make sure your donors feel welcome.

people eating dinner

One polite way to ask for money is to butter up your donors first. As in, bread and butter.

3. Partner with your four-legged friends.

If you’re a fan of our four-legged friends, remember that one of the most polite ways to ask for money from a pet person is to offer to give some TLC to their furry family members in exchange for some cash! You can walk pups, babysit gerbils, and scoop litter box gold to get funds for your travel dreams. Your extra pet support means extra time for your potential donors, and your kind, thoughtful, and caring approach only sweetens the deal. Plus, puppies and kittens—yay!

[Related: 6 Steps to Fundraising for Meaningful Travel]

4. Have a bake sale.

Dinner parties are a great way to raise funds, but a good bake sale is also super-high on that list of nice ways to ask for money. Whip up some gooey brownies, ginger snaps, lemon bars, and cheesecake bites; add in some chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies; and have an oatmeal raisin option for the “healthy” take on the event. Then you’ll have a solid menu that’s sure to please! Partner with a church or community center, and watch your contributions climb right alongside your sales as you put a big smile on some sweet-toothed donors.

5. Go the traditional fundraiser route.

Those companies that help individuals and organizations sell everything from pens and wrapping paper to candy and pizza kits are mega-successful at providing items that sell. They also include materials that market well and scripts that include what they’ve found to be the most polite way to ask for money donations. Even better, why not sell something that connects with your trip. Going to Italy? Sell cannoli. Going to Costa Rica? Sell fair-trade coffee. Get creative and your rewards will multiply! Easy-peasy.

lemonade sign

Will anyone ever take our lemonade stand suggestion?

6. Have a -thon of some kind.

If you’re looking for a polite way to ask for money donations, don’t forget that people like to give to a cause while they dance, run, walk, cycle, sweat on a yoga mat, or do anything involving an active option. Even better, most people feel good about being asked to participate, and they will more often than not bring their friends. This means more fun, more donors, and more funds for you! And, if you’re stuck on how to make it happen, most community centers and local gyms will have an option for you to choose for planning, marketing, participation, and support.

[Related: What Makes a Good Fundraiser? 9 Important Components]

7. Let FundMyTravel do the talking for you.

What could be better than a dedicated platform for raising travel funds? Well, if you’re looking to get donations for your upcoming trip, not much! A campaign on FundMyTravel is a polite way to ask for money donations that will definitely leave an impression on your donors. From the free resources available in the toolkit to the super-clear instructions for getting started, you can learn all kinds of tips from the fundraising experts and increase your impact. As the saying goes, if you want to learn something new, it makes perfect sense to learn from the best!

Finding the polite way to ask for money donations will be a game-changer

women hugging on beach

Using nice ways to ask for money to propel your campaign will leave everyone smiling. Win win!

The polite way to ask for money donations can be as simple as offering a dog walk, baking a sweet treat, inviting people to a dinner, writing a letter, selling a pizza kit, or planning an activity for people willing to join in the fun and support your travel dreams. But don’t forget, a campaign on FundMyTravel will give you access to all the same fundraising benefits, from right within the comfort of your home. Launch a campaign and share your message with like-minded travelers and donors all over the world.

Once you have the right mindset, the necessary skills, and the tools required to meet your goals, nothing can stop you! When it comes to how to ask people to donate money, there are countless ways to do so. As long as you’re focused on nice ways to ask for money, you’re going to raise more funds, have more fun doing it, and build some relationships along the way. The opportunity to pursue meaningful travel abroad is something that most people would enjoy, so if you put your best foot forward and inspire others through your ideas and your kindness, you’re going to get to where you’re going in a way that feels pretty great!

Sign Up for the FundMyTravel Newsletter for More Fundraising Tips

andi sciaccaThis article was written by Andi Sciacca. Andi is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and their four-legged family. She works with inspired professionals who are expert practitioners, experienced educators, and well-known contributors to their field. Andi helps them take ideas and put them into practice. When not working or writing, she loves to experience music, see the world, and learn new things. Andi’s favorite places to travel include anywhere she can eat good food—and swim.

8 Fundraising Mistakes Made Online (and How to Avoid Them)

The key to avoiding common fundraising mistakes is to stay one step ahead at all times. But first, you’ll want to know what they are! ☆ It’s no secret that online fundraisers succeed or fail based on the impact they make with their audience. While that impact is typically measured in clicks and impressions, it’s important to remember that real people – with real expectations – are poking around in your content. Every opportunity to be viewed online by a potential donor is a golden moment. It can mean the difference between a sizeable donation or a big fat zero in the funds column of your online campaign. 

jar full of coins

Another fundraising mistake to avoid? Not realizing that every little bit helps!

So how do we make sure that every click and every connection has a reasonable chance of converting from a casual look into a successful contribution? To start, we want to avoid some of the most common fundraising mistakes. Sure, they’re easy to make—but they’re even easier to prevent. If you take the time to review your content and check for these possible errors and missed opportunities, you’ll be able to launch a fundraising campaign that is polished, professional, and (most importantly) successful.

8 common fundraising mistakes made online

1. Bad grammar and spelling errors

There’s just no reason to post online content with bad grammar, and that goes double for spelling! Whether you write your initial copy in Word, Pages, gDocs, or something else, be sure to pay attention to those green, blue, orange, and red squiggles that pop up under your words. It turns out that all of those criteria from Freshman Comp really do matter, from mechanics to word usage, so be sure to double-check your work. This will help you prevent one of the most common fundraising mistakes!

How to avoid this mistake: Here’s a helpful hint—read your content out loud to yourself. If you try to read a sentence aloud and run out of breath before it’s over, it’s a run-on and it should be edited or clipped. Another solution would be to check for passive voice; replace the trouble spots you identify with something more active and high-impact. Here’s a helpful resource to guide you!

2. Content that loses the reader

Grammar and spelling are only part of the story. Another big consideration is the way your writing flows (or doesn’t!). You might already be thinking about how easy or difficult your writing is to understand, but are you equally thoughtful about how easy or difficult your writing is to read? By this, we mean things like its level of sophistication, word choice, consistency, and even its appeal to your target audience or demographic. If you’re writing for anyone other than your ideal funder or donor, you’re wasting time—and you’re also making one of the more common fundraising mistakes!

How to avoid this mistake: You can check your work (freely, easily, and reliably) with a variety of tools that will help you measure for readability. These kinds of reports are based on algorithms that measure your writing using mathematical equations. They can’t really factor the pizzazz (that’s still on you!), but they will give you a clear sense of whether or not your story is built well.

3. Forgetting to include photos or images

person holding out fan of twenty dollar bills

People love visual aids. Kiiiinda like this, in fact.

It’s a cliché, for sure, but you know the saying—a picture is worth a thousand words. So, make sure you add some visuals into your fundraising campaigns to prevent fundraising mistakes! Not only do images attract views, a well-placed image can add tremendous impact to the power of your campaign. If you’re planning to go abroad to volunteer with pandas in China, think about the appeal of a text-based campaign without images, compared to a campaign that includes some well-positioned shots of pandas munching on bamboo. Using images can make the opportunity and experience feel more real.

How to avoid this mistake: Select images that are personalized to your cause, but make sure you’re able to use them and post them without violating copyright issues. The images you want to look for will be high-impact, and available for free (and fair!) use in your campaign. There are all kinds of sites claiming to offer free use, but many of them have specific rules (even Google) so make sure you review the requirements before you post that photo, just to be safe!

4. Not posting shareable links for social media

When you build your campaign, you should think about your ability to share it as widely as possible, but you also want to think about how you can make it easier for others to share your campaign in their networks. If you’re trying to avoid fundraising mistakes, you will include links to readily share your campaign to all the big social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Insta, etc.), but also try to make it simple enough for your readers, donors, and general supporters to quickly share your message with others via email. The easier you make it for others, the more inclined they’ll be to help!

How to avoid this mistake: You don’t need to be a computer programmer or web expert to make this easy to do. In fact, there are (free!) resources all over the web with tips and tricks to help you increase social media shares, encourage click-throughs, and inspire others to help you spread your message. With fundraising campaigns, the more you share, the more you stand to earn, so don’t let fundraising mistakes like this one get in the way of your success.

5. Not providing enough detail about how the money will be used

Sometimes, the donation request is buried under too many generalities. People who make these kinds of common fundraising mistakes will say things like, “Your donation will help me live my dreams” or “I’d love your help in meeting my goals” but the specific dream or goal is not clear enough for the donor to feel like they’re contributing to something truly meaningful. It’s difficult to be inspired by something that doesn’t connect through details, so make sure you include them!

How to avoid this mistake: When you build your campaign, think about the donor. What do you need to tell them in order to get them to truly connect with your cause? Remember that everyone loves a good story. If you share details about your fundraising in a way that inspires your potential donor to feel like they’re part of the story, they will feel even more inspired to support you. Here’s some great advice from the talented folks at Pixar to help you make that story come to life!

a tip jar that says “pay as you wish”

You don’t have to be pushy or overbearing about it. Just don’t forget to ask!

6. Not remembering to actually ask for the money

You definitely want to focus on including the right details, checking for grammar and tone, and using the proper images, but remember to ask for the money! In order to avoid this fundraising mistake, make sure you present the donation request in clear and simple language. Yes, it’s super important to talk about how it’s been your dream to teach kids to surf for years—and engaging your storytelling skill is absolutely key—but if you don’t make it clear that you’re looking for financial support, potential donors might just read of your adventures and simply move on.

How to avoid this mistake: When it comes to asking for money, remember to be clear and courteous. And, don’t forget to consult the experts for some good ideas about how to make that request in a way that connects. has some great resources for you, including a free toolkit that includes all kinds of suggestions about how to directly ask your donors for their contributions. Remember that people generally want to help others, so make it clear you’re asking for support!

7. Failing to inspire a sense of urgency

It’s happened to everyone. You receive a request to take some kind of action and you intend to follow up and you save it for later…until it’s too late. Don’t let that happen to your fundraising campaign! If you’re trying to raise money to go on a summer safari and it’s now the beginning of the new year, put some heat behind your campaign. Let your donors know that you will be spending the next few months preparing, and remind them that you need their support now in order to achieve your goals. Let them know that you need their contributions today so that you can take the next steps you need tomorrow.

How to Avoid this Mistake: Getting donations on your campaign requires a lot of the same skills as successfully achieving other goals. One useful tip is to think about using the SMART approach in all of your fundraising content. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Luckily, you can use some of the tools that exist to help you plan a time-bound strategy!

8. Not using FundMyTravel 😉 

If you really want to maximize the impact of your efforts and avoid fundraising mistakes, partner with the folks at FundMyTravel to host your campaign on the FundMyTravel platform. With a dedicated travel-focus, super-low fees, and all kinds of helpful tools, it’s the go-to resource for travelers seeking funds to support meaningful opportunities. Even better, you won’t get lost among other kinds of fundraising requests! You’ll benefit from other like-minded people having access to (and even sharing!) your content with their networks.

How to avoid this mistake: FundMyTravel makes it super easy to avoid common fundraising mistakes by setting you up for success from the very start! You can follow four simple steps to get started, and then use the resource toolkit to get your campaign ready for launch. There are helpful checklists, blog posts, and all kinds of other goodies to help you along the way. Whatever else you might do, be sure to check out FundMyTravel today!

Now you know how to avoid fundraising mistakes. Nice!

person holding out fan of bills in front of their face

Address your fundraising mistakes and get your campaign back on track!

With these eight tips in mind, you can see how easy it is to avoid the kinds of common fundraising mistakes that keep a good campaign from being really great! When it comes to preventing missed opportunities online, remember to put yourself in the position of your potential donor. What would YOU want to know if you were considering giving money to someone? Remember that the potential donor will want to help you if you make your need compelling enough.

Finally, fundraising mistakes don’t need to doom your campaign, even if it’s already posted or shared. You can always revive a dying campaign or spruce things up with a bit of a refresh. With an existing campaign, make sure you do a quick read-through for any of these common fundraising mistakes. If you spot any, you can make some quick modifications and get your campaign back on track for even more donations and support.

Join the FundMyTravel Newsletter for More Fundraising Tips!

andi sciaccaThis article was written by Andi Sciacca. Andi is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and their four-legged family. She works with inspired professionals who are expert practitioners, experienced educators, and well-known contributors to their field. Andi helps them take ideas and put them into practice. When not working or writing, she loves to experience music, see the world, and learn new things. Andi’s favorite places to travel include anywhere she can eat good food—and swim.

7 Little Improvements to Make to Your Online Fundraising Campaign

Every online fundraising campaign needs a boost from time to time. When your donations have slowed down to all but a trickle, it’s time to liven things up! There’s much more to online fundraising than just directing people to a donation page, and it’s important to keep your online fundraising campaign fresh and relevant to appeal to donors. The key to keeping donations high is to find a way to connect with your supporters in a meaningful way; this is at the heart of all successful fundraising campaigns!

Two women high fiving at a cafe table

Making meaningful connections is a surefire way to achieve successful online fundraising campaigns.

Hitting your fundraising goal can make or break your time abroad, which means you need to put your best foot forward when crowdfunding online. There is always room for improvement to your online campaign! Little tweaks can offer big returns, so it is worth revisiting your online campaign page and updating your fundraising strategy. These 7 tips will help you figure out how to increase donations and liven up your fundraising campaign!

How to improve your online fundraising campaign—small changes with big returns

1. Tap into your passion—and show it!

You can’t fake passion and authenticity, and these are two things that many people value deeply. One of the best ways to connect with people is through a shared passion. At the very least, even if your opportunity abroad is not related to their passions, showing your donors that you are passionate will pique their interest.

Everyone knows how it feels to be passionate about something, and when you’re moved by a story or a cause, you want to support it. When people realize how close to your heart this opportunity abroad is, the donation process feels much more meaningful. Most importantly: you have to be able to communicate your passion. It is a way of proving that people should donate to you.

Here are a couple of questions to start with: Why is this opportunity so important to you, and how will it make you and the world around you a better place? These questions should reveal the passion behind your journey abroad. Your campaign doesn’t have to be over the top to convey passion; you can convey it through writing something heartfelt, and even a genuine smile in a campaign video can make it clear that your cause is close to your heart.

Woman smiling outdoors

Don’t hide how you feel! If you want to know how to get donations online, the answer is to be passionate and genuine.

2. Make sure you are telling a story

Everyone loves a good backstory! Stories humanize us and connect us. There’s a reason why you are fundraising (beyond the fact that you just need the moola). There’s a history of decisions, passions, and maybe even coincidences behind your decision to go abroad. Tell it!

Once again, connections help drive donations. There is probably an aspect to your story that donors can connect to: a love for travel, a love for helping others, a dream of studying abroad—these are all things that many people have experienced at some point! Your backstory gives donors more insight into who you are and your reasons for going abroad. A good story is a major driving factor behind successful fundraising campaigns!

3. Put a face to your story

This small change can elevate your fundraising campaign. If you are using generic photos (or even worse—NO photos), you’re missing out on a big way to connect to your donors. Sure, many of your donors will probably already know what you look like, but you can take your story to the next level by using imagery to your advantage. When people can connect a story to a face, it humanizes the narrative. It’s not just words on a page; it shows that the story is connected to a person with a past, and with hopes and dreams for the future.

You can do this in a number of ways. For example, if you are saving to volunteer abroad, you can include photos of the communities you will be helping. You can include photos of individual within that community, and the ways that this trip may help them. For environmental volunteering, you can include photos of the flora and fauna you will be conserving (who doesn’t love some cute animal photos)? If it is a more personal cause, like work or study abroad, you can include photos of yourself participating in activities that are related to your job or field of study.

Woman on top of a mountain taking photos

Stellar photography does a ton of heavy lifting when it comes to your online fundraising campaign.

4. Use compelling images

Images that tell a story, images that are beautiful, images that capture an important or emotional moment…these are the types of images that draw people in! It is easy to scroll past a bunch of words on a page. But pair it with a compelling image, and people are more likely to stop and pay attention.

First, make sure you have the basics covered. Images that are focused, not too dark or light, and that have a connection to your campaign (they need to have a reason for being on your page). Then there are some aspects that can bring your images to the next level. For example, capturing an authentic moment or emotion related to your trip, interesting related subject matter (e.g. a famous or unique location, or aspect of the country you will be visiting), and bright or photogenic color scheme that captures your attention. The main point is: images are important. Make sure to take the time to choose and edit meaningful photos to use for your campaign!

5. Let donors know exactly where their money will go

When it comes to donations, most people want to know where their money will go. When you are giving away money in good faith, it feels good to know that it will be used wisely. One simple way of showing this is by including a list of expenses you are fundraising for. For example, are you fundraising for flights, program fees, or tuition (maybe all of the above)? Donors are more likely to donate if they know their money is going towards the intended cause and not being spent frivolously.

If you want to take it a step further, you can even show a budget break down and the amount you hope to raise per expense. Figuring out a budget is something that you need to do for any trip, and one way to keep control of your spending is by sharing this information. Creating a budget will give you an accurate idea of how much money you need to raise. By making it public (even just between you and a few of your donors) it will set you up to be more accountable for your spending.

Three women laughing together

While running an online fundraising campaign, make sure to be transparent with your donors about what their money is funding.

6. Edit with a fine-toothed comb

There is nothing worse than reading something littered with spelling and grammar mistakes. It can make a good fundraising campaign look careless and slapped together—which is definitely not the kind of look you want when you are asking for donations!

Beyond just editing grammar and spelling mistakes, you should also edit the tone and flow of your campaign. Try your best to let your personality shine through! A personable piece is much more likely to attract the attention of donors. Your online fundraising campaign is integral to your fundraising efforts, so it is worth your time to double (and triple check) your work.

7. Say “Thank You” effectively by offering a token of appreciation

Hopefully, you are already doing something to make your donors feel appreciated (if not, you really, really need to start!). Your donors are helping you achieve your dreams, and that is something to be thankful for. There’s more to online fundraising than just figuring out how to get donations online; you also need to make sure your past donors feel appreciated!

This can be as simple as a grateful email to say thank you and let your donors know that their donation will take you far (literally)! Other ideas can include postcards or small gifts from your time abroad. You can also highlight donors in a social media post (everyone loves a shout-out). Just make sure you are saying thank you in some way!

A thank you card next to a latte on a table top

Whether by text, by letter, or in person over a latte, showing your donors that they’re appreciated is a fundraising best practice.

Need some examples? Here are 4 successful FundMyTravel fundraising campaigns

1. Interning in Dublin

This campaign answers the three most important questions within the first few sentences: what, where, and why. They explain why they are passionate about their internship field and also why they chose Ireland as their destination. The photos used reflect the beauty of Ireland (it even makes us want to jet over there!) This fundraising campaign managed to surpass its goal by 20%. Not too shabby!

2. Mental Health Placement in Sri Lanka

This fundraiser breaks down exactly how the volunteer will help mental health efforts in Sri Lanka. It gives an excellent explanation of the importance of this volunteer trip. They specify that they are collecting donations towards their program fee, which gives donors a good idea of how their money is being spent. This online fundraising campaign managed to reach its goal with almost a month left to spare.

3. Honeymoon Fund

This one takes advantage of a sentimental event to raise travel funds. Instead of asking for gifts, it is a call for donations towards a honeymoon trip. Asking for donations in lieu of physical gifts is a great way to maximize your donations!

4. Volunteer in Bali

This campaign shares a detailed background story, and also a cost breakdown. It is easy to see that effort was put into this campaign (and it paid off!). It even includes a list of donor gifts that will be given depending on how much you donate. All of these aspects definitely helped make this a successful fundraising campaign.

Now you know how to increase donations online!

Friends hanging out together at golden hour

Make connections, be genuine, and tell a great story, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful online fundraising campaign.

It can be tough to get over your mid-campaign lull. After the initial surge of donations starts slowing down, you can be left wondering how to keep the wave going. No matter how excellent your original idea was, every campaign can use some livening up from time to time! You need to put in work at every step to keep your campaign memorable and relevant, and to keep those donations coming in.

A strong online fundraising campaign can give the push you need to reach your donation goal. Creating a clear and concise fundraising campaign is a big task, but it is totally doable! If you’re wondering how to get donations online, the main aspect you should focus on is forging a connection with your donors. There are small improvements that you can make to any fundraising campaign to boost its effectiveness. These tips will help your online fundraising campaign stand out from the rest!

Haven’t started your fundraising campaign yet? It’s time! Create a Fund My Travel fundraising campaign and start collecting donations today!

jasmine harding headshotThis article was written by Jasmine Harding. Jasmine recently graduated from Western University with a degree in Media, Information, and Technoculture. She lived in 5 different countries before she turned 7 years old, but she claims that none of them “count” since she doesn’t remember them. She can’t wait to actually live in 5 different countries! In her spare time, you can find her playing with cats or watching food documentaries on Netflix.

5 Brilliant Shortcuts to Great Fundraising Emails

Do you have what it takes to write great fundraising emails? Can you make connections with your audience and inspire them to take action? If you want to produce content that converts readers into donors, it will take skill, determination, and timing–but we’ve got the information you need to produce the best fundraising emails. We’re going to show you how to write messaging that will give your campaign a boost!

Gmail on a laptop screen

Step one—click “Compose” of course! It does get a little bit more complicated from there, though.

Once you have the right content in place, you can let your words do the work to get you on your way to whatever adventure you can dream up next. Whether you’re new to fundraising or you’re working on your tenth campaign, every writer can benefit from a refresh. And while it might be tempting to just Google fundraising emails examples and replace the generic details with your own, the best way to make sure your content is high-impact is to let your readers (and potential donors) connect with you through writing.

From the subject line of your fundraising email to the closing call to action, you want to send the kind of online correspondence that will steer clear of the spam folder, inspire readers to click through, and make them feel like the time they spent reading your message was time well spent. If you can do that, you can get those same readers to support your goals and donate to your campaign–so let’s get started!

Five steps to the best fundraising emails

1. Think about your goals.

As the famous saying goes, if you want to be successful, you should begin with the end in mind. When you think about what you want to achieve through your email campaign, focusing on your objectives will help you keep your writing aims true. Great fundraising emails are goal-driven and direct. You can use different styles in your writing (storytelling, humor, empathy-driven, adventure-focused) but the reader needs two things to be clear at the end of your email: what you’re asking for and how they can help.

If you keep your goals in mind, you will be more likely to write the kind of content that helps you connect with your readers and meet the objectives of your campaign. And, those objectives could be complex—so staying goal-focused will help there, too. As an example, if your goals include raising awareness about a cause that you’re planning to support through volunteerism, keeping that goal front and center will help your messaging have greater impact.

2. Write a killer fundraising description.

This is where you build your story into a meaningful appeal. Your fundraising description should inform and inspire. Readers want to know why they should care about your cause, so make sure you take the time to make that clear. Are you off to save the whales? Are you planning to teach children or harvest crops? Will you distribute pellet stoves in rural communities? Or, are you hoping to scale mountains, feed pandas, or join a fishing expedition in Alaska?

The best fundraising emails examples are the ones that introduce the cause, the person (you!), and the others who might benefit. Then, when it’s time for a call to action, the focus turns to what the person helping you fund your dreams has to gain. Are they going to support needed volunteerism? Are they going to help someone who always wanted to see elephants in the wild achieve their dreams? Will they be feeding those in need or feeding the ambitions of an adventurous traveler? With the right messaging, they’ll be inspired to help, whatever the cause!

[Titles are important too! Check out 7 of the Best Personal Fundraising Campaign Titles]

Person writing on white piece of paper on table top

Pro tip: Sometimes the trick to writing killer fundraising emails is to draft your masterpiece on paper first.

3. Make a great first impression.

Start strong! The best fundraising email subject lines will inspire your recipients to read all the way through. If you want to get your readers to become donors, they need to connect with your content—so your goal is to get them to read what you write. This means, send your emails with subject lines that sing! This also means you should avoid clichés and make sure your subject snippet doesn’t feel like clickbait.

So what should you write? Check out online conversion experts (like HubSpot and Optinmonster) for even more high-powered fundraising message examples. Some quick and easy suggestions to get you started would include the creative use of emojis, inspiring serious FOMO amongst your readers, and even being super-direct. For example, a subject heading that says, “Yes! This is a fundraising email!” can be high-impact with the right recipient. And this leads us to suggestion number four…

4. Know your audience.

Whether your style is super-formal or super-casual, the message of your email should be consistent, even if the style and tone of your writing changes. The most important thing to remember is that any modifications you make to best connect with your audience should still produce email content that sounds like you. You might take a different approach when sending great fundraising emails to your friends than to your local community leaders, but you and your cause need to stand out no matter who is on the other end of that email address.

This is why we stressed the killer description in tip number two! If your copy is solid, then you can adapt it for a “Hey, Party People!” intro just as readily as a “Good Afternoon, Senator” intro. And if you’re confused about how to do this, be sure to do some research on sample fundraising emails. We’ve even provided you with a few we really love below this list of tips!

5. Try humor.

We’re not suggesting you put the funny stuff where it doesn’t belong. However, if you can use some appropriately placed humor to your advantage, it can really help! This is another place we would suggest taking a look at sample fundraising emails that produced results. The balance between humor and your authentic appeal can be a delicate one (and it’s certainly not going to work for every fundraising cause), but if you can add some laughter or levity you might inspire a more generous contribution from your recipient when you use funny fundraising emails!

Here’s a great example of how to make that work from a campaign to fund a food truck…written from the point of view of the truck! So, if your campaign is to go scuba diving among the Tangalooma Wrecks in Moreton Island, you could add some fun by offering to share photos of the shipwrecked treasures you find with anyone who supports your adventure. Or, write about how this is the closest you might come to being a pirate, or living the life of Jacques Cousteau. When the average person receives over 120 emails a day, the ones with punch will stand out!

A hand writing in a notebook near an iPhone

Don’t be afraid to spice up your fundraising emails—add a little bit of personality and pizzazz! Authenticity goes far.

Sample fundraising emails we love

In addition to that food truck example (anyone craving street food?), here are a few others to get you thinking big picture. Not all of them are for travel, but all of them have that ~something special~ that makes the difference.

Example #1

This fundraising email sample is one of our favorites; it involves raising money for puppies to attend kindergarten! Check out this excerpt below from one of their fundraising campaigns to see why we love their messaging, and read more campaign messages from the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

Whereas some animal welfare campaigns can cause people to change the channel, hit delete, or look away, this particular organization consistently proves themselves as masters of reaching their audience with humor and a gentle tug on the heartstrings:

It’s another successful graduation from Best Friends Puppy Preschool! This class will make its mark on the world (not your carpet – they learned that’s frowned upon). These furry pioneers want to change the world for homeless animals everywhere. Can they count on your help?

Example #2

It can be hard to ask for support for what might seem like the fulfillment of a lifelong obsession, but put that feeling aside and go all-in on living your dreams, just like the guy in this excerpt did! As you read, you’ll find that it’s clear that he thought about the message and its impact on his audience. We can see how he was able to get creative to address what objections some people might have in a way that was endearing with just the right amount of self-directed snark!

My name is Andrew, and I am obsessed with cats–big cats–the biggest cats…  

Since I’ve been a little kid, I’ve always wanted to see lions, and tigers, and––well, bears are cool, too––but it’s pretty much just been lions and tigers. And now I have the chance! The Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa will permit me to have the adventure of a lifetime, at a pretty reasonable rate––the only catch is that I need to get myself to South Africa. Which, as a twenty-year-old guy with a music degree living in my parents’ garage, is kind of hard to do.

But before you tell me to get a job, I want to tell you that I did! In fact, it’s all lined up––I’ll be teaching music to special needs children––but that job is also in South Africa! (Are you sensing a theme here?) So before I live my dreams, see the Jukani big cats up close, and then go on to help share my love of music with children with some special skills, I need your help.

Example #3

Some people you will appeal to for donations are being asked for their support on a pretty regular basis and fundraising fatigue is a real thing. With this in mind, one PTA mom in Texas decided to tackle that head-on and even made the national news as a result of her appeal going viral! Her appeal notice is below; as you read it, think about how you could adapt a similar style for your own cause.

This fundraising notice is being sent in lieu of sending students home with the task of selling things door-to-door, collecting money, and delivering goods. Please help us avoid that by supporting your local PTA and helping us provide students and faculty with necessary support!

Please select one of the options below. Thank you in advance for your support!

___$15 – This is the amount of money I would have spent on the cupcakes I would have purchased to avoid baking for the bake sale we aren’t having.

___$25 – I do not want to hit up my friends and family for donations or purchases, so this is the money I would have spent buying pizzas, cookies, snacks, or ugly wrapping paper.

___$50 – I do not want to walk, run, swim, or do anything with the letters “thon” in it. Here is the money I would have spent on my registration and the “free” t-shirt for the event I am not forced to attend.

___$75 – I do not want to attend any fancy balls, casino nights, or galas. This is the money I would have spent on dinner, drinks, dry-cleaning the clothes I would wear.

___$100 – I am giving you $100 to leave me alone for the rest of this year.

Writing great fundraising emails isn’t rocket science!

A Macbook next to crumpled up pieces of paper

It might take a few rough drafts to create great fundraising emails, but that’s all part of the fun!

There is a skill to writing copy that converts, but it’s not complicated. It just takes time, thoughtfulness, and some practice! From the best fundraising email subject lines to tips for using funny fundraising emails to connect with your audience, we’ve given you some tools to make your writing stronger and more impactful. Now it’s up to you to use that information in the best way possible for your particular goals.

Whether you use one of our fundraising message examples or come up with the perfect template on your own, delivering the best fundraising emails requires you to be honest, direct, authentic, and inspiring. Then, once you have the best content in place, you will want to distribute that content to the largest and most relevant audience possible—and make sure you leverage that even further by sharing it in the most dynamic way. Check out the resources available on today!

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andi sciaccaThis article was written by Andi Sciacca. Andi is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and their four-legged family. She works with inspired professionals who are expert practitioners, experienced educators, and well-known contributors to their field. Andi helps them take ideas and put them into practice. When not working or writing, she loves to experience music, see the world, and learn new things. Andi’s favorite places to travel include anywhere she can eat good food – and swim.