Our favorite #GivingTuesday email examples

McKenzie Gregory

Is your brand ready for #GivingTuesday?

If you work at a nonprofit, you know that participating in #GivingTuesday (yes, it’s most commonly referred to using a hashtag) is an absolute must. 

Celebrated on the day after Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. And with all the attention it generates, it’s a great way to build awareness…not to mention bring in much-needed donations.

In 2017, #GivingTuesday hit a record of $274 million raised, which projects higher goals and hopes for 2018. With 1,010,045 mentions on social media and 21.7 billion total impressions on Twitter, it's clear that this social movement of giving is here to stay. But what about email? 

And yet, since email conversion rates are 40 times those of Facebook and Twitter, you don't want to leave email out of your #GivingTuesday plans. Not to mention it’s a fantastic way to get the word out and reach even more potential donors. These are some of the best #GivingTuesday email examples we’ve seen over the past few years, so use them as inspiration for your own special send. 

1. Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

We're absolutely in love with this email from Cheekwood's #GivingTuesday campaign last year. With a beautiful, mobile-optimized template and a clear call to action, the path to purchase couldn't be more clear. Plus, the team smartly tied their offering to the holidays, showing subscribers that the membership was both a worthy donation and an easy gift idea for friends and family members. 



2. Oxford American

While we don’t normally advocate for this much copy in an email, a personal letter feels just right for the occasion. And since it’s Oxford American, they know their subscribers are readers. Lay out your goals and big accomplishments from the past year to subscribers and invite them to give back with a note from your CEO, publisher, or another notable figurehead.



3. Dismas, Inc.

Use email leading up to the big day (and not just on it) to help drum up excitement. Better yet, show your subscribers the potential impact of their gifts with an emotion-packed video and quick explanation of how you plan to use their donations in 2018. After all, according to our friends at Wistia, including video in your email can boost your click rates by as much as 300%.



4. The Hermitage

Tie different donation amounts to different elements of your organization – “X dollars for X amount of people we’ve helped” or “X dollars for the number of years we’ve been around,” for example – to make their gift feel more tangible and connected to your nonprofit’s unique identity.



5. Nashville Humane Association

The right images can remind your audience what they love about your organization. In this example, for instance, how can you say “no” to those sweet, furry faces? Be sure to include photos of projects or people you’ve helped, too!



6. OrderUp

#GivingTuesday isn’t just for nonprofits. If you work for a publisher or even a retail brand, encourage your audience to do some good by tying a special promotion to the day’s events. A “buy one, we’ll give one” model works well, or you can even offer to donate a certain amount of money to a great cause every time a subscriber performs an action, like sharing your email or following your organization on social. Be creative!


7. Lyft

This is another great example of a company that isn't a nonprofit, but is still participating in the #GivingTuesday festivities. We love how Lyft reminds their subscribers of the special day and connects them with worthy organizations to donate to. 

8. Charity: Water

Charity: Water does a great job of storytelling in this email and walking subscribers through the impact they've made in the past, and continue to strive for in the future. The visual map element combined with the beautiful photography make this an eye-catching email that's pleasing to the eye and inspiring to the heart. 

What are you planning to do for #GivingTuesday this year? Let us know in the comments! 

Updated November 6, 2018



About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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