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30 great fundraising email subject lines for nonprofits

There are many types of emails to engage donors but the best emails are the ones that are opened and, better yet, elicit donations. We’ve compiled a list of 30 subject lines to get you thinking about new ways to get donors to open your fundraising emails. In addition, consider the following as you prep your next round of fundraising emails.


When you personalize your subject line with your donor’s first name, you can see up 27% higher open rates than those emails without names directly in the subject line. What’s more? You’re likely to see an increase in giving (up to 6 times higher) and double-digit open rates. Many third-party email software systems will allow for subject line personalization and if not, go for a personalized salutation in the body of your email.

Use action words or action phrases

One-word or two-word actions can be effective in enticing readers to open an email and see what’s next. Think about what you want the recipient to do and then shorten that action by using just one or two words (and your descriptor afterward). A few to start:

  • Change
  • Support
  • Give
  • Help
  • Save
  • Join
  • Show up.
  • Take action.
  • Sign up.
  • Volunteer today.

Download our free 30 Effective Fundraising Email Subject Lines

Consider out-of-the-box subject lines during busy times of the year

Certain times of us the year such as December 31 (for end-of-year giving and #GivingTuesday may mean that potential donors are receiving many emails asking for donations.

Forget the spam

Some email marketing experts will tell you to use subject lines that include “Re:” or “FW:” in them to make it look like the email is from a previous string of emails or that your email is uber-personalized. In our opinion, that is a bit like bait-and-switch and isn’t the most transparent way to go. In fact, you could risk being marked as spam as 69% of email recipients will mark emails as such just based on subject lines alone.

Want to see these tips in action? Download our free guide “30 Effective Fundraising Email Subject Lines” for nonprofits to take your fundraising email campaigns to the next level.


Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, the fundraising CRM that makes recurring, monthly giving a breeze for small nonprofits.

For over 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

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