An Analysis of 83 #GivingTuesday 2017 Email Appeals

giving-tuesday-2016-header

In 2016, I received 40 email solicitations on Giving Tuesday from a mix of orgs I had given to previously and ones I had never given to (but engaged in some other way with).

In 2017, that number rose to a whopping 83 through the normal course of interacting with nonprofits in my daily life.

Below is an analysis of those 83 emails, highlighting several features of the message and their asks. All of the emails were received on 11/28/2017, the day of Giving Tuesday.

# of orgs I received emails from: 65

Time Sent (Eastern):

  1. 1:10 AM
  2. 5:00 AM
  3. 5:24 AM
  4. 6:00 AM
  5. 6:18 AM
  6. 6:39 AM
  7. 7:03 AM
  8. 7:06 AM
  9. 7:06 AM
  10. 7:06 AM
  11. 7:07 AM
  12. 7:07 AM
  13. 7:13 AM
  14. 7:15 AM
  15. 7:17 AM
  16. 7:21 AM
  17. 7:45 AM
  18. 8:00 AM
  19. 8:00 AM
  20. 8:04 AM
  21. 8:06 AM
  22. 8:07 AM
  23. 8:09 AM
  24. 8:12 AM
  25. 8:23 AM
  26. 8:24 AM
  27. 8:30 AM
  28. 8:46 AM
  29. 8:57 AM
  30. 9:24 AM
  31. 9:25 AM
  32. 9:28 AM
  33. 9:34 AM
  34. 9:47 AM
  35. 9:59 AM
  36. 10:20 AM
  37. 10:23 AM
  38. 11:10 AM
  39. 11:25 AM
  40. 11:32 AM
  41. 11:41 AM
  42. 11:52 AM
  43. 12:02 PM
  44. 12:09 PM
  45. 12:23 PM
  46. 12:27 PM
  47. 12:31 PM
  48. 12:40 PM
  49. 12:48 PM
  50. 12:50 PM
  51. 1:21 PM
  52. 1:26 PM
  53. 1:32 PM
  54. 2:05 PM
  55. 3:27 PM
  56. 3:35 PM
  57. 3:48 PM
  58. 4:00 PM
  59. 4:15 PM
  60. 4:18 PM
  61. 4:23 PM
  62. 4:30 PM
  63. 4:34 PM
  64. 4:53 PM
  65. 5:08 PM
  66. 5:12 PM
  67. 5:19 PM
  68. 5:29 PM
  69. 5:53 PM
  70. 6:06 PM
  71. 6:11 PM
  72. 6:20 PM
  73. 6:48 PM
  74. 7:10 PM
  75. 8:22 PM
  76. 8:34 PM
  77. 8:37 PM
  78. 8:57 PM
  79. 9:00 PM
  80. 9:25 PM
  81. 9:45 PM
  82. 10:59 PM
  83. 11:28 PM

29/83 emails were sent between 7am-10am eastern.

Subject Lines:

  1. 24 hours to fight hunger x2!
  2. Jackson, Walter, #GIvingTuesday, (Org Name) Calendars and more!
  3. 2x the impact on #GivingTuesday
  4. Support what you love on #GivingTuesday – (Org Name)
  5. 650 Gifts. 24 Hours. One Mission.
  6. Don’t forget! Today is Giving Tuesday
  7. It’s #GivingTuesday. Support (Org Name) Today!
  8. Double your donation this #GivingTuesday!
  9. Let’s turn #GivingTuesday into #GivingTreesDay!
  10. Give kids the chance to eat healthy!
  11. MATCHING OFFER with the help of American Airlines & Mastercard
  12. Steven, Give Hope Today
  13. Grant a Little Wish for #GivingTuesday
  14. Help change outcomes on #GivingTuesday
  15. #GivingTueday [LIMITED Time Match]
  16. Show Your Support On GivingTuesday | (Org Name)
  17. Changing their future begins with you.
  18. Steve, share your blessings!
  19. Invest in strength.
  20. #GivingTuesday Match (and Lotus Ball Pics!)
  21. #GivingTuesday: Your Support Goes Twice as Far
  22. Ready, Set, #GivingTuesday!
  23. Join Us TODAY to Give 100 Mentors!
  24. They left the home they knew for their safety. Give them a home they can feel safe in.
  25. RE: the global day of giving back
  26. It’s #GivingTuesday! Double Your Impact and Double Your Chance to Win Hamilton Tickets!
  27. Will you join me?
  28. Give Thanks. Give Hope. Give Tuesday.
  29. Our Scholars, Our Leaders!
  30. #Giving Tuesday: Your Dollars, Where They Matter Most
  31. 24 Hours. 1 Bike Every Minute. Let’s Go!
  32. Until midnight tonight, $15 becomes $30
  33. Take Action: A Stronger Illinois Begins with You
  34. Please consider supporting (Org Name) this Giving Tuesday
  35. Invest in Women and Girls
  36. Make a difference on #GivingTuesday
  37. It’s Giving Tuesday! Help your community thrive
  38. Today is #GivingTuesday!
  39. Your contribution will make all the difference.
  40. Guess what day it is?
  41. It’s Giving Tuesday: Support Women Entrepreneurs Today!
  42. Today is #(Org Name)GIVINGTUESDAY
  43. Give local. Give #Indiana.
  44. Steven, It’s Giving Tuesday – #BeAHero, Right Now!
  45. Experience Making a Difference TODAY!
  46. It’s Giving Tuesday at (Org Name)!
  47. Too many indulgences lately?
  48. #GivingTuesday MATCH ends tonight!
  49. Giving Tuesday: A Lemonade Stand In Honor of Her Dad!
  50. Want a Happier Future?
  51. Why do you Support (Org Name) on #GivingTuesday?
  52. Provide Hope on #GivingTuesday
  53. DOUBLE your (Org Name) gift: Hours left!
  54. Today’s the day! Get your #GivingTuesday donation to (Org Name) matched!
  55. Today Is Giving Tuesday!
  56. Give Trees on #GivingTuesday
  57. This #GivingTuesday, Your Gift Will Be Matched. Seek The Renewal Of The Community With Us.
  58. Support what you love on #GivingTuesday – (Org Name)
  59. #GivingTuesday a Chance To Help (Org Name)’s Kids!
  60. #GivingTuesday Match Time Running Out!
  61. Consider (Org Name) for #GivingTuesday
  62. Let’s Keep Rolling Towards 1,400 Bikes
  63. DOUBLE your (Org Name) gift: Hours left!
  64. Too many indulgences lately?
  65. Hours left to be a part of Giving Tuesday [2x Match]
  66. Still time left to Give a Lifeline
  67. #GiveAMentor – We’re almost halfway there!
  68. Only hours left
  69. Steven, #GivingTuesday is All About Heroes Taking Action – Give Now!
  70. It’s not too late to make a #GivingTuesday gift to (Org Name)
  71. The Final Push
  72. Why stop at 650?
  73. Last Chance! Donate Before Midnight to Double your Impact and Double Your Chance to Win Hamilton Tickets!
  74. #GivingTuesday: Your Support Goes Twice as Far
  75. So close! Will we make it to $15,000? Thank you for your #GivingTuesday support!
  76. This match ends at midnight!
  77. Steven, will you support girls in Chicago?
  78. Steven, the Clock is Ticking–#BeAHero for Children and Families, Now!
  79. 100,000 reasons
  80. Just a Few Hours Left of #GivingTuesday
  81. #GivingTuesday — Thanks for Helping (Org Name)’s Kids
  82. Just a Few Hours Left to Make an Impact!
  83. Last chance to DOUBLE your gift!

43/83 emails referenced some variation of “Giving Tuesday” in the subject line

Was Email Sent from Role-Based Email Address (info@, donate@, etc.)?

  1. Y
  2. Y
  3. Y
  4. Y
  5. Y
  6. N
  7. Y
  8. N
  9. N
  10. Y
  11. Y
  12. Y
  13. N
  14. Y
  15. Y
  16. N
  17. Y
  18. Y
  19. Y
  20. N
  21. Y
  22. N
  23. Y
  24. N
  25. Y
  26. Y
  27. N
  28. N
  29. N
  30. Y
  31. Y
  32. Y
  33. N
  34. Y
  35. Y
  36. Y
  37. Y
  38. Y
  39. N
  40. Y
  41. Y
  42. Y
  43. Y
  44. Y
  45. Y
  46. N
  47. N
  48. Y
  49. Y
  50. Y
  51. Y
  52. N
  53. Y
  54. Y
  55. N
  56. N
  57. N
  58. Y
  59. Y
  60. Y
  61. Y
  62. Y
  63. Y
  64. N
  65. Y
  66. N
  67. Y
  68. N
  69. Y
  70. Y
  71. Y
  72. Y
  73. Y
  74. Y
  75. Y
  76. Y
  77. N
  78. Y
  79. N
  80. Y
  81. Y
  82. N
  83. Y

25/83 emails came from a personal email address.

Did Email Reference What Type of Donor I am (never given, given once, etc.)?\

  1. Y
  2. N
  3. N
  4. Y
  5. N
  6. N
  7. Y
  8. N
  9. N
  10. N
  11. N
  12. N
  13. N
  14. N
  15. N
  16. N
  17. N
  18. N
  19. N
  20. N
  21. N
  22. N
  23. N
  24. N
  25. N
  26. N
  27. N
  28. N
  29. N
  30. N
  31. N
  32. N
  33. N
  34. N
  35. N
  36. N
  37. N
  38. N
  39. N
  40. N
  41. N
  42. N
  43. N
  44. N
  45. N
  46. N
  47. N
  48. Y
  49. N
  50. N
  51. N
  52. N
  53. N
  54. N
  55. N
  56. N
  57. N
  58. Y
  59. N
  60. N
  61. N
  62. N
  63. N
  64. N
  65. Y
  66. N
  67. N
  68. N
  69. N
  70. Y
  71. N
  72. N
  73. N
  74. N
  75. N
  76. N
  77. N
  78. N
  79. N
  80. N
  81. N
  82. N
  83. N

7/83 emails referenced donor type.

Did Email Body Text Contain My Name?

  1. Y
  2. N
  3. Y
  4. Y
  5. N
  6. Y
  7. Y
  8. N
  9. N
  10. N
  11. Y
  12. Y
  13. N
  14. N
  15. Y
  16. N
  17. N
  18. N
  19. Y
  20. N
  21. Y
  22. N
  23. Y
  24. N
  25. Y
  26. N
  27. Y
  28. Y
  29. N
  30. N
  31. N
  32. N
  33. N
  34. N
  35. N
  36. N
  37. Y
  38. Y
  39. N
  40. N
  41. N
  42. Y
  43. Y
  44. Y
  45. N
  46. N
  47. N
  48. Y
  49. Y
  50. N
  51. N
  52. N
  53. N
  54. N
  55. N
  56. N
  57. N
  58. Y
  59. N
  60. Y
  61. N
  62. N
  63. N
  64. N
  65. Y
  66. N
  67. Y
  68. N
  69. Y
  70. Y
  71. N
  72. N
  73. N
  74. Y
  75. N
  76. N
  77. Y
  78. Y
  79. N
  80. N
  81. N
  82. N
  83. N

30/83 emails greeted me by name.

Did Email Body Text Mention Giving Tuesday?

  1. Y
  2. Y
  3. Y
  4. Y
  5. Y
  6. Y
  7. Y
  8. Y
  9. Y
  10. Y
  11. Y
  12. Y
  13. Y
  14. Y
  15. Y
  16. Y
  17. Y
  18. Y
  19. Y
  20. Y
  21. Y
  22. Y
  23. Y
  24. Y
  25. Y
  26. Y
  27. Y
  28. Y
  29. Y
  30. Y
  31. Y
  32. N
  33. Y
  34. Y
  35. N
  36. Y
  37. N
  38. Y
  39. Y
  40. Y
  41. Y
  42. Y
  43. Y
  44. Y
  45. Y
  46. Y
  47. Y
  48. Y
  49. Y
  50. Y
  51. Y
  52. Y
  53. Y
  54. Y
  55. Y
  56. Y
  57. Y
  58. Y
  59. Y
  60. Y
  61. Y
  62. Y
  63. Y
  64. Y
  65. Y
  66. Y
  67. Y
  68. Y
  69. Y
  70. Y
  71. Y
  72. Y
  73. Y
  74. Y
  75. Y
  76. Y
  77. Y
  78. Y
  79. Y
  80. Y
  81. Y
  82. Y
  83. Y

80/83 emails mentioned Giving Tuesday in the email body text.

Did Email Ask for a Specific Gift Amount?

  1. Y
  2. N
  3. N
  4. Y
  5. N
  6. Y
  7. N
  8. N
  9. N
  10. N
  11. Y
  12. N
  13. N
  14. N
  15. N
  16. N
  17. N
  18. N
  19. N
  20. N
  21. N
  22. N
  23. N
  24. N
  25. N
  26. N
  27. N
  28. N
  29. N
  30. N
  31. N
  32. N
  33. N
  34. N
  35. N
  36. N
  37. N
  38. N
  39. N
  40. N
  41. N
  42. N
  43. N
  44. N
  45. N
  46. N
  47. N
  48. Y
  49. N
  50. N
  51. N
  52. N
  53. N
  54. N
  55. N
  56. N
  57. N
  58. Y
  59. N
  60. N
  61. N
  62. N
  63. N
  64. N
  65. Y
  66. N
  67. N
  68. N
  69. N
  70. N
  71. N
  72. N
  73. N
  74. N
  75. N
  76. N
  77. N
  78. N
  79. N
  80. N
  81. N
  82. N
  83. N

7/83 emails asked for a specific gift amount.

Did Email Ask for a Gift Towards One Specific Purpose (unique defined campaign, fund, project, match challenge, etc.)?

  1. Y (Match)
  2. Y
  3. Y (Match)
  4. N
  5. Y (Gift Quantity Goal)
  6. Y (Match)
  7. N
  8. Y (Match)
  9. Y (Match)
  10. Y (Gift Amount Goal)
  11. Y (Match)
  12. Y (Match)
  13. N
  14. N
  15. Y (Match)
  16. N
  17. Y (Match)
  18. N
  19. N
  20. Y (Match)
  21. Y (Match)
  22. N
  23. Y (Match)
  24. Y (Match)
  25. Y (Gift Amount Goal)
  26. Y (Raffle)
  27. Y (Match)
  28. N
  29. N
  30. N
  31. Y (Match)
  32. Y (Match)
  33. N
  34. N
  35. N
  36. N
  37. N
  38. Y (Match)
  39. N
  40. N
  41. Y (Fund)
  42. N
  43. N
  44. N
  45. N
  46. N
  47. N
  48. Y (Match)
  49. N
  50. N
  51. Y (Match)
  52. N
  53. Y (Match)
  54. Y (Match)
  55. Y (Match)
  56. Y (Match)
  57. Y (Match)
  58. N
  59. N
  60. Y (Match)
  61. N
  62. Y (Match)
  63. Y (Match)
  64. N
  65. Y (Match)
  66. N
  67. Y (Match)
  68. Y (Match)
  69. N
  70. N
  71. N
  72. Y (Gift Quantity Goal)
  73. Y (Match)
  74. Y (Match)
  75. Y (Match)
  76. Y (Match)
  77. Y (Gift Amount Goal)
  78. N
  79. Y (Match)
  80. Y (Match)
  81. N
  82. Y (Match)
  83. Y (Match)

45/83 (a orgs) asked for a gift towards one specific purpose, mostly a match.

Email Links to This Type of Donation Page:

Native = an embedded donation form on a dedicated webpage on nonprofit’s domain (“nonprofit.org/donate”)

3rd Party = a donation page not hosted through the nonprofit’s domain

  1. 3rd
  2. 3rd
  3. Native
  4. Native
  5. 3rd
  6. 3rd
  7. 3rd
  8. 3rd
  9. 3rd
  10. 3rd
  11. Native
  12. Native
  13. Native
  14. 3rd
  15. Native
  16. Native
  17. Native
  18. Native
  19. Native
  20. 3rd
  21. 3rd
  22. Native
  23. Native
  24. Native
  25. 3rd
  26. 3rd
  27. Native
  28. Native
  29. 3rd
  30. 3rd
  31. Native
  32. Native
  33. 3rd
  34. Native
  35. Native
  36. Native
  37. 3rd
  38. Native
  39. 3rd
  40. Native
  41. Native
  42. 3rd
  43. Native
  44. Native
  45. 3rd
  46. Native
  47. Native
  48. 3rd
  49. 3rd
  50. Native
  51. 3rd
  52. Native
  53. Native
  54. 3rd
  55. Native
  56. 3rd
  57. 3rd
  58. Native
  59. 3rd
  60. Native
  61. 3rd
  62. Native
  63. Native
  64. Native
  65. 3rd
  66. Native
  67. Native
  68. Native
  69. Native
  70. 3rd
  71. Native
  72. 3rd
  73. 3rd
  74. 3rd
  75. 3rd
  76. Native
  77. Native
  78. Native
  79. Native
  80. Native
  81. 3rd
  82. Native
  83. Native

48/83 (a orgs) directed recipients to a donation page on their organization’s website/domain.

Multi-Emailers

18 of the 65 orgs sent more than one email. In fact, they sent 45 of the total 83.

Though they are reflected in the above lists, here they are in one place, in the order in which each org sent:

OrgTime Sent:Subject Lines:
Org 12:05 PMToday’s the day! Get your #GivingTuesday donation to (Org Name) matched!
Org 18:22 PMSo close! Will we make it to $15,000? Thank you for your #GivingTuesday support!
Org 27:17 AM#GivingTueday [LIMITED Time Match]
Org 24:18 PM#GivingTuesday Match Time Running Out!
Org 38:06 AM#GivingTuesday: Your Support Goes Twice as Far
Org 37:10 PM#GivingTuesday: Your Support Goes Twice as Far
Org 49:24 AM#Giving Tuesday: Your Dollars, Where They Matter Most
Org 44:15 PM#GivingTuesday a Chance To Help (Org Name)’s Kids!
Org 49:45 PM#GivingTuesday — Thanks for Helping (Org Name)’s Kids
Org 58:09 AMJoin Us TODAY to Give 100 Mentors!
Org 55:19 PM#GiveAMentor – We’re almost halfway there!
Org 66:18 AM650 Gifts. 24 Hours. One Mission.
Org 66:20 PMWhy stop at 650?
Org 71:10 AM24 hours to fight hunger x2!
Org 712:40 PM#GivingTuesday MATCH ends tonight!
Org 75:08 PMHours left to be a part of Giving Tuesday [2x Match]
Org 812:09 PMSteven, It’s Giving Tuesday – #BeAHero, Right Now!
Org 85:53 PMSteven, #GivingTuesday is All About Heroes Taking Action – Give Now!
Org 88:57 PMSteven, the Clock is Ticking–#BeAHero for Children and Families, Now!
Org 97:06 AMLet’s turn #GivingTuesday into #GivingTreesDay!
Org 93:35 PMGive Trees on #GivingTuesday
Org 108:24 AMIt’s #GivingTuesday! Double Your Impact and Double Your Chance to Win Hamilton Tickets!
Org 101:21 PMWhy do you Support (Org Name) on #GivingTuesday?
Org 106:48 PMLast Chance! Donate Before Midnight to Double your Impact and Double Your Chance to Win Hamilton Tickets!
Org 118:30 AMWill you join me?
Org 115:29 PMOnly hours left
Org 119:00 PM100,000 reasons
Org 128:00 AMInvest in strength.
Org 126:11 PMThe Final Push
Org 137:03 AMIt’s #GivingTuesday. Support (Org Name) Today!
Org 136:06 PMIt’s not too late to make a #GivingTuesday gift to (Org Name)
Org 1412:31 PMToo many indulgences lately?
Org 144:53 PMToo many indulgences lately?
Org 153:27 PMToday Is Giving Tuesday!
Org 1510:59 PMJust a Few Hours Left to Make an Impact!
Org 169:28 AMUntil midnight tonight, $15 becomes $30
Org 161:32 PMDOUBLE your (Org Name) gift: Hours left!
Org 164:34 PMDOUBLE your (Org Name) gift: Hours left!
Org 168:34 PMThis match ends at midnight!
Org 1611:28 PMLast chance to DOUBLE your gift!
Org 176:00 AMSupport what you love on #GivingTuesday – (Org Name)
Org 174:00 PMSupport what you love on #GivingTuesday – (Org Name)
Org 189:25 AM24 Hours. 1 Bike Every Minute. Let’s Go!
Org 184:30 PMLet’s Keep Rolling Towards 1,400 Bikes
Org 189:25 PMJust a Few Hours Left of #GivingTuesday

 

3 organizations sent the exact same email twice, while a 4th re-used a previous subject line but edited the body text. A 5th sent the exact same email body text, but with a different subject line.

Takeaways

Due to the fact that emails lacked personalization (referencing donor type or asking for a specific amount), it is safe to assume that these Giving Tuesday campaigns were not segmented. In fact, one organization’s second appeal include the following: “If you have already made a gift today, THANK YOU! If not, it’s not too late!”

Compared to 2016, a much higher percentage of orgs directed email recipients to a native donation page, rather than an off-site/hosted, third-party page. This would suggest that more nonprofits adopting conversion rate optimization techniques for online giving.

Organizations who sent multiple emails were aggressive in pushing a matching deadline or donation shortfall. You can see in the table above that the subject lines become increasingly desperate with each subsequent email.

Most organizations found little reason to ask for money other than the fact that it was Giving Tuesday, as evident in the subject line and body text mentions of Giving Tuesday.

How do these results compare to your efforts? Assuming this is indicative of the whole sector, could we have seen a higher gift volume if certain things about these emails were different? Let me know in the comments below!

Steven Shattuck

Steven Shattuck

Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang
Steven Shattuck is Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang and Executive Director of Launch Cause. A prolific writer and speaker, Steven is a contributor to "Fundraising Principles and Practice: Second Edition" and volunteers his time on the Project Work Group of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project and is an AFP Center for Fundraising Innovation (CFI) committee member.
Steven Shattuck
By | 2017-12-07T16:59:55+00:00 December 7th, 2017|Fundraising, Email, #GivingTuesday, Online Giving|

2 Comments

  1. Sophie Penney, PhD December 11, 2017 at 10:13 am - Reply

    Steven,

    Interesting data, though I am left wondering, what was the effect of the steps taken (or not taken). Were there differences, whether small or vast, in the number of gifs made, dollars raised, number of new or repeat donors, etc.?

    Best,

    Sophie

    • Steven Shattuck
      Steven Shattuck December 11, 2017 at 10:25 am - Reply

      Not sure, since I haven’t reached out to any of the orgs. My goal was to present what an inbox of a typical donor looks like on GT. Thanks for reading, Sophie!

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