Fundraising Email

Important Instructions

  • We advise that you send this exact email message (below) to each of your friends and family. The content and formatting of this email message is highly effective and will enable you to quickly and efficiently complete and exceed your fundraising minimum.
  • It's important that you send the message as a personalized email, and not as a mass email. For example, don't send this as a generic email in which you BCC all of your friends and family. Also, don't include all of your friends and family in the To: section of the email. Instead, send a personalized email to each friend and family member. You should begin each email with a greeting such as "Dear Steve," "Dear Jane," etc. If you were to send a mass email, your email would be unlikely to be read by the recipients.
  • The email's subject line is very important to ensure that it is opened and read. We suggest that you use this subject line for each email: My Upcoming Volunteering in Ghana/India/Honduras (select your location)
  • The font and formatting of an email is also important. If you were to send a message with colorful fonts, or with capitalized letters, the message will look "spammy" and is unlikely to be read.
  • Before you send the fundraising email to your family and friends, please first send Rachel Turkel (rturkel@uniteforsight.org) your drafted fundraising email for review. This will help to ensure that your fundraising message will be highly effective and best convey your fundraising message.
  • Why does the Unite For Sight-provided fundraising email message work so well? This is a great website from Microsoft that describes how to avoid very common pitfalls that result in messages being deleted or not read: http://www.microsoft.com/atwork/productivity/emailtips.aspx Microsoft emphasizes that you need to ensure that the purpose of the message is clear and that you tell the recipients what action they should take.

    As you’ll see below, the Unite For Sight-provided fundraising message briefly discusses Unite For Sight and its impact, describes your fundraising goal and how the funds are used, and it also emphasizes that 100% of the donation goes directly to restoring sight.  Most prospective donors want to know a little about the organization to which they would donate.  Many prospective donors also tend to be aware that most all nonprofits utilize significant portions of donations for administrative expenses, so it is very critical to emphasize that 100% of donations to Unite For Sight are used to provide eye care for patients living in extreme poverty. The details provided in the Unite For Sight-provided fundraising message are therefore very critical for legitimacy, trust, and donation enthusiasm.  The Unite For Sight-provided fundraising message also emphasizes that "any help is appreciated, and no amount will go unnoticed." It is important that you not provide a specific donation amount that is requested, but instead allow each prospective donor to decide how much to donate on their own. Some may donate $20 or $25, while others may donate $50 or $250, or perhaps even more.
  • How easy is it to fundraise with the online fundraising page? You will find that your family and friends are excited to support your fundraising efforts for a cause and organization that are important to you. You will likely find that it takes no more than one month to reach the $1,800 minimum fundraising amount, and some volunteers even reach the fundraising minimum within one week. College student Daniel Yeboah-Kordieh, for example, anticipated that fundraising would be difficult, but he ultimately raised $1981 within a few weeks. He explains: "The learning experience of the Global Impact Corps Program began way before I actually arrived in Ghana. I initially flinched when I was told raising a minimum of $1800 was a prerequisite to participating in the program. Given that I was a freshman international student, who barely knew anyone in the United States, I sincerely thought this amount would be impossible to raise. However, this turned out to be a life lesson of ‘tenacity in the face of challenges’ that this program would teach me. I had the immense support of officials at Unite For Sight’s office, who would call me, and discuss innovative fundraising techniques with me. In addition I was given a fundraising webpage that streamlined the process. Within a few weeks, I had raised way more than the minimum requirement; I was forced to think outside the box, push myself, persist and overcome a challenge I thought was impossible."

Effective Fundraising Email

Suggested subject line for the email: My Upcoming Volunteering in Ghana/India/Honduras (select your location)

Dear <INSERT NAME>

I'm excited to report that I have been selected as a Unite For Sight Global Impact Fellow, and I will participate at <INSERT EYE CLINIC NAME> in <INSERT COUNTRY> during <INSERT PROGRAM DATES>.  Unite For Sight (www.uniteforsight.org) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is the world's leader in socially responsible, effective volunteering and also a leader in providing high quality, cost-effective care to the world's poorest people. To date, Unite For Sight has provided eye care services to 1.7 million patients, including more than 64,000 sight-restoring surgeries. While abroad, I will participate daily with the local ophthalmologists, local optometrists, and local ophthalmic nurses to eliminate patient barriers to care and to facilitate comprehensive year-round eye care for patients living in extreme poverty.

As a Unite For Sight Global Impact Fellow, I am fundraising at least $1800 to provide eye care for patients living in extreme poverty, but I hope to raise much more.  I would be so grateful for your support.  The average cost of a cataract surgery is $50, which means that $50 will enable someone who is blind to have their sight restored, and $250 enables five people to have their sight restored.  Can you imagine impacting another person’s life in a more significant way?  Any help is appreciated, and no amount will go unnoticed.  100% of your tax-deductible donation to Unite For Sight goes directly to restoring sight for patients living in extreme poverty.  Unite For Sight is one of only a handful of organizations worldwide that uses 100% of all donations for its programs.  You will not find an organization that is more efficient and responsible with every dollar donated. 

I would be grateful for your support of Unite For Sight to provide eye care to many more patients living in extreme poverty.  My goal is to raise at least $5,000, which will provide 100 sight-restoring surgeries. By raising $5,000, I would also receive a volunteer of the year award from Unite For Sight. You may donate through my online fundraising page at <INSERT LINK, or shorten link at http://tinyurl.com/>

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.  I look forward to whatever support you can provide, and I look forward to sharing my Ghana/Honduras/India experiences with you!

Love/Warmest Regards/Fondly/or select another closing,
<insert your name>