Top 5 Tips for your Nonprofit Email Subject Line

Nonprofit Email Subject Line

How important is your email’s subject line? 47% of people will open an email based on the subject line alone. The subject line is the most crucial part of your email, and making sure it is grabbing your reader’s attention has a significant impact on whether or not you’re being left unread. 

How to Improve Your nonprofit Email Subject Line 


Be More Personal

There are many studies out there that found that emails using the recipient’s name have higher clickthrough rates than those who don’t. We’re programmed to respond to our names, so including it in your subject line or the first sentence of your email is an easy way to grab attention. 

Segmenting your email list is another way to make your messages more personalized. Depending on the email subject, it’s a good idea to group recipients into categories to receive information most relevant to them. 

Ask a Question

Questions will lead to answers, so asking something will engage your reader’s curiosity to learn more. Make sure your questions are thought-provoking to increase your open rates. This is an excellent tip for pairing with the previous one!

Focus on Charity

The end of the year the most popular time for charitable donations. After all, it is a giving season! Remind readers to give back during the holidays in the subject line of your year-end appeals. Emphasize your organization’s work for the community and let potential donors know that supporting you will make a difference! Especially during the holiday season. 

Build Urgency

Nothing sparks action like urgency. Have you ever found yourself buying more of a product because you heard it was going out of stock? Or completed a purchase on an item in your cart because it suddenly went on sale? This is the feeling you want to create in your subject line. 

Readers need to feel like if they don’t open that email now, they’re missing out. This type of subject line is perfect for building awareness around fundraisers or promoting live virtual events. Let them know they have a limited amount of time until the offer is gone! 

Do a Test Drive

Using the tips listed above will improve your writing, but it’s always a good idea to double-check your work. You can use online tools like Net Atlantics Subject Line Grader or have a friend read it over. Chances are if your friends want to know more, others will too! 

Running an A/B test with different subject lines is another way to see what communication strategies resonate most with your audience. Running two different approaches to the same email will see what words, tone or phrasing prompts the most action. Make note of what works in your system to apply to future campaigns and grow your email strategy. 

Subject Line Examples

If you’re still unsure how to approach your subject lines, we listed some examples for you to use. 
  • You Can Stop Climate Change In Just 5 Minutes A Day 
  • We are $100 Away From Reaching Our Goal!
  • Only 10 Spots Left In Our Online Drawing Class
  • John, You Can Change a Life
  • Not Sure What To Get Your Loved Ones This Holiday Season? 
  • Spread Love This Holiday By Fostering a Puppy


A great subject line is one way to get your audience engaged with your emails but so is an efficient CRM. When testing the success of a campaign it is crucial you are collecting data on how your audience interacts with your campaigns. 

You can easily track the success of your subject lines by sending and viewing your email metrics in your donor management system. Donor Engine collects information on email open rates, interactions and donor preferences so that you can quickly evaluate your subject line’s success. 

If you want to spend less time managing your email list, we can show you how! We offer an all in one donor management solution that delivers results

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By on Oct 2, 2020, 12:00 AM


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