Email Appeal After You Miss Your Goal

Every fundraiser has had that moment: the clock ticks down to zero, it’s the end of the fundraising campaign, but you haven’t quite met your goal. Where do you go from here? Of course, you want to send your donors and supporters a thank you email – after all, you wouldn’t have gotten as far as you did without them!


We’ve seen an industry trend: emails that thank supporters for all they’ve done, but remind them that the work is never over! We’ve put together a few tips for sending a post-campaign email with a positive spin! We took a look at charity:water’s September Campaign 2013 closing email to see how they appealed to donors after they didn’t meet their $2 million goal.



Paint it as a positive opportunity, not a missed goal

You and your donors have put in a lot of time and work into getting your campaign to this point – even though you may not have met your financial goal, that doesn’t make your campaign a failure at all! Be sure to use positive language throughout your email, and highlight all the progress you have made.


Convey a continued sense of action

Charity: water headed their email with “September might be over, but we’re not done yet.” As a nonprofit, your work is never done, even when the campaign ends! Use the messaging in your email to convey this to your donors: the campaign may last a month, but we are raising funds for ongoing and unforeseen needs every month of the year!


If possible, shift the deadline of your campaign

Charity: water’s annual campaign takes place in September, meaning if they don’t hit their campaign goal, they can easily shift their campaign to become their end-of-year fundraising campaign. It’s a natural progression, and for donors, it’s easy to understand, as many organizations are raising funds during the holiday season! If your campaign is earlier in the year and you want to extend your campaign deadline, find a different day that works for you, such as the organization’s yearly anniversary, or another special date!


Above all, remember these three things: 1) thank those who have donated so far, 2) use positive language and don’t view this as a failure, and 3) remind your supporters that the work is never done!

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