The Anatomy of an Email Ask
Emails should be personal.
Address each one by name and add an anecdote for each person.
Explain your connection to the project.
Why are you involved? How did you get involved? If the money raised has an impact on you personally, explain how.
Give context of wider impact.
If the project has the potential for a larger impact in the community, explain it to the potential donor.
Mention partnership with institution.
The institutional support further validates your project’s merit; use that. Note that donations to the project are tax deductible. *Fresno State foundation has a 501c3 status.
Reference the amount of money you are trying to raise.
Be transparent about how the money will be used.
Ask them to donate.
Tell them the issue you’re working to solve can’t be fixed without their support.
Ask them to share.
Not everyone will have the capability to give at that time. Mention that they can also be helpful by sharing with someone they know who may be passionate about the subject matter.
Keep it as short as you can.
All of the above pieces are crucial, but people also have short attention spans. The biggest focuses should be on your connection to the project and that person, while giving them a compelling reason to check out the project page.
Pull them into the journey with you.
Whatever the subject matter of your project, you’re starting a journey of how to solve a particular issue. With all of the above pieces, you’re creating a story about how you will accomplish your goal. Remember that the personal emails you send are there to take donors with you on your journey. You are sending these e-mails to people who care about you and people who care about this subject matter. Tie that personal touch in wherever possible. At the end of it, they should feel inspired to act because of you and the impact of your project...and your promise to take them on the journey with you (via updates).