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How We Helped Jazz at Lincoln Center Raise More Money with a Holistic Approach to Email
Clients Jazz at Lincoln Center

How We Helped Jazz at Lincoln Center Raise More Money with a Holistic Approach to Email

Utilizing a detailed email strategy, engaging email design, and benefits-driven copywriting, we helped Jazz at Lincoln Center raise significant development revenue in a very competitive season.

150% increase

in Giving Tuesday revenue YoY

53% decrease

in YoY unsubscribes from EoCY Giving Emails

5% higher

open rates of Giving Tuesday emails in 2023 than the average open rate across all email sends from the organization

Our Approach

It can be tough to step back and craft a holistic email strategy when you have to send multiple emails every day, especially when it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day already (who can relate?). After facing a staffing shortage that left the development team pressed for time, Jazz at Lincoln Center reached out to CI for help.

In this challenging time, CI supported Jazz at Lincoln Center by:

  1. Creating an email fundraising strategy.
  2. Crafting engaging copy and content that would resonate with Jazz at Lincoln Center audiences.
  3. Building those emails directly in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Email Service Provider, so all the team had to do was pull lists and hit send.

Crafting a Targeted Email Strategy

The end of the year, and Giving Tuesday specifically, is hyper-competitive when soliciting donations—it’s imperative to stand out from the crowd with strategic email targeting and content. In creating a successful strategy, CI needed to research both the impact of donations and any benefits to donors (like membership benefits) that are specific to Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Resonate with Potential Donors

Like with any tailored content, you have to understand what motivates your potential donors. What do they care about? What action do you want them to take and what content would inspire them to do it? Some donors are driven solely by philanthropic messages while others want an answer to the question, “What’s in it for me?” To create emails that would resonate with both of these audiences, we focused on two buckets of email messaging:

Motivation 1

How does my donation further the mission of this organization?

  • Approach: Highlight Jazz at Lincoln Center’s impact
  • Execution: Showcase key numbers that prove impact—numbers of performances, students served—as well as emotional impact through quotes from individuals affected by the organization.
Motivation 2

What do I get out of donating?

  • Approach: Forefront benefits-driven copy
  • Execution: Target potential donors already familiar with Jazz at Lincoln Center to showcase how meaningful these benefits are to enhancing experiences with the organization they already love.

With email, segmentation is among your most powerful tools. We opted not to include the entire general email list but targeted users who had familiarity with the organization.

Pro Tip

Although Giving Tuesday is not a must for every organization, if you do choose to partake, it’s a rare time in which we recommend sending several emails in 24 hours with similar messages that encourage audiences to give.

Transforming Strategy into Engaging Content

Copywriting and Content Creation

When it came to spinning strategy into deployable email content, it was important to invite potential donors to be a part of the conversation. To do this, we prioritized second-person language that put our target audience at the center and focused on showing—not just telling—the incredible value Jazz at Lincoln Center brings to the global jazz community. This strategy, paired with relatable copywriting and curated visuals, made each email a delightful experience for openers.

If You Build It, They Will Give

When audiences invite you into their inboxes, you must deliver relevant and engaging content, and asking for donations means it’s even more important to connect with audiences and stand out from the crowd. We helped Jazz at Lincoln Center not only draft their content to show off benefits and drive an emotional connection with their organization, but we also built out these emails in their Email Service Provider to reduce lift on their team. We got to know their brand inside and out to ensure their emails looked on brand, were easily digestible, and converted readers through clear calls to action.

The Results

End-of-year giving campaigns can be an uphill battle due to extreme competition from non-profits across industries. Email is a crucial channel for small donation solicitation.

We helped Jazz at Lincoln Center grow their donations by 150% in this critical end-of-year period through:

  • Targeted email lists
  • Highlighting donations’ impact
  • Incorporating engaging copy
  • Crafting beautiful emails


A Partner to Help You Raise Money—and Click-Through Rates

Are you looking to stand out among the sea of emails? Talk to us to see how we can help you carve out a strategic and beautiful solution for your organization’s emails.

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