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The "Happy Thanksgiving" Email All Schools Need to Send

I am one of those people who takes down Halloween decorations and immediately puts up the Christmas decorations, completely neglecting that Thanksgiving even exists. (Really, they're already up!) I do love the Thanksgiving holiday, however. I love that it brings families together and gives me a reason to binge-eat pie. But most importantly, I love its core message: show and give thanks.

A school has a lot to be grateful for. And this Thanksgiving, it's important to tell that story of gratitude. What are you thankful for? Who are you thankful for? Why are you thankful?

Email and social media aren't just avenues to ask for something — like to make a donation or attend an event. They are avenues to tell a story, to reconnect with our audiences, to grow and improve relationships with students and their parents, and ultimately increase retention and donations.

So, if you do one thing before heading out on break — put together that "Happy Thanksgiving" or "Thank You" email for your community.

It goes a long way — especially as we head into the end-of-year giving season. We know you're busy — so today we're sharing some of our favorite, simple emails that can be pulled together in just about 20-minutes or less using Finalsite's Messages Module.

Simple Image Messages

This email from Trinity-Pawling is simple but effective. For our schools using Messages, this is something that could be put together in a matter of minutes — yet it can have a big impact on your community.

happy thanksgiving email example from trinity-pawling

Bloomfield Hills Schools in Michigan follows suit with an image email as well. We love the choice of typography, verbiage, and even the subtle note that the photo is an original from the district's campus!

bloomfield hills public schools thanksgiving emails

Immaculate High School in Connecticut takes a similar, simple approach — but this time, incorporating more text. As an all-boys Catholic high school, this is an email message that knows its audience. For each holiday, the Head of School shares a prayer relevant to the holiday, and the marketing team turns it into an eye-catching, personalized message.

immaculate high school email example

Video Messages

When you watch the video in this email from Morristown-Beard School in New Jersey, the message of gratitude is clear. The quick 38-second video thanks decades of philanthropic support, while showcasing beautiful views of the campus. 

morristow-beard video email


Baylor School in Chattanooga, TN also uses a video to say "thanks!" We like that it also includes a note from the Head of School. And, with a 36% click-through rate, this email is certainly proof that videos increase email engagement, even when they're short and simple!

baylor video for thanksgiving

While it might be a little late to create an entirely new video if you don't have the resources on staff, there are free tools out there like Animoto that help you create a video in just a few minutes. (Animoto is really great for putting pictures to music!) You can also repurpose videos from throughout the year to create a montage, or snap something quick using your cell phone.

A Letter from the Head of School

Taking a formal approach to a Thanksgiving "thanks!" seems to be the most popular route for schools. This kind and thoughtful message from Gilman School in Baltimore is the perfect tone and length.

gilman school letter

Key Takeaway

Sending an email for Thanksgiving is a pleasant way to reconnect with your community. However, be sure that your email includes what your school is thankful for — and doesn't ask for anything in return. It is a simple email with a simple message that goes a long way. As a bonus, whatever content you create for your email can also be shared on social media. You can get the post scheduled in advance so you don't have to log on during holiday break!

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