A fundraising letter is a written appeal for support for finances and in-kind items to support a non- profit cause. It takes the right words and format to connive a donor to support your project. The letter is an opportunity to inform donor what you are doing, what you have achieved and how their support will impact your mission.
To make writing an effective fundraising letter easier, it’s essential to use a template or a sample letter.
Things to keep in mind when writing a fundraising letter
- Be specific: Most non-profit organizations usually have several projects running concurrently. To succeed in your donation bid, select a single project for one donation campaign. It’s easier to get support from donors if you are specific on what you aim to do with the raised help.
- Appreciate the donor’s past support: Before sending an appeal letter to your donors, start by sending a thank-you letter if they have supported any of your projects previously. Though you can thank the donor in the fundraising letter as a matter of courtesy send a separate thank-you letter.
- Give different giving options for donating: As you raise funds to finance your mission, it’s essential to remember your donors have diverse financial capabilities. In the letter, you can specify the gift amounts. Say to support one child you can give $400, for three children $1200for five $2000, etc. Some donors might want to give in-kind gifts if it’s possible, include the option in the appeal.
- Use photos or tell a story: You can pass your donation request message by using photos or telling a story. These tools will make it easy for the donor to understand what your project is about. Pictures of what you have already achieved or a story of how the donor can impact a life will make your fundraising letter more appealing.
- Address the donor directly and avoid jargons: Speak directly to the donor. Conversational writing will work best when writing fundraising letters. Use simple words to reach the donor. The potential donor might not be conversant with terminologies in your field of expertise. Use their name; avoid addressing masses like “dear donors.”
- Talk about benefits, not needs: Donors aren’t interested in your need; they want to know what they will gain by supporting the mission. Tell them how they will improve the health of any individual, impact a smile in the face of a needy child; improve the lives in a community and the gratification that comes from such acts.
- How urgent is the support required? The donor must understand how urgent the help is needed. Be specific in the letter. For example, give a deadline; we require the donations by the end of December since the project will commence in January.
What to include in a fundraising letter
Start with the name of your organization if you have a logo, the better.
Include the address, phone details, email and possibly a contact person in your organization.
The date when you plan to dispatch the letter should be used as the date for the letter.
Depending on how well you know the donor, you can use a formal or an informal salutation.
Start talking to the donor by first appreciating their earlier support and what it means to your organization.
After greeting and appreciating the donor, it’s time to tell the organization’s story. What you have been doing to intend to do. How the solution will be. And reiterate that the mission can’t be accomplished without the support of the donor as you end the story.
A fundraising letter should end with a clear call to action. Never assume the donor knows what you want. Specify what you want them to do.
Remember to thank them in advance for the support.
End the letter on a polite tone. Your name and signature should not miss on at the end of the letter.
Sample fundraising letter/ email
517, Corner Street
Columbus, Ohio 44233
We appreciate for your continued support over the years in supporting our efforts in conserving Zaleski state forest. The forest cover has increased to over 80% in the last five years because of concerted efforts from our donors and the forestry state department.
Rick, as you know, forests are at the center of human life. Forests in the state of Ohio were facing significant challenges in the past 10 years because of fires and human activities.
Conserve nature was born out of the need to increase forest cover and degradation of our forest. In the years, we have been in existence, we have witnessed tremendous results in forest cover. These are some of our notable achievements;
- Each year we have planted 1 million trees in the forest.
- The survival rate for the trees hit 90% in the past year
- The forest cover stands at 85%
- The number of birds and wild animals in the forest has increased by 15% in the past five years
- In the last two years, we have received state awards as the top non-governmental organization in Ohio in forest conservation.
Conserve nature has a mission to grow Zaleski state forest to over 99% in the next five years. We also plan to achieve a 955 survival for the trees we plant each year.
Our conservation efforts are set to increase to planting 2 million trees for the next five years besides assist the state in combating forest fires.
To achieve this ambitious plan, you help is needed. For as little as $300, you will assist us to make Ohio Green and combat the effects of climate change.
You can make your contribution by clicking the donate tab on our website. Besides you can call us for details on how you can submit your contribution.
Thank you for your sustained efforts in conserving our forests
Types of fundraising letters
Personal fundraising letter
- A brief description of the problem you want to solve
- The amount required for the project
- Ways of donating
- Name of the potential donor
Campaign fundraising letter
- The aim of the campaign
- The amount of money required
- How the funds will be used
- How the donor will benefit by contributing to the campaign
Cancer fundraising letter
- A brief introduction of the event including time and date
- Minimum fundraising target per individual
- The amount required for the project
- How to donate
Storefront fundraising letter
- The date, venue and time of the event
- A brief introduction of the organizer and their objective
- Why people need to support the project