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Fundraising Letter Writing

Fundraising letter writing is often forgotten in the rush of so many other things to do when organizing a fundraiser. However, this is one thing that should not be put off or forgotten. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and by writing a thank you letter to those who have donated something, even something very small, you are more likely to get help from these people in the future. This applies to donations of cash, goods, and the donation of time. In the content of these letters it is a good idea to mention how close to your target goal you came with the fundraiser, and how much their contribution is going to help.

Now writing these letters is much easier these days than it used to be before computers, as you can set up basic letters of thanks to use, and then cut and paste as necessary. You can keep track of donors much easier, print out mailing labels and so much more.

For informtion on fundraisers using Raffles, just click here.


12 Tips for Better Fundraising Letters

Written by: Dave Coyne

Writing fundraising letters in one of the most challenging types of copy to write. Here's some practical, effective ways to write good copy
Writing fundraising letters is one most challenging marketing communications tasks. Unlike business direct mail, you're not offering a product or service to your prospect that solves her problems. Your appealing to the prospects desire to do good. But your cause must be compelling to persuade her to part with her money for something intangible like a good feeling.

Also, most potential donors only have limited income available for charitable purposes. And your letter is competing with numerous other charities seeking donations.

Here are 12 tips to create effective fundraising letters.

1. Your letter should lead with emotions. Reach out and touch the readers heart. An emotional appeal will out pull an intellectual appeal, says noted fundraising copywriter and author Herschell Gordon Lewis.

2. Change from using statistics (impersonal) to using real life episodes (personal, emotional).


One in four people will die from this terrible disease every year


Doug had just celebrated his 31st birthday with his wife, Sarah, and their four children. The family spent that happy day ice skating and talking about a summer vacation in California. A week later Doug was told he had only six months to live

3. People love to see immediate results. If you have a deadline, include this in your letter. And tell them what will happen if you don't get the donations you need.

If we cant raise $20,000 by October 1, we will lose the matching government grant.

4. When you ask past donors to give again, remind them how much they gave last time and ask for a little more.

5. You can never use the word you enough in a letter. Next to free, its the most powerful word in marketing, non-profit or otherwise.

People want to hear about themselves and how their donation is going to make a difference. Using you also creates a personal one-to-one communication between you and the prospective donor.

6. Be specific about your organizations past accomplishments and give details.

Last year we helped feed 386 low income families every single day thanks to donors like you.

7. Offer a gift to the donor. Everybody likes to feel appreciated, so send a personalized certificate of appreciation to each donor.

Or let them know their name will be engraved on a plaque at your organizations offices. Your gift doesn't need to be expensive to be effective. Bumper stickers are popular and cheap to produce.

8. Don't be coy about asking for money. Be clear you're asking for a donation and make sure the request is at the beginning, middle and end of the letter.

9. Use donation option boxes. Instead of leaving the donation amount up to the prospective donor, include several amount options like $100___$50___$25 ___other $___. Circle one of the amounts and write above You'd really be helping us with a donation of this amount.

10. A postscript is a must! Next to a headline, the most often read part of a fundraising letter is the PS. Here repeat your request for help, remind the prospective donor about the urgency or deadline, and close with a thank you.

11. Ask for the next donation but be subtle. Send a thank you note or postcard to the donor. Repeat how much the donation helped your cause. Close with a couple of sentence along the line of

Supporters like you have made the differences in so many peoples lives. Please stay in touch.

12. You might need to include a brochure. If you're writing to past donors for another contribution, its not necessary to include one.

However, if you're approaching prospective donors who are unfamiliar with your organization, you may want to include a descriptive brochure with photos. This reinforces to the prospect how their contribution will help your cause.

About the Author
Dave Coyne is a copywriter and marketing consultant. Visit his website and get the FREE E-BOOK "Marketing Secrets Of The Ages" ($19 value) You can sell this book to customers and keep 100% of profits.

Written by: Dave Coyne