Fundraising is a great way to get the money you need to run the sort of program you want to run. Effective fundraising requires you to reach out to the community to ask for donations. Fundraising letters allow you to introduce your program to the community to ask for help. Do you know how to write an effective fundraising letter?
Every fundraising letter you send out should be personalized for the person, business, or organization you’re sending it to. That doesn’t mean that each fundraising letter has to be completely unique. You should personalize each one with the name of the person or business you’re sending it to though. This personal touch helps the reader feel like you value their support specifically, rather than feeling like they’re just one person out of many whom you’re asking for donations. Use words like “you” and “we” as well. While a fundraising letter should maintain a certain degree of professionalism, such words provide a human touch that appeals more directly to the reader. That creates more of a push to donate.
You aren’t asking for money for the sake of asking for money. You have a purpose in mind that the funds would be used for. Talk about what you need the money for in your fundraising letter. The best way to do this is often by illustrating it with a story. Talk about who you’re trying to help. Well-told stories engage donors and give them more motivation to donate. Don’t get too wordy when telling the story though. Balance details with directness for the most significant impact.
Donors aren’t in the habit of giving money away for no reason. They want to know that their money is going to be put to good use. Clearly explain how you intend to use their donation and who it will benefit. Discuss how that fits into your program’s overall mission and the difference their donation makes. Get as specific as possible. This gives donors a clear picture of what their money will be doing.
Remember to add a call to action in your letter. You can lead into your call to action by explaining what previous donations have done to address the problem your organization is facing and the progress you’ve made with your fundraiser so far. State that the need for donations is ongoing. Express the urgency with which you need donations to encourage quick action. Get specific about what you’re asking the reader to do. Make your call to action clear and concise.
Fundraising letters are a great opportunity to get the word out about your program and what you need. Many businesses and people are willing to contribute, but only if they know there is something to contribute to. Take time to carefully draft your fundraising letter. Your fundraising letter should be about a page long and use only as many words as necessary to tell your story and get your message across. Review and edit it so that it will be as effective as possible. Remember to follow up a few months down the road to let the donor know how their donation made a difference. Doing so helps build a relationship between the donor and your organization, which encourages them to donate again in the future.