Writing A Professional Fundraising Letter
There is always a need for things that can help charities and their initiatives. In order for organizations to receive donations, there has to be legitimate reasons why people should donate or contribute.
What if you wrote a great fundraising letter?
Fundraising letters allow you to not only be professional about your campaign, but to also give potential donors that personal touch from your organization. In other words, you’re establishing a human face to your company, rather than asking donors to trust a “faceless” entity.
In this brief guide, we will show you:
- What a fundraising letter is
- Why such a letter is important to fundraising efforts, AND
- The parts of a fundraising letter
Let’s dive right in!
What Is A Fundraising Letter?
“A fundraising letter has the job of asking potential donors and stakeholders for contributions, donations, auction items, sponsorships, and so on,” says Tommy Ruby, a project manager at Best Australian writers and Rated writing. “These letters can either be handwritten or typed. And, they are a professional way of saying that your company does fundraisers.”
Why Should You Write A Fundraising Letter?
Fundraising letters are important to your campaigns, because they offer transparency to prospective donors. In other words, these letters help to create good relationships with donors and contributors. With the right message and explaining the reasons, they create a strong letter.
Parts Of A Fundraising Letter
Now that we’ve established what a fundraising letter is, and why it’s important, it’s time to create one. Here are four parts to keep in mind when writing a professional fundraising letter:
First, you need a good opening.
The opening is where you formally address the reader in a personal manner. For this part, use the donor’s name, rather than call them “Supporter.” Donors are more likely to respond well to a personalized letter.
Also, consider using other personal information from the donor:
- Donation history
- Phone number
- Email, etc.
By making the opening donor-centric, you grab their attention quickly.
Next, make your introduction impactful to keep the reader’s attention. Here are some ways that you can do just that:
- Tell a compelling story.
- Ask a bold question.
- Share a statistic that might surprise them.
No matter what strategy you use, it has to be engaging to where you keep their attention.
Also, make sure that you address their past contributions in your introduction. Otherwise, the reader might be confused about why you’re contacting them in the first place.
In addition, explain how important their contributions are. Tell them how they’re an integral part of what makes your organization tick. When they feel that they’re still needed in your organization, then they might respond. Just keep in mind: There’s no need to flood them with unnecessary information. The goal here is to express how and why you still need them to contribute to your cause.
“Once you have a good opening and introduction for your fundraising letter, you’ll need to ask for contributions,” says Charlie Cooper, an HR manager at Via Writing and Writing populist. “The ask is considered the heart of the letter, because it’s the main reason why you’re contacting the recipient.”
Here’s how you go about the ask:
- First, explain the issue, and then outline the specifics.
- Next, explain why your programs are critical to the reader.
- Then, explain how effective your organization is in addressing the need.
- Afterwards, give concrete recommendations for the donor (like dollar amounts, type of gifts, type of donations, etc.).
- Lastly, explain the consequences that result from not responding to your need.
Finally, it’s important to leave a lasting impact on the reader. With that said, keep in mind these two crucial aspects of your letter’s closing:
- First, thank your donors in advance for their support. By saying thanks, you’ll have this feeling that they’ll give more this time, or continue to give in any way possible.
- Second, remind the donors the importance of their contributions by:
- Summarizing the importance of your cause
- The need for their continued support, AND
- The consequences of inaction
As you can see, fundraising letters can be powerful for when it comes to fundraise for a cause. By following this brief guide, you’ll be able to write a professional fundraising letter. Remember: Be professional to donors, and respect their decision no matter what it is.