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Writing a Donation Letter: Example & Pro Tips

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A donation letter is still among the most direct and efficient ways to solicit money for your cause, even in the digital age.

This is due to the flexibility of donation letters, which can be used for online or direct mail campaigns, more general requests for assistance, or pleas specific to a campaign or event. A strong, succinct request for donations is something you can never go wrong with.

The section of your website where you will actually take online donations has been covered in previous articles on how to construct the ideal donation page. But how do you get potential contributors to learn about it? Or, how do you let your supporters know they may contact you online or send a check if you're mailing out physical messages? Send a letter to say hello.


Nonprofit fundraising letters are an excellent approach to increase interest in and support for your cause. And because there are so many effective resources available to groups like yours, you can maximize both this fundraising opportunity and the time and resources dedicated to your own goal.

You must, however, make sure that your donation letter is distinctive. It is better to stick to a tried-and-true template to ensure that you cover all the bases. Then, you can alter and personalize your letter to really get the attention of your donors.

Let's go over some typical donation letter examples, beginning with a sample of the fundamental structure to use:

Let's go over some typical donation letter examples, beginning with a sample of the fundamental structure to use:

The fundamental donation letter structure
letters requesting donations
letters regarding fundraisers
letters for fundraising online
letters for fundraising efforts
Peer-to-peer campaign letters
letters requesting sponsorship
new nonprofit letters
Messages to schools
Messages to churches
To jump to a specific letter template, use the list above. Alternatively, just follow along with us from the beginning. We'll conclude with some expert advice on how to make your donation letters as effective as possible. Let's get going!



Bonus resource

After writing your fundraising letter using one of these templates, visit GivingMail to use their direct mailing services to get it in the hands of your donors. This enables your staff to efficiently reach the greatest number of people with appeals, allowing you to focus your time and resources on what really matters: your purpose.

The Basic Donation Letter Format

Let’s start with the basics. Here’s a template of the essential elements that any effective donation letter will include:

1. Salutation. Start by extending a warm welcome to your potential donation and, if you can, personalize it with their name. You may have to do this by hand, or you may utilize marketing and nonprofit software to automatically add names to your letters and emails. Case studies demonstrate that incorporating supporters' names and addresses on your letters can boost your response rate by 14%, average gift size by 19%, and overall revenue by an astounding 31.5 %!


2. A statement outlining your mission. A succinct summary of your organization's mission and goals is crucial if your recipient is unfamiliar with it. The first place to entice readers to emotionally engage with your work is the "hook," which is located here. This is also the time to mention previous interactions your beneficiaries may have had with your nonprofit (whether as active or inactive donors, volunteers, etc.).


3. Your endeavor, occasion, or needs. Next, briefly describe the purpose of your fundraising. What is the purpose of the letter? You might need money for a specific project or event, you might be running a campaign to generate money for your organization more generally, or you might be writing letters to contributors who qualify for matching gifts to persuade them to submit their match. Whatever the cause, be truthful and upfront about it.


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4. Strong details. Include some engaging details to help show your demands in the middle part. Describe your initiative or event and the effect it will have on the neighborhood. Give instances of your prior work, or tell a tale about a certain voter or campaign. At this point, your main goal should be to emotionally compel the reader to act.


5. A particular request. Next, make sure to be detailed with your request. If your appeal is overly general, your reader won't be as moved to give. Ask for a specified sum while making it obvious that any assistance will be valued. Tie your request, if at all possible, to an impact it will have. For instance, "Your $25 donation will assist buy a backpack full of school supplies for a deserving local student."


6. A call-to-action. Wrap up your letter with the concrete next steps that you want the reader to take. This will depend on the exact purpose of the letter. For an email, include a direct link to your donation page. For a physical letter, provide clear instructions for readers to send you a check or find your online donation page.


key goal

The key is to center your letter on one primary objective. Your primary donation website, recurring gift options, event registration page, or volunteer sign-up form may all be promoted in the letter, depending on what your precise objectives are. Never make too many broad requests in your writing.

To direct your readers to simple online fundraising tools, you simply need to make sure they are set up. To have a free online donation page that covers all your bases, create a Snowball account.

Template for a Donation Request Letter

Hi [name],

We would like to thank you for being a part of our community and we are extremely proud of our recent work on [insert a few specifics regarding your prior activities].

But we work nonstop to fulfill our mission of [briefly describe the mission of your company]. To keep working, we require your assistance. [Give specific examples of your demands. What is the purpose of your letter to them?


We've been able to [provide a few examples of how your group has impacted society] through previous campaigns. But because we're a charity, community support is vital to us. Without the support of supporters, volunteers, and engaged neighbors like you, none of our initiatives would be feasible.

In order to [refer back to the needs of your organization or the upcoming project], would you kindly consider making a donation of [a certain amount]?


Please click here to visit our donation page if you'd like to make a donation: [Include a direct link if an email] Give simple directions for accessing your website or submitting a check if the correspondence is written.

We sincerely appreciate any and all help. We're just eager to start working! We appreciate you being a part of our neighborhood and our narrative.

Sincerely,

(Your name and position, not just the name of your company)

Donation Letter Template: Events

Hi [name],

The [organization name] is pleased to announce the [event name/title] that will take place on [date].

[Describe the event's aim, nature, and impact in a few phrases, mentioning any particular activities or possibilities.]

We'd love for you to join us as a member of our community! But to make sure everything goes off without a hitch, we need some additional assistance.


Would you kindly think about contributing [a specified sum of money, or a specific commodity or service in kind]? With your support, we can make certain that [describe the precise benefit of the requested donation].


Please go to this page to donate if you'd like to: [if sending an email, please include a direct link] In the case of a physical letter, include simple directions for accessing your website or mailing a check. You can also get in touch with us via phone or email to learn more about our future event and how you can participate.


We appreciate your support so much and look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,

[Name and position]

Template for a donation letter for online fundraising

Hi [name],

We at [your organization] would want to express our gratitude for your participation in our community.

We've been able to do so much in the last year thanks to the help of our friends and neighbors like you. [Include a few specifics regarding current projects you've worked on and their effects.]

We're excited to announce the beginning of a new online fundraising project! Our ability to carry out our work into the upcoming season will depend on the success of our campaign, which is generating money for [the campaign's goal].


Would you kindly think about contributing [certain amount] to help us start our campaign? To get started, go visit our donation page [provide a direct link].

[If it's possible, include a button that reads, "Donate Here.]]


We would especially want to thank you for helping us launch our online fundraising campaign. [Offer an incentive to online donors, such as a social media shoutout, a coupon for items, a ticket to an event or a raffle, etc.]

Watch this space for additional campaign updates! We appreciate your support so much and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

[Name and position]

Template for a Donation Letter: Pledge Campaigns

Hello [name]

By [a particular time and date], [total cash target for the campaign], we need your assistance to meet our pledge goal!

We know we can rely on our community to support us as we work toward [campaign purpose – disaster relief, social or political activism, annual fundraising, etc.] by launching this quick-fire campaign.


At [your organization], we put forth a lot of effort every day to accomplish [your objective], and [examples of your influence] were produced by our most recent significant campaign. Without the assistance of our friends and neighbors like you, we would never have succeeded.

Use our simple pledge tool to quickly commit [one or several particular money amounts] to support: Direct links to your pledge tool should be provided.


Please take notice of: [Explain the special pledge restrictions that apply to your campaign, such as triggers or matching times]. Together, we can significantly improve our neighborhood!

In anticipation, I appreciate your help! Please tell your family and friends about our fundraising challenge, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

[Name and position]

Donation Letter Template: P2P Fundraising Campaigns

Hi!

I'm collecting funds for the ongoing effort of [your group] to [support/fight/raise awareness for your mission].

This group has been pursuing its goals and enhancing our community for [your organization's age] years. I'm thrilled to now be supporting them personally, and I hope you will too!


I need to raise [the volunteer's fundraising target] in order to meet my own personal goal for this campaign. Would you think about contributing [a certain amount] or supporting my efforts to spread the news online? To donate or learn more about [your organization], visit my donation page here [add a link to the volunteer's P2P donation page].

If your P2P campaign contains activities, such as festivals, 5Ks, etc., and how contributors can sign up to participate, include any relevant information here.]

Thank you for your support, it means a lot to me!

[Name of the volunteer]

Donation Letter Template: Sponsorship Requests

Hi [name],

My name is [your name], and I work as a development and fundraising specialist for the nearby nonprofit organization [your organization].

If you're unfamiliar with our organization, we [briefly describe your mission] and [provide a few examples of your recent impact]. In fact, we raised more than [fundraising total] for our cause last year.


I'm contacting you now because I firmly believe that the goals and principles of our two organizations coincide. Through more consistent funding for our work and more effective marketing of your brand to our devoted audience of supporters, a partnership might tremendously benefit both of us.

Please feel free to learn more about the background and current initiatives of our organization at [insert a link to your website] and don't be afraid to contact us at [your email address or phone number]. We may talk about setting up a formal alliance, a one-time donation, or anything else!


We always look forward to collaborating with new members of the neighborhood, and we hope you will too!

Best regards,

[Name and position]

Donation Letter Template: New Nonprofits

Hi [name],

We are [your group], a recent nonprofit in your neighborhood. In order to support and guide [your objective] in [your city, town, or state], we were established just [your organization's age] ago.

As neighbors who have a vested interest in the success of our community, we are contacting you. If you're writing for a certain audience, be more specific.

But as a fledgling organization, gaining traction is really difficult. If we want to have any type of lasting influence, we must increase awareness of our mission and the work we do!

Would you think about contributing [certain amount] to help us get closer to our fundraising target of [total]?

We can [the specific goal of this campaign, like renting an office space or holding your first event] if we hit this target goal before [date], and you can help us get there!


Please click here to start our donation page: Add a direct link here

To discover more about our mission and the supporters who have already joined our cause, please visit our website [include a direct link] or follow us on social media [include a direct link].

We can improve our neighborhood together! If you have any inquiries regarding our group or how you may get involved, please get in touch with me at [email address or phone number].

Thanks, and we hope to hear from you soon!

[Your name and title]

Donation Letter Template: Schools

Hi [name],

Your assistance is needed by [Your School]! My name is [your name], and I work for the [your group, such as the PTA, leadership group, or faculty member of the school].

We put a lot of effort towards giving our children the best extracurricular and educational opportunities every year, but we can't do it alone. Recently, we have been forced to [provide one or two concrete examples, such as reducing after-school programs, etc.] due to our low budget. But we are confident that our community will work with us to close the gap.


Would you be willing to donate [certain amount] to our fund in support of [please define the objective or purpose of your campaign]?

We will be able to [the precise impact of a donation, linked to the campaign's primary goal] with a gift of [amount].

If you'd like to get started, please click here to access our donation page: [Include an exact URL].

Or, get in touch with us at [email or phone number] to discuss the requirements of our school and how you might participate.

Don’t forget! Our [your school’s next event, like a fall festival] is coming up soon, and we’d love to see you there! Get your tickets now: [provide a direct link].

Together we can continue making our school an environment of excellence for our kids. Thank you!

[Your name and title]


Donation Letter Template: Churches

Hi [name],

[Start with a narrative that highlights one of your church's most recent accomplishments, like membership growth or your beneficial influence on the neighborhood. Thank the individual for supporting your community and establish a connection with them.

Although we are grateful to have been able to [stated above successful project], we need your assistance to [continue the project or explore a new one].


We can [your next project or campaign] with your help. Would you think about making a donation of [certain amount] to support our mission? We can accomplish the objectives of our community by working together.

I would want to thank you in advance for your contribution on behalf of our church family at [your church's name]. Your donation will support [certain project components that require money]. Here [provide a direct link], you can make an online donation.


Alternatively, you can give while on the go by texting [add text-to-tithe instructions].

If you have any inquiries concerning our new initiative, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me at [email address or phone number].

sincerely yours,

[Name of a church official]

Pro Tips

Here are some of our own expert advice on writing donation letters that will be most effective:

narrate a tale. The aforementioned templates provide the fundamentals, but in order to inspire your readers to donate, you must emotionally engage them. Tell a story about your company, your objective, your target audience, and your needs to accomplish that. For further examples, see this article on storytelling approaches for nonprofits.


Add illustrations or more content. Include a picture or two in your email to illustrate your work and community if you're sending it. When sending physical letters, it can be a good idea to enclose a booklet, card, or one-pager (especially if you're promoting a particular cause or seeking sponsorship).
Consider your audience. Don't just send one letter or email to everyone on your mailing list. Instead, send several. Divide your mailing list into several groups, and then modify your letters to appeal to each group. To fully maximize their response to your messages, you should, for example, compose distinct letters to your recurring supporters and to your lapsed donors.


Be precise. We asked for a specified sum of money in each of the aforementioned letter templates. For donors, general requests are significantly less persuasive. However, this also holds true for the kind of donation; if you want to have more regular donors, particularly suggest to your readers that they do it!
Speak in conversation. Once more, the goal of these letters is to make an emotional connection with the reader, reaffirm their connection to your cause, and make a brief appeal for donations. Focus on being kind and warm in your phrasing rather than utilizing corporate fundraising jargon. A corporate sponsorship letter can be the lone exception, depending on the type and extent of the connection you hope to establish.


Keep records. This step is essential to ensuring that your donation letters are always getting better. When you send a donation letter, always gather and keep track of some kind of engagement data. This might be as easy as keeping track of the amount of donations your physical letter campaign brought in. It's a little simpler to track a wider range of data points for emails and social media posts. Make sure your donation tools make it simple to report data back to your CRM or central data center. Use Google Analytics or a tool like MailChimp to track engagement with your message.
Join forces with a direct mail fundraising organization. Using a direct mail fundraising tool to send out donation letters could seem like a more expensive and inconvenient option.

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