Fundraising Letters, Donation Requests, and Fundraiser Solicitations (including examples)
Below you will find all of our past articles to help you with writing fundraising letters, donation requests, and fundraiser solicitations - including examples for you to use. It is a long list of articles so don't hesitate to bookmark this page and come back often. If you would like more great fundraising information in the future then please sign up for an email notification whenever we publish a new article.
How to Write a Donation Thank-you Letter by Alan Sharpe
Thank-you letters are one of the most important letters that your non-profit mails to donors. They remind donors that they made the right decision in supporting your organization. They show that you are grateful for the donors gift. As a bonus, thank-you letters increase donor loyalty, strengthen relationships with your donors and increase your chances of receiving more gifts in the future. So here are some pointers for writing effective thank-you letters.Click to continue
Fundraising Letter Writing Tips from Reader’s Digest
If your donor has the choice of reading your fundraising letter or reading the latest issue of Reader’s Digest, which one will she read?
This is not a trick question. The competition for your donor’s attention has never been greater. If you want your donors and members to read your fundraising letters from start to finish, learn a few lessons from the editors at Reader’s Digest, the largest-selling magazine in the world.
Email Fundraising Must Inspire Donors to Go Online
Sending an email with no links to follow is like mailing a direct mail appeal without enclosing a reply device or return envelope. Costly.
Email fundraising only works when you inspire donors to go online. Online is where you get their donation. Online is where you secure their advocacy. Online is where you encourage their involvement. That’s why your email appeals, alerts and newsletters must give donors something to do, and must give them somewhere to go to do it. That place is your website.
Successful Fundraising Letters Give Your Donors Conflict
Your fundraising letters will be more dramatic if you write them like a novel.
Every good novel follows a simple outline: conflict, development, resolution. The novel opens with a main character in conflict. The main character deals with the conflict. The story ends with the conflict being resolved.
Direct Mail Fundraising is a Program, Not a Campaign
Before they hired me as their director of development, and before they ran out of money and laid me off, a non-profit organization whose name is unmentionable ran an unmentionable direct mail program.
It wasn’t a program as much as a series of last-minute campaigns. One particularly notorious campaign ran the Christmas before they hired me. As the inflexible deadline loomed to get their last donor newsletter of the year into the mail, the staff procrastinated and ....
Measure Your Success in Direct Mail Fundraising with Just Four Numbers
A while back I realized that measuring the effectiveness of direct mail fundraising campaigns is a lot easier than I’d thought.
I was confused by all the formulas and ratios, and was never sure which numbers were more important than the others. Cost Per Piece, Cost to Raise a Dollar, Return On Investment, Average Gift, all of these and at least six other metrics kept me in a state of anxious ignorance. I was never sure where I needed to start my calculations.
Now I know, and I thought I’d pass on to you what I discovered in what I suppose I could call an epiphany ....
Donation Request Letters Must Give Donors a Reason to Give Again
I have on my desk a direct mail fundraising appeal from a hospital that I once supported with a donation. I gave them a gift of $20 as an experiment, to see how, and how often, they would write back.
Across the front of this envelope are these words: “Your 2007 Annual Renewal.”
A phrase like that wouldn’t normally surprise me, or disappoint me, but it did when this package dropped through my mailbox back in February because that was the first time I’d heard from this hospital since I made my donation. And I made my donation last year. In 2006. June 12th, to be exact.
So do the math. I did ....
Email Fundraising Subject Lines: Use Today’s News Headlines to Boost Open Rates
If you want to increase the number of people who read your email fundraising letters and email newsletters, put today’s headlines in your email subject lines.
Paris Hilton is in the news right now because she is in jail right now. She’s behind bars because she drove drunk while her license was suspended for drunk driving. Mothers Against Drunk Driving made good use of Paris Hilton’s celebrity status and newsworthiness in an email appeal dated May 13, 2007.
Their subject line? “Help MADD stop the 500,000 Paris Hiltons.”
Fundraising Letters Must Tell Great Stories (Three Samples)
If your fundraising letter doesn’t tell a great story, it’s not a fundraising letter. It’s a memo. Direct mail fundraising is all about storytelling.
If you want your direct mail donors to respond to your letters in greater numbers and with larger gifts, learn the craft of storytelling. Learn how to write human-interest stories that inspire, motivate and move your donors—to give.
As a gospel preacher and one-time university instructor, I’ve learned over the years that the safest way to make your point stick is to tell a story. As UK fundraising consultant Ken Burnett observes in his book, The Zen of Fundraising, fundraisers should tell stories because “we have some of the best stories in the world and the best reasons of all for telling them.”
Improve Fundraising Letters by Translating Statistics Into Stories
The secret to writing compelling fundraising letters is to tell great stories. Relevant, moving, inspiring stories, well told. But how do you find these great stories in the first place?
The keyword here is relevance. Your stories must be relevant to your mission and case for support. A great story that’s off topic will entertain your donors but not your chief financial officer. So make sure you tell stories that illustrate the difference you make in the world.
The first place I look for a great story is the statistics pile. Every organization has one. Hospitals track patient visits. Animal welfare charities track endangered species. Social services organizations track meals served. Behind these cold statistics I look for a warm human-interest story ....
Fundraising Letters - Are You Too Small for Direct Mail Donor Acquisition?
Some non-profit organizations should not use direct mail as a way to attract new donors. Is your organization one of them? Take this simple test and find out.Click to continue
Approaches for Writing to Lapsed Members
Rather than have one standard letter directed to lapsed members, encouraging them to renew their membership, create an in-house menu of key messages from which you can choose when composing letters for this important group.
Being able to refer to such a menu will make it easier to vary your message from time to time and select the most compelling wording for that situation. To help get started, consider these examples of messages for lapsed members: