How To Write A Fundraising Letter

Fundraising letters are one of the most common ways to solicit donations from your donors. They’re also a great way to ask for recurring contributions, introduce new initiatives and products, or simply say thank you.

Fundraising letters get ignored by donors all too often so yours must stand out by being clear, concise, and effective. Here are some tips on how to write an effective fundraising letter (or email) that will help you connect with potential donors:

How to Write Your Best Fundraising Letter – YouTube
Key Takeaways
1. Connect Emotionally: Craft your letter to evoke emotions and tell a compelling story that resonates with your audience.
2. Clear Call to Action: Include a clear and persuasive call to action that guides readers on how they can contribute.
3. Personalization Matters: Address recipients by name and tailor the letter’s content to create a personal connection.
4. Highlight Impact: Clearly communicate how donations will make a difference, showcasing the value of their support.
5. Show Gratitude: Express gratitude for past support and emphasize the importance of their role in achieving your cause.

Open With A Hook

A fundraising letter should open with a hook, which is the first sentence. A good hook will capture your reader’s attention and leave them wanting more. Your hook should be relevant to the reader, their cause, your organization, the topic and season of your campaign, time of day (if relevant), etc.

For example: “I bet you’re thinking about how much fun we had at last year’s gala! This year promises to be even better if you’ll come back for another round…”

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Justify The Need

After you’ve introduced your organization and explained why it needs the money, you need to justify that need.

Your goal is to make your readers feel good about giving money to your cause. You want them to think back on their own lives when they were younger and more carefree.

If they have kids or grandkids, remind them of how much fun it was for them as children and if not, bring up some fond memories from their youth: “Remember how much fun it was playing with blocks? And now here’s an opportunity for you to buy even more blocks!”

Then introduce the idea that giving money can be beneficial for both donors and non-donors alike: “By donating $5 a month (or whatever amount), we’ll be able to provide housing for orphans who would otherwise be living on the streets.”

Invite Them To Act Now

Now that you’ve got their attention and convinced them to read your letter, it’s time to ask for a donation.

There are multiple ways to do this:

Ask for a donation now. This could be money, goods, or services.

Ask for a donation in the future (for example, on an annual fundraiser).

Ask for a donation on a specific date or event (for example, the birthday of your organization’s founder).

Ask for donations toward specific projects or causes perhaps something like “Give $25 towards providing clean water.” There are many different types of organizations that need funding; these include animal shelters, food banks, and homeless shelters.

If you’re fundraising specifically on behalf of one individual or family who has fallen on hard times financially due to illness or injury/accident (and has already turned down other offers), try asking people who know them if they know anyone else who might help out with an online campaign through GoFundMe instead!

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Describe The Impact Of Their Donation

You can write a fundraising letter by describing the impact of your donation. Let’s say you’re writing to a family with two children who attend the local elementary school.

The school has recently purchased new technology to enhance learning, but they still need twenty more laptops and tablets. You could describe how each student will use the device at home and in class, as well as how it will benefit them academically, socially, and emotionally as they grow up.

The same applies if you’re writing a letter on behalf of an organization that provides meals for seniors or animals in shelters: describe how your donation will make a difference in people’s lives and give examples!

Be Clear About When And How To Donate

If you are writing to a specific group of people, be sure to make it clear how they can donate. You may want to include links for each method of donating.

If you’re writing a general fundraising letter, you should have options for online donations, mail-in donations, phone donations, or cash and check donations. If any of these options are not available in your area, we recommend that you include information on how to donate through another organization (such as PayPal).

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Always Say Thank You

It’s important to end the letter in a way that makes the reader feel like they’ve just done something good. You might want to say:

Thank you for reading this article, and thank you for keeping your eye on us as we try new ideas. We appreciate your support and we hope you’ll continue with us into the future!

Thank you for giving so generously of your time and energy (and maybe even some of your money). Your help has made all the difference in our ability to succeed at this important work, and we’re grateful for it!

Thanks again for your interest (and support). Have any feedback or ideas? Please let us know; we’d love to hear from you!

Describe What Success Looks Like For Your Organization

You should also give examples of success. Demonstrating these examples can help your potential donors see the difference your organization makes and understand the type of impact they can make by donating.

For example, if your organization provides reading tutoring to children, you could provide information about how many children have benefited from this program and how many are currently enrolled in it. These statistics will show donors that there is a need for this type of work and that it is effective at reaching its goals.

If you do not have any specific results or numbers to share, consider providing information on what success looks like for your organization as a whole instead.

This means defining success as it relates directly to the mission statement or broader purpose of your nonprofit rather than short-term plans or goals.[3]

For example, instead of describing how many new people were trained by an after-school program during its first year, provide an overall description of how much time and money was saved by having a place where people could come together after school instead of being home alone without supervision or guidance.[4]

In addition to describing what success looks like for your group, it’s important also to describe how their donation will continue making a difference in the lives of others even after they’ve given money away because they want others to know exactly how much good their contribution will do!

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Give Them A Sneak Peek Of Future Plans If They Give Again

Once you have the basics in place, add a personal touch by telling them about the next project you are working on. This can be especially effective if it is related to their interests or current donation experience. You can even mention how much further along you are than when they first got involved with your organization!

For example:

If someone gave $100 last year and then gave $200 this year, tell them what great progress their early investments helped make possible. You could say “You’ve already helped us fund our amazing new outreach program!” or “Thanks to your generosity last year, we were able to create an exciting new addition to our library collection.”

If someone has given for many years, consider writing about how far along their commitment has brought the organization as a whole: “You’ve been with us since day one! Thanks so much for all of your support throughout these years.”

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As you can see, fundraising letters can be quite effective in helping you raise money for your organization. If you are looking for a way to solicit donations from friends, family members, or community members, then this is one of the most effective methods available today.

Further Reading

How to Write the Perfect Fundraising Letter: Explore detailed tips and strategies for crafting an effective fundraising letter that engages donors and drives results.

Fundraising Letters: Tips and Templates: Access a collection of fundraising letter tips and templates to streamline your communication efforts and boost fundraising success.

Mastering the Art of Fundraising Letters: Learn how to master the art of writing compelling fundraising letters that resonate with supporters and encourage them to take action.


How can I make my fundraising letter more persuasive?

Crafting a persuasive fundraising letter involves using emotional appeal, storytelling, and clearly communicating the impact of donations. Focus on addressing the reader’s emotions and providing a strong call to action.

Should I include specific donation amounts in my letter?

Yes, suggesting specific donation amounts can guide donors and make the decision-making process easier. Present a range of amounts that align with your cause and emphasize the impact each level can make.

How long should my fundraising letter be?

A fundraising letter should be concise and to the point while conveying your message effectively. Typically, a one-page letter is recommended to maintain the reader’s interest.

What’s the importance of personalization in fundraising letters?

Personalization shows donors that you value their support. Address the recipient by name, reference past interactions or donations, and tailor the content to reflect their connection to your cause.

How can I follow up after sending a fundraising letter?

Following up is crucial. Send a thank-you letter or email after receiving a donation, acknowledging their contribution. Additionally, provide updates on how their support is making a difference to maintain their engagement.