Many people have difficulty writing fundraising letters asking for donations, so here’s a sample template to use. This sample fundraising letter template offers examples of a specific method of asking for money, including providing a quick psychological justification for a positive response.
The most important thing in any fundraising letter is the “ask” – the sentence where you ask for a donation. The second most important thing is what you say right after the ask in order to make them subconsciously receptive to helping meet your need.
So, your fundraising letter template needs to lay things out in this order:
- Statement of need
- Ask for help
- Provide justification
- Offer thanks
- Include a simple donation method
Statement of need
Your first sentence should describe the problem or need that you are addressing, i.e. the “what”. Use powerful emotional descriptions of that problem or need and describe how past and future donations have or will make a difference. Also include the name of your organization (the “who”}.
Ask for help
The “ask” is where many fundraising letters fail to get their message across in a meaningful way. Your asking for a donation and you must literally “ask for their help” in a forthright manner. Use direct language such as “We need your help” or “Your help is needed” or “You can help change this situation.”
The key component of any fundraising letter is the psychological justification for the “ask” or donation request. The best way to do that is to use the word “because” since it is a powerful psychological trigger word. So, your “ask” sentence should be structured this way:
- We need your help because
- Your help is needed because
- You can help change this situation because
After using the word “because” in your “ask” sentence, you need to use phrasing that specifically describes one of two things. Either what will happen because they made a donation or what will happen because they didn’t make a donation.
Your fundraising letter template should always include a thank you as you wrap up your donation request. You should thank people for their support (previously or with this particular donation) because everyone always likes to be thanked. Include a quick description of the difference that donations will make to remedy the “need” stated in the first sentence.
Include simple donation method
Many groups fail when it comes to providing a simple donation method with their letter. Most things are never one size fits all and making a donation is one of those. You must provide multiple ways for people to make donations – by phone, online, by mail, and in person (if applicable).
Make sure your letter clearly covers all the possible ways for people to donate, including volunteering their time.
Fundraising Letter Sample Template
Paragraph describing the “need” that you are addressing
Paragraph making the “ask” and providing the “because” justification
Paragraph thanking donors and describing how the “need” will be met with the donations
Donation methodology – Cover all the ways to donate and make it easy to do so
P..S – Always include a postscript with one more “ask” or reminder
If you need more information, check out our other fundraising letter examples and sample donation request letters.