Writing a fundraising letter is not that difficult. However, you need to know what works and what doesn’t before you invest your time composing your donation request.
- Keep in mind whenever you are asking for money that you are providing a service.
- Tell people what you’ve done and what you plan to do to achieve progress toward your goals.
- Longer letters do better:a) You can address all concerns and potential concernsb) There are different kinds of readers – Long letters are OK for all of them:- Those that throw unopened envelope away – the length of letter is irrelevant.
– Those that read only beginning and ending – the length of letter is irrelevant.
– Skimmers can pick up more points from a longer letter
– Passionate readers love long letters
- Make your fundraising letter compelling
- Paragraphs and bullets should be no more than 3 sentences or items; break longer ones in half.
How to write a fundraising letter
- Good news – Always start the letter with a series of good news bullets to build momentum and make entire letter entertaining and informative.- Use foreshadowing to tease reader and keep him or her reading.
– Create a “widow” at the end of the first page (a thought that’s finished on second page)
– Make your reader turn the page.
- Describe what you want to do next
– Tell what you’re going to do.
– Why you’re going to do it.
– How you’re going to do it.
– What results you expect.
- List suggested contribution amounts
– Use even numbersin graduated amounts
– Offer a monthly auto charge credit card option ($10 a month is $120 a year)
– Include a blank line for write-in amounts
- Remind readers that their contribution is your budget
– Your successes have been possible because of their past contributions
– Thank them!
- Use P.S.’s for skimmers
– May titillate skimmers and get them to read the entire letter.
– To create a sense of urgency.
Donation Letter Results
- Expect results of $1.50 to $2.00 per letter mailed.
- Fundraising letters are easier to produce than newsletters and you can share news and the same information. If you can’t do both a newsletter and a fundraising letter, it’s better to just do the fundraising letter.
- Fundraising letters create a continuity of membership; the more letters you send, the amount per person should go up.
- 3% to 5% of people every month will respond.
- Regular fundraising letters will get people in the habit of giving.
- Ask for a monthly pledge (100% of credit card pledges are fulfilled; 70% of others are fulfilled)
- Under promise results and over-deliver.
Fundraising Letter – Final Tips
Be yourself – Write with your own personal voice and style.
Make it personal and passionate – That’s the only way to really connect with people.
Grab their attention – Put a big, bold headline at the top of your letter stating your case & cause.