Relay For Life Donation Letter

When preparing a Relay For Life donation letter, it’s critical to your success that you say certain things in your fundraising letter. So, when you are raising funds for Relay For Life or any other cause, use these tips to get the most from your fundraising letter efforts.

Make it personal
Refer to individuals that you know who are battling cancer or have lost the fight. People respond and relate to a personal cause.

Tell them where  and how to donate. If your event has online registration, give them on the on-line link to donate. Lots of people love to donate online!

Be original
An original letter including photos, a unique spin, etc. will get people’s attention.

Early on, make the ask
Don’t limit your donors, but ask for a specific range. A good phrase to use is to ask for $10, $20, $50 or whatever your budget will allow.

Balance fact with feeling
Include items that match reason with emotion:

  • What Relay For Life is (fact)
  • Why you are involved and what it means to you (feeling)
  • When your Relay event is and where the money goes (facts)
  • Describe the luminaria ceremony (feeling)
  • Tell how to purchase a luminaria to honor someone they love (fact and feeling)

Include a receipt on the back or bottom of the letter and a luminaria sign-up form. Also, remind them to seek a company gift-match if offered.

Set a deadline
Give a ten-day deadline for response. People respond when there is a sense of urgency. Tell them to write the check to the American Cancer Society and send it to your address.

Personalize with a handwritten note
Copy the letters and before stuffing into the envelope, handwrite in colored ink, on the top of the letter the person’s name and a quick line, Hope you can support me!” Sign it in the same ink to add the personal touch.

Relay For Life Sample Donation Letter

Dear _______,

The fight against cancer goes on and I know we’re going to win this thing! Hardly anyone I know can say they DON’T have a friend or relative that has battled this terrible disease. I’m asking for your help in raising funds because I think it’s important that we all join together to help win.

The best way to fight against cancer is through the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. I will be dedicating my walk to __________, who is currently battling cancer/lost their battle with cancer.

Relay for Life is a team event that celebrates cancer survivors, and raises funds for the American Cancer Society research, education, prevention, advocacy and patient services. It is a fun, outdoor and overnight fundraising event where teams take turns walking or running around a track.

My team, which will have __ people on it, will be joined by hundreds of others (insert date here) at the (insert location here). Millions of people nationwide take part in Relay for Life events around the country. Relay raises over 40% of the funding for the American Cancer Society.

The Relay starts off with a Survivor’s Walk, where cancer survivors walk the initial lap, symbolizing the courage that survivors and their families display and sustain in their lives.

Opening night, there is a beautiful and touching Luminaria Ceremony that pays tribute to cancer survivors and to loved ones who still live on in our hearts.

How can you help?

You can support the fight by making a tax-deductible contribution to the American Cancer Society.

If you would like to donate, please fill in the amount you are pledging and send the donation, payable to the American Cancer Society, to the address below. All donations must be in by (insert donation due date here).

Additionally, you may purchase a luminaria to honor someone fighting cancer or in remembrance of someone who has lost their battle with cancer.  Please use the form at the end of this letter and send it back to me, along with a $5 donation for each luminaria.

During the Luminaria Ceremony, candles are placed in luminary bags and lit on (insert date of luminaria ceremony – usually first night of Relay) at (insert time of luminaria ceremony). The votives burn throughout the night, serving as a reminder of the purpose of Relay for Life.

Relay for Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

Thank you for supporting the fight against cancer!

Relay for Life: There is no finish line until there’s a cure!

—————————————————————————————-DONATION FORM: Help us fund a cure

1. Donation Amount:  _____________________

($10, $20, $50 or whatever your budget will allow.)


LUMINARIA FORM- Light the way to a cure

1. This candle is lit for: _______________________________

Dedicated by: ______________________________________

2. This candle is lit for: _______________________________

Dedicated by: _____________________________________

3.This candle is lit for: _______________________________

Dedicated by:______________________________________

Please include your donation of $ (fill in luminaria suggested donation amount).


Checks should be made payable to American Cancer Society.

Please send donations to:

(address to send donations to could be your address or ACS address in your community)

Note: You can also include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Be thoughtful and gracious with your Relay for Life Donation letter and you’ll raise more money for this well respected cause.