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Writing A Donation Request Letter

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

I'm still on a fundraising kick - as you can see... I found this little article about how to write a good donation request letter, and it got me thinking about my mom. She is 86 years old, and finding it harder and harder to really focus when she prays, so instead of silent prayer, she writes her prayers as letters to God.

So here's my idea. Why not write a really good "fund raising" letter to our higher power, the Master of the Universe, The Powers That Be, our Angels and Guides, or whoever it is that we generally speak to when asking (begging) for help.

With that in mind, here are hints and tips for a successful letter:
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.

Fundraising letters have some general rules of thumb:

  • 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.
  • Make your fundraising letter compelling.
  • Paragraphs and bullets should be no more than 3 sentences or items; break longer ones in half.

As for the length of the letter, longer letters do better. Here's why:

  •  You can address all concerns and potential concerns.
  • There are different kinds of readers - Long letters are OK for all of them.
  • To those that throw unopened envelope away - the length of letter is irrelevant.
  • To 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

How to write a fundraising letter:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. List suggested contribution amounts
  • Use even numbers in 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

4. Remind readers that their contribution is your budget
  • Your successes have been possible because of their past contributions.
  • Thank them!

 5. 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 Letters - 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 and cause.

Found at Fundraiser Help

Do you think it might be worth the effort to create a letter like this? Even if you don't actually send it out, the focus and the effort would have to have a beneficial effect, wouldn't it?

Our sister post from back in 2006 is all about Questions, and I'm thinking that those questions, as well as the related commetary, might give us some ideas about what we might want to put in our "fund raiser donation letter" to God or The Powers That Be. With that in mind, you might want to check it out. Please?

2 comments:

Cindy H said...

All the way through today's post, I was thinking "there is no way I would write that type of letter" but then at the very end, when you mention you can write it to your higher power or your team of angels and guides, it made sense. I think that would be a great thing to do! I can see how writing a detailed letter about what I want and what I am willing to do to get it, while not physically sending it somewhere, imprints the ideas onto the mind, helping them to manifest! And that is great!

Two Feathers said...

Cindy - I like the idea too - I wonder if anyone will try it... I wonder if I will try it...

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