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How to Write a Persuasive Fundraising Letter: Three Templates

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Jenna Davis
|6 min read

Fundraising Strategy

A fundraising letter is a simple way to bring your online fundraiser to the next level. A written appeal to your friends and family members can bring in new donations, recurring donations, and most importantly, it can help everyone better understand why your fundraising cause is important to you.

But before you put pen to paper—or fingers to keyboard—it’s a good idea to read up on the best ways to write a fundraising letter. This guide offers specific tips on how to write a donation letter that’s compelling and persuasive.

Write a fundraising appeal letter that will drive donations

Your fundraising appeal letter should get readers emotionally invested in your cause while spelling out exactly what your cause is. Don’t be shy about explaining why you’re starting a fundraiser and what you will do with the donations you receive. People will want to know exactly how they can help you meet your goal.

If you’d like to persuade friends and strangers alike to support your cause, take a look at our other tips below for writing a donation request letter.

Tips on how to write a fundraising letter

Address the emotions of your audience in your letter. Successful fundraising letters, whether for an adoption letter or general letters for donations, need these common elements to build a foundation for success.

Be personal

Write it as if you are talking to a friend. Use personal pronouns (“I, we, they, you”)  to engage the reader and strike an emotional chord. Describe why supporting your cause will make readers feel good. People help because they want to experience good feelings about their giving.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Include photos in your letter, so people can visualize how their support will be used. Mention that more photos and videos are posted on your GoFundMe to increase understanding about your cause.

Make it easy to give

Offering people the ability to pay online is a good way to attract donations. Make sure your crowdfunding website is easy to use, secure and has a good reputation. Don’t forget to invite people to take action. Don’t be shy about your need to raise funds for your cause and letting people know how they can give.

Fundraising letter templates to help you reach your goal

When it comes to writing a letter that asks for donations, it’s not always easy. If you’re stuck coming up with the right words, these sample donation request letters can get you started.

Sample donation request letter to family and friends

With the people who know you best, you can afford to be a bit more vulnerable and offer details that you may not feel as comfortable sharing with businesses or other potential donors. Use this template as a framework for your fundraising letter, but don’t be afraid to customize it more.

Subject line: [Keep it short and avoid CAPS and exclamations]:

Hi [insert name],

I wanted to reach out and let you know that I’m fundraising to [insert reason why you’re fundraising]. As you probably already know, this cause is very important to me. [Write 1-2 more sentences about your history with this cause, and why it means so much to you.]

Would you be able to contribute to my fundraiser? A donation of any amount would truly help me reach my goal.

To help me [list goal—for example, “go on my mission trip”], simply click the link to my fundraiser below:

[Insert fundraiser link]

If you could also share my fundraiser link with your friends, it would mean so much. The more people hear about my cause, the quicker I can reach my fundraising goal.

With love/Sincerely,

[Your name]

[Your contact info]

Sample donation request letter for nonprofits

If you’re a nonprofit, you might already know how effective fundraising letters are. Try this charitable donation letter template, or some version of it, to raise more awareness about your nonprofit.

Subject line: [Keep it short and avoid CAPS and exclamations]

Dear [insert name],

Our organization recently started a new fundraising campaign for [insert an explanation about your cause]. As a 501(c)(3) Certified Charity whose mission is to [insert short explanation of your mission], we’re very excited to involve our community in our latest fundraising efforts.

With these funds, our organization will be able to [insert a few specific ways the funds will make an impact.] To find out more about how we plan to make a difference, click on our fundraising link below:

[Insert fundraiser link]

In order to meet our fundraising goal, it will truly take a village. Are you able to support this incredible cause? Any amount you can contribute will make a difference—even $5.

Thank you for reading about our latest mission, and please reach out if you’d like to learn more get involved with our fundraising efforts.

Best,

[Your name]

[Your contact info]

Sample letter asking for donations from businesses

Asking for the support of local businesses is a good strategy when you’ve already reached out to friends and family members—especially if you plan on working with the business for a local  fundraising event. Below is a sample letter asking for donations from businesses

Subject line: [Keep it short and avoid CAPS and exclamations]:

Hi [insert name],

I recently started a fundraiser for [insert cause or reason you’re fundraising]. I believe that local businesses like yours can really make a difference in our community, and that’s why I’m looking for your help. [Insert 1-2 sentences about your cause and how this ties into the local businesses or why it may interest them.]

So far, I’ve been able to raise [insert amount] with the help of our community—but I still have some work to do to meet my goal.

Would you be able to make a contribution to my cause? A donation of any amount will make a difference and would mean so much to me.

To learn more about my fundraiser and give a gift of any amount, simply click the link below:

[Insert link to fundraiser]

Thank you so much.

Best,

[Your name]

[Your contact info]

Crowdfunding makes it easy for your network to support you

When you use a crowdfunding platform it makes it simple and quick for others to contribute to your cause. You won’t have to worry about collecting donations from everyone, because donations will be sent straight to your bank account. A free fundraising site means that you can keep even more of your donations, helping you meet your goal faster.

An online fundraiser also makes it easy for others to support you in other ways. Friends and family can easily share your fundraiser link with all of their contacts to bring in even more support for your cause.

Start writing fundraising letters and raising more money

Knowing how to write a fundraising letter will go a long way toward making your fundraiser a success. Now that you have the tools you need, don’t forget to sign up and create your online fundraiser if you haven’t already.

Start a free fundraiser

Jenna Davis

About Jenna Davis

I have a passion for storytelling and love creating a variety of content for a wide range of audiences. Once, I frolicked on the beach with about 30 miniature horses. I bring it up every chance I get.

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