Writing a fundraising letter can be an effective way to raise money for your organization or cause. However, it’s important to know the dos and don’ts of writing a fundraising letter to ensure that your message is compelling and effective.
DO: Start with a compelling opening
The opening of your fundraising letter is crucial. It’s the first thing your reader will see, so it’s important to make it attention-grabbing. Start with a powerful statement or a question that will pique the reader’s interest. You could also use a quote or a story to capture their attention.
DON’T: Start with a boring introduction
Starting your fundraising letter with a boring introduction is a surefire way to turn off your reader. Avoid using generic phrases like “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern.” Instead, try to personalize your letter as much as possible by addressing the reader by name and using a conversational tone.
DO: Explain the purpose of your organization
In your fundraising letter, it’s important to explain the purpose of your organization or cause. Clearly state what your organization does and how it helps people. Use specific examples to illustrate the impact that your organization has had. This will help your reader understand the importance of your cause and why they should support it.
DON’T: Assume that your reader knows about your organization
Don’t assume that your reader knows about your organization or cause. Even if you’re sending your fundraising letter to people who have supported you in the past, it’s important to provide a brief overview of your organization and its mission. This will help ensure that your message is clear and easy to understand.
DO: Make a specific ask
In your fundraising letter, be specific about what you’re asking for. Don’t beat around the bush or be vague about your needs. Clearly state the amount of money you need and what it will be used for. This will help your reader understand how their donation will make a difference.
DON’T: Be too pushy
While it’s important to make a specific ask, you don’t want to be too pushy. Don’t pressure your reader into making a donation or make them feel guilty if they don’t donate. Instead, focus on explaining the impact that their donation will have and thanking them for their consideration.
DO: Provide multiple ways to donate
Make it easy for your reader to donate by providing multiple ways to give. You could include a link to your online donation page, provide instructions for mailing a check, or offer a phone number that they can call to make a donation. This will give your reader options and make it more likely that they’ll donate.
DON’T: Make it difficult to donate
Don’t make it difficult for your reader to donate. Avoid requiring them to fill out a lengthy form or provide too much personal information. Keep the process simple and easy to complete.
DO: Follow up with a thank-you letter
After your reader makes a donation, be sure to follow up with a thank-you letter. This will show your appreciation and help build a relationship with your donor. Use this opportunity to provide an update on the impact that their donation has had and to encourage them to continue supporting your cause.
DON’T: Forget to say thank you
Finally, don’t forget to say thank you. Even if your reader doesn’t donate, it’s important to acknowledge their consideration and thank them for taking the time to read your letter. This will help build goodwill and may encourage them to support your organization in the future.
In conclusion, writing a fundraising letter can be a powerful way to raise money for your organization or cause. By following these dos and don’ts, you can create a compelling message that resonates with your readers and encourages them to take action. Remember to start with a compelling opening, explain the purpose of your organization, make a specific ask, provide multiple ways to donate, and follow up with a thank-you letter. Avoid starting with a boring introduction, assuming your reader knows about your organization, being too pushy, making it difficult to donate, and forgetting to say thank you. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a successful fundraising letter that makes a difference.