If you’re hosting an event or fundraising campaign, you’re probably also thinking about how to write a formal letter asking for donations. The reason writing a formal letter is important in fundraising. It is because it’s a formal way to get donations where your letter can explain what you need on paper. This can give your donors a clearer picture of what you are asking for.
A formal donation request letter is an effective way to reach donors. This letter can also engage supporters from events or fundraising campaigns. In this letter, you can also show the impact that donors can have in your cause.
Although this letter is an formal letter, you cannot use one template for all ages and backgrounds. Thought is important for creating the content. This way, will make you have contents of the letter are effective. It can increase revenue from fundraising. Thinking about who received the letter can also build and enhance relationships with donors.
Letters are indeed where you explain about your campaign. But, we can’t deny that letters also can’t cover everything in detail. You can also use this letter as a tool to send out pamphlets and additional booklets about your organization where they can learn about your cause.
Now, what are the important elements that need to be in a formal letter asking for donations? There are three things you need to pay attention to if you want to move people and invite them into your mission:
1) emotional appeal, where you need to present a story that stirs the reader’s emotions.
2) how donors can help solve problems from a fundraising campaign.
3) information about donations and details related to them.
So, whatever the form is and whoever the recipients are, make sure you include these three elements in your letter.
The Basic Of Formal Donation Letters
Before we start discussing how to write a formal letter asking for donations, there are basic things that we will discuss. Namely, the purpose of the letter, when we need to send it, how often and how we send the letter that we have made.
- The purpose of this letter is to reach out to potential donors to get them to donate. The donations we ask for can be in the form of financial assistance or donations of goods or services (in-kind donations).
- If you have a non-profit organization with regular fundraising campaigns, how often can you send letters asking for donations? Actually, this number can vary. But, most send four letters a year. However, if you have various needs, you can send them at any time to various groups of donors. For delivery times, you can adjust the schedule of your fundraising campaign activities. Just a tip from us, most people or companies provide more assistance at the end of the year which is around November or December. This could be due to their annual financial calendar.
- Before you start writing the letter, you also need to determine who will receive the letter requesting funding from your organization. You can list potential donors but most importantly, send your letter to people who have a history of donating to your organization as well as people who have volunteered in your event or fundraising campaign. They’re more likely to lend a helping hand if they’ve been part of your campaign before. In the data you saved previously, look at the performance of your letter. Also, look at what response they gave and how often the request letter was converted as a gift. From that data, you can filter past contributors and the surrounding community involved, find out about previous business affiliations, history of previous donations, personal information, real estate ownership as well as their financial capabilities and philanthropic tendencies.
- The next thing we need to determine is how you will send your letter, you can send the letter by mail or email. Here you need to learn more about your potential donor, usually people in the baby boomer group tend to prefer to receive physical mail. But, millennials and gen z prefer to get it via email. Apart from age, you also need to know their habits, whether they are the type of person who is always at home or travels a lot out of town, if they are not often at home, a letter via email is a better option. Sending letters via mail also requires effort and costs that are not little. If you choose to send it via mail, it’s a good idea to cooperate with a direct mail delivery platform, where the process will be simpler because they will take care of printing and sending the letters. All you need to do is to wait for a response from the recipient so you have more time to focus on your cause.
How To Write Perfect Formal Letters Asking For Donations
The content of the letter and the way it is conveyed varies from person to person. But, if you want to know an effective way on how to write a formal letter asking for donations, include the following in your letter.
- Greeting, in greeting your recipient, remember to always address their name, never give a letter without addressing their name. Most (though not all) letters that do not include the recipient’s name do not get a good response.
- Mission, describe what mission you are currently undertaking in your project or fundraising campaign. This explanation will give you an understanding of what you are fighting for. Also, understand what goals you want to achieve with the help of donors. In explaining it, use a story about a person who has been helped by the organization in changing his or her life. This way, will help you to become the better with the help of donations from donors.
- Your current project, after you have explained your mission, provide an explanation of the project you are currently working on with this fundraiser. Explain the reason of your activity and provide details of the activity such as dates or guidelines.
- The goals of fundraising, even though this is your organization, but you also need help from donors. Show why this fundraising activity is important for donors to support your activities. Give potential donors an idea of ??how their help can make a difference. Also, explain why they need to donate.
- Donation requests, in asking potential donors for donations, create a strong donation request by clearly explaining what their donation can do. For example, a $100 grant could provide Denise, a student, with lunch at school for one month. A few tips from us on how to write a formal letter asking for donations. In telling a story, try to make it a personal story from someone who has really been helped by your organization. Be specific about what you want them to do. Also, tell how much you want from them and why they need to donate now.
- Call to action, end the letter with a clear and direct call to action so they know how to make a donation. Also make sure it’s easy to do. Sign your name, provide contact information that can be reached. Also, thank them for their future gifts.
Tips Based On The Type Of Formal Letter You Write
How to write a formal letter asking for donations also varies depending on who is writing the letter. Also, it depends to the recipient of the letter. The following suggestions have been grouped by who the author or recipient is.
- A formal letter in general, this letter is addressed to friends and family as well as members of the community. In writing this letter, make it personal to the readers. You can tell them where their donation money will go. Also, explain the event, expenses, causes and additional costs to them.
- Formal letters to businesses and corporations: these are addressed to local businesses or the philanthropic section of a company. Keep in mind that you address the right person, make it about their company. In writing to them, include the reason for the fundraiser. Let them know what they can get from donating to your cause as decisions are usually influenced by this. Send them a letter and give them sufficient time to accommodate additional conversations, the need for meetings and phone calls. This way is important to clarify and explain your fundraising campaign. Offer to set up meetings and ask for a certain amount.
- Formal letter for sponsorship request, created when someone participates in a fundraising event (i.e. marathon). Since this event has a fixed end date, mail as soon as possible. Stay in touch with potential donors after you’ve sent your letter. If they have any questions about your request, you can call them. Or, send a text message or send another letter as a follow up. Also, tell them about background information on fundraising activities. For example, how much has been collected and invite them to come to the event. If your event has an online store, also include the web address of the event’s online store.
- Formal invitation letters to fundraising activities, invitations can vary but always include the date and location of the event, special requests for attendees and the project you are raising funds for. Since you invited them and wanted to attend, send a letter no later than three weeks before the event. Also provide a deadline for responding to the invitation (‘respond by’ date request). Remember to consider the calendar of the attendees. Also, don’t plan an event when everyone is out of town for the holidays.
- Formal online donation request letters, they are if you are starting a digital donation campaign. Make sure the letter contains the URL of your online donation page and how they can participate and support. Online donations usually have a donation end date. So, send several letters in different stages to keep the momentum going, send a letter at the beginning of the donation period. in the middle of the period and also a week before the end of the donation period. Additionally, online donations are also easier to distribute. Therefore, make sure your letter also includes a request to share a link of your online donation campaign page. Online donations are very easy to spread and are easy to known by many people. But, if no one knows, you may not get the results you expect. This is the function of your invitation letter to let people know about your fundraising campaign.
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