Donation letters are a vital part of the funding of most charities and nonprofit organizations. Executives and companies are inundated with donation requests. To be effective, yours must stand out from the rest and also connect with the person reading it. Pulling at the heart strings of the recipient while professionally and simply representing your cause can give you a higher rate of fundraising success.
State Your Intentions Upfront
Stating the purpose of your letter -- soliciting donations -- upfront gives the reader clear indication of what you are writing about. If you wait until the end of the letter, your recipient may feel she was the victim of a "bait and switch" tactic. By relaying your desire for donations early, you start a relationship of trust and integrity early, which may lead them to be more inclined to donate.
Connect With the Recipient
Find an angle that connects personally with your recipient and ties them to your organization's cause. For example, if you are seeking donations for a cause related to cancer and the letter recipient serves on a board for a specific cancer or health-related cause, address this in your letter. To create sample letters that would connect with numerous recipients, research the boards and committees for charities similar to your own. This way you can draft one personalization that connects to all the members of the board.
Communicate Your Own Passion
Put genuine passion and honesty into your description of your cause or organization. Companies are often flooded with donation requests. To stand out from the rest, avoid anything that sounds like a form letter and speak from the heart about what makes you passionate about this cause. The genuine enthusiasm you have will resonate through your words.
Include examples from people your cause or organization has helped. This showcases what the donations you request can help to achieve. It also puts a face to whatever check the recipient writes. Choose the most compelling and heartwarming stories from your testimonials to have the strongest impact. You could also customize the narratives to the particular interests of the recipient, choosing those they are most likely to connect with. For example, if you have a story from someone located in the letter recipient's hometown, this could resonate more strongly.
Michelle Barry graduated from Salve Regina University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Since then, she has worked as a reporter for the Wilbraham-Hampden Times, an editor for Month9Books and Evolved Publishing, editor and has spent the past seven years in marketing and graphic design. She also has an extensive background in dance.