How to Make a Donation Letter

by Greg Minton

Writing a letter asking for donations is not as hard as it appears at first glance. There are some useful techniques, to be sure, but it is simply another form of marketing. Recognizing it as such will allow you to write more successful donation letters, and you will be able to better provide value to your charity organization. The first donation letter will take a half hour to an hour to write; future letters will take less time.

Plan what you are going to say. Don't try to "wing" the donation letter. Brainstorm and organize the structure of your letter.

Figure out what your purpose is. Do you want a one-time donation, or are you looking for a long-term donor?

Once you have figured out your purpose, brainstorm ways by which you can show the recipient of your letter that donating to your organization is in his self-interest. For example, show how your organization will help his community.

Allow room for your recipient to mull it over. A good way to do this is to attach a "keep-in-touch" card at the bottom of your letter. This way, the potential donor can opt into follow-up letters from you and donate at a more convenient time.

Write the letter. Keep the ideas you created during the brainstorming sessions in mind as you write it.


  • Handwrite your envelopes. People enjoy seeing that a human being, not a computer, is behind the call for donations.


  • Make sure you are aware of the laws behind calling your organization a "charity" before you call it one. Otherwise, calling your donation a "charity" when it is not one under the law could be prosecuted as fraudulent.

About the Author

Gregory Minton is a professional writer based in Philadelphia. He has written professionally since 2008, and he provides writing services for over a dozen clients on a freelance basis.

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