Sample Letter #1
While visiting a library behind the former Iron Curtain, my wife and I were astonished that we could not find a single book in English. The librarian apologized and explained that his institution owned only four books in English, and this sparse collection was in great demand, with waiting lists sometimes twenty to thirty names long!
It's easy to forget that books are prohibitively expensive in economically struggling countries. The door to economic prosperity remains closed for many, and knowledge of English, as the language of world trade and information exchange, may be the key to that door.
Next week our diocese will collect books for the country of Moldavia. Your donation of new or used books in English on virtually any subject will open the door of opportunity for countless eager learners. Those of you who cannot donate books or help in the collection can still make a difference by sending your monetary donation in the envelope provided. Proceeds will cover our shipping costs, with any surplus applied to the purchase of used books.
It's not enough to remember the less fortunate in thought alone. Let's remember them by our deeds!
Sample Letter #2
Jacob had dreamed of this race all year long. He crossed the finish line, thrilled at his victory and self-mastery. Jacob, along with the other competitors, are all gold medalists. They are all Olympians. Indeed, they are Special Olympians.
This year the Special Olympics must raise five million dollars to support the games and keep athletes such as Jacob anticipating their next Olympic race. Your contribution of five dollars or more can help bring a special victory to a special athlete. Just send your check or money order in the self-addressed envelope and become an important part of this year's Special Olympics. Even if you can't be at the games this year, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you helped a special athlete like Jacob cross the finish line.
Sample Letter #3
I am writing to draw your attention to a matter of great importance. Mayor Doe has pledged to address the dangerous condition of many of the intersections surrounding our children's schools. However, due to last year's extensive flooding, city coffers are nearly empty, and the funds are not available to install even one new traffic light. The intersection of Main and Center streets is fraught with danger for the dozens of grade school children who must cross these streets every day. If we can raise $3,600 we can pay an off-duty policeman to direct traffic at this crosswalk during school hours until such time as funds are available to install a proper traffic light. I hope you will join me in supporting this solution to this most immediate peril. Send a check for your tax-deductible donation to this address:
Crossing Guard Fund
Springfield Parent/Teacher/Student Association
1600 Main St.
Springfield, KS 12345
Don't wait until tragedy strikes. Please act now, for the sake of our children.
Sample Letter #4
Who says a few dollars don't go far today? When thousands of people give just $5 amazing things happen. Thousands of children in poor countries are receiving medical treatment from doctors and nurses who volunteer their time and skill, but these volunteers need money for supplies, medicine, and equipment. Can you help? Giving together we can make miracles happen. Won't you please send your contribution today in the postage-paid envelope? Thank you.
Sample Letter #5
Michael will see his dad today--and he's terrified. This little boy is only seven and he hasn't seen his dad in over a year, but he remembers that he had a terrible temper.
Michael's parents were divorced two years ago after bitter fighting. Afterwards, he lived with his mom, and his dad just visited him on weekends. Then his mother told his dad he wasn't welcome anymore because they always ended up in an argument. After that, Michael's mom remarried and he found himself with a stepfather and a new last name. Understandably, this little boy is confused and not doing well in school. He needs your help.
His real dad wants to see him again and is suing his mother for custody. She realized that she couldn't handle the situation by herself, so she agreed to let him visit Michael at the Family Services Center. It has a room with a pleasant, home-like atmosphere where Michael can feel secure while he and his dad get to know each other again under the supervision of a trained counselor.
Many families turn to Family Services for help when their marriages are troubled or end in divorce, or when their children become psychologically damaged by custody cases, conflict, and abuse. I know you would agree that the American family faces more challenges today than ever to stay together and remain stable. Won't you join me in making sure that our center remains financially able to help every troubled family who turns to us for assistance?
During these difficult economic times, the demand for our services has exploded. In just the past six months, the number of people seeking counseling at our center has increased 40% over the previous year. I believe that if you could help just one child like Michael to better cope with his world, you would. This is why I'm asking you to help us today with a tax-deductible gift of $25 or more.
Could you please make your check out to "Family Services" and mail it today in the enclosed stamped envelope? You can help make a real difference in the lives of individuals, as well as in the overall stability of family life in our community.
Thank you for being willing to help us!
P.S. Your donation of $25 could make a real difference to troubled families in our area, but we would also be grateful for a donation of $15 or even $10.
Sample Letter #6
Every day more and more American families juggle the demands of work with their family commitments. Unfortunately, in family after family, it is the woman who bears the major burden of both responsibilities. Recently, a mother of two young boys, while describing how she was balancing her job with caring for her children had this to say:
"It's like a house of cards. Right now it is standing, but I feel like the slightest breath of wind or the smallest breeze could knock down a wall, a room, or the whole structure."
In one out of 15 families, a woman is the only adult parent in the home. In one out of 5 single-parent families, mothers with toddlers or school-age children also work outside the home. Here at the Working Mothers' Center, we help them in very real ways.
Counselors in our pre-school program, Leap Frog, organize small children into peer groups and provide them with close supervision and fun learning activities while their mothers are at work. Our after-school program, The Second Mile, provides trained counselors and teachers who help older children with their homework and supervise learning-oriented activities until their mothers are free to pick them up.
The Working Mothers' Center has become a powerful force for good in our area and encourages growing children to avoid trouble and succeed in school, thereby preparing them to join the work force as they become young adults. City-wide drug use, petty theft, vandalism, and other juvenile crimes have declined in every one of the five years that our center has been open. At the beginning of this school year, we also had a 25% increase in the number of parents who wanted us to accept their children into our programs.
Up until now, we have been able to respond to these requests, but now we are reaching the limits of our financial budget. That is why I am writing to you--we need your help. I believe you are the type of person who would be willing to share the blessings of your own success with this very worthwhile community project.
We are asking for donations of $25 or $50 (or more if you are able), to support our efforts to help working mothers and their children. Would you please make out your check to "Working Mothers' Center" and mail it in the enclosed stamped envelope? A lot of children who need our help would be grateful if you could send us your tax-deductible donation today.
Our center has proven itself to be a valuable asset to the community. Helping us now will strengthen the rising generation of children and prepare them to become responsible citizens in the years to come.
We are sincerely grateful for your support!
P.S. We would be happy to take you on a tour of our center so you can meet our capable staff and watch them interact with the busy, happy children entrusted to our care. Call us at 555-1234 so we can arrange your visit!
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What inspires people to donate their hard-earned money to a stranger’s cause? And how do these people choose which of the thousands of noble causes to donate their limited resources to?
It all starts with your fundraising appeal – it is your first and most important chance to connect with a potential donor.
You have to accomplish a lot in your appeal: explain your cause, demonstrate why it’s important, and prove to your readers that their money will be best spent with you.
Read our complete online guide here to learn how to write an effective and inspiring fundraising appeal.
Persuasive writing convinces people to make donations, plain and simple. If your fundraising appeal doesn’t have a clear point of view, specific asks, and good storytelling, you are not going to convince people to donate.
Writing good copy is hard. Here are ten quick tips for writing fundraising appeals to get more donations:
1. Be Direct
Don’t be afraid to use the “money” word if that is what you need. If you don’t ask clearly, you won’t receive. Be direct about what you need.
2. Conversational Tone
Use “I,” “we,” and “you.” Make your writing personable and easy to read. Your donor should feel like you are on friendly terms.
3. Easy On The Eyes
Leave lots of white space to make important things stand out. Bold key points. Use gorgeous photos. Don’t hit your readers with a wall of text.
4. Sense Of Urgency
Donors need to know why it is important for them to give now. Demonstrate the immediate needs a donation will address. Use time-sensitive incentives like having their gifts doubled within a certain time frame.
5. Use Stories
Help your reader connect to your cause by telling the story of a real person that their donation will help. Stories draw people in and allow them to relate to the issue on a personal level.
P.S. Click here to see how CauseVox makes fundraising online easy. Share your story, craft an effective fundraising appeal, and activate your supporters to reach new donors. It’s 100% free to get started.
6. Show Impact
Always show how a donation will make a tangible difference. Offering giving suggestions that outline what a donation will “buy” is one way of doing this.
7. Offer Space For Feedback
People want to feel like they are a part of the conversation. Invite them to ask questions on your Facebook page or engage with you on Twitter.
8. Always Educate
Every time you share your content is a chance to educate people about your cause, even if they are already familiar with your organization. Be clear and explain why and how you do what you do, and why it matters.
9. Address FAQs
Anticipate people’s questions and cover them before they are even asked. Eliminate reasons for people to doubt.
10. Call To Action
Give specific asks to readers at the end of your appeal. Usually it’s money. Other times you may want them to sign up for email updates or volunteer with you. Offer clear instructions on how to do so. Make them feel involved.
Your turn. Are there any of these tips you’ve found useful? What would you add to the list?