A few tweaks to jumpstart your fundraising letter

By Michelle Le, Senior Account Director

It’s a new year and with many non-profit organizations sending out renewal letters this time of year, we want to offer some easy tips (that are often forgotten) to help boost your fundraising results.

1. Ask and you shall receive

It seems obvious that a fundraising letter should ask for a donation – that’s the goal! However, we continuously come across letters where the ask is buried in the copy or there is no ask at all.

We understand – asking for money can often seem difficult. But if donors aren’t prompted to give, they will not send in a gift. Instead, they’ll give to another organization who does ask for their support.

If your fundraising letter already includes an ask be sure that it stands out. Asks should stand on their own; we recommend the language be bolded and underlined for those donors who just scan the letter. And there should always be an ask on the first page of the letter, the closing and P.S – the sections read most by donors.

2. It’s not you, it’s me

As much as donors like to read about an organization’s work, they like it more when they hear how their support is making a difference. While your organization is doing the physical work, the donor needs to know that it cannot be done or continue without their support. Your fundraising letter must strike a fine balance between cultivating the donor, while showing the need for organizational programs.

3. The truth is in the numbers, but it won’t get donors to give

Any business –whether it’s a non or for profit – likes numbers and stats. It’s hard proof that your efforts are working. Unfortunately, even the best numbers won’t encourage a donor to give. That’s because – as we all know – people give to people. While it’s nice to know the numbers behind the people, it’s the names and faces of those being helped that donors want to hear about – it’s what will get them to give. When writing your fundraising letter it’s best to always feature a story of someone who has benefitted from the services and programs of your organization – through the donors committed support.

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