Nonprofits spend a large part of their effort on asking people for donations. Crafting a donation request letter that you can send out to your audience to solicit their assistance could be a great way to get the funds that you need. Of course, for this to be effective, you need to make sure that you’re doing it properly. That includes taking the time to consider what you say, as well as how you say it and what you’re offering in return.
For example, some nonprofits just send donation letters and hope for the best. Other organizations may include additional material to educate people on their efforts and what they do, giving people the chance to ensure that your cause is in line with their ideals. It also gives you a chance to explain how someone’s donation could benefit the organization.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to create a winning donation request letter.
Use Emotional Appeal
Everyone knows that a story that pulls on the heartstrings is more compelling than just outright asking for money. Take the time to craft your organization’s “story” and what you’ve done so far, as well as what you hope to do in the future. By playing to people’s emotions, you’re utilizing the human connection, which will also help you in other areas of your nonprofit operation.
Explain How Donors Can Help
In your letter, you’ll also want to make sure you explain what the donations are used for, again creating that personal connection. Use phrases like “your donation” and “your assistance will provide…” to convey that ownership to your donors. They are far more likely to be willing to give when they can clearly see the fruits (or potential fruits) of their donations.
Don’t Forget the Details
It’s easy to get carried away in the storytelling of your donation letter, but don’t forget to provide information about how people can donate, where they can make contributions, and so forth. You should also include information on how the donor can reach out for more information or to get answers to questions they may have. It does no good to have a five-star donation request letter that leaves out the details of how and where to donate.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, as long as you take the time to plan accordingly, you should be able to compose a donor request letter that gets the attention of your audience. Donor signs can often get people’s attention too. Consider creating a recognition wall for your biggest donor or presenting a donor plaque that stands out and makes them feel appreciated.
If you keep these things in mind, you’ll have a much easier time getting the donations that your organization needs. You’ll also be able to put the spotlight on your best donors so that everyone wants to get involved.