How to Write a Powerful and Effective Fundraising Letter

How to Write a Powerful and Effective Fundraising Letter

Writing a good Fundraising Letter can make or break your appeal.

Here are some important tips to guarantee your Fundraising Letter will bring success to your next mailing campaign.

Segment your database

By segmenting your donors and creating different direct mail appeals to each group, you can increase your donor retention rates and donations.

There are many ways you can segment your donor pool. Some of the most common are based on age, gift size, last donation date, and frequency of donation.

Donor segmentation mainly focuses on delivering specific content to smaller groups of donors. This prevents your donors from feeling that your material and message are irrelevant to them directly.

Segmenting your donors also helps you to tailor your tone and information. It also invites your donors to engage with your non-profit organization in a way that is relevant for where they are on their donor journey.

Fundraising Letter

A donor who has consistently donated to your organisation over a long period of time should receive a different message from someone who has just joined your cause.

In addition to all this, segmentation helps to create trust and allows your organisation to use your data to expand donations strategically.

Tell a powerful story

Research at Stanford University has shown that we remember up to 22 times more information when it is presented as part of a story than as facts alone.

Fundraising Letter

Demonstrate a tangible impact

It’s important to clearly show your audience how their donations are going to make a difference.

According to a recent study by Achieve and JGA, 78% of Millennials are very likely or somewhat likely to stop donating if they didn’t know how the donation was making an impact.

Give them options

According to a meta-analysis of more than 22,000 participants (42 studies), giving people the option of not donating almost doubles the probability that they will donate.

You should ask your audience to contribute to your cause, and then add some variation to the following phrase: “But you’re free to choose either way.”

Use simple, powerful language

Complicated language can be intimidating. You don’t need to have a complicated vocabulary to tell a powerful story. Keep the sentences short and concise.

Make the letter easy to skim

Make sure that all of the important information stands out. Relevant information include: the cause, how much you are asking for, and what (specifically) their money is going to support. In addition, you may want to consider:

  • Use bold, coloured or highlighted text to emphasize certain words, phrases or phrases.
  • Including white space: Surrounding a key piece of information with line breaks and white space helps to attract the reader’s attention to the segment.

Asking for General Donations

Use their (preferred) name

Fundraising Letter

By personalising your letter with your donor’s name, you establish trust and rapport immediately. If your donor has a preferred name, like Pat instead of Patrick, ensure you address them by it.

Focus on the Donor

Fundraising letters should focus on showing your audience how they can get involved and help your organisation achieve your mission and goals for a cause they support.

Sign the Letter

Have a leader in your charity sign the letter to better connect with your donors.

Offer Other Engagement Opportunities

Instead of just asking for a donation, offer your recipients other ways to get involved, such as volunteer opportunities or other events.

Asking For Volunteers

If your non-profit organisation needs more volunteers for an event or initiative, you can send letters to your supporters to recruit more people.

Volunteer letters will usually be sent to current volunteers as well as to supporters who you think may be interested in volunteering.

Asking For Auction Items

Fundraising Letter

If your non-profit organization is holding an auction, you may need to obtain unique and valuable items for your guests to bid on.

Instead of purchasing these, you may ask for products and experiences to be donated by businesses or people in your community.

Include information about the last auction

Give your audience an idea of how successful your last auction was and how much money you raised. If this is your first auction, talk about how much money you’re hoping to raise during the event and why.

Include a Contact Form

Your letter should include a contact form that donors can fill out with their name, type of item, and contact information. Let them know that someone in your organisation will be contacting them to arrange collection.

Invite Your Donors to the Auction

Inform your audience about when the auction is and how they can participate in your event.

Contact us

Azure Communications is the trusted partner to Irish charities, by helping them to create their next mailing campaign. Contact us now to discover how we can help you to prepare a powerful and effective fundraising letter! Call us at (0)1 531 2695 or email