08 April 2016
Writing a fundraising letter to ask individuals to part with their money, no matter the cause, is difficult. Planning the content of the message needs some time. It’s essential to convey your message correctly in the chance to persuade readers to act on the letter. Here are the team’s top 5 tips in writing a successful letter that will get noticed, raise some money and help out a good cause.
When receiving a letter that is personalised to me, I am more likely to spend the time reading it, rather than receiving a letter that has been sent in bulk to multiple people. This is because the letter looks like it has been written with me in mind, which immediately makes the message seem more thoughtful and meaningful. When beginning your letter, avoid addressing the individual as ‘Sir or Madam’ or ‘Dear Supporter’, personalize each letter with the individuals name and show that you truly care about each donation.
You want your letter to be read, right? Don’t waste the persons time with a lengthy introduction that includes phrases such as, “the purpose of this letter” and “I am writing to tell you”. Get straight to the point and grab their attention. Perhaps open with a fact or bold statement about your charity or cause and use emotional triggers that will make them read on. Or perhaps talk about the reader and their role in the charity, explain how they will help personally and make them feel needed.
You are more likely to enjoy reading a letter from your best friend than you are a corporation. So, with that in mind, write to the letter as though you were talking to someone familiar. Be on their side and don’t force them into anything they don’t want to do. Be someone they can trust and don’t insult their intelligence by using clever sales tactics. You are more likely to get results if you treat them as individuals and not a group of donators.
There is a fine line between asking and being pushy, but on the other hand, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. This balance can be achieved by suggesting amounts they could donate rather then telling them what they must do. UNICEF are a great example in making the individual feel like they have control on what they are donating and how this money will effect the cause. The site lists what can achieved with the different amounts of money they can give, including ‘£5 a month could buy water kits to give at least 6 families access to safe water’. Make it clear how the individual can donate and give specific examples of how this may help.
You don’t need to wait for a donation to say thank you to the individual. Let them know you appreciate them taking out time to read your letter. Make your reader feel appreciated, even if they aren’t willing to donate at this time. Ensuring everyone is pleased and appreciated can sometimes be more important than increasing the amount of donations. They may return at a later date to donate or they may talk about the charity or cause to their friends and spread the word.