7 Essential Tips For Constructing A Successful Fundraising Appeal Letter
Fundraising letters are an incredibly “niche” form of writing and rather challenging. Considering that major brands can potentially spend thousands of dollars on writers to help them come up with their emails, website content, and social media posts, a charity or nonprofit doesn’t have that kind of budget to spare.
However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to craft a highly effective fundraising appeal letter that can connect with your readers, compelling them to donate to your cause. Today, we’re going to explore the seven steps you need to take to help you create this kind of captivating letter.
1. Write personally.
When it comes to charities and organizations such as yours, you have the unique advantage over other businesses in that you can get very personal in your letters. Many people can see through it when a global business attempts this approach, but using the words “I” and “You” in your content can connect with your readers on an emotional level.
Using lines like “you can make a difference” and “your donations are what drives us” are extremely powerful, and you should never think that you should be using them sparingly. Copywriting tools like My Writing Way and Academized are great places to learn how to write on a more personal level.
2. Remain positive.
Of course, the fact that you’re writing a fundraising letter means that you’re probably addressing a problem that’s negative, but when you’re writing your letter, focus on the benefits of the cause. When people donate money, they want to know that their donations are doing good in the world, so draw focus to this.
Highlight the benefits and good that your organization is achieving with the donations you’re already receiving, and you can be sure that you’ll tug at the heartstrings of those who want to contribute. Don’t forget, when adding references or quotes to your letter, you can do so professionally using free tools like Cite It In.
3. Choose interesting topics.
It’s all well and good trying to write about your cause, but if you’re continuously writing about the same topic, people are going to get bored while also thinking that your cause can’t be helping if the problem is still ongoing.
With this in mind, try taking different approaches to the problems that you’re addressing. For example, if you’re talking about bringing clean water to a developing country, you could take about the problem in the developing country, the good that your organization is achieving, a case study of a volunteer in your organization, a case study of someone who has benefited from the donations, and the latest news from your industry.
This keeps people engaged in your content and therefore far more likely to donate. If you’re struggling with ideas, you can use content subject generation tools like Easy Word Count or Essayroo to help.
4. Ask for money directly.
Of course, the main goal of your fundraising letter is to raise money through donations to your cause. Your reader is going to know this is the case which is why it’s so important to be frank with them and ask for “money.”
It’s a common fundraising mistake to ask for “support” in letters, but this term is far too broad and will lose the interest of most readers who live busy lives and may think you’re asking for volunteers. You don’t have to ask for a specific amount, simply ask for the reader’s commitment to help.
5. Communicate the right message.
When you’re writing your content, it’s easy to fall into the trap of writing away without thinking about how your reader is going to perceive the message you’re telling them. Since you work for the organization, what goes on is second nature to you, but for a reader, this might be the only insight they get into everything that’s going on.
This is why you’ll need to go through your letters to make sure the content is acceptable for the person reading it. This means editing your letters, and it can pay at this stage to have a friend or colleague read through your work to make sure it makes sense and reads well.
6. Perfect it.
The final step you need to take in your letter writing process is to make sure it’s perfect for sending to your readers. This means proofreading your content to make sure it’s free from errors like spelling mistakes, typos, and misplaced punctuation.
If you want to check the grammar of your letter or brush up on your grammar knowledge, you can use grammar tools like Grammarix and Boom Essays, as recommended by the HuffingtonPost ‘Write my paper‘ article, to help.
If your readers find these errors, which will stick out like sore thumbs, you will damage the credibility and reputation of your organization and people won’t want to donate. You can proofread your letters yourself, with a colleague, or by referring to proofreading guides like the ones found at Academadvisor.
7. Create the full package.
As we’ve discovered, a letter is a vital and essential tool in your fundraising campaign, but it’s not the only part of the package that you should be sending. Alongside your letter, you need to remember to include a reply device, such as a ready-to-send envelope or a donation slip.
Only with all these elements together will you have a successful package which can captivate and compel your readers to donate to your cause, ensuring that your letter is a success.
As you can see, writing a successful fundraising letter isn’t as daunting as it may first seem, but there are some key things you’ll need to remember. Remind yourself that a fundraising letter is far different from other forms of copywriting and that you can really connect with your readers for maximum effect.