Are you getting ready to launch a fundraising campaign? One of the most important tools for any fundraiser is a well-written, appealing fundraising letter. Crafting a fundraising letter that works doesn't have to be difficult. Follow these tips for writing effective fundraising letters, and you'll have the perfect document to launch your program in no time at all.
1. Start With an Attention Grabber: People receive a great deal of mail, and they don't pay close attention to every single envelope that they come across. Come up with an attention grabbing statement to introduce your letter. If the opening of your fundraising letter gets the recipient's attention, then he or she is likely to continue reading the document. If the opening paragraph isn't interesting, however, your letter just might end up in the trash pile.
2. Appeal to the Reader's Emotions: People often select the charities to which they donate based on their emotions. Think about who you are targeting as potential donors, and reflect about how your charity's work will appeal to your best prospects on an emotional level. Avoid being sappy or overly sentimental, but focus on how donations can really make a difference.
3. Keep in Short and Sweet: The most effective fundraising letters are short and sweet. A donation request letter is not the proper place to give the entire history of your charity. There is no reason a fundraising letter should ever be more than one page long. A good guideline is to try to say everything you need to say in three or four paragraphs. Keep in mind that fundraising letters are really sales letters. Don't lose a sale by giving too much information.
4. Make the Letter Easy to Read: Don't use a tiny font to try to cram more information on your single page. If the letter looks crowded or the type is too small, people won't bother reading your message. Use a 12 point font and one inch margins. It’s also important to keep in mind that the type of paper you use is important. Standard letter paper is easy to read, and sends the right message. If you use expensive bond or glossy paper, readers are likely to think that your charity has plenty of money.
5. Call to Action: Be sure to end your fundraising letter with a call to action. Don't assume that readers will understand that you are asking for a monetary donation if you don't actually come out and request one. Specify the action you would like the reader to take, and make it easy for him or her to do so.
When you follow these fundraising letter tips, you'll be on your way to launching a successful fundraising campaign. Remember to focus the words you choose to use on issues of importance to prospective donors, and you'll be sure to enjoy a successful campaign.