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Ultimate Guide to Fundraising Letters That Will Increase Donations

Ultimate Guide to Fundraising Letters That Will Increase Donations


Fundraising letters might seem old-fashioned in our instant access world, where phone calls, emails, and text messages can reach your prospects instantly. However, the truth is that fundraising letters can be very successful, but you have to know how to write them. 

 The format’s power comes from its authenticity. There’s nothing more personal and emotionally gripping than a letter written from one person to another. Unlike an email, your recipient will know that you spent a considerable amount of time handwriting the donation letter they’re reading. The implication is that 1.) they’re worth the time and 2.) that your cause is worthy of the commitment. Both give extra weight to your request, particularly if your letter is handwritten. Contact Simply Noted to find out how you can send winning handwritten fundraising letters without any of the effort. 

 Try these donation letter templates. They’re loaded with the right words and phrases you need to send your fundraising efforts into the stratosphere. Whether you use them as is or adapt them to your purposes, you’ll find more people donating more money, more often. Let’s get started!

SEE ALSO:  5 Things to Remember When Asking for A Donation

A live fundraising event.


These templates are effective because they take advantage of what we know about human psychology and leverage the power of storytelling. They also include power words like:

  • “You”: Make sure your prospects feel like you’re talking directly to them. 
  •  “Because”: People feel more confident in their decisions when they’re given reasons. 
  •  “Today”: The best way to fight procrastination is to encourage readers to take action immediately. 
  •  “Small”: People commonly assume you’re asking for a large donation. By saying “small” or something similar, you keep average donors from tuning out. 
  •  “100%”: People want to know their entire donation will be going toward your mission, not your CEO's salary. 
  •  “Thank you”: Proactive gratitude sets a mild expectation for giving, which can be very motivating; when you thank someone for something they haven’t yet done, they feel more obligated to do it.

Let’s look at a few donation letter templates to see these in action.

SEE ALSO:  Direct Mail Fundraising: 5 Best Strategies for Every Nonprofit

Donation Letter Template #1

Dear [prospect’s name], 

 [Begin with a compelling story that’s relevant to your organization. It could be a success story or some other narrative that connects emotionally with what you know about your potential donors. Get their attention immediately!] 

 It should be clear that the world faces unprecedented challenges with [including the problem your organization is working to solve.] We’ve spent the past ten years generating solutions to these problems, but we need your help to continue making progress. 

 We’re hoping you’ll look inside today to see what you’re willing to do because it’s people like you that make the difference — your drive to help and your passion for good. If you recognize that change is possible when we all come together, then we ask if you’ll consider a small gift. 

 Please see link for donating at the bottom of the page. Any amount you can afford will be appreciated, and 100% of it will go toward our mission. 

 Thank you in advance for your generous donation. Please know that your small tax-deductible gift can make a big difference in someone else’s life. That’s because we pool your donation with thousands of others, taking a small wave and turning it into a tidal wave of change. 

 Thank you again for everything you do. With your help, we can end [restate the problem you’re trying to solve.] 


 [Your name] 

 [Your organization’s name]

SEE ALSO:  How Nonprofits Can Boost Donations and Delight Volunteers

A lovely handwritten card surrounded by flowers.

Donation Letter Template #2

Dear [prospect’s name], 

 [Begin with a compelling fact or figure to set the tone for your letter. What follows is an example.] As you read this letter, 15,000 acres of pristine rainforest are burning and they’ll be gone for good before you finish. We don’t need to accept this. We can do something about it. 

 Hi, [prospect’s first name]. I know it pains you to hear about the destruction our rain forests face. Every year the global community loses 78 million acres, destroyed to make space for livestock. We must do something to stem this insatiable grab for land.  

 That’s why we’re here, and you can help. 

 Here at [organization’s name] we’ve worked tirelessly to lobby Congress to put an end to slash-and-burn agriculture. We’re writing to you today to ask you to help us with our work. A donation in any amount helps move us one step closer to our goal — a rainforest that thrives. 

 We make sure your money can do the most good, putting 100% of the funds into the fight for our forests. The trees can’t thank you, but we can. Thank you for making your voice heard. 

 You can make a difference. We all can. Thanks for your generosity. 


 [Your name] 

 [Your organization’s name]

A woman handwriting a card.

Donation Letter Template #3

Dear [prospect’s name], 

 As a business owner, you understand the importance of fiscal responsibility. When you make a commitment, you do what you have to do to make good. The same hold’s true for matters of the heart. When you make a commitment to someone, you do whatever you have to do to keep your word.  

 But what about those that don’t have someone to look out for them? That’s what we do. We look out for [insert your mission here.] We ensure that no [the market you serve] goes without [the thing that’s important to them.] 

 We’re making progress, and with your 100% tax-deductible gift, you can help. Small donations can pay off big, and large donations can change the world. 

 We identified your company as one likely to care about [your cause] because your audience already supports our cause. We think you’ll agree that your brand aligns with our stated goals, and a public show of support would ingratiate you with your target market. 

 Increasingly businesses of every size are using corporate giving to define their personality and signal to their markets what they care about. A generous donation would be a win for all of us. Our mission moves closer to fruition, and you develop closer relationships with your customers. 

 If you’re interested in donating, please give me a call. Thank you for your time. 


 [Your name] 

 [Your organization’s name]

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