How to Write a Nonprofit Fundraising Letter That Inspires Action

|6 min read Nonprofit Fundraising

Sending nonprofit fundraising letters is an integral part of every fundraising strategy, but it’s not always easy crafting a fundraising appeal for different audiences. The right fundraising letter should inform supporters while encouraging them to take a specific action—whether that’s donating, registering for an event, or simply sharing your mission with others. Below, learn how to craft an engaging nonprofit fundraising letter to raise awareness for your cause.

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Four tips for writing a successful fundraising letter

Whether you’re trying to write a letter asking for donations from businesses, or you’re reaching out to individuals, these tips can help you write a compelling donation request letter that keeps people reading.

1. Share a story of real impact 

One of the best ways to draw readers into your letter is through a narrative story. Do you have an example of an individual or small group of people who have directly benefited from your charity? Not only does a story like this capture interest, but it allows people to connect with your cause on a more personal level and show them exactly the type of work your charity does.

2. Be transparent

In your letter, it’s important to outline exactly how your supporters’ donations will impact your nonprofit. The clearer this is, the more inclined people will be to support you. Try listing a range of donation amounts and their impact. For example, you could explain that a $20 donation would help feed a single animal at your shelter for a week, and a $100 donation would feed that same animal for over a month.

3. Include a clear call to action

Even the most compelling letters can fall flat without a clear call to action. Your nonprofit fundraising letter should make it simple for people to donate or share your mission through a donate button, sharing links, or a direct link to your crowdfunding page. In lieu of monetary support, you can also ask supporters to start a peer-to-peer fundraiser on behalf of your organization.

4. Personalize your letters

Personalizing your letters is a solid strategy for connecting to your audience. If you’re writing an email in addition to a letter, keep in mind that personalized email subject lines can lead to a 50% increase in open rates. Using a fundraising platform that integrates with your email marketing software can make this process seamless.

Three sample fundraising letters to inspire donations and awareness 

Writing donation requests isn’t always easy, so we’ve drafted a few donation request letter templates to help you get started creating and personalizing your own fundraising outreaches. If you’d like to send fundraising emails as well, you can simply add an eye-catching subject line and a direct URL to your cause.

Fundraising letter to current donors

Dear [donor’s name],

Your generous donations to our nonprofit have been able to help in more ways than you realize.

[Example of one individual your organization helped, e.g. Last year, we were able to bring clean drinking water to over 30,000 individuals in need in the Flint community. One individual, Christina Almos, had been struggling to find potable water…]

Because of your support, [insert individual’s name] has been able to [explain the impact of donation].

[Include a photo or two to help tell your story].

This year, we’re aiming to help even more people like [insert name] through our latest fundraising campaign [briefly explain current fundraising efforts]. We’d be grateful for your continued support. By donating just $10 a month, you can [insert impact of their support].

Are you interested in learning how to continue supporting our mission? You can use the form provided in this letter to mail a check donation to us. Or, you can visit our website [website URL] and click on the section titled [name of the website page specific to your mission] to donate again or to learn how to start your own fundraiser on our behalf.

Sincerely,

[Your name and title at your nonprofit]

Nonprofit fundraising letter to non-donors 

Dear [donor’s name],

Have you heard about our newest fundraising efforts for [insert your cause]? We’re excited to [how your nonprofit plans to help] because we’re passionate about making a difference in [insert your cause].

[Specific example of your impact, e.g. Because of the generous donations we received last year, we were able to bring clean drinking water to over 30,000 individuals in need in the Flint community. Christina Almos is one individual in need who received help…]

[Include a photo or two to help tell your story].

Over this next year, we hope to triple our impact by raising [insert goal]. Are you able to help us ensure that everyone has access to [clean drinking water]? A contribution of any amount is welcome!

You can use the form provided in this letter to mail a check donation to us. Or, you can visit our website [website URL] and click on the section titled [name of the website page specific to your mission] to donate or to learn how to start your own fundraiser on our behalf.

Together, we can make a lasting difference.

Sincerely,

[Your name and title at your nonprofit]

Sponsorship letter template

Dear [insert name],

Our organization is passionate about [insert mission], and we were excited to learn that your business also values [insert mission]. As a 501(c)(3) Certified Charity, we’re always looking to partner with businesses whose missions align with ours so we can make an even bigger impact.

Right now, [your nonprofit’s name] is working to [insert recent fundraising goal], and we could certainly use the help of like-minded organizations. We would love to partner with [their business name] so we can [insert fundraising goal]. In return, we would proudly list your organization as our fiscal sponsor.

If it isn’t possible to offer financial support, please know that we are always excited to receive in-kind donations or explore other ways we can work together.

To learn more about our mission, please visit our website [website link] and click on the section titled [name of the website page specific to your mission], or reach out to us directly. We’d love to schedule a time to talk about this potential partnership.

Sincerely,

[Your name, title at your nonprofit, and contact information]

Make the most with your nonprofit fundraising letters

If you’re ready to step up your organization’s fundraising, consider joining GoFundMe Charity. Our enterprise-grade fundraising software has no subscription costs or contracts and integrates with other best-in-class tools you’re already using. Sign up today and start raising more money to further your mission.

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About Jenna Davis

I'm passionate about helping both nonprofits and supporters find new and creative ways to make a difference in the world.