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It's much harder with a one or two page letter to state your case in a number of different ways than it is with a four page letter. With a longer letter, you have much more room to convince reader to give.
Don't forget to ask for money! Don't just tell them about your program, ask directly for their help. Also, tell them how much to give so they have an idea of what is needed. "Our education program needs 25 computers, at $2,000 each. If you can't afford a whole computer, a donation of only $200 will buy a printer."
You will get donations of at least $200.
Appeal to readers' sense of urgency by providing a deadline. "We need these funds by January 1 in order to carry out our spring awards event." If you don't get them to act right away, they probably won't act at all.
For maximum reply, include a return envelope. Make it easy for people to donate by telling them how! "Just check box on reply card and mail it with your check in enclosed, postage paid reply envelope." It may sound silly to you, but people respond to clear instructions.
Remember to include a PS at bottom. The bulk of your letter will go unread by most of your readers. A post script is a last-chance effort to summarize your whole letter and get your readers to act on it.
As with any direct mail piece, it's good to make follow up phone calls one or two weeks after you mail letter. Ask if letter was received and if you can answer any questions. Of course, you won't always reach right person, but if you follow up you greatly increase your chances of getting a donation.
Writing successful fundraising letters isn't rocket science. These tips are based on years of trial and error; if you follow them wisely your campaign will be successful. Plan early, be organized, and letter writing will take care of itself!
===================================================== Linda Elizabeth Alexander writes marketing copy for nonprofits. When a deadline looms and you're overworked and understaffed, contact her to come to your rescue. http://www.write2thepointcom.com mailto:email@example.com =====================================================
Linda Elizabeth Alexander writes marketing copy for nonprofits. When a deadline looms and you're overworked and understaffed, contact her to come to your rescue. http://www.write2thepointcom.com mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org =====================================================