This article may be freely published in your ezine, on your website, or in a print newsletter provided that 1.You print article in its entirety, unchanged, 2.You include a byline and resource box at end, 3.You notify author of intent to publish ? please send a courtesy copy of your publication or a link.
How to Write a Fundraising Letter
(c) 2002 By Linda Elizabeth Alexander
The key to a successful fundraising campaign is writing a good letter. This may sound intimidating at first, but fundraising letters contain many of same elements as any good sales letter.
First, know your donors: Beginning with an updated list of past donors is key -- they will likely give again and may even increase their donations over time. Make sure to have a good, well-targeted, updated mailing list for new prospects as well.
In order to get people to read your letter, they must first open envelope. Include teaser copy on outside of envelope. This can be as simple as a printed line saying, "We need your help."
Early in letter, make your case -- quickly. Don't beat around bush. Tell about your organization or project at top of letter and get to point right away. What problem will this project solve? What need will it fill?
Appeal to your donors' hearts first with descriptions and anecdotes, then their heads with facts and figures.
If you are writing to previous donors, be sure to thank them first before you ask for more money. "Thanks for being such an important influence on our program in past. Last year's fundraiser was such a success, we're inviting you to help again ..."
Also, lose hype. Don't exaggerate or over-extend yourself. Nothing will destroy your credibility faster than sounding like a used-car salesperson when raising funds for a good cause.
As with other sales letters, longer copy pulls better in fundraising letters. I know, I know, "Nobody reads long letters." While most people won't read every word, more you can tell reader about benefits of giving, better response you will receive.
Another reason for long copy is with a good fundraising letter, you should be able to start reading at any point in letter and still know what it is about.