Guest Post by Howard Gottlieb from Easy Fundraising Ideas.
The key to many fundraising campaigns is how well you can distinguish yourself from other charitable groups competing for donations. That’s where great fundraising letters become critical to your success.
Here are some tips to write great fundraising letters:
#1 This may sound obvious, but make sure you clearly explain the problem or reason you are raising money in the first place. This may sound easy. But think in sound bites here. How do you get your message across quickly yet have a strong impact on a reader? Remember if you don’t grab them quickly the odds of them reading the rest of your letter is greatly reduced.
#2 After explaining the problem, write about how the problem can be solved by the person who will read your letter. Not only should you explain how as a team you can solve the problem, you should also address the consequences that might happen if you do not get the help you are looking for. Stop and think about this point very carefully. It is very important to change the mind of fence-riders.
#3 In the letter be specific in how the reader can help. If you need money and only money make sure the letter says so. If there are other opportunities to help, show those opportunities and how the reader can volunteer.
#4 As you write your fundraising letter try to use the same words you would as if you were speaking face to face with the reader. Do not over-write. Make sure you clearly define your fundraising mission. If you are looking for a $25 donation say so. As you write make sure you write as if the person reading the letter shares your passion for the work you are doing. If they don’t then they probably should not be on the mailing list you are using anyway so assume they do.
#5 Make sure to include deadlines which indicate some sense of urgency. When the reader is done with your letter you want them to know you need their help right now, not next week or next month.
#6 At the end of the letter include a P.S. that passionately acts as an immediate call to action. You might even want to use a highlighter to highlight that call to action. After all, that is why you are sending out the letter in the first place.
-Howard Gottlieb is the President of Easy Fundraising Ideas.