How to Write a Direct Mail Fundraising Letter
There is no conventional way of writing a direct mail fundraising letter. A number of not for profits have come up with varied formats of fundraising letters in the past which have proven to be very effective in fulfilling its duties. However, most effective fundraising letters have some basic elements which must be included, else, it would lose its efficacy. In writing an effective fundraising letter, you must make sure of the following:
Your Letter Should be Personalized
It cannot be said enough that one of the most important factors that lead to a successful direct mail campaign is the relationship you create with your prospects. You have to personalize your letters and speak to your prospects and current donor as people who have a working relationship. No one wants to do business with someone they are not comfortable with. Make your prospects feel comfortable by addressing them in first name basis and encouraging them to do same with you.
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Your Letter Should Show Appreciation for Past Donations
When sending a fundraising letter to an existing donor, you must ensure that your letter shows appreciation for what the donor has done in the past. Everyone wants to be appreciated. Appreciating a donor for what he has done in the past would be an incentive to such a donor to want to donate to your projects again.
Tell a Story
Endeavor to tell your donors of your success stories in the past. An existing donor would be happy to know that his previous donations were able to put smiles on the faces of some people in the past while prospective donors may be moved by the difference your projects have made in solving individuals’ problems in the past and would want to be a part of such noble set up.
Tell them Why You Need Their Funds
You can now go ahead and tell your existing and prospective donors why you need their donations for the current project you are working on and what difference such donations would in the lives of individuals and communities. You should make this engaging and convincing as it is the most important part of your fundraising letter. Donors need to understand your vision and goals clearly before committing themselves to them.
Make Your Donors the Hero
Let your donors understand that you might be the tool being used in conveying the movement but you are not the hero. Make them understand how their donations have turned hopeless situations into great hopes and how their support has put smiles on the faces of people. Let them realize they are the hero and not you and you will be counting on their supports to continue to make the world a better place.
Be Specific About How Much You Want From Them
Do not leave any doubt in the hearts of your donors by thinking they know how much they should give. Rather, you should be specific about how much you expect from them. You can say something like, ‘We would need a $1000 donation from you to feed the motherless children in the slums of Africa’. That is more specific and effective.
End With a Call to Action
Your fundraising letter cannot be complete without a call to action. You should always end by writing something like, ‘To donate now, click this link’ or something similar so that interested donors can do so once and for all.