Donation Letter Templates

Mary Gormandy White
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If you handle fundraising for a nonprofit organization, you'll often need to send letters to prospective donors. Letters are essential for building relationships with donors and to remind those who have generously supported your cause in the past to consider donating once again. Use these sample donation letters for inspiration! If you need help downloading the templates, check out these helpful tips.

Basic Donation Letter

Organizations send out appeal letters on a yearly basis. Appeals are often used to bring in large amounts of money to support an organization's programs and expand on new endeavors. A basic donation letter will describe the organization, what the campaign's goal is as well as details on why donations are needed. A basic donation letter template can be used for an organization's annual appeal and can be tailored to include specifics related to your cause.

Special Situation Fundraising Request

Sometimes an organization may send out a donation request for a special situation. This creative donation request letter is designed to attract the attention of potential donors who may be interested in providing funding for a special situation. In this instance, it is to celebrate an organization's anniversary, but the letter can be adjusted for a variety of situations. When writing a letter of this type, utilize a unique approach or angle in order to inspire action.

Program-Specific Request Request

Sometimes you need to ask donors to give money to help fund a specific program. If that's the type of fundraising project you are working on, consider editing this program-specific donation request template to persuade prospects to reach into their pockets to help cover program's cost.

Special Event Promotion

When you are focused on selling tickets to a special event fundraiser, you may find that some donors are more likely to respond to a traditional letter than to an email message or invitation card. Use this special event promotion template for inspiration if that's the type of letter you need to create.

Auction Item Donation Template

Holding a special event is a great way for an organization to bring in large amounts of funds. Many organizations include a live or silent auction as part of the event's activities. A letter is often the first notice that individuals and businesses will receive that the event will take place. A letter will mention what type of auction item donations are needed as well as details of the upcoming event. Use the attached auction item donation letter template for soliciting donations to be used in the auction.

Church Donation Letter

To raise funds annually, many churches ask their members for support. This church fundraising letter can be used for a church's annual campaign. The intended audience for this letter is members of the church. Similar letters can also be sent to members to ask for funding for specific programs or initiatives.

Annual Fund Giving Campaign

Of course, not all annual fund giving campaigns are for churches. If you work for a different kind of nonprofit and wish to contact prospective donors via a letter, consider using this sample annual fund letter as a starting point for creating a custom version specific to the organization you represent. Alternatively, you may find one of these capital campaign letters to be more appropriate for your situation.

School Fundraising Letter

Letters are often sent to parents of children who are students at a particular school. Since schools have various fundraisers throughout the year, parents are often contacted for support. Theis sample school fundraising letter can be sent to parents in hope that they will show their support by sending in a monetary donation, volunteer their time or donate an item to be used as part of a fundraiser.

Volunteer Time Request

Hands holding donate letters

Organizations often need to recruit volunteers to help them out if they are short on staff or have a specific need, and many people prefer to donate their time or services instead of money. This volunteer time donation request template can be used when soliciting for volunteers to assist your organization with various projects and tasks.

Email Donation Template

If you are wanting to contact a potential donor in an informal manner, use this email donation request template for inspiration. This template is perfect to send to those who have previously agreed to support your cause or who are familiar with your efforts.

Holiday Donation Solicitation

Some charitable organizations have specific donation requests during the holiday season. For example, if your group prepared holiday meals for needy individuals or family, you may need to write a letter requesting money to purchase food for holiday meals that your organization will be serving or delivering. Or, you may need a letter requesting holiday-related financial support for other types of programs.

Basic Donation Letter Anatomy

Donation letters are essential to any organization looking to raise funds. Whether it is a letter to an individual or a corporation, it is important to include all the necessary details in this type of request. All donation letters should contain the following elements:

  • Your organization's logo, name, mailing address, telephone number, and website
  • Personal salutation (If you know the potential donor's name, use it. If not, use something such as Dear Friend of XYZ.)
  • The reason why you are soliciting for funds
  • A direct, clear request for a donation.
  • Express how grateful you will be to receive their donation
  • Acknowledge past donations from the recipient
  • A call to action
  • Contact information

Special Touches

You will want to make your letter stand out and be noticed. Since many organizations send out appeals, it is important to make yours easy to read and attractive. You do not want yours to end up in the trash or in a pile on someone's desk. Some special touches to consider are:

  • Adding a personal touch to the letter is a great way to get it noticed. You can make it more personal by having it signed by hand. You can also include a handwritten note to the bottom of the letter.
  • Donation letters should be printed on your organization's letterhead and be placed in an envelope that has the organization's return address clearly on the front.
  • A follow-up phone call can add another personal touch and remind potential donors that their contributions are greatly needed and much appreciated.
  • Finally, have a system in place to track donations. This will help you in generating thank you letters and will make it simple to prepare the next round of solicitation letters.

Adapt Sample Letters to Your Situation

Use the attached templates to solicit various types of donations for your organization. Tailor each template to suit your own organization's needs. Be sure to always follow up on any donation that you receive with a thank you letter or even a phone call.

Donation Letter Templates