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Sample Fundraising Letters

Fundraising

Our sample fundraising letters are here to get you started. But, as our page on how to write fund raising letters explains, there is no substitute for doing the groundwork and gearing your letter to its recipient. However, feel free to use the letters below as templates to adapt for your own communications.

Letter 1

Ticks!


This is a letter written to a local company asking for a donation. Because you don't know the people involved, the tone is more formal than it would be if you were writing to a friend. Because you are writing to a business, the letter is laid out as a business letter, with your own address at the top right and the recipient's address below it, on the left. Don't forget the date. The first paragraph explains what the school needs, while the second paragraph asks for a donation. It's good to suggest an amount, but always make it clear that you will be grateful for any help. The third paragraph explains how helping the school will be good publicity for the company. However, mentioning the company's recent bad publicity, as we've done in this fictitious example, is a risky tactic that may backfire for you!

 

Sunshine School
12380 Sunshine Street
Northridge
CA 91440-8385

5 th July 2010

Mrs Ella Smith
The Big Happy Donut Co
14963 Sugar Street
Northridge
CA 91440-8385

Dear Mrs Smith,

I am a fundraising coordinator for the Sunshine School gymnastics team. As you may know, we recently won a state gymnastics competition, and our team is going from strength to strength. We plan to enter the national championships next year, and then we are hoping to compete at a world level. However, we can't train properly for the national championships at the moment, because the gymnasium is lacking several pieces of important equipment.

This is where we thought The Big Happy Donut Company might be able to help. In order to raise money for the new gym equipment, we are having a big fundraising drive. Next month we will be holding a sports day where people pay a dollar to enter each event. If your company could donate some donuts as prizes for each event, it would act as a great incentive for people to enter the competitions, which would mean more money raised towards our gym equipment. 200 donuts would mean some truly substantial prizes, but we would be grateful for any donations at all.

The Big Happy Donut Company would get some great publicity, as the local newspapers will almost certainly be there, and your sponsorship of the event would be announced both in the opening speech and on a banner over the donut stall. It might also help to combat the bad press you have had lately over the links between donut consumption in the county and teenage obesity.

I thank you in advance for considering my suggestion, and look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

[handwritten signature here]

Gemma Gymnast

Letter 2

This is less specifically targeted than the sample fundraising letter above. You might send out a hundred or more of these, to local and state businesses. Because it is less tailored to a specific recipient than Letter 1, it is less likely to receive a response. Still, if you get two donations for every hundred letters, you might still raise a sizeable amount. Remember to keep this kind of letter as short as possible. The two main things to do are to explain exactly why you're raising the money (as we've done in the first paragraph) and to explain as clearly as possible exactly how to donate money (as we've done in the third paragraph). The second paragraph mentions the possible benefits to the company of helping the school.

 

Sunshine School
12380 Sunshine Street
Northridge
CA 91440-8385

5 th July 2010

Mr A N Other

PR Manager

1200 Any Street

Northridge

CA 91440-8385

 

Dear Mr Other,

I am writing to ask if your company would be able to help the Sunshine School gymnastics team achieve their goal of competing at a national level. To raise the money we need for new gym equipment, we need the help of local businesses like yours. Would it be possible for you to send a donation, however small, to our appeal?

The appeal has already achieved quite a high profile. Last week's sponsored swim made the TV news. Any company who helps us out will be able to share that high profile, as the company's name will be added to our Roll of Honor, which will be printed in the school newsletter and released to the press at the end of our appeal. Companies which donate over $100 will have their name engraved on a commemorative plaque outside the gymnasium.

Checks can be posted to the above address, made payable to " Sunshine School gym appeal". You can make a cash donation by visiting the school in person, or donate by credit card via our website at www.sunshineschoolgym.com

I thank you in advance for considering our request, and hope very much to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

[handwritten signature here]

Gemma Gymnast

 

Letter 3

The sample fundraising letters above are quite formal. But here's one which isn't. You could handwrite this one, or even mail merge it to save time. You might write this to your neighbours or people at church - people you know well. Make extra sure to sign your name by hand - you probably won't need to type your name too - and think about personalizing the note by using some nice notepaper. In this example, a request for help is combined with a reminder of a forthcoming fundraising event.

 

Sandy House
680 Station Road
Northridge
CA 91440-8385

5 th July 2010

Dear Jill,

As you may know, I'm busy trying to raise cash for new gym equipment at Sunshine School . The gym team hopes to enter the national gymnastics championships next year, but we can't train without the right equipment.

Would you be able to help our appeal in some small way? Perhaps you could donate a few dollars to the collecting tin at school, or find some good-quality books or bric-a-brac you no longer need for next month's Great Big Garage Sale, to be held on the 10 th of August from 10am to 4pm in Rose Park. Just coming along to one of our events - like next month's sports day - would really help our cause. With a little help from everyone, we can be the best gymnastics team in the world!

Best wishes,

Gemma Gymnast [handwritten name]

 

As we said before, the sample fundraising letters shown on this page are just that - samples. They give you some guidance on style, but you will have to alter the templates to fit your own needs. However, adapting sample fundraising letters gets easier and easier with practice, until you find you don't need the templates at all. When that day comes, you will probably have become a seasoned fundraiser, but until then, good luck.