Greater Bay Area Chapter - Silicon Valley/Monterey
Local Staff Contacts
San Jose, CA 95112-5156
How to Write an Effective Letter
The key to a successful letter campaign is writing a good letter. Here are some suggestions for writing a successful fundraising letter:
1. Create a list of EVERYONE you know using our memory jogger. (Link listed below) Do not say "no" for anyone. Send them the letter and let them decide. Look through your checkbook and identify people and places where you regularly spend money or have spent a large sum of money. Check with your family for relatives and people who knew you as a child. If you send holiday cards, use that list. Do not hesitate to include casual acquaintances, as they will understand that you are seeking donations for a worthy cause.
2. Ask. Include a call to action. Don't just tell them what you are doing, ask for their help. Include your personal fundraising goal in the letter, and suggest giving levels. Do not diminish your request by being apologetic or by saying something similar to "I hope you can donate something".
3. Make it personal. Hand address the outside envelope. Do not use mailing labels for the person's name and address. Hand sign each letter. Write a short personal note to those you don?t see regularly, i.e., "Mary, I hope this finds you doing well!"
4. Introduce your team honoree. Let them know that you are not just training, but that you are training in honor of someone. Include something personal about your team hero.
5. Make it easy to donate. Include a return envelope for them to send their donation to you. Label the envelopes with your address. It is nice to include a stamp on the return envelope. State in your letter that all donations are 100% tax deductible and that 75% of every dollar goes directly to our mission.
6. Suggest online donations. The easiest way is to include your personal TNT website address in the letter. Or you can direct them here, where they can search by your first and last name.
7. Set a deadline. People are always motivated by deadlines. We give you a deadline for your own fundraising, but we recommend that you set a deadline earlier than that date. This way you can assess your fundraising and revise your plan if needed before the actual deadline.
8. Send a reminder. Keep a list of those who send in donations. Send a reminder to those what have not yet donated. Include training updates in your reminder, and let them know that fundraising is going well, but you still have a bit farther to go. Sometimes, reminder letters are more successful than original letters for bringing in the money.
9. Send a "thank you" card. "Thanks" is a powerful word. It is nice to receive a note acknowledging the importance of a donation, no matter the amount. Staying in communication develops a rapport that will have many added benefits, from closer bonds of friendship to continued support for another season of TNT.
10. Put your HEART into you letter. Tell them why you are doing this. Don't include too many facts and figures; instead include your personal story of why you have taken on this task. Someone will donate to you because they know you and want to support your reasons for doing this.
To assist your fundraising letter campagin, download and complete the following memory jogger to create a complete list of everyone you can reach out to!
To assist your fundraising letter campaign, download the following letters of your choice. All letters are PDF versions, but you can copy and paste the text into a new document and edit as you choose.
Sample Letter - In Kind Donation Request
Sample Letter - General Purpose
Sample Letter - For Marathoners
Sample Letter - Personal Connection
Sample Letter - Flyer-type Letter
Sample Letter - Alumni Letter