If you’re in charge of your charities’ silent auction, and you don’t know how to begin soliciting sponsors, creating an effective silent auction letter can be a great place to start. There are a myriad of online templates available that may be helpful to you. You can choose one and customize it to fit your organization and audience. When writing a fundraising letter like this, there are a number of things to keep in mind. Here are some helpful tips for writing a silent auction letter:
1. Be professional. You may be a charity that is on the hunt for donations, but you can still be highly professional. Make sure that the tone of your fundraising letter is polite and professional and reflects the core values of your organization.
2. Make it compelling. People—whether they are businesses or individuals—need a good reason to give money. Make sure to point out what your organization does, who it helps, and how each individual auction donation can help someone less fortunate.
3. Give examples of how they can help. Since you’re hosting a silent auction, it’s a good idea to have a variety of items that you can auction off. So, give the recipient of the letter a variety of specific examples that they can use when selecting a gift to donate. Examples can be items like gift cards, gift baskets, experiences (such as dinner for two or a cruise package), cash gifts, and more.
4. Highlight the free advertising. Being a sponsor is always a great way to get free publicity and advertising. Offer your sponsors some extra benefits like being highlighted in social media circles, newsletters, or on your website and be sure to point this out in your silent auction request letter.
5. Let them know that you will follow up and then be sure to do it. This is a critical key. In person follow up is always a great idea, but if you can’t do that, pick up the phone. Sponsors will take you more seriously if you actually follow through with your promise to follow up.