Although writing a fundraising letter requesting donations or sponsorship from a company, organization, or a person can be a bit scary, it can also be an opportunity for you to show your fundraising expertise. By following an appropriate format and some ‘best practices’ guidelines, your letter can be one tool that will make your fundraising efforts successful. Here are some helpful hints for writing a sponsorship letter:
• Pay attention to format. When writing a letter in any official capacity, it’s important to follow an appropriate format and do things like including the person’s address and date in the top right hand corner of the letter. There are many samples online that you can reference to ensure that you are following the right format.
• Explain your purpose and give the reader some good examples of your work. You always want to introduce yourself (as personally as possible) and paint a clear picture of what your organization does and then give specific examples of your charity’s work in action. You need to offer a compelling and personal reason for them to become involved.
• Make an actionable request. Be sure to give the reader several options for how they can get involved in your organization, but make those requests clear and very specific such as, “we are requesting donations of $25, $50, or $100 for our upcoming homeless shelter fundraising event”. It’s important not to be ambiguous in any way when requesting sponsorship.
• Ensure that you state anything that the reader will get in return. Whether it’s free advertising for a company in your e-newsletter or a free gift, make sure that you let the reader know what they will get in return for donating at the various sponsorship levels that your organization is requesting.
• Don’t forget to thank them and follow up. Of course, it’s important to thank the readers for their attention. And if there is a way to follow up, make sure you make this a part of your strategy.
• Edit your letter and read it aloud. Make sure to edit and proofread your letter and it’s helpful to read it aloud to a trusted friend or colleague to make sure that you’re on the right track.