Creating a direct mail fundraising letter is something that takes strategy, skill, and a little creativity. It also takes practice and usually a draft or two before the fundraiser letter is ready to be presented to the public. In her article, 8 Tips For Writing a Fundraising Letter, Joanne Fritz lays out specific tips for writing a direct mail fundraising letter, including an emphasis being personal, concise, and using easy to read language. Here are some highlights from Joanne Fritz’s article that we think are especially important to remember when designing a direct mail fundraising letter:
1. Use the words “I” and “You”. Using language like this in a fundraising campaign letter can create a direct connection between you and the reader. It also helps to include personal anecdotes in the body of your letter. The more personal you are with the reader, the more likely the reader will be to donate to your cause.
2. Point out the benefits. Whether you remind the reader about the tangible benefits of donating (like tax deductions for example), or you are inviting them to an event that promises to be a good time, pointing out what the reader will get by donating is a great strategy.
3. Be very clear about asking for money. Don’t be vague in the language that you use when you are requesting funds. Be very specific, and better yet, ask each letter recipient to make a specific donation, such as $20.
4. Create a sense of urgency to act. Set a deadline for when donations are due or to be mailed in. Giving them a limit of time creates a sense of urgency and may cause them to act instead of stall.
5. Make it easy to read. We couldn’t agree more with Joanne on this one. The letter needs to be easy to read and accessible to any type of reader.