The 4 Core Elements of a Killer Fundraising Letter

Just recently, I received a fundraising email from an acquaintance. And, to be honest…I really didn’t like it. It was unpleasant. And I did not want to give - anything.

What was it that rubbed me the wrong way? Every single paragraph was about money. Like this, “Were you able to give this weekend?” “Our deadline is next week...” “Thank you IF you can give...” (capitalization added by me). And on and on. There was nothing exciting or compelling to grab hold of me as a potential donor. I’m not interested in being a part of a personal bank account.

To fundraise well, your communication has to make a connection between you, your partner, and the impact. That’s the key.

So, what is your communication focused on? Here are the 4 things that should be included in your communication, every time:

1 Impact

Aren’t you more excited to give toward changing lives than "our support”? It's not about the money! It's about the impact you are having together through the grace of God. "Thank you for partnering with our team to spread the hope and love of Jesus Christ. Together, we are making a difference."


2 Relationship

Focusing on the person allows you to genuinely acknowledge the impact of their sacrifice, and could be the key to solving your long-term funding problem. Are you reminding them (and yourself) that they matter? The most important part of a donation is the PERSON who gave it - not the donation itself. Saying things like “we couldn’t do this without you” or “we value your partnership” reminds them that their involvement is important.


3 Gratitude

People want to be a part of something bigger- thank them for their gift and sacrifice to partner with what GOD is doing. Start and end with a thank you. And not 'thank you IF you give," please don’t do that. Just a simple thank you for considering, or thank you for your partnership. If possible, get rid of the word support - it focuses on the means to impact (the fundraiser) rather than the impact itself.

When someone gives a gift, whether it’s finances, time, encouragement, etc., you should send a personal, heartfelt thank you within 48 hours of their gift. There's 3 secrets to expressing gratitude for those who are partnering with you to make an impact in the world.


4 Funding

The smallest part of your newsletter or thank you note should be talking about your funding goals and deadlines. Having a specific amount and date is important to communicate a clear goal, but again - it’s only one part of what your communication should include.

Look back through your past newsletters, emails, FB posts. What’s the focus? If you received your email or letter, would you be excited to give?


Jenny Karr, Director of Training & Coaching Services

My mission is to train, equip, and support people in ministry and as the Director of Training and Coaching Services, I get to do all of those things in one role! When I’m not coaching, training, or writing blogs, I’m enjoying time at home or in the city with my husband, daughter, and friends here in Nashville, TN.

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