Michelle Barry reports:
"Donation letters are a vital part of the funding of most charities and nonprofit organizations. Executives and companies are inundated with donation requests. To be effective, yours must stand out from the rest and also connect with the person reading it...Stating the purpose of your letter -- soliciting donations -- [up front] gives the reader clear indication of what you are writing about. If you wait until the end of the letter, your recipient may feel she was the victim of a 'bait and switch' tactic. By relaying your desire for donations early, you start a relationship of trust and integrity early, which may lead them to be more inclined to donate...Find an angle that connects personally with your recipient and ties them to your organization's cause...To create sample letters that would connect with numerous recipients, research the boards and committees for charities similar to your own. This way you can draft one personalization that connects to all the members of the board...Put genuine passion and honesty into your description of your cause or organization. Companies are often flooded with donation requests. To stand out from the rest, avoid anything that sounds like a form letter and speak from the heart about what makes you passionate about this cause. The genuine enthusiasm you have will resonate through your words...Include examples from people your cause or organization has helped. This showcases what the donations you request can help to achieve. It also puts a face to whatever check the recipient writes. Choose the most compelling and heartwarming stories from your testimonials to have the strongest impact. You could also customize the narratives to the particular interests of the recipient, choosing those they are most likely to connect with."
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