Learn how to perfect your donation request letters with Qgiv.

Get all the templates, right in your inbox!

Donation request letters communicate your organization’s needs, give your recipients information about how they can help, and ask them to get involved. This type of fundraising letter is an optimal chance to share your story, show donors the impact they can make with a gift, and gain support for your mission.

Explore how you can best use donation request letters by using the navigation below:

Fundraising Letter Templates

Continue reading to learn the basics behind writing a donation request letter and how you can get started. Or, if you’d rather go straight to our templates, use the list below to quickly jump to the fundraising letter you need:

Let’s get started!

How to Write a Donation Request Letter

As you explore how to write a great donation request letter, it’s important to follow a few key steps in order to write the most compelling and effective letter possible. These steps include:

  1. Address your recipient personally. By addressing your recipient by name, they won’t feel like they are just one of many reading this letter. Be sure to personalize your outreach with names so each reader knows you value their individual support. 
  2. Tell a story. Show your reader the issue or problem your organization is working to address with a story. Give details about the people you’re trying to help so it’s clear how they can benefit from a donation.
  3. Define the problem. Clearly outline the larger issues and problems your clients are facing. Be as straightforward as possible when doing this. 
  4. Explain your mission and outline your goal. Explain your need and how it fits into your overall mission. Your readers should understand how their donations will be used and who will benefit from them. Make sure to clearly explain the impact of the donor’s gift and how it will make a difference.
  5. Explain how your donor can make an impact. Before donors give, they want to know exactly how their donation will make a difference in the world. You’ve already defined a problem for them; explain how their donation will solve the problem with specific actions. For example, if you’re raising money for an animal shelter, you can specify that a donation of $50 will provide food for X amount of pets!
  6. Call the reader to action. Explain the urgency of the situation so you can convince your readers to act quickly. Mention what your other donors’ gifts have already done to address the problem and note the progress your current fundraiser is making.

In addition to following these steps, be sure to focus on the “you” and “we” language in your letter, but mostly focus on the “you.” Your outreach should be about your reader and the impact they can make, and it should directly appeal to them. Using “you” and “we” language is important and helps provide a touch of human interest to your donation request letter.

A donation request letter should be overall concise in length.

How long should a donation request letter be?

A donation request letter should be concise. One page is a great length, but some stories take a little longer to tell. A good rule of thumb is to use exactly as many words to define the problem and ask donors to provide a solution—nothing more! You may also include extra materials (such as information about matching gifts, additional details about your organization, etc.) or additional lift pieces to your appeal. If you decide to make your donation request letter longer than one page, be sure donors know what actions you want them to take by the end of the first page.

Donation request letters can be sent through many channels, the most effective ones being email and direct mail.

How should you send a fundraising letter?

Donation requests and other fundraising letters can be sent through a variety of channels, though the more effective ones tend to be via email and direct mail. In order to personalize your outreach, make sure your donation request letters are addressed to a specific individual, which is accomplished easily through email and direct mail. Don’t just write “Dear Donor” instead!

Donation request letters are important because they enable you to begin your fundraising engagements.

Why are fundraising letters important?

Donation requests and other fundraising letters are important because they give you an opportunity to demonstrate your financial needs, get donors involved with your cause, tell your emotional story, show donors why their gifts are important, and create a long-term relationship with your supporter.

Fundraising Letter Examples

In order to get you started with your drafting, we’ve written some donation request examples for different scenarios surrounding different types of campaigns.

 

The standard donation request template is a fundraising letter example.

 

Standard Donation Request Letter Template

Check out this standard donation request letter template that you can adapt to your specific organization.

If you’re asking for donations, you need to have a standard format that can be used as a baseline for all of your other donation request letters. This letter should be:

  • Donor-centric
  • Personalized
  • Concise

This template is generic, but your donation request letters should be segmented depending on your relationship with the recipient. First-time donors should receive different letters than major gift donors, one-time donors should get different letters than recurring donors, and so forth.


Date
Name
Organization
Street
City, State ZIP

Dear Name,

[Begin with emotional appeal or success story to pull the reader in. Try to make this as personal as possible].

There are [insert problem that you’re trying to solve]. While we already [insert solutions that you’re currently undertaking], we need your help to accomplish [new solution].

You can help [insert your mission or project]. Your support is key in solving this problem.

Would you consider donating [amount] to help us achieve our mission?

We thank you in advance for your support! Your donation is greatly appreciated and will be used to [insert accomplishment]. You can either donate online at [URL], call us at [phone number], or send a check in the pre-stamped envelope included in your letter.

Sincerely, [or With warm regards,]

Signature of a leader in the organization

Typed name of organizational leader

P.S. [Include a statement about upcoming events, deadlines, or other information].


This letter is quite short and gets right to the point of asking for a donation. Your letter will obviously be more specific and detailed depending on your mission and the projects your campaign will fund. You should also add a P.S. message. Here’s why: most readers absorb a letter in a specific order. The order is as follows: donors read the salutation first, then the P.S. message, and then the body of the letter. Since the P.S. is the second thing they read, it’s important that you use it to make an impact. It’s the perfect place to reiterate your call to action (where you ask people to give, volunteer, or whatever else you want them to do).

Be sure to also include a pre-addressed and stamped envelope to make it easy for your readers to give!

 

The individual sponsorship request template is an example of a fundraising letter.

Individual Sponsorship Request Template

Check out this fundraising letter template of an individual sponsorship request letter.

Sponsorship letters are similar to standard donation request letters. The only difference is that sponsorships are usually tied to events like marathons, walk-a-thons, and fun runs.

The request for sponsorship might also have a reward or incentive attached, such as:

    • The sponsor’s name included in promotional items and advertising materials.
    • Certain merchandise related to the event.
    • Seats or tickets to the event.

If you really want to make an impression on potential sponsors, ask them what incentives they’d like before sending the appeal. They may have ideas you’ve never considered!

As with the standard donation request template, this sponsorship request template can be tailored to fit your organization’s needs. You should always include more information about the event itself and what sponsors will receive in exchange for their donations. Remember to keep this donor-centric, especially if the recipient has sponsored your event or supported you in other ways in the past. If they have supported you in the past, make sure to reference that early gift and thank them for their past involvement.


Date
Name
Organization
Street
City, State ZIP

Dear Name,

Our [event] will take place on [date] at [place]. This event will [insert accomplishment or purpose] and our goal is to raise [amount].

We’re currently looking for sponsors who would be willing to help us reach this goal. Can we count on you to donate [amount] to help?

As a thank-you for your generosity, we would like to offer you [incentive].

We hope that we can count on you to help us make this event our best one yet!

Please include your donation in the self-addressed envelope included in this letter or donate online at [URL].

Thank you in advance for your contribution. We hope to see you at [event]!

Sincerely, [or With warm regards,]

Signature of a leader in the organization

Typed name of organizational leader

P.S. [Include a statement about upcoming events, deadlines, or other information].


 

The volunteer time request template is a donation request letter example.

Volunteer Time Request Template

Check out this donation request letter of a volunteer time request template.

A volunteer request letter should focus on the work that a volunteer might do should they choose to work with your organization. It should also let them know how their work will positively impact the people or community you support.

Volunteers are often more familiar with your organization if they’ve been involved in the past. If you’re writing a letter to someone that you know has a history of volunteering with your organization or other nonprofits, you should reference that involvement and thank them for their service.


Date
Name
Organization
Street
City, State ZIP

Dear Name,

Are you looking for ways to get involved with [Organization Name]? Do you want to get closer to the heart of our mission? Consider volunteering with us! We’d like to invite you to get involved at our [next volunteer day].

We’ll be [insert what will be accomplished during the volunteer day], and we could really use your help!

If you’re interested, simply fill out the information portion of this letter to let us know what time you’re available to volunteer and what you’d like to do during our [event].

We’re so excited to have you join our volunteer team! Thank you in advance for your dedication and service to [demographic you serve].

Sincerely, [or With warm regards,]

Signature of a leader in the organizatio

Typed name of organizational leader

P.S. [Include a statement about upcoming events, deadlines, or other information].


 

The corporate donation request template is a fundraising letter example.

Corporate Donation Request Letter Template

Check out this corporate donation request letter template.

Note that this letter asks for an in-person meeting with the leader of the organization. The company to which you’re writing may be hesitant to give money to a nonprofit they’ve never worked with before. In-person meetings are a good move even with organizations that have supported you in the past; most major donors prefer to handle their philanthropic conversations in person. That includes corporations and other businesses!

An in-person meeting can greatly help your fundraising efforts. It allows the business leader to ask questions, express concerns, and become more familiar with your organization—and with you! Donors prefer to give to people rather than organizations, even if they’re part of a big company. Your face-to-face meeting will make them much more likely to give

Again, this letter can be modified to suit your organization’s mission and needs.


Date
Name
Organization
Street
City, State ZIP

Dear Name,

As a leader at [local company], you no doubt understand the pressing need for [solutions to problems in your local area]. [Insert emotional appeal or success story to connect with the reader].

Our efforts to [solve problem] can’t take effect unless we have the support of everyone in our community.

That’s where you come in!

I’m writing to ask you to donate [amount] to help [solve problem or fund project]. By donating, you will be able to [insert accomplishment].

If you would like to sit down and have a discussion about donating time, money, or services, you can contact me directly at [phone number] or [email address].

I hope to hear from you soon, and thank you in advance for your generosity.

Sincerely, [or With warm regards,]

Signature of a leader in the organization

Typed name of organizational leader

P.S. [Include a statement about upcoming events, deadlines, or other information]


 

The peer-to-peer donation request template is a fundraising letter example.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Donation Request Template

Check out our peer-to-peer fundraising donation request letter template.

Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are one of the most effective ways for your nonprofit to raise money and spread the word about your mission online. Your supporters will launch personalized fundraising pages on behalf of your cause, then reach out to their personal networks to solicit gifts from friends, family, and coworkers.

To give your peer-to-peer fundraising participants an idea of how to solicit these gifts, offer them a template like this one. By filling in the blanks, they can easily craft effective and personalized solicitations.

When your participants sign up and start designing their fundraising page, consider providing donation request templates like this one to help them get started. If you’re using Qgiv, these are easy to create! You can include them in your participants’ fundraising dashboards, which will give them instant access to the email section of their sharing tools.


Date
Name
Organization
Street
City, State ZIP

Dear Name,

Have you heard about my fundraiser to support [Organization Name]?

Over the next [time period], I’m aiming to raise [donation amount]. But, I can’t do it without your help!

[Organization Name] is a cause close to my heart because of [personal story]. They make a huge impact in the lives of [specific community]!

Will you consider contributing to my campaign? A gift of [suggested amount] can go really far towards [achieving a particular goal].

If you aren’t able to give at that level, any donation will help!

To support my campaign for [Organization Name], visit my fundraising page at [link to fundraising page].

Thank you in advance for supporting my efforts! I couldn’t do this without generous [friends or family] like you.

Sincerely, [or With warm regards,]

Signature of peer-to-peer participant

Typed name of peer-to-peer participant

P.S. [Include a statement about upcoming events, deadlines, or other information].


 

The matching gift donation request template is a fundraising letter example.

Matching Gift Donation Request Template

Check out our matching gift donation request letter template.

It’s rare for all of your supporters to know what matching gifts programs are, much less if their employers offer matching gifts. This is why your nonprofit should plan to send matching gift donation request letters with supplemental information to recent donors. These letters can outline how to check eligibility and send in a matching gift request to complete the process.

As you prepare to send your letters, use a matching gift database to determine which of your donors qualify for a matching gift. Then, create a donor segment list in your CRM of these special supporters.

Additionally, be sure to highlight the fact that submitting this request will not require any further giving on their part. Submitting this request is the best way for them to maximize the impact of their original gift and is essentially free money for your cause.


Date
Name
Organization
Street
City, State ZIP

Dear Name,

Did you know you can double the impact of your latest gift to [Organization Name] for free?

Matching gifts programs are programs sponsored by employers like [donor employer name] that offer to match charitable contributions to certain causes.

[Employer name] has a matching gifts program in place, and your latest gift of [gift amount] is ready to be doubled! All you need to do is send in a matching gift request.

First, search [employer name] in this matching gifts database [link to database]. You’ll find the step-by-step information you need to complete your request.

Each year, billions of dollars are left on the table because donors aren’t aware they can receive a matching gift from their company.

Luckily for you, this process takes just a few minutes and is absolutely free!

Thank you for maximizing your impact on our cause! Without dedicated supporters like you, we wouldn’t be able to achieve [specific mission/goal].

Sincerely, [or With warm regards,]

Signature of a leader in the organization

Typed name of organizational leader

P.S. [Include a statement about upcoming events, deadlines, or other information].


 

The school fundraising letter template is a donation request letter example.

School Fundraising Letter Template

Check out this school fundraising letter template.

Schools are among the most common nonprofit organizations out there, and they generally have an incredibly wide range of constituents. This is why it’s so important that schools take their fundraising needs seriously and plan ahead for how they’ll request donations from community members.

To make your school’s fundraising efforts more effective, create templates for different kinds of donation letters based on the type of supporter you’re addressing. Perhaps you’re soliciting a gift from a parent of a current student; address them accordingly! Alternatively, you might want to draft a template of a solicitation addressed to an alumnus.

When creating your school fundraising letter template, your nonprofit should emphasize the impact your school has on its current students and the next generation of your community.


Date
Name
Organization
Street
City, State ZIP

Dear Name,

At [School Name], our first priority is making sure we’re able to give [Student Name] the tools they need to learn and grow.

In [year], our community needs to raise [amount] to be able to achieve our goal of [specific goal].

If we can get [number] parents to donate [donation amount] before [date], we’ll be well on our way to our fundraising goal this year.

When parents like you give back to our school’s community, [School Name] is able to lay the groundwork for future student achievement.

Thank you for being such a supporter of student success!

Sincerely, [or With warm regards,]

Signature of a leader in the organization

Typed name of organizational leader

P.S. [Include a statement about upcoming events, deadlines, or other information].


 

The church fundraising letter template is a donation request letter template.

Church Fundraising Letter Template

Check out this church fundraising letter template.

In your church donation request letters, be sure to put your congregation’s mission first and foremost. You’ll want to immediately address your congregant’s sense of commitment to your church and make the most out of the existing relationship with this individual.

Your reader may already make collection plate gifts each Sunday, so you’ll need to make the case for them to make a more targeted gift outside of these offerings. Be sure to tell them exactly how much you need to raise and how that funding will be put to work.

Always be wary of asking your community for gifts too frequently. One strategy to minimize the risk of over-asking for contributions is to switch off between fundraising groups. For example, in February you might send letters to older congregants asking for Valentine’s Day-related contributions, while in June you could contact parents of children in your church and ask for a gift to celebrate their kids’ summer vacation.


Date
Name
Organization
Street
City, State ZIP

Dear Name,

Thank you for being an ardent supporter of [Church Name] and such a valuable member of our community.

With congregants like you by our side, our church is able to achieve [specific goals] and further [specific mission].

But, we wouldn’t be able to make such an impact without gifts to help cover the costs of operating our congregation and financing our work doing [mission].

Will you make a gift of [donation amount] today? With [donation amount], we can [specific achievement].

If you aren’t ready to make a gift of that level, please consider making whatever contribution you can. [Church Name] thrives through the generous contributions of community members like you.

Sincerely, [or With warm regards,]

Signature of a leader in the organization

Typed name of organizational leader

P.S. [Include a statement about upcoming events, deadlines, or other information].


 

The animal rescue donation letter template is a fundraising letter example.

Animal Rescue Donation Request Letter Template

Check out this fundraising letter template of an animal request donation letter.

Animal rescue organizations serve an important role in your community, and you can share the importance of your work when writing a donation request letter. Additionally, you can tap into your readers’ emotional connection to animals to make the case for why they should give back.

In your letter, show supporters how their contributions will benefit specific animals. Personify the pets that you rescue and illustrate for your readers the massive impact they can make in an animal’s life if they decide to donate. In your letter, consider sharing an image of real-life animals saved by your rescue. Include a caption with the pet’s name and age as an added way to pull at your supporters’ heartstrings. After they donate, send a thank-you letter with a follow up on these pets to emphasize the impact of their donation.

Your animal rescue should also send tailored letters to different groups in your community. These could include individuals who adopted pets from your rescue, volunteers, or helpful members of the community who have dropped off lost or stray animals at your shelter.


Date
Name
Organization
Street
City, State ZIP

Dear Name,

Did you know that [Animal Rescue Name] gives shelter to over [number] of animals every year?

To keep our doors open, feed animals in need, and offer crucial veterinary care, our rescue needs to raise [fundraising goal] before [date].

If you make a gift of [donation amount], that will feed [number] of animals for [time period]!

A gift of [donation amount] could even give [veterinary procedure] to [number] of animals this year.

With the support of community members like you, animals like [real animal name] have been able to find their forever homes.

Even better, if we reach our fundraising goal this [time period], we’ll be able to expand our services to [number] of animals in the [community name] area.

Will you make a difference in an animal’s life today?

Sincerely, [or With warm regards,]

Signature of a leader in the organization

Typed name of organizational leader

P.S. [Include a statement about upcoming events, deadlines, or other information].


 

The auction item donation request template is a fundraising letter example.

Auction Item Donation Request Template

Check out this fundraising letter template of an auction item donation request letter.

Auctions are great opportunities to raise significant funds for your organization, but procuring auction items can be tricky. Your goal should be to procure items that are appealing and will encourage your attendees to bid. Be sure to share the types of auction items or experiences you’re looking for so donors understand what you need.

You can send these donation request letters to local businesses as well as other supporters of your organization and explain what the proceeds will go toward. Offer a compelling reason as to why they should contribute an item and make it clear who it will benefit.


Date
Name
Organization
Street
City, State ZIP

Dear Name,

Our next auction for [Organization Name] will take place on [date] at [place], and you’re invited! This event will [insert accomplishment or purpose] and our goal is to raise [amount].

We’re currently looking for donated auction items such as [auction item examples] that can help us reach this goal. Do you have an amazing item you’d like to donate to be auctioned off?

We hope that we can count on you to help us make this auction our best one yet! Please sign up to donate your auction item online at [URL].

Thank you in advance for your contribution. We hope to see you at our auction!

Sincerely, [or With warm regards,]

Signature of a leader in the organization

Typed name of organizational leader

P.S. [Include a statement about upcoming events, deadlines, or other information].


How to Write a Fundraising Email

As mentioned earlier, email is an excellent channel through which you can send donation requests. The best part? All of the donation request letter examples we’ve provided above can be easily shared via email!

However, when it comes to writing a fundraising email, it’s important to choose fundraising software that integrates with marketing tools. This will make it easy to segment your recipients and personalize your outreach without too much effort on your end.

Consider the following when writing a fundraising email:

Learn how to write a fundraising and donation request email.
  • Organize your database. By segmenting your donors and tailoring your email marketing toward different groups, you’ll be more likely to retain more donors and increase donations. Providing relevant content to the appropriate segments can make a huge difference!
  • Automate your outreach. Using email marketing tools, you can automate your emails to be sent out on a set schedule so that you can regularly connect with supporters.
  • Use mail merge tools. Use mail merge tools to send personalized emails to your constituents, automatically inserting their preferred names into the corresponding fields.
  • Guide recipients to your online forms. Since emails are digital, you can customize your messages to drive traffic to your online giving forms. Call readers to action and make it easy for them to navigate to the form and give.

Making sure your fundraising software works with email marketing tools is essential because it makes tracking donations and communicating with donors even easier. Fundraising emails are simple to organize and send, so be sure to leverage these tools to create the most effective outreach possible!

How to Write a Donation Acknowledgement Letter

Check out this fundraising letter template for a donation acknowledgement letter template.

If your initial donation request letter is successful and a supporter gives to your cause or participates in an event, it’s imperative that you show your appreciation with a donation acknowledgment letter. Without your donors, your organization would not be able to develop important programs and fund life changing projects that impact your cause. 

Sending out donation acknowledgment letters does more than just thank your supporters! It also helps promote a healthy and positive relationship between your organization and donors, setting up a solid foundation for future engagement. Remember to send your letter soon after the donation is made so the engagement is fresh in the donor’s mind. 

A simple thank you letter also can encourage donors to give again, increasing your donor retention rates. When a donor gives a second time, it is often called the “golden donation.” According to the Fundraising Effectiveness Report, only 19% of new donors will give again. But once that donor completes the “golden donation,” 63% will give again, increasing their chance of becoming a lifelong giver.


Date
Name
Organization
Street
City, State, ZIP

Dear Name,

Thank you so much for your recent donation! We’re overjoyed by your gift and wanted to properly show our appreciation. Without our donors and supporters, [Organization name] would not be able to serve our clients and our community. You make our work possible! .

As you know, our recent fundraiser is working to [explain the goal of the fundraiser] and your contribution of [donation amount] has put us so much closer. With your gift, we will be able to [describe specific actions your organization might take]!

You have truly made a difference for [organization name] and [organization’s cause].

If you have further questions on how your donation is being put to use, or you want additional information on how to continue your support, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are available at [phone number/email] or check out our website at [website URL].

Sincerely, [or With warm regards,]
Signature of a leader in the organization
Typed name of organizational leader
P.S. [Include a statement reiterating your donor appreciation]


When writing your donation acknowledgment letter, keep in mind the same guidelines from your donation request letter. Remember to be donor-centric, personalized, and concise! Use their first name and even include specific donation details.

You can easily convert this template to an email form as well. To maximize the impact of donor acknowledgment emails, your fundraising software should integrate with your marketing and communications tool. This way, you can automate the process. As soon as supporters make their gift, your marketing tool will send out a thank you email personalized to that donor.

Learn how to perfect your fundraising letters with Qgiv.