Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Power of the Written Word

A belated post!  There were two viruses that kept me from blogging, one I had, the other my computer had!  We are both back in business!

With so many forms of communication available these days I wanted to talk about the importance of  writing a letter for your fundraising requests.

There is no doubt that regardless of what type of fundraising you embark on, there will be a time when you need to write a letter to a potential funder.

The letter is your introduction to your family, your fundraising goal and your cause.  It is an important first impression.

Here are a few tips!

- Be sure to have a complete address and proper contact name

- Start with a title or a header that catches the readers attention

In the FIRST paragraph:

- Introduce yourself and your child
- Provided a "brief" description of your child's need and why it is required

In the SECOND paragraph, describe:

- What you need
- Why you need it

- How you're going to achieve your goal
- What results you expect
- Make it personal and heartfelt.

In the CONCLUDING paragraph

-Invite the reader to make a contribution and how inform them of  how

- Sign the letter and include contact information

Here is a sample letter!

Donor Name
Company Name
Company Address

Header:                      Help Us Get James Moving!

Dear Contact Name,

I am writing to you today on behalf of my son James.  James is the eldest of my three children and is filled with charisma, humour and energy.  James has Cerebral Palsy and  is reliant on his wheelchair for mobility.

Like most active ten year old boys, James likes to be on the move, going to swimming, after school programs and to the movies and the beach with his family.  In order to do this we need a wheelchair accessible van because where James goes, so does his chair!  The cost of a wheelchair van is very high because of the special adaptations that are needed.

We have been working over the last several months to raise the $40,000.00 to purchase the van.  We have applied to funders and are hopeful we will meet their criteria but still need to raise $20,000.00 independently.  The whole family is involved in the process through a variety of fundraising activities ( you can describe them here).  We all know that the purchase of this van will mean that James is safer and not at risk of falling when we transfer him into a vehicle, we will have a reliable form of transportation to get to medical appointment and that he will develop socially by being able to participate in all the activities his peers do.

We are proud to live in a community that is so supportive of our family and our unique needs.  We have set up a trust fund "James on the Move" at the Royal Bank.  We invite you to make a donation that will go directly towards the purchase of this van.  If your colleagues want to get involved perhaps you could host a casual day or bake sale!  Your contribution is one step closer to our goal.
(in  this last paragraph you can re-phrase it to reflect the donation of auction items etc.)

Thank you in advance for your support. Please call me if you have any questions or comments about our fundraising initiative. I can be reached at (902) 489-4027 or email address.


Jane&Bob Green
Parents of James

In or next post we will discuss, what to do after the letter is sent!

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