How to write an appeal letter

We’re heading towards the end of the tax year. What makes a winning appeal letter?

Let’s get one thing straight first of all. An appeal letter is not just about soliciting money. It is also about building stronger relationships with your donors. It allows you to thank and educate them, hopefully even to inspire them to become more involved.

Four important elements

There are three important elements to any appeal letter:

  1. They have to leave the reader feeling important and central to what you want to achieve.
  2. The word “you” (i.e. the reader) should be used as often as possible.
  3.  Make sure the reader knows what you want them to do. Specifically ask for a donation and make it easy for them to do so. A link to the donate page (if your appeal letter is electronic) is good or a tear-off form if it is paper-based.
  4. The opening paragraph is vital. It needs to be short, sharp and enticing.

Good luck!