People who run non-profit organizations often need to raise funds from supporters and the general public. Requesting a donation from an individual, company or organization is a delicate matter. A donation request letter needs to be very clear about what the person or organization is seeking and explain why it is a worthy cause. Most organizations that need to raise funds have a database of names to which they can write for donations.
The sender should know his or her audience. This means they need to know how the recipient will react to the letter. If the recipient has given before, the letter can mention that their donations have been much appreciated and helped further the organization’s cause.
It is recommended that important points could be underlined in the letter to aid people who skim such letters. Also, an 11 point or larger font should be used to enhance its readability. Bullet points can be used if they fit naturally within the content.
The letter should begin with an up-beat sentence or two about the history of the organization with an example of the accomplishments and successes in the past. Here are some tips for writing a donation request letter.
• Use the organization’s letterhead that has their name, address, phone number, website and logo.
• Put the recipient’s full address.
• Personalize the letter if possible. This means to address the letter to the recipient’s name. If this is the first time the recipient is being asked for a donation, more information about the charity can be included.
• The letter should have a professional tone and be written in standard business format.
• The request for a donation should be supported by success stories and facts.
• The letter should focus on a particular need, and the goals for this fundraising should be clearly stated.
• The specific action the recipient is requested to take should be mentioned.
• The details about how the recipient can give should be mentioned. This may mean an addressed envelope is included in the letter, or how the recipient can give online.
• If applicable, the letter can mention that the donation is tax deductible.
• The letter should thank the recipient for their time and attention to the request and for their donation.
• The letter should be signed by a person with their title stated and not by the name of the organization.
• Post scripts are often used in this type of letter and can mention deadlines, goals or another reference to the anecdote given at the beginning of the letter.
• If the recipient sends a donation to the organization, another thank-you letter as a follow-up should be sent.
Here is a sample donation request letter for toys. In order to update a database, the letter can be sent by certified mail, so the sender knows if the addressed recipient received it. If a brochure or stamped envelope is included, this should be mentioned in the letter.
Sample Donation Request Letter for Toys
Name of Person Requesting a Donation
Name of Organization
Address of Organization
City, State, Zip Code
Name of Recipient
Address of Recipient
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Name of Recipient,
It is the time of year that we begin to collect toys, both used and new, to distribute to the children in the orphanages of the NAME of CITY. Last year, thanks to you and others, we were able to give toys to 450 children ranging in age from three years to eight years. Most of these children had never possessed a toy of their own.
This year, we hope to collect enough toys to give to the children in the orphanages as well as to a group of children in a low-income area of the city.
We would like to request from you a donation for any amount over $25 that we will spend on new toys. We also welcome used toys in good condition. They can be brought to our address, or we’ll gladly pick them up at your home at a time that is convenient for you. Kindly call me to arrange a time.
Included in this letter is an envelope stamped and address that you can use to send a check made out to the Name of Organization. You can also donate online with credit card on our website. We are registered with the IRS for tax-free donations.
Thank you for your attention to our request. Your donation will make a child extremely happy this year. You can see photos of some of the children who have received toys on our website. Our web address is on the letterhead.
I can be reached at any time at 555-123-4567 or at Name@email.com.
Signature of Name of Person Requesting
List of Enclosures such as an envelope or brochure
P.S. We need to receive donations by DATE in order to prepare the toys for giving before the end of the year.