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How To Ask For Donations

Updated on October 22, 2011

Remember in high school, your English teacher would fuss about your introduction and its importance. Well the teacher turned out to be right. Write a quick introduction.

Never start off your letter with the line “we need a donation”; No! Mention first why you are writing the letter to them, give them a brief description about your agenda and then in the body of the letter, in simple, eloquent words ask them to help out in a worthy cause and donate.

If you already are a well known organization, you will need no introduction. However, a new organization will need to build up their image.

So an overview on your reasons to have this organization is important.  You also need a mission statement, like for example Obama’s famous statement “Change, we need.”

A donation is described as a worthwhile gift, be it in a monetary form or an idea, made to a worthy cause.

It’s important to first know how much donation is required, what is that donation required for and after forming this manifesto, then decide how to ask people for the donations.

Here are a few areas on which you should concentrate on, so as to ensure success in your requests for donation.

Write An Appealing Letter, Make It Interesting:

 Imagine yourself to be the donor, if you get a long and boring letter about some organization needing a donation. What would you do? Be honest, you, just like many others would call it a mundane letter and throw it away.

Therefore, make your letter interesting, eyecatching. Use symbols, now do not try to get too philosophical, just add a few interesting points. However, do remember to keep it serious.

Persuasion Is Your Key To Success

Be very persuasive. Make the people believe that it is very essential for them to donate the money to your cause. For example, “In these trying times, diseases are spreading worldwide. You and I as people need to stop spending money on useless things.

Stop! Do not buy that Rolex watch, get a cheaper watch. They work the same. Use your money to (supposing this was an organization asking for donations to help fund an AIDS research program) help us in researching for a cure for AIDS. Please, answer, be a light in the poor souls life. Be generous and donate.”

Be Completely Honest

Never try to lie about your aims, state them clearly. If your organization aims to research on a cure for AIDS, Do not say “We aim to research on a cure for AIDS and other diseases”. Do not write the other diseases because soon enough the donor will realize the truth and this will create a bad impression.

Pictures Are Worth A Thousand Words

Pictures are very important. Trust me, whoever said that a “picture is worth a thousand words” knew what they were talking about. 

You see the picture makes it more interesting for the donor, vivid and emotional images tend to melt the hardest of hearts.So do not hesitate to show an emotional picture.  Make the picture or drawing impactful; make it good enough for everyone to be affected.


No matter what you organization is about, the donor needs to know everything. Your details should go in the body of your letter right after you ask for the donation.

The details should add information like; how many scientist has your organization hired to work on finding a cure for AIDS? What is there work? Recent statistics always help out.

It never hurts to assure the donor, because that donor might pass on a good word to another prospective donor.

Amount of Donation

Here is the tricky part, try to understand your donor. Is your donor really wealthy? Is the donor generous? If yes for both then ask for a good and fair amount.  Never become too greedy, nobody likes greediness.


Keep your donor informed about how your organization has used their money. One way is to publish weekly reports for the donors benefit. This way your donor knows how their money is used.

Manners Matter

After every donation remember to write Thank you letters and appreciation notes. This should be done for everyone, no matter how big or small the donation.

Make sure that the donors know that their donation has been well appreciated.  This will make the donors want to give for the next donation too. In the long run, you will definitely benefit.

So now you know the ways in which you can ask for a donation. Go out there and do your best. Remember; think what the donor wants and you will be very successful in your quest to get donations.


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    • profile image

      Jacx 5 years ago

      How can people reach out for help if they don't ask?

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town

      No person or collective group, can ask for a " donation"........a thing that is giving freely..........a gift, if you will.

      Once you tie a circumstance, a process to it, a mandate or a ceases to be a gift, or a has become a " solicitation"..........

      This IS the reason, that I do not celebrate the nearing Christmas time obserence. Others ( merchants) have made my " gift giving " an obligation. I resent that.

      If I wish to donate to homeless children, abused pets, those who have lost their homes, programs to teach the illerate to read..........etc..........I will donate, to the fullest that I can , financially........sometimes, my discretionary funds, must be divided among those who tug at my heart the most..........

      But when you knock on my door, tap on my truck window, stop me as I come out of the grocery, are, intruding, and soliciting. You have turned me from you cause..... You have attempted to buy my conscience........

    • hbuinc profile image

      hbuinc 6 years ago from Iloilo, Philippines

      this topic is relevant for our start-up organisation as currently we are also doing some fundraising by sending solicitation letters to prospect donors. really a challenge from our end, and still exploring different ways and possibilities on how to be successful in our fundraising efforts.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      Appeal for donation requires soft, sober and smoothing language containing the motives behind the appeal for donation. Thanks.