Example Letter #1
It is impossible to live in our city without witnessing the pain of homelessness and hunger on our streets. The statistics are frightening: 1 out of every 20 people is without a home, and a much larger percentage of residents go through each day without enough money to pay for adequate food and other basic necessities. Fortunately, compassionate and informed citizens, such as yourself, understand the reality of these problems and feel compelled to contribute to the solution.
(Name of Organization) provides such solutions. For the past two decades, our organization has taken a clear and honest look at the problems of homelessness and hunger in our city. Research, services, and advocacy are at the heart of our mission. (Name of Organization) has been analyzing the causes and conditions, establishing pragmatic and compassionate programs to relieve suffering, forging new methods of intervention, and advancing the fight for more support in the public and governmental spheres.
However, upholding these intentions requires a good deal of financial support. As a nonprofit organization, we receive some funding from governmental sources, but the foundation of our financial health derives from the generous contributions of the conscientious citizens of our city. We are writing today, therefore, to ask you to reflect on the problems of homelessness and hunger in our city, and then to consider the value and necessity of the services we provide. We hope you will then use the enclosed prepaid envelope to send us your support in the form of a financial contribution.
Example Letter #2
Have you ever been hungry? So hungry that you would eat anything, even something you disliked, just to stop the pangs in your stomach? What if there wasn't anything to eat? Nothing at all? Then imagine how it must feel to put your children to bed, night after night, with nothing in their stomachs. All you can do is wait to get weaker and eventually die.
This is what the people of Springfield are suffering from right now. For two years, they have planted their crops, but the rains have not come. Even without a successful harvest, they were able to scrape something together to feed themselves the first year, but now there is nothing left.
We at World-Wide Relief are flying planeloads of food into Springfield even as you read this, but in order to continue this effort, we need your help.
What do you spend eating out with your family or friends? Could you forgo eating out just one night and send that amount, or even more if you could, to World-Wide Relief? Every dollar you give will feed a family of four, allowing them to live for one more day.
Please send your donation today. Your gift will really be a gift of life.
Example Letter #3
You probably were not aware of this, but every day in the United States, 36 million people go hungry. It seems incredible, doesn't it, that in this land of plenty there could be so many people in need?
We at the Springfield Soup Kitchen are committed to help alleviate that need. Since the kitchen was established in 2015, we have served more than 1 million meals to members of this community. And we hope to be able for many years to come to provide a hot meal and an encouraging word to those in need.
Will you help us to be able to do so by contributing a modest monthly donation to our cause? With your tax-deductible monthly donation of just $30--only a dollar a day--we can provide hot, nutritious meals to fill 20 empty stomachs. Or, with a monthly donation of $50, we can provide 33 meals to those in need. To make your much-needed contribution, simply fill out the attached form, and use the enclosed, stamped envelope to send a check to the address above. Then, each month, we will send you a receipt for the previous month and a self-addressed envelope, in which you can send your donation for the current month.
When we give of ourselves, we can't help but be glad inside for the good we have helped to accomplish. So please help us to make a difference in our city by committing to make a monthly donation today--because no one should have to go hungry.
Example Letter #4
When Jone Doe first came to the Doetown Homeless Shelter two years ago, he was one of the most destitute individuals I have ever seen. As a result of a series of unfortunate events, he had no possessions beyond the clothes on his back. While he stayed at the shelter, he went through counseling to help him face and overcome many of his challenges, and he also received valuable training that helped him to get a job that he enjoys and that allows him to make enough money to support his modest lifestyle. Now that he is on firm ground again himself, he volunteers at the shelter a couple of times a week to help others in need.
At the Doetown Homeless Shelter, we see many people who have stories similar to that of John. They are people who just need a temporary helping hand to get back on their feet. In the 28 years since we opened our doors, we have focused on each individual and on his or her particular needs and strengths, and as a result, we have seen many, many success stories. We are extremely grateful for that.
In order to keep providing assistance to others, however, we need the help of people like you. We would never be able to continue our work without the contributions of the people in this community. Next week, we will be holding our semiannual telethon, where volunteers such as John will be calling to ask for your financial support for our cause. Will you make a generous donation to the shelter when you receive that call?
To show our appreciation, all those who do pledge a donation will receive a gift, absolutely free. Our volunteers will explain more about the gifts we have to offer when they talk to you next week, so make sure to be there for their call!
There are many people like John--too many people like John--who need our help in order to get back on their feet and be successful in society once again. I hope you will help them make that stand by giving a generous donation to the shelter. I know you will be glad that you did.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
Begin your letter with a compelling story or with statistics that will illustrate the need you are working to alleviate.
Tell about your organization and the important work it does: include its background, the kind of relief it provides, its goals for the future, and so on.
Indicate the current need for which you are raising funds, and tell how the money raised will fulfill that need.
Ask that readers contribute financially to your cause so that they may aid fellow citizens of their community (or country, world, etc.) through the work you do. You may wish to include a specific amount or range of amounts that donors can contribute, or a target amount you hope to raise.
Describe the benefits (tangible and intangible) that will come to donors because of their financial donations to your organization.
Reiterate the great need that readers will be helping to meet when they donate, and thank them for their willingness to aid in your cause.