Example Letter #1
While visiting a library behind the former Iron Curtain, my wife and I were astonished that we could not find a single book in English. The librarian apologized and explained that his institution owned only four books in English, and this sparse collection was in great demand, with waiting lists sometimes twenty to thirty names long!
It's easy to forget that books are prohibitively expensive in economically struggling countries. The door to economic prosperity remains closed for many, and knowledge of English, as the language of world trade and information exchange, may be the key to that door.
Next week our diocese will collect books for the country of Moldavia. Your donation of new or used books in English on virtually any subject will open the door of opportunity for countless eager learners. Those of you who cannot donate books or help in the collection can still make a difference by sending your monetary donation in the envelope provided. Proceeds will cover our shipping costs, with any surplus applied to the purchase of used books.
It's not enough to remember the less fortunate in thought alone. Let's remember them by our deeds!
Example Letter #2
Jacob had dreamed of this race all year long. He crossed the finish line, thrilled at his victory and self-mastery. Jacob, along with the other competitors, are all gold medalists. They are all Olympians. Indeed, they are Special Olympians.
This year the Special Olympics must raise five million dollars to support the games and keep athletes such as Jacob anticipating their next Olympic race. Your contribution of five dollars or more can help bring a special victory to a special athlete. Just send your check or money order in the self-addressed envelope and become an important part of this year's Special Olympics. Even if you can't be at the games this year, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you helped a special athlete like Jacob cross the finish line.
Example Letter #3
I am writing to draw your attention to a matter of great importance. Mayor Doe has pledged to address the dangerous condition of many of the intersections surrounding our children's schools. However, due to last year's extensive flooding, city coffers are nearly empty, and the funds are not available to install even one new traffic light. The intersection of Main and Center streets is fraught with danger for the dozens of grade school children who must cross these streets every day. If we can raise $3,600 we can pay an off-duty policeman to direct traffic at this crosswalk during school hours until such time as funds are available to install a proper traffic light. I hope you will join me in supporting this solution to this most immediate peril. Send a check for your tax-deductible donation to this address:
Crossing Guard Fund
Springfield Parent/Teacher/Student Association
1600 Main St.
Springfield, KS 12345
Don't wait until tragedy strikes. Please act now, for the sake of our children.
Example Letter #4
Who says a few dollars don't go far today? When thousands of people give just $5 amazing things happen. Thousands of children in poor countries are receiving medical treatment from doctors and nurses who volunteer their time and skill, but these volunteers need money for supplies, medicine, and equipment. Can you help? Giving together we can make miracles happen. Won't you please send your contribution today in the postage-paid envelope? Thank you.
Example Letter #5
Michael will see his dad today--and he's terrified. This little boy is only seven and he hasn't seen his dad in over a year, but he remembers that he had a terrible temper.
Michael's parents were divorced two years ago after bitter fighting. Afterwards, he lived with his mom, and his dad just visited him on weekends. Then his mother told his dad he wasn't welcome anymore because they always ended up in an argument. After that, Michael's mom remarried and he found himself with a stepfather and a new last name. Understandably, this little boy is confused and not doing well in school. He needs your help.
His real dad wants to see him again and is suing his mother for custody. She realized that she couldn't handle the situation by herself, so she agreed to let him visit Michael at the Family Services Center. It has a room with a pleasant, home-like atmosphere where Michael can feel secure while he and his dad get to know each other again under the supervision of a trained counselor.
Many families turn to Family Services for help when their marriages are troubled or end in divorce, or when their children become psychologically damaged by custody cases, conflict, and abuse. I know you would agree that the American family faces more challenges today than ever to stay together and remain stable. Won't you join me in making sure that our center remains financially able to help every troubled family who turns to us for assistance?
During these difficult economic times, the demand for our services has exploded. In just the past six months, the number of people seeking counseling at our center has increased 40% over the previous year. I believe that if you could help just one child like Michael to better cope with his world, you would. This is why I'm asking you to help us today with a tax-deductible gift of $25 or more.
Could you please make your check out to "Family Services" and mail it today in the enclosed stamped envelope? You can help make a real difference in the lives of individuals, as well as in the overall stability of family life in our community.
Thank you for being willing to help us!
P.S. Your donation of $25 could make a real difference to troubled families in our area, but we would also be grateful for a donation of $15 or even $10.
Example Letter #6
Every day more and more American families juggle the demands of work with their family commitments. Unfortunately, in family after family, it is the woman who bears the major burden of both responsibilities. Recently, a mother of two young boys, while describing how she was balancing her job with caring for her children had this to say:
"It's like a house of cards. Right now it is standing, but I feel like the slightest breath of wind or the smallest breeze could knock down a wall, a room, or the whole structure."
In one out of 15 families, a woman is the only adult parent in the home. In one out of 5 single-parent families, mothers with toddlers or school-age children also work outside the home. Here at the Working Mothers' Center, we help them in very real ways.
Counselors in our pre-school program, Leap Frog, organize small children into peer groups and provide them with close supervision and fun learning activities while their mothers are at work. Our after-school program, The Second Mile, provides trained counselors and teachers who help older children with their homework and supervise learning-oriented activities until their mothers are free to pick them up.
The Working Mothers' Center has become a powerful force for good in our area and encourages growing children to avoid trouble and succeed in school, thereby preparing them to join the work force as they become young adults. City-wide drug use, petty theft, vandalism, and other juvenile crimes have declined in every one of the five years that our center has been open. At the beginning of this school year, we also had a 25% increase in the number of parents who wanted us to accept their children into our programs.
Up until now, we have been able to respond to these requests, but now we are reaching the limits of our financial budget. That is why I am writing to you--we need your help. I believe you are the type of person who would be willing to share the blessings of your own success with this very worthwhile community project.
We are asking for donations of $25 or $50 (or more if you are able), to support our efforts to help working mothers and their children. Would you please make out your check to "Working Mothers' Center" and mail it in the enclosed stamped envelope? A lot of children who need our help would be grateful if you could send us your tax-deductible donation today.
Our center has proven itself to be a valuable asset to the community. Helping us now will strengthen the rising generation of children and prepare them to become responsible citizens in the years to come.
We are sincerely grateful for your support!
P.S. We would be happy to take you on a tour of our center so you can meet our capable staff and watch them interact with the busy, happy children entrusted to our care. Call us at 555-1234 so we can arrange your visit!
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Attract the reader's attention by giving an interesting statistic, posing a question, stating an example, or illustrating the issue at hand with a story.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- Picture a hot summer day, just a year after World War II. John has invited his friend Eric over to play ball, but Eric's mother won't allow her son to go. The risk of catching polio is too great and too frightening.
- Every twelve seconds in the United States, one more woman is battered--at home.
- Every year thousands of children have nothing special for Christmas. No tree, no gifts, no Christmas meal with smiling faces surrounding the table.
- We live in such an "advanced" country that we generally do not see those who are struggling to keep up. It may come as a surprise to you that even in our community hundreds of adults are functionally illiterate.
- Countless studies show that good nutrition combined with regular exercise is the best way to increase the quality and length of your life. But as a new mother, you are facing physical challenges and time constraints, making it difficult for you to get back into shape and lose those baby pounds.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- a constant deterioration in
- a remarkable number of
- did you know that
- evidence shows that
- future generations will look back
- have you ever wished that you could
- history tells us that
- how would you like to
- in every community throughout
- is there any solution to
- is happening in your neighborhood
- latest statistics show
- recent studies have found
- risk is increasing every
- there are thousands of
- there is a little girl who
- those who suffer from
- threaten the fabric of society
- to change the world
- what can anyone do about
- with every passing minute
- would you like to know more about
2 Give the reader necessary facts and information
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- With the polio vaccine, our children don't have to face such fears, thanks to medical research by dedicated professionals like those at the Doe Medical Institute. Our researchers are continually discovering new information that will help develop cures for many of the diseases plaguing us today.
- A surprising number of these domestic violence situations remain hidden for years, locked behind doors of secrecy. Fortunately, more and more women are finding the courage to speak up and get help from organizations like the Women's Crisis House. At the Crisis House we give battered women and their children shelter, and help them find ways to rebuild their lives.
- Many of these children live in abject poverty, and there's simply no money for a turkey, let alone a tree or gifts. All of them need to feel the Christmas spirit, just as we do.
- Some of these adults can read on a first grade level; most cannot read at all. There are many reasons why they never learned to read, and just as many problems because they can't. Simple daily tasks--such as reading instructions or warning labels--can be very difficult or even dangerous for them. Simply stated, illiteracy limits every social, economic, and domestic aspect of a person's life.
- Now you have your chance. Doe Center for Human Performance Research has chosen you as a candidate to participate in a postpartum health and weight loss study. It involves approximately twenty-five women, who we will track through six months of exercise and nutritional training. The details of the study and what you will be doing if your participate are on the enclosed sheet.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- are dedicated to improving
- are slowly piecing together
- are working towards a cure
- because of the efforts of
- efforts have brought about
- has been funded by
- has already improved the
- have been successful in
- have the courage to speak up
- is vital to the survival of
- need to attack the root causes of
- offer services ranging from
- our commitment to
- our organization has already
- searching for the answer to
- thanks to the tireless research of
- the research done by
- these people need
- these problems stem from
- through the studies done by
- to rebuild their
- will continue to
- working toward increased awareness of
3 State your request.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- Unfortunately, the Institute cannot run without help, and it needs yours. For a small donation of just $17 each month, you can make a big difference in our cancer and AIDS research.
- Of course running a shelter like ours costs money, and the more women and children we help, the more money we need. But through generous contributions from people like you, we have managed to help women and children in need for almost five years now. With your help, we hope to continue for many years to come.
- As hopeless as it seems, there is something you can do. You can donate supplies, time, or money to help a needy child or family.
- But there is hope! Adults can learn to read through volunteer tutor programs like the one at the public library. Our program opens a new world of independence for many people, but we need more volunteers to meet the demand. That's why we are asking for your help. We need tutors who can help for at least four hours per week. You can set your own schedule.
- You can be an important part of our study, which we hope will yield information to help future mothers.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- appeal to your generosity
- are many ways to help
- ask you to help us by
- by donating a little of your time
- can provide the necessary link
- cannot do it without your
- cannot survive without your
- even a small donation will
- it takes so little to
- make a difference
- need your help
- need what only you can give
- please care enough to
- share in the rewards by
- urge you to participate in
- will make a huge difference to
- will provide help for
- with the help of people like you
- with your help we can
- would appreciate any help you can offer
- your generosity can save a
- your spare change can provide
4 Explain what benefits will result.
Sample Sentences for Step 4
- With your small monthly pledge (a tax deductible contribution), you will help us continue this crucial research. You will also receive our quarterly magazine featuring updates on the Institute's research programs.
- Aside from receiving a tax deduction for your donation, you will know that your money is funding an important cause. All our outside contributions are used for food, clothing, blankets, and incidentals like soap and toothpaste. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that, thanks to you, at least one more person has been helped in a crisis.
- Even a small donation can make one more child's Christmas a little brighter. Every donation makes a difference. Picture the glow in the children's faces as they wake up to the Christmas morning surprises you made possible.
- You will be amazed at the personal satisfaction you will receive through our "Learn to Read" program. You will witness the excitement in people's eyes when they finally comprehend the words on a printed page.
- As a participant, you will have free use of all our exercise and weight training equipment. You will also receive a free physical profile at the beginning and again at the end of the study. We are confident that at the end of the six-month period you will feel healthy and look great.
Sample Phrases for Step 4
- a chance to serve your
- as a token of our gratitude
- beyond the borders of your community
- can make all the difference to
- every cent goes towards
- for your kindness to
- for your generosity
- know that your generosity will
- please accept our thanks for
- receive our gift in return for
- rewards go without saying
- smiles on the faces of those who you helped
- tax-deductible contribution
- this money will allow us to
- welcome donations of any type
- will have the satisfaction of knowing
- will receive in return
- will help us to continue
- will have the opportunity to
- would like to send you
- your donation will be used to
5 Make it easy for your reader to reply or act on your request.
Sample Sentences for Step 5
- Simply complete the enclosed card and return it today with your check or your credit card information. Make your pledge today.
- All you need to do is return the enclosed envelope with a check or money order. Send it in today.
- There are many ways you can help. You can simply send us a check in the envelope provided. You may prefer to donate needed items (see the enclosed list). If you would like to sponsor a child or volunteer your time, simply call the number on the enclosed sheet.
- Call us today, and we will set up an appointment to get you started.
- Fill out the enclosed questionnaire and return it today. After we receive your questionnaire, we will contact you with more details.
Sample Phrases for Step 5
- as soon as possible
- by sending your donation today
- call our toll-free number
- complete the information sheet
- complete the enclosed application
- easy three-step process
- enclose your donation in the postage-paid envelope
- fill out the pledge card
- for more information, please
- for a copy of our annual report, please
- if you have any questions
- if you prefer to remain anonymous
- it's so easy to
- just call in your pledge
- make your check out to
- or, if it would be easier
- put your check in the mail today
- we welcome your questions
- welcome checks or money orders
- write to us for further information
- your donation is tax deductible
6 Motivate your reader to act on your request. You may repeat the importance of the cause.
Sample Sentences for Step 6
- Help us in our search for the causes of and cures for the disease. Your financial support will allow this vital medical research to continue. Send us your pledge today.
- If we could, we would run our shelter on love alone. But we must depend on contributions from caring people like you. Please help by giving.
- Remember, it takes people like you to make a difference in the lives of young people. Help them have a merry Christmas, too.
- You can make a significant difference in the life of an illiterate adult. By spending only four hours a week at your convenience, you can help change a person's life. We are doing all we can to solve this problem. Please be part of the solution.
- Please take this opportunity to participate in an important study.
Sample Phrases for Step 6
- a gift to the future
- by working together we can
- extend a helping hand to
- give your support to
- give the gift of a lifetime
- help us to reach for the stars
- holidays aren't the only time for giving
- invest in their future
- it's time to repay part of the debt we owe to
- let's do our best to
- need to do all that we can
- opportunity to serve
- their smiles are the greatest reward
- to make the world a better place
- to make a better world for
- to benefit just one child
- together we can do it
- will open the doors to a better life
- will be saving lives
- your chance to participate in