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Donation Request Letter Best Practices

by Bexcy Deditius

Donation request letters are letters organizations use to ask for donations from past and potential donors. Writing an impactful letter can be a great way to get your message out to the world, so it’s important your letter be written with purpose, yet respectful at the same time. 

Creating a Donation Request Letter


Start with your mission statement and purpose for the donations. Doing this will keep potential donors engaged with interesting facts relating to your cause, which will increase your chances of inspiring them to contribute. Offering a small incentive is a good strategy as well.

You should try to be as specific as possible about how the donation will be spent. For instance, tell a short story about how your organization was able to help a family because of previous donations. And if you send the letter to someone who’s donated before, you can target the person with your message and tell them their previous donations made a difference to real people.

These stories allow donors to visualize how their money is used. Include pictures to drive the point home even further. Also, keep the message specific and simple to avoid losing your donors’ attention.

Sincerity and warmth are important in helping the reader “feel” for your cause. Donation request letters certainly don’t need to be as formal as possible, which can make the letter sound cold and mechanical. So don’t be afraid to get creative in spreading your message. Also, include your logo at the top of the page so the reader will recognize the donation request letter is legitimate and for a good cause.

Donation Request Letter Template


Your Name
Your Organization’s Name
City, State ZIP

Dear [Name of Donor],

Start with your mission statement, then tell a heartfelt story about what you’ve achieved (or hope to achieve) with the recipient’s donation. Keep it simple and specific.

While we are fixing [insert problem your organization is attempting to help solve], we need your help to go the distance!

If you’re able, we’d love if you could make a donation to help us achieve our mission by [describe solutions you’re attempting to implement].

Thank you in advance. If you you’d like to make a difference by helping [Your Organization’s Name], here are ways to donate (use any or all of these options):

  • Make a donation online at [donation page]
  • Call us at [phone number]
  • Send a check in the pre-stamped envelope we’ve included
  • Text [keyword] to [text-to-give phone number]

Thank you again!

Signature of an Organizational Leader
Typed name of Organizational Leader

Download a Word doc version of this Donation Request Letter Template. You can also check out more donation request letter samples if you are interested.

Simplifying Donations

Finding where to donate should be as simple as possible once your potential donor decides to give. If the donation request letter is an email, include a link that takes people to a donation screen. Also, keep your donation page clean and easy to use to ensure the donor won’t get confused or frustrated while trying to donate. Provide a wide selection of amount options for the donor to ensure they feel comfortable with the transaction.

If your preferred way to receive donations is through mail, make sure to include a donation submission form with your letter. Including a prepaid return envelope is another way to make donating simple.

Offer a variety of payment types. Add fixed default amounts, but also allow the donor to select a custom amount, and provide the option for them to pay the transaction fees. Give the donor control of the donation experience from start to finish. They will be more likely to donate again in the future.

Using Donation Software

Donation software can offer templates for donation request letters, and can even host a database with lists of recipients to streamline the process. This tool will allow your nonprofit to keep track of who is an engaged donor, how much they’ve donated, and how often. Using software to track your donors will maximize the amount of people who receive your letter. Most nonprofit software can generate donation statements as well, which donors will appreciate receiving when tax time comes around. And after they donate, you can easily reach out and say thanks to your donors. This often-overlooked step ensures good relationships with donors.

With Aplos, you can track your donors, track donations, easily run reports, and more. Try it free for 15 days.

Free Recorded Webinar: How to Be the Best Fundraiser in the World With Special Guest Jill Wagner

Public Relations expert, Jill Wagner of Idea Emporium, leads us in this webinar. She reveals some valuable fundraising tips and explains how your personal leadership is essential to your organization’s success. These tips can help you be successful as you create your team and master your fundraising skills so you can become more effective toward your cause.

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