donation letter

Donation Letter: How to Write the Perfect Donation Letter | NewFire Giving

By | Resources

No matter what your organization’s goals may be, finding ways to secure funding is imperative to the success of your campaign. One of the most effective methods of securing funds is by writing a donation letter to potential donors. Nevertheless, when performing a Google search, finding the best methods of formulating a great donation letter can be a bit tricky.

What is a Donation Letter?

A donation letter is a typed or hand-written letter sent to potential donors in order to raise funds for your organization or cause. These letters typically appeal to the emotions of potential donors by explaining how achieving the goals of your organization can help the world as well as why receiving financial donations is imperative to reaching those goals. Although you can write and send donation letters all-year round, experts assert that donation letters are most effective when you send them towards the end of the year, as many individuals and organizations are determining their pre-tax season finances. Either way, a good donation letter is short and concise, while also including specifics regarding the importance of the mission as well as the requested donation.

Types of Donation Letters

There are various types of donation letters. The type of donation letter you write should depend on the type of donor you are contacting. The types of donation letters are as follows:

Church Building Fund Requests– This type of donation letter is specifically for churches who are seeking donations from existing members and supporters. The purpose of these letters is to remind the donor of the benefits the church has and will continue to provide as well as how important it is to secure funding to continue to offer these services in the future.

  • Charity Auction Item Requests– Rather than simply requesting funds, charity auction item request letters are to help convince potential owners to donate items to charity auctions.
  • Fundraising Event Donations– This purpose of type of donation letter is to request either donations to help organize a charity event or that the person attends the event to donate or sends a donation to contribute to the event.
  • Sponsorship Request Letters– Sponsorship requests are made for the purpose of securing funding for events and other initiatives. In this case, the organization typically offers the potential donors something in exchange for their sponsorship. For instance, many organizations offer to give the sponsors things such as VIP access, free advertising at the event as well as on event-related materials, or even having the event named after them, so the community is aware of which individual or entities sponsored the event.
  • Mission Trip Funding Requests– This is similar to a sponsorship letter. However, mission trip funding requests are created to fund particular missions and excursions, rather than events.
  • Missionary Support– This type of donation letter requests support for particular missionaries who are actively working towards a goal that stands to help a particular community as well as the world at large.

Individual Vs. Corporate Appeals

In addition to knowing your purpose, before you write a donation letter, you must also consider who you will be writing to. Drafting a letter for an individual requires a different technique then when drafting a letter for a corporation or group of people:

  • Individual Appeals– Individual appeals are for individual donors and typically request small one-time or recurring monetary donations. These appeals typically appeal to the sentimentality of the individual by telling them more about the cause and how even small donations can make a major difference.
  • Corporate Appeals– These appeals are for businesses of all sizes. Unlike individual donation appeals, these appeals are typically written to request things such as sponsorship, in-kind donations (such as meals, raffle prizes, employee volunteers, or even the use of a venue for a charity event), to collect employee gift-matches, and more. These types of appeals typically focus on how the donor company stands to benefit. For instance, by providing T-shirts for the volunteers for the event, a company can receive a high level of promotion by including their name and logo on every shirt.

How to Write an Effective Donation Letter

Without proper guidance, writing a donation letter can be tricky. Given the fact that donation letters help to secure funding, finding the perfect way to word them can literally make or break the proposal. If you need help formulating your donation letter, be sure to include the following:

  • Header– Your header should include the name of your non-profit as well as your logo, if applicable.
  • Non-Profit Contact Info– Make sure you include the physical address of your organization, the company’s email address, phone number, and any social media pages.
  • Date– Decide on what date your plan to mail or email your donation letter(s).
  • Donor Salutation– The first impression can be a lasting one. Your greeting sets the tone for your entire donation letter. Decide whether you want to be more formal or personable. You can either stick to the tone of your organization or personalize these greetings based on the brand/ style of the donors.
  • Acknowledgment of Relationship to Donor/ Organization– To add a personalized touch, take the time to remind the donor of the nature of the relationship and/or how their past donations have helped your organization. For instance, when writing to an individual, you could include something along the lines of, “last year, with the help of you and an array of other awesome donors, we were able to achieve…”. On the other hand, when writing to businesses, you may write something along the lines of, “your company has become a recognized staple at our fundraisers and with your help, we will continue to achieve our organizational goals”.
  • The Story of Your Non-Profit– As a general rule, you will want to steer clear of salesy language as it can often be off-putting in this context. However, the section involving the story of your non-profit is your one chance to sell your company. This is the area to help you connect to the donors on an emotional level. In a donation letter, your story should include: the need (explain why the donations are needed), the solution (give a vivid description of what the success of your campaign will entail), and the hero (to help your donors realize how important they are to you, be sure to make your donors the hero in the story every time!).
  • Call-to-Action– Creating a call to action is one of the most important elements of your donation letter as this is the section in which you literally ask for the sale. One of the more effective ways of doing this is by including a call-to-action with time restraints. For instance, in the case of individual donors, you may want to include some special item or benefit for the first respondents (i.e. the first 50 donors will receive V.I.P. access to all events in June). On the other hand, when dealing with corporate donors, you may include something along the lines of, “first 5 companies to donate will have their company names on all merchandise distributed at the event”. In doing so, you have not only given your potential donors a number of reasons why they should donate but you have also added one that will encourage them to do so quickly.

More Tips for Creating a Great Donation Letter

After learning the specifics of what a great donation letter entails, here are a few tips and tricks to help you make your donation letter as effective as possible:

  • Keep it Short– Despite the fact that you need to include the aforementioned sections, you should still make your donation as short as possible. In this age, you should assume that most people are too busy to read a massive document just to learn about and support your organization. Keep it as succinct as possible to avoid losing your audience.
  • Don’t Forget the Self-Addressed Envelope– Self-Addressed envelopes add an extra special touch when you are attempting to raise funds. Including this envelope will be yet another way to encourage them to write a check and mail it back ASAP.
  • Include a Legitimate Hand-Written Signature (If Possible)– While printing your signature is fine, you really should try to include a legitimately hand-written signature to make it seem much more personal. Especially when dealing with donors from the past and/or donors who have the capacity to donate large amounts of funds to your cause, you will want to take the time to hand write your signature. This will help them to feel like you have reached out to them personally, rather than inserting their name into a template letter that you have sent to all potential donors.
  • Don’t Forget the P.S.- Including a P.S. is a great way to reiterate your call-to-action. Experts assert that most people read the P.S. second, after reading the salutation.

Creating a donation letter does not have to be a nightmare. For more help creating the perfect campaign for your charity, contact the experts at NewFire today. No matter if your organization needs coaching, resources, or anything in between, NewFire Giving is a great company to help you set your charity campaign trail ablaze.

 

giving to the church

Giving to Receive – The Art of “Paying Back” Those Who Give

By | Resources

Everyone likes to think they are a generous person, but in fact giving can be very difficult for many people. One of the reasons why people do not give as much as they could is because they find that the process of giving provokes anxiety. Let's take a look at the psychological reasons why people find it difficult to give and explore ways to help givers overcome these barriers.

Lack of Information Leads to Anxiety

You might think that making a charitable donation would lead to people feeling satisfied and happy. However, many donors are left feeling anxious and uncertain after making a donation. This effect happens most often when donors do not have enough information about how the receiving organization plans to use the donation. They might feel like they have been tricked or that they have wasted their money if they have no idea how the money will be used. These feelings are unpleasant and are likely to lead to donors declining to donate again.

Inform Donors to Give Them a Good Feeling

When people know exactly how their money is helping a cause, they are more likely to feel satisfied and happy about their donation. This feeling of satisfaction could prompt the donor to give again in the future. The more information you can give, the better. Provide positive stories about the things that donations have allowed your organization to achieve.

Reward Donors for Giving

Even though we all like to think that we are generous people, it is human nature to want a reward for our good actions. Even a small or token reward can make the process of giving much more satisfying to donors. Rewards can even make the process fun, sparking feelings of wanting to give more in the donor.

Rewards You Can Give to Pay Back Those Who Give

Rewards for those who give do not have to be extravagant or expensive. Something as simple as a picture of the person or people the giver's donations have helped can make a huge difference. Pictures can help donors to connect with the causes they support and help them to feel as though they are part of something much larger than themselves.

Use Technology to Bring Rewards to Those Who Give

In the past, sending out pictures to people who give donations was time-consuming and expensive. Depending on the charity, this kind of reward-giving could eat up a significant chunk of the donations that are received. Thankfully, technology has made the process of engaging with those who give much easier. If you use a donation app or online campaign to raise money for your cause, you can quickly and easily send reward pictures to those who are subscribed to your app, web page, or mailing list.

How to Maximize Donations for Your Cause

To maximize donations for your cause, it is important to go the extra mile to keep those who give engaged and motivated to make a change. Never forget about those who support your organization. Whenever someone takes the time to make a donation, be sure to get in touch with them to let them know what impact their money will have. In this way, you can foster feelings of goodwill in your donors and make them more likely to continue to support your organization in the future.

Your Guide to Church Database Software

Your Guide to Church Database Software

By | Resources

While you may not realize it, finding the right technology to help you run your church can help ensure a congregation and an organization that thrive. There are lots of tech tools that can help a church function more smoothly, and one of the most important for any congregation to consider is church database software. Today, many churches have already adopted software to help manage their information, and studies expect that the adoption rate will grow by 9% by 2021. Church database software has a variety of functions and purposes and, depending on the solution you choose, can help you organize your marketing, fundraising, communication, growth efforts, and much more. Here is a helpful guide to church database software–what it is, how it works, and how it can help your congregation.

What Is Church Database Software?

Church database software helps church leaders organize and store important church information digitally. This software can do things like keep a list of active members and their information; track donors and donation amounts and automate processes such as email and written communication. Some church database software is specific and created for one specific task, like storing the contact information of contact members. Others are comprehensive, and allow you to manage fundraising, communication, and more all in one place.

One arena in which church database software can be extremely important is church fundraising. Church database software allows you to see who made donations and for how much. It allows you to see who can be solicited to give, who may be an untapped resource, and if there is someone whose gift amount may increase. it also automates all of these processes, so communication does not have to happen manually–it can be completed in the click of a button. Also, it can help automate giving, lowering the obstacles and barriers to donating and increasing the chances that people will donate.

Why Use Church Database Software?

You may realize that your church needs to harness today's technological solutions in order to stay relevant and grow. However, you may not completely understand the benefits of church database software for your congregation. After all, you're already thriving by keeping your membership information in a digitized spreadsheet. Why do you need a different software solution? Because there are some concrete benefits of using church database software that go beyond simply getting your tech products up to date. Here are some of the most important.

Get a Better Handle on Who Is in Your Congregation

You may think you know who your membership is. However, have you ever used tech solutions to actually understand the demographics of your congregation? If you use church database software, you can analyze data about the people who attend church. as well as how attendance has changed or grown, where people join from, the ages and professions of the people who belong, and more.

Understand Your Potential Workforce

Churches need volunteers and commitment in order to succeed. When you have software to see who is available to help, who has helped in the past, and what skills people have to share, you can clearly see the pool of people who can help the church and its events thrive and succeed.

Effectively Manage Physical Facilities

A church is a place of worship, but it is also a community center. Many church database software solutions allow you to manage information about your physical church building(s) as well. That way, you can manage the activities and happenings in each part of the building, and you can ensure that all events and activities have a space to be in, and an allotted time.

Church-Specific Software

There are many software solutions out there that allow you to keep track of lists of people or manage teams. One of the best parts of using church database software is that it has been designed specifically for churches. Because the software is church-specific, it offers features that make sense for congregations, as well as church goals, leadership structure, and more. Church-specific software lets you track the right information about members so that you can understand what congregation members bring to the table and need in order to stay happy as a member.

Types of Church Database Software

There are lots of church database software solution options. They vary in purpose, type, power, and more. Here are some of the types you can find for your congregation.

Comprehensive Church Management Software

Some solutions for churches are comprehensive. This means that they allow you to store data, manage facilities, handle communication, and more in one place. These solutions tend to be broad and comprehensive, but sometimes lack capabilities in certain areas, like fundraising or data analysis.

Contact Management Software

You need to be able to get in touch with your membership easily. For that reason, some companies have created software solutions that are simply for managing the contact information of members. These solutions store contact info and let you automate the process of doing mailings or writing emails.

Fundraising-Focused Software

Some of the best church database software is intended to improve fundraising. These software solutions store member data and information, including contact info, ino about their giving, and more. That way, you can keep track of who has given, when, and how much, and then make it easy for these people to give again (and for new donors to give, as well).

Consider the Top Church Database Software Solution for Fundraising: NewFire Giving

If you are ready to adopt a church database software solution for your congregation, consider choosing NewFire Giving. NewFire Giving is a software option specifically created to help improve fundraising efforts.

NewFire Giving allows you to easily and digitally store and keep track of important information about donors and donations. However, it also has a slew of tech features that simultaneously can improve your fundraising efforts. First, it allows for giving via any internet browser, so no member has to be at church in order to donate. It also has features that allow donors to text-to-give, making it easy for them to make donations from the comfort of their own smartphone. Finally, you can use the program on hardware, so that if donors are more comfortable giving at church or a church-related event, you can have devices ready for people to use.

NewFire Giving allows you to keep comprehensive records about donors, so you can understand where and how your church can raise the money it needs to operate and thrive. NewFire Giving also comes with support and educational resources, so you can make sure you are taking full advantage of the power of the platform, and that you are tackling your general fundraising and growth efforts in the best way possible.

To learn more about NewFire Giving and how it might benefit your church, reach out to us today. We can help you see how it can enable you to more effectively manage your financial information and more easily grow your congregation.

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