How to Write a Political Donation Request Letter
A political donation request letter is a fundraising appeal sent to your organization’s donors. It can be sent in the form of an email, social media post or physical letter.
For the most effective results, your donation letter should speak directly to your audience’s interests and experience. Start by identifying your recipients through donor data analytics.
Identify your target audience.
Depending on the campaign and your donor list, you may want to target different audiences in your donation request letters. This is especially important for recurring donors, who should receive their own personalized letter in order to maintain engagement and increase the likelihood of continuing their support.
Identifying your audience also helps you tailor your message to what drives your donors. For example, some donors may be moved by a humorous approach while others might respond to a sense of urgency. It’s important to know what motivates your supporters and how to play to that drive in your letters.
For new and past donors alike, you should include a detailed description of the campaign your donation will help support. You should also highlight how their donations will make an impact, ideally using a personal success story from a beneficiary. This will give your letter a more authentic voice and will help donors connect with your mission.
Explain your campaign.
In your letter, explain to the reader exactly what you’re asking for. Vague requests are less compelling to readers and may lead to confusion about what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, if you’re fundraising for a specific project, include the name of that project. This helps donors connect to the people they’ll be helping with their donation.
If you’re requesting money, clearly state how much you need and why you need it. You can also mention other ways to give, such as recurring donations or peer-to-peer fundraising, to encourage more donors to get involved.
Lastly, wrap up the letter by letting your readers know how to respond. Depending on the exact purpose of your letter, this could be as simple as including an addressed prepaid envelope or a link to your online donation page. If you’re using a peer-to-peer platform, make sure your donation tools provide easy ways to track responses and metrics.
Include a personal success story.
While it can be tempting to send out a donation request with a teaser, letter, reply envelope, photos, and various other inserts, this can detract from the letter itself. It’s best to keep the package minimal and focus on the actual letter.
Use your donor data to tailor your letter to each individual recipient. This will increase the likelihood of getting a response, particularly from individuals who have donated or volunteered with your organization before. Using internal notes within your donor management system, or an email automation service like Donorbox, is an easy way to add personal touches for each of your donors.
Begin the letter with a personalized salutation, using their name or the name of a board member or representative from your organization. Eye motion studies show that this is one of the first things donors look for when reading a letter. It also helps readers connect with the message more.
Make it easy to donate.
If your reader decides to donate, it’s important that they know how easy it is to do so. Depending on the letter’s purpose, this may mean providing a physical donation envelope or a link to your online fundraising tools. It’s also crucial to make sure you can track engagement and donor conversion data.
To add a more personal touch, use the reader’s name or have a board member or other organization representative sign the letter. This will help reinforce that there is a real person behind the letter and can inspire readers to take action.
Including the supporter’s name in donation appeals has been shown to increase response rates by 14% and average gift size by 19%. If possible, be sure to utilize your nonprofit’s communication and donor database tools to automatically populate supporters’ names into your donation appeals when sending them via email or social media. You can do this by using templates and chatbots like ChatGPT.