Special Appeal Letter


This letter can be used to request additional funds to meet an immediate need or to raise additional funds, and it is generally sent to individuals who have already donated to your organization in the past. Because readers are usually previous donors, it is a good idea to personalize this letter.

How to write this fundraising letter:

  1. Thank donors for their previous donations to your organization.
  2. Tell donors how money from their previous donations was used.
  3. Describe the current need for which you are petitioning funds; convey a sense of urgency.
  4. Ask for a specific donation amount.
  5. Mention the benefits that will come to the donor, to the community, to those in need of relief, etc., because of the money you will raise.

You have given generously to our family crisis program in the past, and we want you to be among the first to hear our wonderful news!

From now until the end of July, the Springfield Retail Corporation has offered to provide a three-to-one match on the funds we raise for our center. This means that for every dollar our donors give, the Retail Corporation will give $3.

This generous offer means that our comprehensive Youth and Family Center can finally become a reality. It will cost $960,000 to build, so if we can raise $240,000, we will be able to have all of our youth and family oriented programs in one location. Families in crisis will no longer have to search all over town from agency to agency to find the help, education, and support they need.

With your help, we can do this. Will you start the ball rolling by sending $100 or as much as you can afford today?

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step

1 Thank donors for their previous donations to your organization.

Sample Sentences for Step 1
  • We wanted to take a moment and thank all of you for being a part of our organization.
  • We are truly grateful for the support you have given us in the past.
  • Because of people like you, we are able to fulfill our mission.
  • First, may we express to you our sincere thanks for your generous donations in the past.
  • As you know, we receive no government money, so all of our funding comes directly from people like you--and we are very grateful for it!
  • Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, we want to thank you for being longtime supporters of the Douglas Mitchell Foundation.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
  • want to express our appreciation of your previous
  • grateful for the aid you have provided
  • very much appreciate your
  • thankful for the support you
  • thank you for your continued support of
  • truly grateful for your past donations
  • wouldn't be able to do this work without
  • know that you make it possible
  • your support to our cause has
  • wish to convey to you our
  • express our heartfelt thanks for
  • appreciative of the support
  • make it possible for us to fulfill

2 Tell donors how money from their previous donations was used.

Sample Sentences for Step 2
  • Last year, because of support from people like you, we were able to purchase an additional 10,000 books for our school library.
  • With the generous donations from the people of this community, we were able to more than double our capacity in order to care for more than 500 temporarily homeless individuals.
  • Through the generous donations we've received over the last five years, we have sent more than 3,000 volunteers to help establish our program in more than 30 countries throughout the world.
  • Most recently, we were able to send 100 high school children to the leadership convention in Chicago.
  • In addition, we were able to send much-needed supplies to our sister school in Fairview.
  • With your help, we were able to provide humanitarian aid to the more than 2,000 victims of the recent flooding that devastated our state last year.
  • In the past couple of months, we have been able to provide shelter for an additional 200 battered women.
  • Most important, with your help, we were able to provide funding for necessary renovations to our community hospital so that it could continue to provide care to the many patients that rely on its services each day.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
  • last year we were able to
  • because of money donated
  • able to build more than 50 homes
  • provided food to more than
  • purchased equipment and supplies for
  • sent books and other school supplies
  • helped to reverse the devastating effects of
  • in the past couple of months we have
  • made great advances in the research
  • raised more than $50,000 that went directly to
  • during the last year we were able to
  • saved more than 100 animals
  • helped five families to
  • last month we were able to
  • nearing completion on the
  • provided shelter for 25 children

3 Describe the current need for which you are petitioning funds; convey a sense of urgency.

Sample Sentences for Step 3
  • In order to meet this urgent need, we have set up an emergency fund at the local branch of Doe Bank.
  • As you know, more than 100 families have lost their homes and their possessions, and some of them their livelihood.
  • Because of the growing need, we are planning to expand the shelter to more than double its current capacity.
  • Unless we act immediately, we will not be able to stop the construction.
  • Every day that goes by puts more children at risk.
  • In the wake of these natural disasters, more than 5,000 people have been left homeless.
  • It has just come to our attention that, without immediate action, our local theater will be forced to close its doors.
  • Many of you have probably heard that, because of a lack of funding, city officials are considering closing our local recreation center.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
  • faced with an urgent need
  • set up a special fund for
  • are in immediate need of
  • today we are in dire need of
  • without immediate action, we won't be able to
  • there are only 500 of this species left
  • every day another 1,000 acres gets cut
  • must take immediate action to stop
  • three families that are without
  • more than 20 patients who demand urgent
  • every day that goes by
  • have set up an Emergency Fund specifically for
  • because of the most recent natural disaster
  • have left us desperately under funded
  • unless we act immediately
  • before the end of the month, we must
  • ask that you now help us by
  • hope you can help us again by
  • counting on your renewed support to
  • can't allow any more young people like Sammy to
  • without your help, more children could
  • we need you
  • can make an immediate difference by

4 Ask for a specific donation amount.

Sample Sentences for Step 4
  • If this cause is as important to you as it is to me, will you contribute $100 today to help us save the theater?
  • With your $300 donation, we can purchase food and other immediate necessities.
  • If everyone who is a member of the conservation committee will donate $500, we can meet this current need.
  • Please mail a donation today for $75.
  • Would you be willing to send a check for $200 by the end of next week?
  • We know that most people have many financial obligations, but even a donation of $30 would help us reach our goal.
  • Will you commit today to make a difference by sending your check for $500?
  • If you can help us by donating $50, $100, or more, we would truly appreciate it.
Sample Phrases for Step 4
  • ask that you send a check for $50
  • if you could mail a check for $100
  • please send $25 immediately
  • please mail your donation today
  • send whatever you can
  • even $30 would make a big difference
  • could send $25 or $30
  • every donation of $150 or more
  • your donation of $75 will allow us to
  • with your donation of $200 we can
  • please send today a donation of
  • could send $25, $50, or $75
  • counting on you to make a donation of
  • with $45 we can purchase the
  • need to raise $40,000 by the end of the month
  • asking for donations of $40 or more
  • hope to raise $10,000 by the end of next week
  • if you can help by donating $25

5 Mention the benefits that will come to the donor, to the community, to those in need of relief, etc., because of the money you will raise.

Sample Sentences for Step 5
  • With the money raised, we hope to give new hope to the disadvantaged elders of our community.
  • More important, you'll know that you made a difference in the lives of a family that desperately needs your help.
  • Please send your check today, and experience with me the joy that comes when we truly give of ourselves.
  • To show our sincere thanks, we will send a gift certificate to Doe Restaurant to all those who donate to this cause.
  • Show your support today, and let our veterans know how much we appreciate the sacrifices they make for us and our country.
  • We want to honor all those who help in this effort, so all donors will be invited to a special recognition dinner.
  • In return, your sponsored child will send a letter to you each month telling about the events in his or her life and keeping you informed of his/her progress and successes.
  • All those who contribute to this effort will be recognized in a special press conference held by the mayor.
Sample Phrases for Step 5
  • with your help
  • we will be able to
  • these special funds will allow us
  • invited to the dedication ceremony
  • hope you'll attend our recognition dinner
  • as a token of our appreciation
  • send a pair of complimentary tickets
  • will make a difference in our community
  • please wear your pin with pride
  • change the lives of the people who
  • include your name in our quarterly magazine
  • recognize you at a special
  • send you a free T-shirt
  • know that you contributed
  • know that you made a real difference
  • feeling you'll get when you think of
  • sure you'll appreciate knowing
  • happy to recognize you
  • include your name in our newsletter
  • making a special plaque
  • please come to a special performance
  • offer a free gift
  • no feeling quite like

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