Donation Request Letters – Do’s & Don’ts

Donation Request Letters – Do’s & Don’ts

I am not sure if it is hospital Donation Request season, but I just received two donation request letters in the past two weeks. One of them totally motivated me to donate, and one did not at all. Let’s look at the letters and discover why one worked and one didn’t.

The Donation Request Letter I liked

First of all, the entire package had a theme. It had this adorable image of a little girl jumping up and down on a pogo stick. The image was warm and inviting, and was found on the envelope, in the letter and on the donation form. The words below the image were a simple message: “You can help children bounce back.” Right away, you feel that you can do something to help a child.

When I opened the letter, it was personalized to me and had a very moving story which I just have to share with you. Read letter.

This story gets into every parent’s heart. All I could think of was that if I were in these parents’ shoes I would appreciate all the help I could get. Right away, I looked for the donation form.

The donation form was also well done. It said “Thank you for choosing to support The Children’s. Your donation is important to many young patients like Jacob.”

You see, it ties in nicely with the letter of Jacob’s story. I also appreciated the fact that they start off the donation amount at $35, which I find very reasonable.

The Donation Request Letter that was not as moving

First of all, this donation request envelope and letter were very bland with standard black and white corporate letter, envelope and donation form. I realize this was probably done to save on costs. However, with all the junk mail that comes in these days, you need to have something that stands out. A color image or some type of catchy text would have helped this envelope out.

When I opened the letter it said “Dear Patient”. Geez, they want my money but can’t even personalize the letter to my attention? The letter went on to say the great benefits and accomplishments of the hospital. Which I have to say are impressive. However, what really put me off is that in the conclusion they say: “…as a recent patient here, you may have experienced first-hand…” I honestly have not visited the hospital as a patient for at least two years, so either they did not take the time to write appropriate letters to different patients, or their hospital records are not up to date. Read Letter.

Will I donate to this hospital? No, I will not. I honestly feel that they did not take any time personalizing this letter to me, so why should I take my time and money for them? I also did not like that they start off the donation amount at $75 which is a bit high for the average family.

Successful Donation Request Letters

With so many different organizations for donors to choose from these days, you have to make donation request letters stand out. Make them stand out with catchy text and colors, personalize them, include stories that touch the heart and move one to action.

Also, most importantly, make them timely. Send them out shortly after one has visited your hospital or foundation, not two years later.

Let us know of any Donation Request Letters that you have received that you liked or did not like, and we will share your tips with our readers.

Interested in more fundraising letter tips?

Get the complete guide to fundraising letters or find more tips and sample letters in  our Fundraising Letters section.

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