Personal Letters & Fundraising Ideas

Personal Letters &
Fundraising Ideas
Enclosed you will find easy ways to increase your fundraising efforts!
If you would like an electronic copy of this document or any materials,
please email us at [email protected]
Personal Letters
Have a personal letter and/or email campaign to Friends and Family.
You will receive significantly more support when you share your
personal story. If doing a mail campaign, make it easy for people!
Enclose a donation form for your team and a stamped envelope
addressed to: Autism Speaks 5455 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 2250 Los
Angeles CA 90036. Samples of letters are enclosed.
Fundraising Ideas/ Wrap around events
Host a Wrap Around event. Enclosed are many ideas that can help
to raise a lot of additional funds such as parties, restaurant events,
puzzle piece campaigns. Many more ideas enclosed!
Personal Letters:
TEN steps to a successful fundraising letter campaign
The most effective way to raise funds for Walk Now for Autism is through letter writing.
Write the letter. Say what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Mail it to family members, friends, co-workers and business associates 3-8 weeks before the Walk
Now for Autism event (Try using your holiday mailing list).
State you personal fundraising goal in your letter. The higher the better!
Include in the letter some information about the important work being done by Autism Speaks.
Be sure to say that donations are tax deductible and that checks should be made payable to
Autism Speaks.
State that you would like the donation before the date of the Walk. Enclose a return envelope
stamped if possible. Be sure to include donation form (see next page for sample. To print, go to
your walk homepage, click “make a donation offline” and print.)
Mail donations to Autism Speaks; 5455 Wilshire Blvd; Suite 2250; Los Angeles, CA 90036.
Remember to include on your mailing list any vendors, consultants and people with whom you do
Be sure to send thank you notes (after the Walk) to everyone who sponsors you!
10. Remember, the more people to whom you mail, the more funds you will raise to help support the
best and most promising autism research in the world today!
Walk Now for Autism Personal Letter Examples
To Our Family and Friends
Insert Photo Here!
(Name) was 2 years old when he was diagnosed with Autism. Like a ghost in beautiful boy’s body, our
son was there physically but somewhere else mentally.
He wouldn’t look at us; he would look through us.
Learning how to get through to him became our mission.
Through the amazing power of the human spirit and through the purest love imaginable, we set off on our
journey. Every morning we would wake up and say, “If we can give this child one more word, or one more
skill to help him become more independent in this world, then we are doing out job”. As our journey
continued, we discovered (Name) was capable of learning and loving. (Name) loves to ride his bike, swim
in the pool, go on hikes, and be around family and friends. He is able to tell us his basic wants and needs
throughout the day. Our journey is filled with hope as we celebrate even the smallest steps of progress.
Still, we want a cure or just even a medication that will help (Name) be able to function better in the world.
The same way they have discovered medications for people with all sorts of other types of disorders and
disabilities. Many of those people can talk and demand action but people with autism do not have a
voice, so we are speaking for them. Since autism knows no boundaries, we are also speaking for a future
generation of children and families who may also experience this.
Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
1 in 150 children are diagnosed with autism.
More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than Aids, Diabetes and Cancer combined.
There is no medical detection or cure for autism.
Please join (Team) on (walk date) on the Washington DC National Mall benefiting Autism Speaks, an
organization dedicated to promoting autism awareness and research. This will be a spectacular event
with activities and games, music, strolling entertainment of magicians, balloon makers, stilt walkers, and
lots of food!
You will be uplifted and empowered as our children, families and friends walk at the base of the
Please take these Easy Steps to join and/or donate to (Team) on behalf of Autism Speaks!
1. Go to
2. Click on REGISTER
3. Click on Join Team – pick (Your team)
Walk Now for Autism Personal Letter Examples
Who is (Name)?
(Name) is almost six years old. He has piercing
green eyes, a smattering of blonde ringlet curls
and a smile that makes you feel like a child again.
He is a vibrant, beautiful little boy who loves Elmo,
going to school, and jumping
into his huge splashing swimming pool. He laughs
when you tickle him, he runs to your side when
dinner’s ready and often times, he gives you the
greatest hugs in the world when you lease expect
it. He is the perfect child in every sense of the word.
Insert Photo Here!
(Name) also happens to be autistic. He has never
spoken to his family; he cannot concentrate on the
most normal tasks. Going into public places is most
difficult, as are the stares of confusion, and often
times pity, from so many strangers. Yet despite his
limitations, (Name) is a most beloved son, brother,
grandson, nephew, and friend to dozens and dozens
of individuals young and old. He teaches each of us
something new about ourselves and about the truly
important elements of life.
In essence, (Name) could be anyone’s child and grandchild; he just happens to be ours.
Walk Now for Autism Personal Letter Examples
One evening, while putting my five-year-old son to bed, he asked: “Mommy, whose fault is it
that (name) has autism?...Is it God’s fault? He made her that way.” I did my best to explain
that God is manifest in our world as consequences of the choices we make in life. Each
choice has an impact on others, however small or indirect. As (name) autism did not happen
entirely because of anyone’s choices, we can only say it happened by accident. I explained
to (sibling) that scientists are working very hard to answer the most important part of this
question – Why do some children have autism? {…how does it happen? How can we help
them?...and how can we stop it?).
This is an attempt to provide you with a few examples of the impact your choice to support
Autism Speaks has on the search for a cure. Support like yours is the fuel behind critical
achievements and initiatives which bring us closer, 1 discovery at a time. Autism Speaks
projects have resulted in 273 pieces of information about autism that would not have
existed without your help. The research has had an enormous impact on how we think about
this disorder, and Autism Speaks publications are forming a central part of the foundation
knowledge that researchers all over the world are using to pursue a cure. The rays of light
that follow are just a sample of the ripple effect which results when many good choices,
made by people who care, are taken together. Thank you for caring about our children, and
for continuing to support Autism Speaks.
“We need to make the research work to alleviate the burden of disease.”
Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of NIMH
Autism Speaks is dedicated to facilitating global research into the causes, treatments, prevention and an
eventual cure for autism by:
Promoting cross-disciplinary cooperation
Funding research
Organizing research summit meetings
Establishing standards for data collection and management to benefit the scientific
Our science portfolio targets four specific areas:
Why does someone get autism?
What are the biological problems associated with
Goal: Understanding the triggers and
susceptibilities to autism
Focus: Developing and managing grants and
initiatives in the areas of genetics, environmental
sciences and epidemiology
Goal: Understanding the underlying biological
mechanisms of autism
Focus: Developing and managing grants and initiatives
in the areas of neurosciences, physiology and
molecular biology
How do we know if someone has autism?
How can we help Individuals with autism?
Goal: To refine existing diagnostic tools and
develop new diagnostic approaches to aid in early
Goal: To increase the efficacy and range of treatment
options available
Focus: Developing and managing grants and
initiatives in the areas of behavioral and
biological methods of diagnosis as well as
characterization of the autism phenotypes
Focus: Developing and managing grants and initiatives
in the areas of behavioral, biomedical and
technological methods of treatment and intervention
Our clinical programs assist the research community in a variety of ways. Our programs include:
AGRE: Autism Genetic Resource Exchange
AGRE is a repository (gene bank) of genetic and clinical information from families with two or more
members diagnosed with an ASD that is made available to autism researchers worldwide. For over 10
years AGRE has accelerated the pace of autism research by collecting genetic and clinical data and
providing it to researchers allowing them to focus efforts on their investigations rather than data
ATP: Autism Tissue Program
The ATP is dedicated to increasing and enhancing the availability of post-mortem brain tissue to as
many qualified scientists as possible to advance autism research. Brain tissue allows scientists to go
far beyond the constraints of other technologies and study autism on both a cellular and molecular
level. To date, there are more than 100 brains (from both affected and unaffected individuals)
available for autism research.
ATN: Autism Treatment Network
The ATN is a network of hospitals and physicians working together to develop a comprehensive,
coordinated and consistent approach to medical care for autism and related disorders. The doctors in the
ATN are dedicated to providing care for families now and to establishing standards of care for autism
that can be shared across the wider medical community. As medical protocols and treatments become
better defined and recognized, it is the aim of the ATN to see insurers routinely cover autism treatment.
CTN: Clinical Trials Network
The CTN is a collaboration of hospitals and medical centers working together on clinical trials of
promising pharmaceutical or nutritional treatments. The CTN approach enables sites to enroll children
around the country in a single study, allowing sites to reach recruitment goals in a much shorter amount
of time and accelerating progress towards scientifically proven treatments.
IAN: Interactive Autism Network
IAN is an innovative online project designed to accelerate the pace of autism research by linking
researchers and families. In addition, families of children with an ASD can share information in a secure
online setting and become part of the nation's largest online research effort.
Phone & Email
Dear Friends,
I am writing in hope that you and your company would consider helping. As you may know our son,
has been diagnosed with Autism. Today 1 in 150 children receive this devastating diagnosis (in 1980
the diagnosis rate was 1 in 10,000). We are one of the lucky few, however. We began very early with
an amazing intervention program. (Name) is improving rapidly.
So many others, however, are not as fortunate. Many children are completely unable to communicate,
and live in an isolated world of their own.
Today, almost everyone knows of someone with Autism. And if they don't, they will soon. Please
help us in our fight to find a cure! Attached are our corporate sponsorship opportunities. I am
actively involved in the Walk Now For Autism this year and need your support. If you are not
comfortable with one the sponsorship categories, we can customize sponsorship benefits to match
your organizations needs.
Why I walk?
I walk in the hopes that the people that stare at you
will be educated about Autism, and stop staring when
you have a meltdown or are talking to yourself. I walk
in the hopes that you will be allowed to grow up and
be yourself without the ignorance and prejudice that
surrounds people not just with Autism, but any
disability. I'm sorry that there are people in the world
that will make you sad and make you feel bad because
you are "different.” You're really not.
Insert Photo Here!
You are the most amazing little boy because you are filled with love and joy. I'm sorry there are
people in this world that are not kind. They may say hurtful words. I wish I could stop their words,
actions and stares, and protect you from it, but I will be there every time you cry, with a hug
and a kiss. I walk in the hopes that someday, no family will have to hear the words "Your Child Has
Autism." And if they do, there will be so many options and answers that they will not feel alone.
I walk for a cure. I walk for education. I walk for tolerance. I walk for understanding of Autism.
Please join us in this walk for a cure for Autism.
Insert Photo Here!
Insert Photo Here!
Photo Here
Four years ago when we first suspected (NAME
HERE) had Autism, we were devastated. At 18
months he didn’t speak, make eye contact, or
respond to his name, nor could he point or gesture in
any way; he was fixated on opening and closing
doors and would do so seemingly forever if we didn’t
stop him. I remember spending hours trying to
engage him in activities other than those doors with
little success. I was devastated watching him,
recalling the dreams I had for him and my family and
realizing everything would be different. Now when I
reflect over the past 4 years, I realize how far (NANE
HERE) has come.
For the first year and a half after accepting the fact
that (NAME HERE) had Autism, we attempted to
navigate an impossible maze of contradictory
diagnosis, and treatment recommendations; progress
was slow.
Although his speech increased, almost all of it was echoliac
(repeating back what was said to him), or delayed echolia
(repeating a scripted phrase he had previously heard).
Shortly after he turned 3, against the advice of most of his
therapists, we changed from from one form of intervention to
another. (NAME HERE) worked with trained professionals for
6 hours per day, 7 days per week and the progress was
dramatic. Everything that most of us learn by observation in
our natural environment was broken down into the smallest
possible component, to enable (NAME HERE) to master that
skill, and then build upon it. Item by item, he learned how to
speak and understand not only the meanings of the words, but
past tense and future tense, adjectives, basic nouns, verbs,
prepositions, opposites, yes/ no, and I don’t know. He learned
how to play appropriately and developed basic social skills.
Many programs were used to help improve his auditory
processing, visual perception, and motor planning skills.
By 4 years of age, he had made substantial progress.
His speech was still almost completely echoliac, but it
was in the appropriate context, and often spontaneous.
By 4 ½ he had finally gotten his pronouns correct
(this took many attempts). And right before his fifth
birthday he asked his first “why” question. This was a
huge milestone for us, breaking into his ability to
think abstractly. And then, during a consultation in the
spring, I realized that the echoliac speech was
This past year, (NAME HERE) attended preschool
with typically developing children. I look back to old
emails to his teachers…”is he having any social
interactions with peers?” He was still so far away
from having interest, or interactions with other
children. Yet by early spring, he not only was
interacting, but also had specific friends and was
asking me to set up playdates with them!
We believe (NAME HERE) prognosis is
excellent. We continue to contribute to his
college fund, and are hopeful that he will be able
to lead an independent life. There is a lot of work
ahead. And we move forward, focusing on the
gains. Trying so hard not to obsess about what
the future may or may not have in store. We
cherish every part of his personality. (NAME
HERE) fills all of us with so much love, with his
sweetness, compassion, and sense of humor.
(NAME HERE) has been a miracle that has
come into our lives. Yet most families faced
with Autism don’t have much to celebrate.
Many of my dearest friends struggle each
day, and struggle even more, when they
think about what the future holds.
Autism is a lifelong neurological disorder
that impairs communication, behavior,
learning and social skills. Today 1 in 150
children are diagnosed with autism (1 in 94
boys), making it more common than
pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS
combined. Government statistics suggest
that Autism continues to grow at a rate of
10% to 17% per year.
We need to find a cure for this disease,
which has seized the brains of millions of
children. Many of these children are trapped
within their bodies, unable to communicate,
yet intellectually intact. For the parent of an
Autistic Child, alongside the joy of having a
beautiful child, is the indescribable pain that
comes from watching the child you love
entrapped in a world of chaos, confusion and
often terror.
There is no more intense rejection and
devastation than to have brought a child into the
world who treats you with the indifference of a
total stranger.
Imagine bringing a beautiful child into the world,
watching as he or she progresses normally with
all milestones met. And then, somewhere
between 1 ½ and 2 years, everything changes.
Your precious child is kidnapped; not the actual
person, just his or her brain.
We need your help in searching for cures and
treatments for this debilitating condition.
Please join our family, November 8, 2008 on the
Washington Monument Grounds to help find a