Sample Fundraising Letter – Kelly Anderson 2108 Pinecreek Ct. Hopeville, CA 93280 Dear (donor name), On the day that I graduated college, my grandmother received a troubling phone call. It wasn’t until after the graduation celebration that she sat us down and told us, “I have been diagnosed with breast cancer.” At age 83, I thought that she was far beyond the window time in her life for breast cancer. Turns out, she wasn’t and she immediately had a double mastectomy. Six years later, and coincidentally, the same day that I finished grad school, Grandma called and said that she was celebrating her 5-year anniversary of being cancer-free. In that moment, I was so proud of her. My grandmother – a Cancer Survivor - now age 90 - is the reason that I Relay. The first thing Grandma did when she was diagnosed was to call 1.800.ACS.2345 – a 1-800 number set up by the American Cancer Society. She sat with my aunt at 1am the night after she was diagnosed and talked with a health professional about what to expect from her treatment plan and different ways that she could be more comfortable after her operation. The American Cancer Society also sent her some additional information, including questions to ask her doctor so that she’d remember at her next appointment. A few years ago, I was talking to a high school friend and she asked me to be part of her Relay For Life team. Relay For Life is a fun-filled overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs of your American Cancer Society. During the event, teams of people gather and take turns walking laps for a 24-hour period. Each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times. I decided that this event was a way that I could fight back against the cancer that affected our family so much. My team is now raising money for the 2006 event to be held on April 29 & 30, 2006 at Hopeville High School. We have a team goal of $5,000 and are already well on our way to meeting it. Money that is raised helps to fund valuable programs that cancer patients and survivors, like my grandmother, are able to use when they are battling this horrible disease. Will you join me in making a donation to the American Cancer Society through the 2006 Hopeville Relay For Life? Thank you for your consideration. I will follow up with you in the next few weeks to answer any questions you may have. With hope and love, Kelly Anderson www.acsevents.org/relay/ca/hopeville/grandmasgirls There is no finish line until there is a cure! BEST PRACTICES OF LETTER WRITING Letter Writing Tips… Tell your “Why I Relay” story Can be longer than an email With email overload, there’s “power” in getting a letter in the mail. Include pictures Make the ask at the end (Form it in a question such as “Can you please help me reach my goal of $XXXX? Or - Will you join me in the fight by donating $XX or more?) Don’t forget to include a Luminaria form. Be sure to include your online website in your letter. When writing a letter online, keep it short and sweet – people are more likely to read shorter emails. Use Holidays as Special Letter Writing Opportunities: November 15 – December: Many of our friends and family give thanks and gifts during this time. It’s also a prime opportunity to be included on their end-of-the-year charitable gifts list. A birthday/anniversary: Ask for donations instead of gifts January – April: For those friends and family who get back tax refunds, this could be another good opportunity for a donation. Valentine’s Day: Work in to your letter how your supporters are the ‘heart’ of Relay For Life. Tips for Telling Your Story in your Fundraising letter… Personal stories are powerful. It's not just survivors that have a story. Speak to your life while experiencing cancer – the shock of your/their diagnosis, affect on your life and your family, etc. Avoid in-depth medical jargon - you may loose your audience if you give too many details. Every detail of your fight against cancer is important, but your personal struggle is more powerful than medical details. Weave the American Cancer Society into your story. If you contacted ACS during your experience with cancer, mention that. If you did not contact ACS take a look at the services they provide and consider how they might have made a difference... or how they are making a difference for those currently battling the disease. Most importantly, write from the heart. Relayers and Relay supporters share a passion in the fight against cancer. Write from your heart and you’ll connect with theirs. Don’t forget to ask for their support. Let them know how they can help you fight cancer.
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