Tips For Writing Effective Personal Fundraising Appeals

Need tips on how to write your personal appeal on your fundraising page? Here are a few tips, written for supporters, to help them craft effective an personal appeals on their page.

Also check out our free eBook, the 7 Habits of Effective Personal Fundraisers for more fundraising tips.

  1. State the purpose – Describe the campaign or non-profit clearly and note what action you want the reader to take.

  2. Make it personal – Write to your personality and fill it with passion. Don’t make fundraising just about fundraising. Make it about being human. Explain why the cause matters to you personally.

  3. Show your gratitude – Show people that you appreciate their support. Update this message with a big thank you at the end of the campaign, or thank donors individually.

  4. Call to action – Tell people the one or two things you want them to do. Make this very clear.

  5. Be concise – Messages that are 175 to 225 words in length work the best.

  6. Use events – Have a birthday coming up? Is the holiday season close by? Instead of asking for gifts, ask for donations to your cause.

Below are two personal appeals written by two of the top fundraisers within Restore NYC's Brick by Brick campaign. Let's examine the appeals to see how they wrote it.

Personal Appeal #1:

Hello friends,

Personal greeting.

Please join me in helping to rescue our sisters and provide them a safe house they can live in, here in our great neighborhood of New York City.

Clearly stated purpose and call to action.

From Sunday August 22nd to Thursday September 30th, Restore will be running a 40-day campaign called “Brick by Brick” to fund the first year of operation for a safe house for international survivors of sex trafficking. The funds raised at our March, 2010 Gala brought us much closer to the level of funding needed to open and operate a safe house; now help us close the gap by becoming a first-time donor so that we can provide a full year of residential services to survivors in the city!

Expanded on the purpose. Articulated the urgency. Made it more personal.

The exciting news: if we are able to raise $50,000 from NEW donors by the end of September, we have an anonymous donor that will match the $50,000 goal!

Added incentive to donate.

So if you have already donated, please set up a fundraising page and encourage others to give creatively. If you haven’t donated, please consider helping us during this important campaign. This safe house has been the focus of Restore’s mission from its inception, and with your help, we can make it a reality!

Close with a clearly stated purpose and call to action.

Gratefully,

Display of gratitude.

Personal Appeal #2:

Friends,

Personal greeting.

This year, when I was deciding how to celebrate my birthday, I thought that it'd be great to fundraise for a great organization doing meaningful work. I picked one called Restore NYC. I also decided that I would be matching the total donations made on my campaign page, up to $2,400, so please consider giving!

Personalization of the cause. Added incentives to donate. Use of an event.

With all the non-profits out there, though, why did I choose to support Restore NYC?

First of all, they're doing very important work in New York City (where I live now) for issues that matter. Restore, which combats sex trafficking in New York City, is now planning on opening the city's first "safe house" for sex-trafficking survivors, and this campaign was set up to fund the safe house for a full year.

Secondly, I wanted to make sure that I was not just asking people to donate to a random organization that I didn't have a real tie to. Restore has a strong link to the church I attend in New York, and several of my friends have worked for or collaborated with Restore. This campaign is my way of joining them in that work.

Finally, the ability to support a smaller organization doing impactful work has always been important to me. There are many large non-profits with big donor pools, but what about the smaller guys who don't have that same access? And as a bonus, each dollar you contribute will be matched by an anonymous donor, so your $10 becomes $20, just like that!

Stated purpose. Articulated the urgency. Made it personal.

So will you join me in supporting Restore NYC to celebrate my birthday in September? Since I will be turning 24 this year, my goal is to raise $5,000 towards the goal of $50,000. Every $30 goes to support one day of operations for a new safe house!

Close with a clearly stated purpose and call to action.

Thank you!

Display of gratitude.

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