Fundraising: Every non-profit needs money for one reason or another. What’s your reason?
Do you maintain a facility, such as a shelter for battered women, a school to overcome illiteracy, a soup kitchen to feed the hungry, or an animal shelter? If so you have rent or a payment, and you have utilities and upkeep. If the building is vital to your success, your donors will help.
Do you furnish emergency food, clothing, or other supplies to the group you support?
Do you need books and other instructional materials, either to train your volunteers or to hand out to the people you’re helping?
Are you trying to expand your reach and need money for marketing and media expense?
Do you travel to disaster areas and need money for gasoline and vehicle upkeep? Maybe you need the vehicle – either for travel or for local transport of people or critters.
You know your organization needs money to carry out your charitable mission. You probably even know what expenses you face. But the people who might support your cause can’t see behind the scenes to know your financial challenges.
Simply saying “Support Anju” isn’t enough to motivate them. Along with knowing that you are doing good for a cause they care about, they need to know how you’re going to spend the money they donate.
Before you begin to write, consider your most pressing financial problem. Are you about to lose your facility because the rent is late? Is the roof so in need of repair that your people or animals are in danger of it collapsing on their heads? Are you running out of food for the humans or animals you care for? Are there medical expenses you simply can’t meet without their help?
Whatever it is, let them know. And let them know why their help is vital.
But perhaps you don’t have an immediate, pressing need. You simply need to keep on keeping on.
If that’s the case, and what you really need is general general support, tell them about your monthly expenses. You’ve seen the letters from various charities telling you that $X will feed someone for a week, or $X will buy 10 textbooks, or $X will provide spay or neuter for a dog or a cat. Break down your own expenses so your donors can see why you need their support.
Of course, you’ll also need to show them why your work is worth their support, but that’s the subject of another discussion.
Before you write that letter, decide what you’re asking for a why. Then tell them – and be specific.