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Seven Different Fundraiser Letters

by Ugur Akinci

Fundraising letters come in many varieties. Before asking your copywriter to draft a fundraiser letter for your organization, perhaps you might want to consider the possibilities (credits go to Mal Warwick, an acknowledged master of fundraiser letters):

  1. An ACQUISITION letter is sent to new a new list of prospects who have never contributed any donations to your organization.

  2. A WELCOME letter goes to those who have just joined your organization or sent in their first donations. A warm little welcome message goes a long way in terms of donor or membership loyalty and interest.

  3. A SPECIAL APPEAL letter urges your donors to contribute an additional amount for a special and worthwhile cause, perhaps one with a deadline on it.

  4. A YEAR-END APPEAL letter is a common one sent out by thousands of organizations every year and people contribute simply because it's a special gift-giving time of the year when we feel especially generous and altruistic.

  5. The HIGH-DOLLAR letter aims at the rich and powerful donors and invites them to send in generously for a special cause worthy of their fame and fortune, and which provides them with a sizable tax-deductible excuse to earn some PR points while doing good.

  6. The UPGRADE APPEAL letter asks the existing donors and/or members to ratchet up their support and move on to an even more exclusive circle of benefactors.

  7. The RENEWAL letter is the one we are all very familiar with, especially those of us who subscribe to magazines. Membership renewal letters are also sent out by countless organizations all across the USA to renew commitment and raise new dollars.

All these letters have a different format and need to be written with a technique, style and voice appropriate for the audience and fit the specific purpose.

Before deciding to hire a copywriter, consult with a professional writer to make sure that your valuable resources will generate the expected maximum return. And that starts with first deciding on exactly which type of fundraising campaign to launch.

(To read more about these different types of letters, I higly recommend Mal Warwick's authoritative book "Write Successful Fundraising Letters," Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2001.)


About the Author:

by Ugur Akinci, Ph.D.
Creative Copywriter and Technical Communicator

Ugur Akinci, Ph.D. is a Creative Copywriter, Editor, an experienced and award-winning Technical Communicator specializing in fundraising packages, direct sales copy, web content, press releases and hi-tech documentation.

He has worked as a Technical Writer for Fortune 100 companies for the last 7 years. You can reach him at for a FREE consultation on all your copywriting needs. Please visit his official web site for customer testimonials and more information on his multidisciplinary background and career.

The last book he has edited:

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