7-step easy template for a successful fundraising letter

Here are your simple instructions for a direct-mail fundraising letter that will raise buckets of money for your nonprofit organization:


  1. Make a list of everything that’s cool and praise-worthy about your organization.
  2. Throw that list in the trash.
  3. Write down everything that’s cool and praise-worthy about your donors.
  4. Figure out exactly what you want your donors to do.
  5. Figure out why they would want to do it (given the ways in which they’re cool) and write it down. (This piece of writing, by the way, is probably the P.S. of your letter.)
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 a whole bunch of times.
  7. Keep the best ones, string them together.

Congratulations! You have a darn good fundraising letter!

This post was first published on October 27, 2009.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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