3 donation request templates to raise funds, awareness, and sponsors

Written by
Rachel MillsWhite arrow icon

3 donation request templates to raise funds, awareness, and sponsors

When you want something, you need to ask for it. Ask for the promotion, the raise, the nomination, and — if you're a nonprofit organization — ask for the donation.

A donation request is a solicitation letter asking for donations. Virtually any person can send a donation request to friends, family members, places of employment, or local businesses to raise funds for a cause.

If you hope to raise money for your nonprofit, school, or local club, then these one-to-one outreach efforts can help you get there. Below, we explain what a donation request is, when to use it, and how to write one to individuals or corporations. 

What is a donation request and why do you need it?

A donation request is a personal letter sent to people in your network asking for donations. You can write your letter to a colleague, grandparent, employer, or a total stranger. 

You can use a template to create a donation request, but you should always — we repeat, always — personalize it. Address it to an individual, avoiding generic phrases like "To whom it may concern." Open with a personal statement to the individual, showing you did your research or remember them from a previous event.

When relevant, mention a shared interest or history — particularly if it has to do with the cause you're fundraising for. Research shows that people are more likely to give to causes that mean the most to them (rather than charitable organizations that meet the most urgent needs of society). If you write a personal letter explicitly stating how or why your cause matters to the individual, you increase the chances of receiving a donation. 

When should you use a donation request letter?

Signing Jimmy Fallon GIF By The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

You can write a donation request to raise money, build awareness, or collect donated items for a fundraising event or raffle. Some larger corporations get an incredibly high volume of requests for donations. In these instances, they'll post an online form on their website, where you will fill out predetermined fields. 

Other times, you’ll build your donation request from scratch. When you do so, don't beat around the bush.

Explicitly state who you are, why you're reaching out, what you're asking the recipient to contribute, and how they can get in touch with you. 

Here are a few examples of when you should use a donation request: 

  • Raffles 🎫: Reach out to local gym studios asking to offer free class packages for a raffle.
  • Online auctions 🎰: You email a local resort manager asking them to offer a two-night stay in their luxury suite to auction off.
  • Fundraising events 🎭: You ask a major league soccer team if you can host a charitable obstacle course race in their stadium.
  • Charity golf outings🏌: You write several cafes and coffee shops in your hometown, asking if they'll contribute several gift cards to place in goodie bags for the charity golf players.
  • Sponsorship tents 🎪: You host a local 5K run/walk to raise awareness for prostate cancer, and ask the local shoe store to sponsor a tent.
  • Friends and family recruitment 👪: Each year, you donate money to your local elementary school. You write a donation request to your family and friends, hoping they'll support the cause as well. 
  • Ticket donations 💸: You know your brother-in-law is a hockey season ticket holder, and you ask if he'll contribute two tickets to auction off at your annual fundraiser.
  • Annual galas 💃: You throw a gala to raise money for a cause, and ask a local sports team to donate memorabilia for a raffle prize.

How to write a donation request: 3 sample templates to use 

Donation requests help raise awareness and funds toward your cause.

Below, we share three separate templates to help jumpstart your outreach efforts. You can print and mail your letter on your organization's letterhead, email it to the individual, or submit it via a donation request form. 

1. Ask friends or family for an in-kind donation 💕

Dear Judy, 

I hope you're doing well! 

Each week, we sleep safe and warm in our homes, while people in our community are forced to sleep outside. I know 2020 was tough on all of us, but for those who experience homelessness, the pandemic was especially difficult. 

I'm writing to you about the annual Solidarity Sleepout 2021. On April 30, adults, teens, and children will sleep outside to raise funds and awareness for people experiencing homelessness in Monroe County, Indiana. 

Net proceeds for the event will benefit Beacon's overnight shelter, Friend's Place, offering emergency shelter for homeless adults in the region.

Would you be willing to donate $60 to the cause? Your tax-exempt $60 donation sponsors five nights of shelter and care for one adult. To make a donation, simply visit https://givebutter.com/sleepout2021 to donate.

Thanks for your consideration. All my best, 

Jean

2. Ask local businesses to donate raffle prizes 🏆

Dear Sloan, 

Hope you're having a great week!

I'm writing to you about the annual 2020 St. Clare Catholic School Raffle. I know your daughter, Liza, attended St. Clare in '08, and you've donated much of your time and energy toward school events and activities.

The Raffle Ticket Fundraiser is one of St. Clare's three main fundraisers, accounting for 10% of the budget for the calendar year. This year, our goal is to raise $40,000 to support the 3,500 students who attend the school.

Would your pilates studio be willing to donate a free month membership as a raffle prize? We hope to offer 10 local prizes and we’d love for Lotus Pilates to be one. If you'd like to participate, please drop off your donation directly at the school. If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to reach out (you can find my contact information at the bottom of this email).

Thank you for your consideration, and have a great weekend!

Best, 

Jonah

Phone number: 555-1052

3. Write businesses asking for a sponsorship 💰

Dear Kelly, 

I hope your fall is off to a great start! 

I'm writing to you about the Celebrate Schools Monster Mad Dash Run/Walk. All proceeds for the event support the children, families, and teachers of the Edmonds School District, where your son Gabe is classmates with my daughter Shelby.

Between October 2 and 4, runners, walkers, rollers, and strollers can complete their virtual 5K wherever they choose. All registered participants are invited to partake in an interactive Zoom from 7-10 a.m. on Saturday, October 3, where we will invite all sponsors to speak.

Would your running store be willing to sponsor the event? I'm sure you get a high number of requests for sponsorships and donations each year. However, we set a lofty goal of $60,000 to support the school throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. For additional information and to access our FAQ page, please visit https://givebutter.com/celebrateschools5k. 

Thank you so much for your consideration.

Best, 

Hazel

Start sending donation requests with the Givebutter integration

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A donation request letter helps drive awareness, sponsorships, and donations toward your campaign.

You can mail, email, or fill out an online form to get your donation requests in the hands of individuals and companies alike.

If you send your donation requests via email, the Givebutter integration can help. Givebutter integrates with email platforms like ThankView, Gmail, Constant Contact, and Mailchimp to keep your donors, sponsors, and fundraisers all in one place.

Ready to start raising funds for your cause? Get started with your free Givebutter account today.

Written By

Written by
Rachel Mills
Rachel is a fundraising and marketing consultant for nonprofits whose aspiration since she was 16-years-old is simply this: help others, help others.