Appeal letters are formal letters written to seek help of some sort from the reader. It is better to address the letter to a particular person rather than having a general Sir or Madam. The language of an appeal letter should be formal and transparent. They should not be very lengthy to leave the reader confused and disoriented. Do not be emotional in appealing for something. Logic works better in formal letters. Let them feel that the letter of appeal has been written seriously. Be polite but do not plead. Create a feeling of need, but do not give an impression of emergency. Be hopeful and positive. A well-written letter can fetch you good results. Do not forget to mention your registered number if any. Writing such a letter for a good cause is never unethical. Be courteous in your tone and create a difference.
An appeal letter can be a petition letter which is drafted for communicating the mission.
Here are some tips to draft an attractive and effective appeal letter.
- Current members, donors, one-time visitors, students, prospects these are the readers of your letter. All of these belong to different sections and hence should be approached differently. Instead of choosing only one format, write different appeal letters for each.
- Do not use letterheads that have a long list of board members typed on it. If you have some big names, which you think have the potential of attracting gifts and donations, do mention their names.
- People are emotionally vulnerable. Use this natural instinct in drawing their attention. Add the effects of personalization in the story. It is always interesting to read about the story of one person than a story of an entire institution.
- Avoid giving too much of information. It can distract the attention of the reader form the real mission. Ensure that while adding other details in the letter, you don't forget to ask for help.
- Repetition makes a great impact on the mind. Choose a theme and repeat it several times. It might make the letter a bit monotonous but then no one is going to read the whole letter word to word. The important information that you want to communicate to the reader should come at least twice.
- Create a sense of urgency but do not give a feeling of crisis. Make the donor feel that he is needed but never give him a feeling that he has to save a sinking ship.
- With your existing members, do not feel shy to ask for more. You will never get more if you do not ask for.
- Do not make your appeal letter sound like 'begging'. The donor should not be bothered by any guilt with the uncomfortable tone of your letter. Give them a feel that they are fortunate enough to donate. Do not 'urge' for donations. Suggest them to donate.
- Any reader will be filtering things while reading this letter. Underline the important points you want them to read. Ensure the readers that your organization will use the donation sincerely and for good cause.
- Supplement your letter by a graphic or a shade of color. Make different images that will match with the content of the letter. Be creative and try using different sizes for fonts. Make sure whatever you do is appealing and connecting to the letter.
The above mention tips will surely help you in drafting an appeal letter which will build a solid base of donors for your organization.
See more types of appeal letters: