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Tips for Writing an End-of-Year Donation Request

The end of the year is a big final push for charitable giving.

If you’d like to keep your Help Hope Live campaign top-of-mind for your community as they wrap up the year and make their final charity donations, find our seven top tips for end-of-year donation requests below.

Scroll to the end for a sample letter!

You can send out your completed letter in emails, via text messages, in social media posts or direct messages, or even as a printed letter to drop off personally.

Keep in mind personalization goes a long way (see Tip 7). 

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Tip 1: Keep it short.

Write your letter, then cut it down as much as you can without losing the core information and emotion. A short letter is easier to read and understand.

You can always include more detail and a longer version on your Campaign Page in an Update!  

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Tip 2: Keep it easy to read.

Read your letter out loud or ask a friend to read it over when you’re finished to make sure it’s easy to understand. When in doubt, aim for a middle school reading level.

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Tip 3: Write to a friend—not a stranger.

You may be sending emails or posts to a lot of people at once, but it’s best to address your letter as if you are sending it to a close friend.

You don’t need to write for the public: donor letters like this one are meant to feel personal.

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Tip 4: Highlight how donations have helped already.

It always feels so good when you see the positive result of a generous act. Your donors and supporters want to feel that way, so take the time to recognize the big or small things they’ve made possible.

Be sure to particularly highlight anything you were able to cover thanks to donations made in your honor over the past year.

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Tip 5: Include clear instructions on how to donate.

Even though the letter is partially to provide updates and say thanks, it’s also an important reminder to donors that their support is still needed right now.

Turn that urgency into action: give them easy and crystal-clear instructions on how to donate.  

You can include the full Campaign Page link if you’re sharing digitally.

If you plan to print your letter, see our sample letter below for an example of how to guide them to your Campaign Page through our website without including the full link.  

A banner reads Say Thanks with a light blue clock checkmark pattern background.

Tip 6: Say thank you.

It is always the right time to say thanks—even when you’re right in the middle of asking for more support. 

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Tip 7: Add a personalized element.

It means a lot to receive something that has been personalized just for you. If you can, add a personalized element to your message.

Including a P.S. addressed to each donor is a great way to do this.  

It may take more time, but personalization significantly increases the chances of a donor taking the next step to reply or donate.

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Sample End-of-Year Donation Letter

A year-end sample fundraising letter broken down into tips that include Short & Easy to Read, Write to a Friend, Say Thanks, Show the Impact, Clear Instructions, and Personalized. You can view the contents of this letter in plain text at the following URL:

Sample Letter - Text Only

Hi, Janet, 

We wanted to take a minute to update you on how things have been going with Edward, how much you’ve helped us, and where we could still use your support.  

Wow. This year has been a whirlwind of emotions for us as Ed has continued to figure out how to move from surviving to thriving with his new kidney.  

We’ve had a few rough patches. We won’t soon forget the Thanksgiving Day hospitalization when his blood pressure dropped—an accidental holiday memory for all of us. 

We’ve had some really bright spots, too, like when Ed dropped off Julie and Tavi at school on Ed’s birthday and the student orchestra played his favorite song right on the front steps. Now THAT was a birthday surprise for the books.  

Through it all, the whole town of Charmont has been covering us in constant love and support.  

We want to really, really thank you for the love and donations over this past year.  

Thanks to you, we were able to cover the unexpected $982 ambulance ride on Thanksgiving and still spend the afternoon together with Ed and the kids. You helped us cover over $1,900 in medication costs that are giving Ed his life back by protecting his new kidney. 

And this summer Ed got to return to the pool thanks to his physical therapy sessions with Dr. Luco. We could never have covered those sessions—and so much more—without your help.  

The gift of life is something Ed will treasure for the rest of his years, but it is also something we need to financially support day after day to keep him with us.  

If it’s a good time for you to donate to Help Hope Live in Ed’s honor, you can do so at by searching for Edward Testaf in the Find a Campaign box.  

This gift of new life would not have been possible without you. Thank you from all four of us (and Fluffy).  

P.S. Janet, we LOVED the photos of Aliq in the holiday pageant. Well done, Aliq!

Written by Emily Progin