TIPS FOR THE BASIC APPEAL LETTER
by Ronald J. Meshanko, President, ERC
ERC Newsbriefs Excerpt, June 28, 1996

ERC review appeal letters for a vast array of nonprofits, from colleges to housing projects, from elderly projects to youth programs. The following tips are based on my experience in assisting clients to write winning solicitation letters.

  1. Always include a P.S.! The postscript should reiterate the ask and tell the reader how to send a gift (i.e., please enclose your tax-deductible gift in the return envelope).

  2. Use the words "you" and "your" over and over again. After writing the first draft, circle these words with a red marker. Your letter should be full of red circles. Be sure to use a second person pronoun in the first paragraph to draw the person into the letter.

  3. Make a direct ask with suggested gift amounts that reads like this: "Will yuu please open your heart today and make a gift of $250, $200, $150, $100, $75, or more? Whatever you give, you will be helping...." Always place the largest suggested gift size first.

  4. Write the letter with your grandparents in mind. Be informal, simple, clear, and concise. Use contractions. Write for a sixth grade reading level.

  5. Always use large script (at least 12 point), double-spacing, and large margins on all four sides of the page.
If you would like ERC to review your appeal letters, please call (202) 328-9517.

Pointers
  • Return to The Best of ERC Newsbriefs
  • Return to Current Awareness Tools (Public Access)
  • Return to Grants and Related Resources Home Page
  • Return to Jon Harrison's Home Page
  • Return to the MSU Libraries' Home Page
  • Back to the Michigan State University Home Page
  • Assistance Requested
  • Thanks for visiting The Grants and Related Resources Home Page. This site is continuously updated and expanded, so check back soon for the latest changes.

  • If you have any comments, notice any glaring inaccuracies, or would like to forward any relevant information concerning this Home Page, please send e-mail to: Jon Harrison
  • This page has been visited times since June 1, 1996.
  • Standard Disclaimers
  • The "links" found in this web page are provided as a courtesy for grants information seekers, but we cannot vouch for or take responsibility for information contained in any beyond those maintained by the Michigan State University Libraries.
  • MSU is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Institution.
  • Ownership Statement
    Jon Harrison : Page Editor
    Funding Center Supervisor
    Social Sciences Collections Coordinator
    Michigan State University Libraries
    100 Library
    E. Lansing, MI 48824-1048
    Voice mail: (517) 432-6123, ext. 123
    Fax: (517) 432-8050
    Last revised : 07/11/96