How to write donation letter...


Hello World!

I've been a little quiet lately because I've been working on a lot of 'behind the scenes' things...  Below is my letter that I just sent out today, asking for businesses to commit to $1,000.00/year for the next 5 years.  Ten (businesses) in '10, is my line.  Have gotten three to commit already!  This is what I can share with you to write a successful letter:






So did I do a good job?  Does this letter get you 'pumped up'  and excited about what I'm doing?

Cheers and it was a beautiful day for a run.  Go on, get out there!


Dear Fellow Alexandrian,

I have begun something exciting that I would like to share with you.  I have committed to running a marathon on every continent, in each of the 50 states, and the 5 marathon majors -- one marathon a month -- in order to bring awareness to and raise money for Alexandria charities.  Every dollar I raise goes to charity.  I pay all my own expences.  Since May '09, I have raised $22,000.00 and have now donated it ALL to Child and Family Network Centers (CFNC),  This Alexandria-based charity is an invaluable resource providing high-quality, free preschool to at-risk children and related services for their families: literacy,  ESL (English as a Second Language) classes, job training and health programs.  I am writing to you and other  Alexandria-based businesses asking for support.

But first a little more background.  I am a native Virginian and long-time Alexandria resident.  In May, I partnered with Alexandria Community Trust, a 501(c)(3) organization, and launched RunningBrooke, a fund that benefits Alexandria charities.  I am a 41 year old stay-at-home mother of three girls -- ages 17, 15 and 12.  I took up running at the age of 30 to get out of the house and simply to spend time alone.  Running a marathon was on my 'life list' of things to do and, after 9/11 and seeing the smoke raising from the Pentagon, I figured that I'd better hurry up!  Once I had run one marathon, I had to run another, faster.  Then it was qualifying for Boston and then, when that was no longer a 'big deal,' I searched for a new reason to run  -- a way to give my running more meaning --  and that is how I came up with the RunningBrooke idea.  It's incredibly satisfying to me to be doing something I truly love while touching so many lives.

This is where I've been: In 2009, I've been to Boston, Easter Island, Chile -- where I was the first female finisher -- Scranton, PA's Steamtown marathon -- Personal Record of 3:09 --, completed the JFK50 miler, yes, that's a 50 - mile race, and run the St. Jude's Memphis marathon.  I jump started 2010 with the "Goofy Challenge" at Disney World -- 1/2 marathon on Saturday, a full marathon on Sunday.  (Before the inception of RunningBrooke, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon twice, Richmond, VA, Boston four times, Chicago and New York.  In September of 2008, I ran Berlin.)

This is where I'm going:  In 2010, I'll be in Sedona, AZ (Feb.), Las Vegas, NV (Red Rock) (Mar.), London (5th and final major) (Apr.)  In May, I plan to run in Eugene, OR; in June, Duluth, MN; in July, the inaugural Outback marathon around Ayers Rock in Australia.  In August, I plan to run in Omaha, NE; in September, Akron, OH; in October, Denver, CO; in November, Raleigh, NC; and in December, Kiawah Island, SC.

You see, I've learned something through all of this running.  Life is not all about you, your pace and how fast you run; it is about what we can do to make a difference.  I ask that you join me in lacing up your shoes.  I ask that you match my commitment to Alexandria with your own commitment to Alexandria and sponsor me, the RunningBrooke fund, with a pledge of $1,000.00 a year over the next five years.  Join Bonitt BuildersPacers Events, a Division of Pacers Stores, andMcLaughlin Ryder Investments,  who have already committed to Alexandria's future.  Won't you?

My goal for 2010 is that together, we raise $50,000.00, and make a difference worth talking about.  I'm asking for 10 Alexandria businesses in 2010 to step forward and take lead.  For CNFC, $50,000.00 pays the salary a full-time Social Worker for a year, touching the lives of 35 to 50 families.  So much more is left to do as 145 to 150 children are currently on the waiting list, some of whom will never make it into the classroom.  These are children -- and their families -- who won't make that successful transition into kindergarten and into their future without our help.

There is a Chinese proverb, 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.'  This is exactly what CFNC is doing;  giving children the tools to learn and to succeed in school, and giving their parents the tools to earn -- job training, ESL classes and financial education -- in life.  Eager learner plus secure adult equals a bright future for all.

Reply to this email and say "YES, Brooke, I'm committed to Alexandria too!"  Plan on coming to my Alexandria home on Tuesday, January 26th at 7 P.M. for the "10 in '10 kick-off party."  You'll see links to recent RunningBrooke newspaper articles and to my website and blog below.  If you'd like, I'd be happy to recognize your company in either location, or both.

Thank you for your time and your consideration.  Cheers and it is a beautiful day for a run!

Brooke Curran

2413 King Street
Alexandria, VA  22301


Patricia E. Ortman, Ph.D. said...

Dear Brooke,

If you ever want to expand your help, consider running a pledged race for the (all volunteer) Girls Gotta Run Foundation ( We raise funds to support impoverished Ethiopian girls training to be professional runners. This allows them to stay in school, avoid early marriage and childbearing, and have an opportunity to better their lives. Here's a video about one of our teams: Good luck! And happy running.

Pat Ortman, Executive Director, GGRF, Inc.

runningbrooke said...

Hi Pat-

Thanks for your comment. I'm aware of the great work that your organization is doing and will keep it in mind.

Cheers! Brooke

Building Careers said...

Very nice article and example.
Actually use of Donation Letter is:

Donation letters are one way of reaching out to people to help you with your cause or mission. To write an effective donation letter it is important to reach out and make an impact on the readers, so that they are moved to help you with your cause.

At the outset, establish your credibility. It is good to write these letters on a formal letter-head. In the first paragraph, introduce yourself and your organization. The body of the letter must elaborate on the cause for which you are seeking donation. It is best to quote how donations in the past have helped in specific cases. By giving examples of real-life cases you can add authenticity to your cause as well appeal to the reader’s sensibilities. Briefly explain how you are going to make use of the donation.

donation letters

runningbrooke said...

Thanks for your comments. This letter took me quite a while to write; I wanted it to be 'just so.' I hope that I accomplished that.
I do have a print version on my letter-head because, you are right, letter-head lends authenticity. I've gotten 9 businesses so far and am still working on it.

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