Many organisations need food donations on occasion, from social clubs to community non-profits and youth sports leagues. Whether your group is in need of supplies for a food drive or to feed event attendees, one of the most effective ways to solicit donations is via a well-written donation letter. Your donation letter does not need to be long, and it doesn't require a great deal of time to compose. By including key information and personalising each letter, you will have a much greater chance of attracting sponsors for your cause.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Address the letter to a specific person, instead of "Sir or Madam." Research the appropriate person to contact for donations at each company or organisation to which you're sending a food donation letter. If you cannot find this information online, make a quick call and ask who is in charge or approving donations.
State who you are and why you're asking for food donations, so that the company or organisation can decide whether associating with your cause is in its best interest. Be sure to mention what type of organisation you represent. You could write something to the effect of, "The East Lansing Food Pantry Association, a non-profit organisation that has served the city since 1976, is in need of food donations for our 25th annual community carnival, which will be held May 1. This event is not only our largest fundraiser of the year, but a social event in which 300 of the city's disadvantaged youth are given the opportunity to enjoy a free day of fun."
Explain why you're contacting each specific business or organisation -- doing so can help each decide whether or not to donate to your cause. A sample statement: "Capitol Food Services is well known in this area for its quality, attention to detail and the many ways it gives back to the community. This is why I am contacting you to see if you would be able and willing to help with this very important event."
Include precisely what you'd like to receive in your letter, how much food is needed and whether you will also accept cash donations. For instance, you can state, "Various types of carnival foods are needed for this event, such as popcorn, soft drinks, snow cone syrups, hot dog toppings and ice cream. We anticipate serving 800 people at this event. In addition to food, we are also in need of disposable supplies, including plates, napkins and cups. Cash donations, in lieu of food and supplies, would also be very much appreciated."
Inform the letter recipient of your deadline for donations and explain how to contact you. You could say, "We would like all donors to commit to helping out by March 24 by contacting our event co-ordinator, Margie Anderson, at 000-000-000 or email@example.com, and letting her know what it is you'd like to contribute."
Thank each potential donor at end of the letter, by making a statement such as, "Even if you are unable to donate this year, we would still like to invite you, your company and associates to attend the community carnival. I have enclosed an invitation and brochure for you to look through. Thank you for your time and consideration."
Send a follow up letter or e-mail, or place a phone call, to each potential donor that hasn't committed one week before your deadline, reiterating your initial inquiry and asking whether to expect a donation from the potential donor. Be very friendly in tone, and do not try to persuade them with guilt or pushy tactics.
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