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How to decline a fundraiser request

Updated April 17, 2017

Everyone wants to be able to help out his local academic programs, volunteer organisations and other noble community causes. Sometimes we are simply unable to commit to another monetary donation, despite our honest wishes to support others' ambitions. Fundraiser requests commonly come by mail. Returning a simple and elegant written decline will be the most diplomatic way to let the sender know you are unable to contribute to the cause.

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  1. Start the letter by addressing the person or organisation who wrote to you. For example, "Dear Wanda," or "To the Charitable Organization". Write a first paragraph that acknowledges you received the fundraiser request and that you are aware of the goals of the person or group. Thank the sender for including you in the fundraiser in order to set a supportive tone in the letter. For example, "I am writing in regards to your request to raise funds for your local chapter. I have heard many wonderful things about the work your group does for this community. Thank you for thinking of me as a possible donor for your upcoming fundraiser."

  2. Write a second paragraph that states that you will not be able to contribute to the fundraiser. Keep the decline simple and straightforward. For example, "Although I appreciate all of your work and your interest in including me, I will not be able to make a donation to the organisation this year."

  3. Close the letter by stating that you would like to remain in contact for future fundraisers and possible future donations. This closing will let the organisation know that you appreciate their efforts. For example, "Continue your wonderful work and keep me posted on any future events to which I may be able to contribute."

  4. Sign the letter with a closer such as "Sincerely Yours," or "Best Wishes," followed by your signed name on the following line.

  5. Tip

    Keep each of these paragraphs at about two or three sentences each to retain a simple, straightforward decline.

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About the Author

Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.

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