How to Write a Proposal for a Fundraiser

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Use descriptive language to make your case.
Use descriptive language to make your case. (Image: ColorBlind Images/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Fundraisers can generate financial resources for projects, programs and events to benefit an organization through charitable means. Your written proposal should outline pertinent details about the need that will be funded, the clientele served and the legitimacy of your organization.

Compelling Introduction

Address the letter to a specific individual. Introduce yourself and note the recipient’s connection to your cause. For example, “My name is Sally Smith and I’m writing to you as the head of the Basic Elementary School’s Science and Technology advisory committee. I’m reaching out to you because as a past supporter of our school, you recognize the importance of providing our students with the tools and resources they need to be successful.”

Statement of Need

Describe the reason for the fundraiser, detailing the need and describing how contributions will be used. For example, “Our school budget allocation for new science and technology textbooks was cut by 10 percent this year. Failure to purchase new texts puts students in our at-risk school at a distinct disadvantage as they attempt to stay current on emerging technology and scientific trends. Our fundraising campaign has a goal of raising $10,000 to cover this shortfall and allow us to make this vital investment.”

Clients Served

Provide an overview of the demographic served by your fundraising initiative. Those being solicited should understand the positive impact their donation will have. “Our school serves at-risk elementary school students. Our advisory board believes that providing students with the most up-to-date educational materials will help improve test scores and encourage more kids to pursue tech-related educations.” Use attachments such as test scores or academic studies that support your position.

Make the Ask

Ask for the donation. You may opt to specify a dollar amount, make recommendations about gift amounts or leave the contribution up to the donor. How much you ask for will be dependent on how many fundraising proposals you’re sending out. If you’re contacting one major corporate foundation, you may ask for the full amount; if you’re soliciting individual donors, you may ask for incremental contributions and connect them to patron levels. For example, contributors of $500 or more might be considered a gold-level sponsor, $250-$500 silver and $150-$250 bronze.

Say Thanks

Thank potential donors in advance for their consideration and give them a date for making their contribution. Provide contact information in the event anyone wants to contact you directly. “Thank you for supporting our mission to give every child in our community access to a competitive education. If you would like to contribute to this cause, donations are requested by March 1. If you have any questions please contact me directly at 555-1212.”

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