Strong4Life Superhero Sprint

Fundraising Sample Letters

Email/Letter Writing Campaign

Walkers may want to send an email or mail a letter like one of the samples below to their friends, family and associates to ask them to support the the patients and families here at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.  This is a great way to ask for donations in addition to your face-to-face and phone call requests. 

Critical elements of a fundraising letter are key to making it successful.  Your letter should be your own expression and style.  Make sure it is one page long; anything longer and your prospective donor may skim through it.  Below are essential elements of a fundraising letter:

Introduction
Indicate your purpose for writing the letter.  Make it as personal as possible and be sure to include a brief description of your running program.

Request
Share your fundraising goal.  Do not write as though you are required to raise "X" amount of money, but this is your goal, your commitment.  Do not ask as if you are begging "I hope you give something", ask them to give generously, as much as they can.  Remember, you are giving a lot to train and raise money for a worthy cause.  Do not be ashamed to ask others to understand your commitment and effort and to help your cause.  If you are willing to give as much of yourself to raise funds for something you believe in, they can surely make a tax deductible contribution to a great cause in your honor.
Make sure you include the specific difference their contribution will make to the cause.  Contributors want to have the satisfaction of knowing they are making a difference.  The more contributors feel they are making a difference, the more they are likely to give. 

Request they send their contribution by a specific date so you are able to gauge your goal leve.  Suggest they send their donation within 2-3 weeks of receiving your letter.  Make sure they understand they can still contribute after that date, but you need to have they contribution prior to the event.

Suggested Giving Levels
We recommend giving your donors suggested giving levels.  If you don't put your overall goal into your letter, donors may not know how much you want to raise, and they will need the suggested giving level to gauge what size donation they think is appropriate.  Be creative and come up with a minimum to donate per mile you run or tell them if they donate a certain amount you will write their name on your T-shirt when you run.  Have fun with this!

Be prepared to send a reminder
A lot of people will get your letter and say, "What a neat idea.  Sure I'll help out," and then they set the letter down - only to forget about it.  The best way to send a reminder is to give updates to let prospective donors know how your training is going or how your fundraising is going or if you have a personal story about your child or friends child - let them know how that child is doing.  Let them know that fundraising is going well, but you still have a bit farther to go.  Ask them nicely if they would consider making a donation in honor of your training or your child or friends child.  We have seen reminder letters that have been more successful than original letters for bringing in the donations.

Make sure the contributors understand the proper way to donate.  Include the following:
- Have them go to your personal web page to contribute by credit card online.  This is the quickest and easiest method.
- If sending you a check please have the check made payable to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
- Include where and when to send the contribution.  Have all contributions sent to you personally.
- You may include a sef addressed, stamped envelope for them to send the contribution.
- All contributions are 100% tax deductible.  Any contribution over $250 will receive a letter from Children's Healthcare  of Atlanta for tax purposes.

Closing
Share something personal that expresses your appreciation of them and their support.

Tips for Your Mailing List
They key to a successful letter writing campaign is to start early and send enough letters.  As mentioned earlier, created a list of everyone you know.  Open your checkbook or online banking and identify places where you spend money.  Additionally, ask these individuals and companies to support you:

- Doctors
- Dentists
- Accountant
- Lawyers
- Bankers
- Mortgage Broker
- Cleaner's
- Travel Agent
- Children's friends parents
- Co-workers
- Hair stylist / barber
- Landlord
- Chiropractor
- Real Estate Agent
- Insurance Agent

Send a thank you note
It is really nice to receive a note that says that your donation was important, not to mention that your donors probably want to know how you did.  A good thank-you note will set you up well for the next event you do with us!

Sample Letters - Please note that the letters below are samples and are specific to families who have children with cancer or families that can't pay for services.  Change the information to fit your personal story or needs.  Feel free to learn more about Children's different service lines or what makes Children's special and add it to your story.  

To personalize these letters, highlight the document (click and drag your mouse over the entire letter), and then press Ctrl+C.  Open a new Word document (or other word processor software), go to the Edit menu and choose Paste.

SAMPLE LETTER 1

[Date]

Dear Family and Friends:

All of us know and love a child.  What many of us don't know - thankfully - is what it's like to love a child with cancer.  Whether it's your own child, your niece or your best friend's son, the sudden impact of a cancer diagnosis is frightening. 

I want to help keep parents from ever having to face that awful day and diagnosis. This year, I am involved with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and have registered to participate in the Kids II Strong Legs Run on November 3, 2012 and raise funds to benefit children and their families at Children's. It is my hope to help them find a cure for pediatric cancer.

The Aflac Cancer Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is a mecca of hope for children with cancer. Twenty years ago, a child diagnosed with cancer, such as leukemia, only had a 20% chande of surviving. Today, thanks to research and advancements at places like the Aflac Cancer Center, a child has an 80% chance of being cured of leukemia.

The challenge is to raise that percentage to 100% - and there is not time to waste.

The Aflac Cancer Center is one of the leading pediatric cancer centers in the country with top-rated physicians, researchers and clinical care teams dedicated to helping children like 3 year old Mitchell Odenthal, one of the children I will honor by participating in this event. Mitchell's parents will always remember the day they found out their seemingly healthy son had a tumor the size of a grapefruit growing on one of his kidneys. Suddenly, Mitchell's carefree world blurred into a whirlwind of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Then, after several long months of care at the Aflac Cancer Center, Mitchell was declared cancer-free. His parents could finally breathe a huge sigh of relief.

I am asking that you sponsor me for [dollar amount] or however much you are comfortable giving. Your donation will help other children like Mitchell.  I am willing to run, but I need your support to win the real race - finding a cure for cancer.

Visit my personal web page [link this text] to donate online with a credit card.  Or you can write a check payable to "Children's Healthcare of Atlanta" and return it to me. Your generous contribution is 100% tax deductible.

Thank you for your support. Together, we will find a cure.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

SAMPLE LETTER 2

[Date]

Dear Family and Friends:

I am writing you to ask a special favor that I truly believe will help save lives. 

On Saturday, November 3, 2012, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta will hold its 28th annual Kids II Strong Legs Run at Turner Field. The run/walk is a healthy, fun, family event. It promotes exercise and as part of a healthy lifestyle and raises funds for the Child Care fund at Children's. This fund ensures that no child is turned away for the healthcare they need based solely on their parents inability to pay. 

There are more than 2.5 million children living in Georgia, making ours the eigth largest pediatric population inthe country.  During the next several years, that number is expected to continue to increase. As one of the top pediatric hospitals in the country, Children's strives to care for patients from throughout the state and beyond our borders. In 2011, Children's provided $100 million in unreimbursed care to patients. "Unreimbursed care" at Children's involves patient care for which they do not receive full payment.  These umreimbursed costs include indigent and charity care; unreimbursed Medicaid, PeachCare and Medicare costs, including patients assigned to Medicaide Care Management Organizations.

This breaks down to 44% of these children are enrolled in Medicaid or PeachCare and 13% are uninsured. Most of the people on Medicaid today are people we know - our family, neighbors and friends. Unemployment is reaching its highest level since 1993 and these numbers for uninsured children will get higher. Children who experience short spells of time without health insurance (one to four months) are more likely to experience delays in needed healthcare than those who are insured year round. Children with brief periods of uninsurance are less likely to get needed care but also less likely to have a regular source of care. The consequences are even worse for children experiencing longer periods without insurance. They are less likely to receive preventive care (well-child visits and flu shots) or visit the doctor during the year and are more likely to experience delays in receiving needed medical care and prescriptions than those with continuous coverage.

My personal goal is to raise [dollar amount].  Your support will help. Your donation of $500, $250, $100, $50 will help me reach my goal and most importantly will help the patients and their families at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

I will contact you next week to discuss this request unless I hear from you first. I hope you will strongly consider supporting me in this effort. 

Thank you for your support and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]