Do You Have Fall Appeal Letter Writer’s Block?

It’s that time of year. Time to write a letter to all your supporters asking for their support.
You worry, “Will it be read? Will anyone care? Is it doomed to be recycled?” 
Here are 8 things to do in your letter so your readers will love your organization and respond with a donation:
  1. Use emotional Stories to make it real.
  2. Use evocative Words that are vivid, emotional, and connected to camp.
  3. Use the words You and I to make the letter all about the reader.
  4. Be clear about the Ask - include the ask in multiple places in the letter.
  5. Use a P.S. at the end of the letter that is also an ASK.
  6. Make it Easy. Easy to read with short paragraphs, Easy on old eyes. Make it Easy to respond with a gift by mail – include a return envelope – AND Easy to give online. 
  7. Use Photos with your letter – a picture is worth 1,000 words. 
  8. Do Not write by Committee or you will grow to hate your job.
Need more inspiration? Check out this recorded webinar about writing your appeal letter, including additional resources and sample letters.
Bottom Line: Make your appeal letters emotional and easy to read, and be clear about “the ask.”

Written by Julia Riseman. Julia is a Mentor with JCamp 180. Julia leads Data2Donors, a program to advance Alumni Outreach, improve camp databases, and raise more major gifts, and Fundraising Fundamentals. Julia has also sparked the creation of many JCamp 180 programs and offerings, including this blog.

Who we are: JCamp 180 is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF). Our goal is to significantly enhance the long-term effectiveness of nonprofit Jewish camps in North America. To meet this goal, we provide affiliated Jewish camps with consulting services, annual conferences, shared resources, professional development, and matching grant opportunities. Find more at