11 donor-centric sentences you can use…


Here’s a question I get asked at least once a week:

“I see why it makes sense to write ‘to the donor about their gift’ instead of writing about my organization…

But how do I do that?”

My encouragement is that you can learn the same way I learned: you can take good copy from another organization and customize it for your non-profit.

So here are some sample sentences you can steal like an artist and customize for your organization. All of these sentences are from appeals that performed at or above expectations.

All are from appeal letters. Some of them are opening lines. Some are from the middle, some from near the end.

  • I’m writing you today with an important request. You are one of our most faithful donors, and I’m going to be very direct.
  • I’m so thankful to be able to write you about this.
  • You can really make a difference in the lives of suffering people.
  • When you give, it’s as if you’re right there beside us, caring for people in the field.
  • You’ll love how your gift is multiplied by volunteers and donated goods.
  • I couldn’t wait to write you this letter.
  • Look at how much good you can do; you can…
  • Here’s why your gift is so important.
  • [NAME], you’ve already been so generous, but I want you to know about the incredible need right now – and the opportunity for you to help.
  • I know you care for each [CATEGORY OF PERSON/CREATURE YOU WORK WITH].
  • Thank you for taking a moment out of your day to respond to this letter now.

There you go. Modify these for your organization – or just copy them!

Your donors will feel like you’re talking to them about the things they care about. And that’s the surest path to fundraising success.


Steven Screen is Co-Founder of The Better Fundraising Company and lead author of its blog. With over 25 years' fundraising experience, he gets energized by helping organizations understand how they can raise more money. He’s a second-generation fundraiser, a past winner of the Direct Mail Package of the Year, and data-driven.

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