Asking For Funding

Need to pay for a recreation program, a new wheelchair, or something else? A strong appeal can go a long way in helping you get those funds, whether it be through the government, a granting organization, or crowdfunding.

Also: Download our funding guide, an extensive collection of funding opportunities: 

 

 

Write around 250-700 words

  • You want to write enough to convey what you are after, why you should get it, and to hook the reader, but you do not want to write so much that the reader starts to lose interest

Tell a story  

  • If you have an emotional or inspirational story to tell, then tell it! Stories inspire and activate emotions. They are what make people care, connect to your cause, and to give to your cause.  

  • Focus on characters For your appeal story, you will need a central character or characters to focus on. How would the funding make a difference and change the life of this individual? Why is that important?

Engage emotions

People give because they care. For them to care, they need to feel. Appealing to feelings is an essential way that humans connect and communicate. Appeal to emotions by doing the following:

  • Build commonality Empathy is a result of recognizing ourselves in other people and feeling for them. Give the reader a commonality with the characters in your story to connect to, as a mother, father, parent, or another role or experience.   

  • Be explicit in describing emotions Emotions are another commonality to appeal to. Write about how people felt, ideally in their own words. Consider the difference between saying, “The residents were angry and scared to discover their water was contaminated,” or “‘I was furious, I just started shaking,’ said Lynn, ‘I felt like I’d been poisoning my children.’”

  • Include visual content. Photos and videos put a human face on what might otherwise just be letters on paper, and in doing so they help to active people's emotions and sense of empathy. If you have set up a crowd funding page, include an image of the person or cause you are funding for; if you are sending an application in, attach the image.

Emphasize Impact

  • Demonstrate impact When you bring up what you are seeking, be sure to make clear the impact it will have if you receive it, connecting the funding to the cause or person, and then to a beneficial outcome. The more you can convince funders that they can make a difference, the more likely you are to receive funding.

  • Every cent counts If you are crowdfunding, let people know that any bit they can contribute helps, and if possible explain how. This encourages people who may otherwise feel like their contribution would be too small to matter, and thereby encourages more donations.

  • Show that you have been trying If you show that you have tried your best to raise funds, you not only demonstrate commendable effort, you also help emphasize to potential donors just how important their support would be.

  • Ask them to spread the word If you have setup a crowdfunding campaign, be sure you also ask people to share your fundraiser, and any links you have to a funding page. This greatly expands your reach and you should note how important sharing is.

Scripts and examples

Below are examples funding appeals you could use. The scripts are templates that can be completed quickly and help you put together your ideas, while another version shows what a letter might look like once detial is added.

These are just to be used as guides;  you may wish to write something longer or with a different style, adjust your message to your own preferences, and so on.

Script #1: Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Appeal

Dear [insert name],

You might have heard that I’m fundraising to [insert reason why you’re fundraising]. This cause is dear to me, as [supply a personal reason that appeals to the reader’s emotions].

I’m encouraged by the support I’ve already received, but I still need help reaching my fundraising goal of [insert dollar amount].

 

Would you be willing to make a contribution to my fundraiser? A gift of any amount would mean the world to me, and help me reach my goal of [insert your fundraising goal].

To donate, simply click the link to my fundraiser below:

 

[Insert link to fundraiser]

It would also mean a lot if you could share my fundraiser link on social media. The more exposure I get, the faster I will reach my goal.

I’d love to talk to you more about my fundraiser, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments.

With love/Sincerely,

[Your name]

Example

Dear Friends,

​You might have heard that I’m fundraising to send my two little guys, Max and Sam, to an adapted summer camp. While summer camp may seem like an experience every child gets to have, it hasn't been that way for my boys.

 

They were  born with cerebral palsy, which means that regular summer camps are inaccessible, while accessible specialized camps for kids with disabilities cost upwards of $1000, which is money I do not have.

​Max and Sam would love to go to camp so much, and I have tried my best for them. I have saved all I can, I have held bake sales and garage sales,  but I still need help reaching my fundraising goal of $1000.

​That's why I'm reaching out to you. Your contribution, no matter how big or small, would mean the world to me and the boys. It would allow them to have a summer full of fun, laughs, and memories, and most importantly, to just be kids.

Would you be willing to make a contribution to my fundraiser? A gift of any amount would mean the world to me, and help me reach my goal of sending my boys to camp.

​If you would like to make a donation, simply click the link below:

[Link to fundraiser]

​It would also mean a lot if you could share my fundraiser link on social media and in your networks. The more exposure I get, the better chance I will have of reaching my goal, and surprising Max and Sam with good news.

I’d love to talk to you more about my fundraiser, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments.

​With love,

Sara Smith

Script #2: Writing to a specific funder

Dear [insert name],

[Begin with a personal story that hooks the reader and engages their emotions].

I have [insert how you’ve been trying to solve this issue]. Yet, it hasn’t been enough.

That’s why I’m reaching out to you. With funding from [organization’s name], I would [explain what the funding would allow you to accomplish].

I am therefore asking you [now ask for specifically what you want, using emotion to add persuasion to the request]. Your support would [reiterate just how significant and helpful this assistance would be].

If you would consider funding [your request] I would be forever grateful.

With love/Sincerely,

[Your name]

Example

Hello,

My name is Sara Smith, and I am the mother of two wonderful little boys, Max and Sam.

My boys would love to attend summer camp. Talking about outdoor adventures and roasting marshmallows over campfires makes their eyes light up and their smiles flare like nothing else.

Though summer camp is a normal childhood experience for many kids, Max and Sam’s case is different. They were born with cerebral palsy, which means that regular summer camps are inaccessible, while accessible specialized camps for kids with disabilities cost upwards of $1000—money I do not have.

​I work full-time and have saved what I can. I have held bake sales and garage sales. I have tried it all, but it has not been enough, and it has broken my heart to have to tell them each summer that there will be no camp this year. They have not gotten a lot in their lives, and I would love nothing more than to make their dreams come true and provide them with the camp experience they deserve.

That is why I am reaching out to you. With funding from Fun Funders, I could send both to camp this summer. Not only would this be a dream come true for them, it would provide a lifetime of memories and show them that good things come to those who persist.

I am therefore asking you, from the bottom of my heart, as a mother who has tried her best, if Fun Funders would consider funding a trip to camp this year for my two little guys. Your support would finally bring the day when Max and Sam hear that they are going to camp, and it would be truly life changing for them.

These are just two sweet little kids who have never caught a break; if you would consider helping fund the $1000 fee to give them the summer of a lifetime, I would be forever grateful.

​Sincerely,

Sara Smith

 

Download Scripts and Examples (PDF)

Download BC Disability Funding Guide (PDF)

BC Disability Funding Main Page

 
 
 
 

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Editor, Spencer van Vloten: spencer@bcdisability.com

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