An in-kind donation request letter is one that asks for tangible support — goods, services, or expertise — rather than money. To delight donors, their attention needs to be caught and held with a catchy and authentic letter that clearly advises the needs of the non-profit organization or charity, and how donations can help. A follow-up thank-you letter should always be sent promptly to demonstrate how a donation improved the situation.
In the era of impersonal emails and computer-generated messages, the power of a legible and well-presented handwritten note is undeniable, especially when it comes to engaging potential donors through nonprofit direct mail efforts.
Follow our guidelines on how to write an in-kind donation letter that will build positive relationships and inspire more support.
An in-kind donation request letter is one seeking contributions other than hard money, usually for a charitable or non-profit organization. This is not a begging letter, as the practical assistance that’s being requested is something that the donor can provide at relatively little financial cost.
It would be appropriate to send an in-kind donation letter after assessing the non-profit’s exact needs. The same letter would need to be drafted setting out the organization’s requirements clearly but concisely. Good examples of in-kind donations include furniture for the children in an after-care facility, books for a local high school’s library, or mobility aids for an old-age facility’s residents.
It’s also vital that an in-kind donation request letter reaches the right person. Approaching friends or your personal network will be easy because a connection already exists, but doing the same with businesses or organizations may be slightly complicated.
Being familiar with a small local store might mean recognizing the manager by sight, so it shouldn’t be difficult to get their details. However, when asking for assistance of a more ambitious scale from a corporation, you need to look up the company online or call them, find out who handles donation requests, and gather contact information. Determining their philanthropic history can also be helpful.
Once you have all the details you need, you can start writing that in-kind donation letter.
An in-kind donation letter should be drafted with a particular donor in mind and addressed to an actual person to attain a positive outcome. A generic “Dear Donor” letter will be far less likely to gain traction with any potential funder.
Each letter should be customized — if not handwritten, which is the best option — then personally signed. A well-thought-out and authentic letter leaves a positive impression on the receiver and will help you stand out among the hundreds of requests that the donor might be getting regularly.
Listed below are the steps to writing an effective and delightful in-kind donation request letter.
Ensure that the donor knows the name of your organization and that the name and contact details of the person responsible are easy to find. This is especially important if you have a new client; sending a welcome letter is key.
If animal care is of concern to the donor and feed for donkeys at a local farm is needed, emphasize that the animals could fall ill within the next month if sufficient straw is not sourced.
Attaching a photo of teenagers playing sport with ragged uniforms could entice a clothing manufacturer to supply enough shirts to clothe two or three teams.
Offering to advertise their generosity on Facebook or other public platforms will make the donor feel that the contribution is valued. The free and positive publicity will be appreciated.
Even if a request for in-kind donations is refused, being polite and thanking the donor for a potential donation in an in-kind request will sit well and be remembered for its tone and attitude.
If you’re unsure about the best way to write an in-kind donation letter for donors, these three in-kind donation letter samples will help make it easier, but we’ve also written ten generic donation thank-you letters if you’re interested in a different style. Seeking a donation from an individual will require a different approach to that of a civic group or major corporation. Here are three different types of donation letter requests you can follow.
Ms. A Morgan
15 Smithfield Street
You may be aware that our animal welfare organization Pets R Us is facing closure at the end of June if sufficient food cannot be sourced.
On behalf of the board, we humbly request an in-kind donation from you of 3x 2lb bags of rabbit pellets to tide us over in the interim. This will allow us to direct our limited funds towards maintaining the goats’ enclosures.
Your generosity is sincerely appreciated, and we hope to depend on you once again.
With grateful thanks in anticipation,
Pets R Us
17A Main Street
Mr. V Travers
Help Our Kids
Dear Mr. Travers,
I represent Babes in the Woods, a non-profit organization that takes the welfare of our needy infants very seriously.
You may have read recent press reports that infant abandonment is on the rise, and organizations such as ours are under severe pressure to give these little ones a better life.
We understand that you represent the civic action group Help Our Kids in Smyrna, Atlanta. With your experience and expertise, we know you will understand and empathize with the challenges we face.
We, therefore, request from your organization a donation of thirty sets of bed linen suitable for babies’ cots. This will allow us to rotate the existing linen which is beginning to show signs of wear and tear.
We will gladly post photos of your product on our Facebook page babesinthewoodstogether with a note of your support.
Thank you in anticipation of your generosity.
Vera Marshall (Mrs.)
Babes in the Woods
1234 Oregon Way
Mr. B Scott
Forsyth, Cobb County
You may remember that we met at the Forsyth High School Fundraiser in September last year. At that time, we were asking for in-kind donations of equipment for the science laboratory. Your generous contribution of ten laptop computers was greatly appreciated. The laptops are in continuous use in three of our labs, and we would find it immensely difficult to teach without them.
Once again, we are requesting your assistance.
Our middle-grade classrooms are in dire need of fifteen laptops, which we would share amongst the thirty pupils in two classes. As you know, technology is overtaking us, and teaching without access to the internet is beginning to lose us pupils.
We would be most grateful for your additional generosity, for which we thank you in advance.
Greta Bloomberg (Ms.)
Forsyth High School
How is writing a professional thank you letter beneficial?
Writing a thank you note for any in-kind donations received is not only ethical; it also builds a bridge between you and the donor for potential partnerships in the future. A handwritten in-kind donation thank you letter would be ideal, but the recipient will remember any such gesture and be open to future in-kind donations to your organization the next time you ask for assistance. Thank you letters can be especially important in the case of a patient referral, as well.
People are busy. If they are inundated with requests for in-kind donations, many of these will simply be ignored if they are poorly drafted or mass produced.
Given that a well-worded handwritten letter is so rare these days, the writer will most definitely be appreciated and remembered dearly for taking the time and effort to do so, especially when there is a great closing for your card included.
Handwrytten specializes in crafting personalized messages and thank you notes using modern technology. Our unique robots write in pen and can also add your actual signature. If you want to communicate with your donors in a more personal way but don’t have the time to write letters by hand, we have the solution. Get in touch with us to create personalized messages that will delight donors; you can even get a free writing sample to help you make your decision.
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