John's appeal letter generated some surprisingly large donations

This is Personal

"I am so grateful that you sent us a letter about your crusade to help find a cure for Oligo. Like most people, I desperately wanted to help but didn’t know what to do."

- Donor to the Oligo Research  

A personal appeal is probably the easiest and most direct way to start your fundraising efforts.  You are sharing your story and asking for help, one-to-one.  Once family, friends, and neighbors know that you are committed to raising money to finding a treatment for this terrible disease, many of them are going to want to help.  Making a donation is the most direct way.

Letters are a lot betterthan emails for this kind of communication.  It reflects the importance of the issue and your effort to communicate directly with them.  Pictures are also a very important way to engage emotionally with your readers.  Your appeal should make the case that there is the opportunity for significant medical breakthroughs in treating Oligos—and that progress is already being made with more than $1 million raised and the first research grants were awarded in June 2013.  

For some very close friends, finding a time to talk to them in person about your effort can be a good idea, but leave them with your written appeal so that they can review it later.  It is also important to follow up with a phone call after a few weeks to make sure people have received and read it—and to answer any questions they may have.

Do these appeals work?  Like crazy!  Results vary, of course, but $10,000 to $100,000 is the range we have seen from the charter members of OligoNation.

To see examples of personal appeals and some suggestions for writing your own, download the kit below:

Download Personal Appeal guide