Sample Fundraising Letters

Here are some samples of real fundraising letters, each written in a different style. You can use one as a starting point, but the best letters will reflect your own individual personality. Just be yourself, be sincere, and people will respond. Write from the heart and tell your story.

Sample Fundraising Letter 1:

Dear Matthew,

In June I will join thousands of other people on a 18-mile walk as part of the Out of the Darkness Overnight, an event that raises money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The goal of this journey, which will begin at dusk and finish at dawn, is to raise funds for suicide prevention, erase the stigma surrounding suicide and its causes, to encourage those suffering from mental illness to seek treatment, and to show support for the families and friends of the 30,000 Americans who die by suicide and the 20 million people that suffer from depression each year.

I am writing to you today to ask for your support of this effort.

I know from my own experience of losing my sister Mia to suicide that serious depression and other mental illnesses can be fatal. Mia struggled with depression and alcohol, and tried very hard to overcome her illnesses and move forward with her life. She cared for many people and was loved by even more. We have been forever changed by her loss and will continue to miss her deeply every day of our lives. By participating in this event, I hope to raise awareness of the serious threat that mental illness can pose and the treatment options that can help people overcome it. If one person can be saved from the illness that killed Mia, my efforts to walk 20 miles and to raise money for this cause will be worthwhile.

Please take a moment to read the enclosed fact sheet about suicide and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Think about how much you can give to this cause and complete the enclosed donation form today. You can also donate online at My goal is to raise $5,000 or more. I hope that you will help me reach my goal by making a donation today.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and for being a part of my life, both when Mia was alive and in the three years since she died. It is through the love and support of family and friends that I have survived.



Sample Fundraising Letter 2:

Dear Jim,

This June I'll be participating in a very special and powerful event throughout the night to prevent suicide. It's the Out of the Darkness Overnight and I'd like to tell you about it.

I'll walk 18 miles throughout the night with thousands of other people. The net proceeds will support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's programs and mission.

I've agreed to raise a minimum of $1,000 in donations. My personal goal is to raise $3,000. But I need your help. Would you please consider making a fully tax-deductible donation of $100 to help me meet my goal? Just follow the link below to visit my personal fundraising webpage, where you can donate online.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death among college students. Every year, more than 38,000 people in the United States will die from suicide. That's why I'm doing this. To do something bold about an issue that so few people talk about. I hope that you'll share this incredible journey with me - by supporting me in my fundraising efforts.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

All my best,

P.S. Your employer may augment your donation through a matching gift program - please check your company's policy.


Sample Fundraising Letter 3:

Dear Julie,

I'm participating in a unique event that's very important to me. It's called Out of the Darkness Overnight and it's a 20-mile walk through the night, from dusk until dawn. The goal of this remarkable journey is to raise funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Twenty million Americans suffer from depression - that's about 10 percent of the population. Thankfully, depression is among the most treatable of psychiatric illnesses. Some estimates suggest that between 80 percent and 90 percent of people with depression respond positively to treatment, and almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms. But first, depression has to be recognized. Unfortunately, depression left untreated often leads to suicide. I'm participating in this event to try to change that fact.

I am writing to you today to ask for your support. I've experienced some of the dark days of depression personally, but through help I have come out the other side. That is why walking in the Overnight is so close to my heart. My goal is to raise at least $2,000 for this cause. You can help by making a donation. You can give online at (select "Support a Participant" and search for my name) or fill out the enclosed donation form and mail it in to the bank address on the form.

Thank you for your consideration and support. I'll keep you updated on my progress as I continue my fundraising efforts and take part in this inspiring event.



Sample Fundraising Letter 4:

Dear Jennifer,

In June I will join thousands of walkers in Out of the Darkness Overnight to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

I am a member of "Jack's Team" and will be walking with my classmates in memory of my dear friend Sandra's brother, who died by suicide two years ago. Our team goal is to raise $10,000, and my personal fundraising goal is $2,000. I would appreciate any support that you give me for this worthwhile cause.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is at the forefront of many research, education, prevention and survivor initiatives. With more than 38,000 lives lost each year in the U.S. and over one million worldwide, the importance of AFSP's mission has never been greater, nor their work more urgent.

I hope you will consider supporting my participation in this event. Any contribution will help the work of AFSP. Checks should be made payable to AFSP and are 100% tax-deductible. Donations can also be made online at (select "Support a Participant" and search for my name).

Thank you for considering this request for your support. If you have any questions about the Out of the Darkness Overnight or AFSP do not hesitate to contact me.


Sample Fundraising Letter 5:

Dear Patty,

I am preparing for something very important in my life, and I am asking for your moral, financial, and emotional support.

My uncle, Jeff, took his own life fifteen years ago. It's not something that I have talked about often, but it is something that I have carried around in my heart for a long time.

I want to commemorate Jeff's life by participating in Out of the Darkness Overnight, an event that raises money for suicide prevention research, education, survivor and awareness programs. I will be among thousands of people walking 18 miles from sunset to sunrise to send a message of hope to the world.

No one talked to me about my uncle's suicide. That's why I'm walking in Out of the Darkness Overnight, to raise awareness and let people know it is ok to talk about suicide and mental illness. I want to do my part to prevent this tragedy from happening in other families.

Your contribution, along with contributions from thousands of others, will have a serious impact on this cause. To help make a difference, you can click the link below to visit my personal fundraising webpage and donate online. I encourage you to share this letter with other people who may want to lend their support as well.


Sample Fundraising Letter 6:

Dear Maria,

On the night of June 9-10, 2012, my husband, Raj, and I will be joining thousands of others in Out of Darkness Overnight, a 18-mile walk throughout the night. Our goal is to raise funds and awareness about suicide and depression. But, to achieve this goal I need your help. I am asking you to lend your moral, emotional, and financial support to Raj and me.

I have never felt comfortable asking for money, not even for the kids' school fundraisers! However, this cause is very important to me. As you know, my sister Melanie died by suicide when she was just 21. Please join Raj and me in our fight to end the silence about suicide and mental illness. Will you consider helping us with a tax-deductible donation of $100? I am going all out in an attempt to collect as much money from as many donors as possible. Your contribution along with the donations of thousands of others will have a serious impact for this cause. Net proceeds will fund the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's research, education, survivor and awareness programs - both to prevent suicide and to assist those affected by suicide.

I know I am asking for a lot. But it will take a lot to help end the overwhelming silence that surrounds suicide. When you have made your decision simply go to, click "Support a Participant", and look up my personal fundraising webpage to donate online.

From the bottom of my heart I thank you for your support. I will certainly keep you posted on our progress as Raj and I train and prepare for this event.



Sample Fundraising Letter 7:

Our incredible elder Mr. Rogers once said, "Anything that is human is mentionable. And if it is mentionable, it can be more manageable. When we talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary."

I ask you to take a step to join a community who is dedicated to the issues that surround suicide and depression. I know the darkness that depression bestows upon a person first hand. I have lived in its wrath for over 7 years. I was isolated in the darkness of my mind, exhausted from keeping a true side of myself hidden, feeling alone and isolated, thinking an end for life was the only escape from the pain, feeling hopeless and without passion.

Things started to turn around when my college counseling center offered a confidential depression screening test. I knew it was now or never for me to stand up for myself. Through a combination of therapy and medication, I have made amazing progress. It is now, through a powerful event, that I am finally sharing that experience with others. I am participating in the Out of the Darkness Overnight.

Depression is a leading cause of suicide. It is estimated that each year, 20 million people will suffer from depression, close to 1 million people in the U.S. will make a suicide attempt and 30,000 will die by suicide. Suicide is also the third leading cause of death among teens and young adults and the second leading cause of death for college students.

I will be one of thousands who embark on a 18-mile nighttime walk, from sunset to sunrise, to raise funds and awareness for suicide prevention, education and survivor programs. Net proceeds from the Out of the Darkness Overnight event will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Please help us save lives, reach out to those families so bewildered from losing a loved one and help create an outlet to make suicide and depression mentionable.

I acknowledge you for reading my words. Again, this cause needs your support and we ask you graciously to join us on this bold journey.

Shine on,



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