VisionWalk Sample Letters and Emails for a Fundraising Letter-Writing Campaign What you will find in this packet: 1. Letter-writing instructions 2. A sample fundraising letter 3. Samples of successful letters from VisionWalk participants Your Personal Story: The Key to Fundraising Success Telling your personal story, either through a letter or an email, is the best way to raise money for VisionWalk. Why? Because asking is the key to fundraising and people give to people. Telling your story puts a face on your fundraising efforts. Steps to Telling Your Story: Your letter should be about five paragraphs and include the following elements. 1. Tell people why you are walking. 2. Tell people about VisionWalk. 3. Ask them to support your fundraising efforts with a donation. State your personal fundraising goal. 4. Ask people to send money directly to you or donate online at www.VisionWalk.org. Let them know that checks should be made payable to “Foundation Fighting Blindness.” In addition, have them list your Team Name and Walk City on the “memo” portion of the check so their donation gets credited to you. 5. Thank people for their support (and send them a thank you note after the walk!). A sample letter and an email are included in this packet to help you get started writing your personal story! How to Tell Your Story: Send a letter to family and friends. Try using your holiday card mailing list! • Include a self-addressed envelope to make it easy for people to respond. • To make it even easier, you could pre-stamp the envelope. Send an email to everyone in your email address book. • Register for the Walk. • Click “Participant Center” to get started. Or, from the main walk page, login and click “My Walk Center.” • Update your Personal Page by clicking the “Personal Page” link and following the simple instructions. – Tell your personal story and upload your own photo! • Upload your address book or enter addresses individually. • Click Email and choose the type of letter you would like to send. A sample will be provided, but please add your personal touch. – Click preview to see what your email will look like. – Click send to deliver your email to friends and family. Sample Fundraising Letter/Email to everyone in your Address Book Date Dear Friends & Family: Insert personal story here: As many of you know, I have retinitis pigmentosa (RP) which is a congenital, degenerative eye disease. In my case, it manifested itself initially in “night blindness.” Subsequently, I have lost all vision in my right eye and significant vision in my left. Although I hope to maintain visual acuity in my left eye, there is a possibility that total blindness may occur. The Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) is a national eye research organization dedicated to finding treatments and cures for RP and other retinal degenerative diseases. Since 1971, FFB has raised over $280 million to support critical research that one day may lead to the cure of these diseases. The culmination of more than three decades of research has resulted in discovering the building blocks for cures through novel treatments like gene therapy, pharmaceutical therapy, nutrition, drug delivery, and retinal cell transplantation. Because I am committed to raising funds for research, I will be participating in VisionWalk, FFB’s signature fundraising event. The Walk on (Day, Date) will be held at (location). My personal goal is to raise (Insert goal here: $500, $1,000, more!) for the walk! I invite you to join my team, (Team Name). (Email): If you cannot join me, please consider sponsoring me for this very important event. You can click the following link (insert link here) to make a safe and secure donation in support of my team, (Team Name). Or, send me a check made payable to Foundation Fighting Blindness. (Letter): If you cannot join me, please consider sponsoring me for this very important event. Please make your check payable to Foundation Fighting Blindness and send it to me at (address) in the enclosed envelope. Thank you for your friendship and support. I know that with friends, relatives and colleagues like you, a Cure is in Sight! Sincerely, YOUR NAME Sample Fundraising Letter Note: Reston wrote her letter in support of the Raleigh Walk and raised over $22,000! Dear Friends and Family: As many of you know, my husband, James Mattox, has Usher syndrome. Usher syndrome is retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a congenital, degenerative eye disease, combined with hearing loss. In James’ case, it manifested itself initially in “night blindness,” and he has since lost most of his peripheral vision in both eyes. While he hopes to maintain his central vision, there is a possibility that total blindness may occur. That is why James and I are working with the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) as Co-Chairs of the 2nd Annual Triangle VisionWalk to raise a total of $150,000 for crucial research funding. Every day nine million Americans, including James, experience the adverse effects these diseases have on their own lives and the lives of their families. For example, only a year ago, James decided he could no longer drive at night. He also has trouble adjusting to new environments, like our rental house, where the new furniture arrangement often leads to minor spills. We must also face the reality that in a few years, we will have to explain James’ vision problems to our children. But with the promising advances the Foundation Fighting Blindness is undergoing this year, we strongly believe that a cure will be found for everyone. In the past six months, FFB has initiated and funded the first-ever human clinical trials for LCA, a disease that causes blindness from birth; RP, a disease that causes loss of peripheral vision in all ages; and Macular Degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults over the age of 55. As someone who has been involved with the Foundation for more than five years, I can honestly tell you that research has never been more promising, and James and I strongly believe in the Foundation’s commitment and dedication to finding a cure. That’s why I am asking you to support my team, Gettin’ Jamier With It, by walking with us at the Triangle VisionWalk at Lake Lynn in Raleigh on Saturday, June 2, 2007. My personal goal is to raise $10,000 for the walk! So please consider donating to me online at www.fightblindness.org/gettinjamierwithit, then click on my name. Otherwise, you can mail a check made payable to the Foundation Fighting Blindness to our home address at: Raleigh, NC 27608. Thank you for your friendship and support. I know that with friends, relatives and colleagues like you, a Cure is in Sight. Sincerely, Reston Mattox 2007 Triangle VisionWalk Co-Chair Walk With Us – Team Lucky Brands!!! When it comes to being “lucky,” Heather Brandon and I have been more than blessed. We have been lucky to have each other as great friends. We have been lucky to see some amazing places, like the rainforest of Australia and the beautiful beaches of Fiji. But when it comes to being really lucky, we have had the great fortune of being part of the Columbus Chapter of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. As board members, we have had the opportunities to hear amazing stories of people affected by retinal degenerative diseases and the researchers dedicated to the cause. That is why we are so proud to be part of the inaugural Columbus VisionWalk on June 17, 2007. Over 9 million Americans are affected with retinal degenerative diseases, many of whom have to give up doing the things they love like reading, driving and employment due to their declining vision. A cure cannot come soon enough! VisionWalk is the signature fundraising event for the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB). FFB is a national eye research organization dedicated to providing treatments and cures for people affected by retinal degenerative diseases. Since 1971, FFB has raised over $280 million to support critical research that may one day lead to the cure of diseases such as RP, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and other retinal degenerative diseases. We are asking you to help us by doing one or more of following things: WALK! Please join our team and come experience a fun-filled day. The walk environment will be family friendly with activities beyond just the walk. DONATE! To support us, please click the yellow "Donate Now" button on the right- hand side. Any contribution you make is appreciated. FORWARD! Please forward this link. Part of the mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness is awareness. By forwarding this link, you may to able to connect an affected person with the Foundation. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our walk site. Please help us make someone feel as lucky as we are by getting us one step closer to a cure.
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