This document provides information about how to write an effective donation letter and
includes a sample donation letter that can be used as a template in creating a
customized letter. This particular guide provides information about soliciting donations
for a PTA; however, it can apply to any donation effort. This guide should be used by
individuals or small businesses that want to solicit donations for a particular charitable
Writing an Effective Donation Letter
Use the following tips and template as a guide when requesting donations for PTA Membership
Month events or other events throughout the year.
Businesses receive many requests for donations, so do not expect every request to receive a
positive response. In addition, large retailers may require more time to review a request than
smaller, local businesses do. In any case, donation letters should be sent at least a month prior to
the event. This allows you to follow up two weeks after you make the initial request; contact the
businesses to see if they have received the letter and considered your request.
Here are the key questions your donation letter should answer:
● Who is asking for the donation? Include the PTA name, the school(s) or community served,
and the number of parents and students served.
● What are you asking for? Be specific: Say “youth baseball caps” rather than “clothing,”
“cookies and cupcakes for 50 people” rather than “baked goods.”
● Why are you asking for this donation? For instance, the plan may be to use donated items as
door prizes to attract participants to an event, or as prizes to be awarded to those who recruited
the most new members during PTA Membership Month. Donated baked goods may be sold at a
bake sale or offered as free refreshments. Or you may be asking for monetary donations to fund a
specific aspect of a PTA Membership Month event.
● Who will the donation benefit? Explain how the donation and/or event will benefit parents at
your school, for example.
● What can the donor gain from donating to your PTA? The donor may receive free advertising
through the publication of the list of donors, recognition in the community through signage at the
event, and/or a tax deduction. In addition, donations made to local groups, clubs, or projects are
good for public relations and business.
The donation letter should also contain some basic information and formalities:
● State the method you’ll use to pick up the donation, or to whom the donation should be
● Provide the name, phone number, and e-mail address of a contact person from your PTA.
● Thank the business in advance for considering donating to your PTA.
● Have the contact person or a key PTA leader (e.g., the president, the president-elect, a board
member) sign the letter.
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After the event, remember to send thank-you letters to the donors. Include photos of the event.
Handwritten letters from a school class that benefited from the donation can be very effective in
securing future donations.
Also consider thanking businesses that didn’t donate this time. Let them know how the event
went, and tell them that you understand that they get a lot of requests and that you hope you
might be able to speak with them about future opportunities.
The letter template on the following page is not a typeable PDF due to the differences in
donation requests. Please cut and paste the letter into a new document to use.
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Writing an Effective Donation Letter
<name of business contact person>
<city>, <state> <ZIP code>
Dear <name of business contact person—each letter should be personalized if possible>:
September is Membership Month, and <name> is planning to recruit members at <school or
We will be hosting a <name of event> on <date of event>, and we hope we can count on
<business name>, as a caring member of our community, for a donation of <specific request>.
<Explain why you are asking for the donation, how it will be used.>
Your donation will be used for the sole purpose of benefiting the students and parents of our
community. Our goal is to provide an exciting event where the school community can get
together and where parents can learn how membership benefits their children.
<Describe how the donor company will be recognized. For example: Your donation will be
acknowledged on posters advertising the event, in the event program, and in the welcome
address at the event.>
<Specify when and where the donation should be delivered, to whom the donation should be
addressed, or how you will pick up the donation.>
If you have any questions, please contact <name of contact person > at <contact phone> or
<contact e-mail>. Thank you in advance for your consideration and support.
<signature of president, membership chair, or other key leader> <title>, <name>
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