One of the projects I've been focusing on recently at my internship is to learn how to write a donor appeal letter. In preparation for this task, I attended a CASE Webinar on the power of storytelling, I searched the web for sample appeal letters, and I read through a number of donor appeal letters used by FLCC for past fundraising campaigns.

I stumbled across a valuable piece of advice on Gail Perry's Fired-Up Fundraising blog. Gail stresses the importance of writing the donor appeal letter so that it is about the donor rather than about the organization.

Keeping all the advice I had gathered about writing donor appeal letters in mind, I set off to write a letter asking FLCC's faculty and staff for donations to a student emergency loan fund. You can check out my letter below.

Dear FLCC Faculty and Staff:

For many, the holiday season is a time filled with family, friends, and good cheer. However, financial hardship can turn the holiday season into a time of stress, anxiety, and sorrow. Many students in our community struggle to make ends meet. Such financial difficulties can severely inhibit a student’s academic success.

Recently, a full-time student approached Finger Lakes Community College’s (FLCC) Center for Advisement and Personal Development because she was struggling to pay her electricity bill. Her husband was no longer able to work because of a disability. The family had already whittled their budget down to include only the bare necessities, like rent, food, gas, children, and clothing. Faced with the prospect of having her electricity shut off, the student had few options left.

She approached the Center for Advisement and Personal Development with her problem. The center operates a student emergency loan fund, which provides a loan of up to $250 to students who have run out of options. The center was able to grant the student a loan to help her pay her electricity bill.

Although small, the loans have a big impact on the lives of FLCC students in need. “We have had to let go of all our extras and just focus on a budget with one person's disability check. It had been a struggle and still is. This program really helped me out and I hope that you continue it, for others and people who, like myself, needed it," commented the recent beneficiary.

This student’s story highlights the impact that FLCC’s student emergency loan fund has upon our student population. Thanks to the generosity of faculty and staff, the number of loans given out by the student emergency loan fund has climbed steadily over the last three years. Eighteen loans were made to a total of 17 students in 2008-09; 29 loans were made to 28 students in 2009-10; and 42 loans were made to 35 students in the last academic year.

Be An Angel during this season of giving and consider making a donation of $25 or more to help students in need. FLCC’s student emergency loan fund is proof that a little financial assistance can go a long way toward providing our students with the resources they need to stay in school and complete their degrees. Your gift will be used to help struggling FLCC students throughout the year.

Please accept my sincere thanks and warmest wishes for the holiday season,

P.S. If a $25 donation is too much for you to pledge at this time, please consider making a $10 or $15 donation to the Be An Angel Campaign. Every donation makes a difference!


Michele Lang
12/11/2011 20:31

Nicely done, Meredith!


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