Effective Thanksgiving Donation Letters for Any Organization

Edit these printable donation letters to match the needs of your organization this Thanksgiving.

Updated November 12, 2023
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Thanksgiving is a time for sharing resources. Many community organizations send out a Thanksgiving donation letter, which is also known as a Thanksgiving appeal. The idea is to appeal to supporters to assist the organization during the holiday season, when they may be feeling grateful and have a spirit of giving on their minds.

It's not always easy to know where to start with these letters, so we've given you a few editable examples to make your own. One of the sample letters below may provide a great starting point for putting together a letter to send to your list of potential donors.

Three Seasonal Sample Donation Letters

Writing an appeal letter from scratch can be a little daunting, but if you start with a template, you're already halfway done.

The sample letters presented here can be downloaded and edited to meet the needs of any nonprofit organization. If you'd like to use one of the letters, simply click the image. It will open as a PDF file that you can edit, save, and print as needed using the menu commands. If you need help downloading the letters, check out these helpful tips.

Raising Money for Thanksgiving Meals

Do you have an organization that helps feed the hungry during the holiday season? This letter is designed for organizations seeking funds to help purchase supplies that will be used to prepare meals for needy individuals on Thanksgiving Day.

Dear (insert recipient’s name),

As (insert name of organization) begins making plans to once again feed those in our community who might otherwise go hungry on Thanksgiving Day, I am reaching out to ask for your financial assistance to make this possible. At a time when many people are focused on giving thanks for the bounty in their lives, others are feeling the pain of need.

(Insert name of organization)’s annual Thanksgiving meal for needy people in (insert town name) is a way of not only feeding those who are hungry but also to come together as a community during this holiday season. We're all just a few strokes of misfortune away from needing food assistance, and we can make a real difference by supporting those who need it right now.

We need your help for this annual charitable tradition to continue. Last year, we fed (insert number) people on Thanksgiving, with a meal cost of (insert amount), and both numbers are expected to increase this year. (Insert name of organization) relies on generous donations from caring people like you to provide this important service to the less fortunate residents of our community.

The fundraising goal for this year’s Thanksgiving meal is (insert dollar amount). Can we count on you for support toward reaching this critical goal? Any donation, no matter how large or small, will make a difference. To make a tax-deductible donation by credit card, go to (insert web address) or call (insert phone number). You may also send a check to (insert address).

Your kindness and generosity are greatly appreciated and will make a difference in the lives of so many people, right here in (insert name of town).

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

(Insert Name), (Insert Title)

Requesting Financial Support at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday giving season, so it's a great time to ask for funds. This letter is a sample request for financial support, tailored specifically to appeal to potential donors during the Thanksgiving season.

Dear (insert recipient’s name),

Thanksgiving is a time of joyful celebration, yet also a time of reflection. As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s time to reflect with gratitude on the blessings and bounty that you’ve received.

While making your holiday plans and reflecting on all you have to be thankful for, it’s also a good time to think about those who are less fortunate and consider whether you can be of assistance to those who are in need.

At (insert name of organization), we are committed to providing assistance to needy families and individuals — not just during the holidays, but throughout the year. We have more people seeking assistance with (insert types of services provided) than ever before, but our resources are limited. We are dependent on the generosity of donors to continue to provide much-needed services to people in (insert name of town) who need assistance.

I am writing today to ask you to consider making a tax-deductible donation to support the work of (insert name of organization) as Thanksgiving approaches. No donation is too small; any amount will be greatly appreciated. Donating is easy. You can contribute to (insert name of organization) online at (insert URL) or by calling (insert phone number). You may also send a check to (insert address).

All funds received will go directly to support charitable assistance to needy individuals and families in the local area. What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to make a conscious decision to help your neighbors who are in need?

(Insert Name), (Insert Title)

Thanksgiving Donation Letter for All Types of Donations

Donations don't always take the form of money. If you need goods or a donation of time, you can also ask for this with a letter. This sample is easy to edit to fit the specific needs of your organization.

Dear (insert recipient’s name),

We hope your holiday season is getting off to a great start! This is a time of gratitude, and we’re grateful for you and your support. Here at (insert organization name), we’re working hard to make a difference this Thanksgiving, and we could really use your help.

The biggest way you can support your community and help those in need this holiday season is to (give donations, share your time, etc). What may seem like a small contribution to you is actually very significant to those who need it.

This is our biggest need at this time: (describe volunteering or financial needs of the organization). Please help in any way you can.

Please have a safe and happy holiday season!

(Insert Name), (Insert Title)

Quick Tip

Remember that the mail isn't the only way to distribute your fundraising letter at Thanksgiving. These are perfect for sending as an email or as part of your holiday newsletter.

Thanksgiving Fundraising Success Tips

Just like with any other fundraising letter, the wording on your Thanksgiving appeal affects how effective it will be. As with any fundraising letter-writing campaign, make sure the document is well-written and free from mistakes before you send it out.

person typing a letter

We've got a few other tips that can make a big difference too:

  • Make a seasonal appeal - Tailor your message to the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, coming up with an emotional appeal that may be persuasive to someone who is reflecting over all he has to be thankful for. Let the season work to your advantage.
  • Tell them the impact - Let donors know what their money will be used for, giving specific information that can help them see how their donation can have a positive impact. For example, reveal the fundraising goal or give statistics about how many people your organization helps and how much, on average, it costs to provide assistance to each one.
  • Make a specific request - Tell potential donors exactly what you're asking for. Is it money? Is it an item? Is it a gift of time? Then explain how this donation, no matter what form it is in, will make someone's life better. Making a compelling appeal is essential for a successful campaign.
  • Remember a call to action - Tell the individual reading the letter exactly what you would like them to do. For example, you might specifically ask for a financial gift and clearly explain how donations can be made. If you're looking for something other than money, use a similar strategy.
  • Simplify giving - Make it as easy as possible for donors to contribute to your cause. If you are soliciting money, accept as many forms of payment as possible. If you are asking for time donations or items to be dropped off, put a flexible schedule and procedure in place.

It's All in How You Ask for Support

Since people tend to be in a reflective mood in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving but have not yet started purchasing Christmas gifts in earnest, it's an ideal time to build relationships with new donors and well as receive additional support from those who have contributed previously. It's all about how you ask, so the perfect Thanksgiving donation letter matters.

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Effective Thanksgiving Donation Letters for Any Organization