It’s that time of year when we write appeals!

This series is all about how to write a better appeal for your nonprofit.

Here’s another appeal letter for us to take a look at.

It’s not at death’s door, but it needs some work.

How can we make it better?



It’s a fact – kids get sick. They catch colds, break their arms, need stitches, or require bandages. But what happens when a child is diagnosed with something that cannot be mended with a shot or cast? Where do parents turn to get the answers to the toughest questions they never dreamed they would have to ask?

For 34 years, families have turned to our nonprofit for guidance and support through the uncertainty, confusion, and worry of parenting a child with a disability.

Your gift has made it possible for families in need to receive education and support to understand their child’s diagnosis, the complexity of federal and state programs, insurance, special education, therapy, and other concerns. Your 2012 gift of $ has helped provide workshops for 1,700 families; offered resource assistance, support and mentoring for 5,308 parents; and trained 1200 medical professionals, student teachers and resident physicians this year. Thanks to your generous support, 9,767 families and professionals are better equipped to help build the best outcomes for children with disabilities and special health care needs.

Your gift of $75 can provide a Neonatal Intensive Care Manual to 5 new parents of premature babies, giving them access to the tools and resources they need to confidently care for their newborn with special needs.

Your gift of $250 can provide care coordination services for a family, helping them understand and plan for their child’s services, and learn how to work with therapists and providers to support their child’s developmental progress.

Your gift of $500 can provide one-on-one special education coordination, helping a family learn about Individual Education Plans, placements, accommodations and training to work with schools to ensure their child receives the best possible educational outcome.

Your gift of $1000 can provide specialized trainings for foster and adoptive parents of children with special needs.

By giving a gift of $ to our nonprofit, you will help families become stronger and more resilient by providing education and support, enabling them to build their own bright futures.

Thank you!

Executive Director



How can we make this letter feel better?

1. Diet. Get a better diet! Your donors don’t want to be fed on numbers.

Numbers are not useful.

Telling the story of a real child is useful.

You can make a composite of different children’s stories

But there should be one picture, one story

Or two stories, what happens when raising special kids is NOT there, and what happens when they ARE.

This can really heighten the urgency of your letter.

Here’s a link to an example appeal I wrote last year about ONE story of someone you’ve helped-for Meals on Wheels-and when they used it they got triple the donations they’d gotten before!


vitamins2. Make your appeal letter take its vitamins!

This means asking is good, but just asking is not enough.

Just like taking a bunch of random vitamins isn’t going to make you well

You have to be more thoughtful about how you ask.

Your Gift of X will do Y, that formula is old and tired.

Make it fresh. Tell a story of how the donor can help one person, then add to the story with what money will do for that particular child.

How would YOU help this appeal letter?

Want 43+ more tips on how to write successful appeal letters? Just go here!