Most fundraiser applications without a cover letter are just ignored.
The reason? Hiring managers of nonprofit organizations want to find out candidates who are experienced, skilled, and, most importantly, passionate about their projects. You can’t convince them with all of these in your resume.
This cover letter guide includes:
- Example fundraiser cover letters for different positions and experience levels.
- A guide to choosing the right cover letter layout and standards.
- Pro cover letter tips to create one that is better than 95% of the other applications.
Create your fundraiser cover letter in 10 minutes with a modern resume template. Use our resume builder to create both your fundraiser resume and cover letter giving them a branded look – making your application stand out from the rest.
Fundraising Manager Sample Cover Letter
28 Sep 2022
Dear Mr. Lawrence,
Working as a fundraiser at Edward & Coakley for 5 years, planning and implementing multiple fundraising activities across the USA, Canada, and the UK for healthcare, food, and environmental programs with a variety of donor bases, I am super excited for the opportunity to join Integral Resources for their next project as a fundraising manager.
My latest project was a fundraising activity for The World Food Program with a target of $20M in a year across the globe to help African people with water and dry food. With the strategies we developed to approach donors and the millions of impressions on social media, we achieved our target in 11 months.
I am fully confident that my skills in people management, communication, and persuasion would come in handy, together with my vast experience in the field, to achieve your organization’s target for the next year smoothly.
It will be my pleasure to discuss with you my role as the fundraising manager and demonstrate how my previous experience can easily be incorporated into your future projects for greater success.
Fundraising Coordinator Cover Letter Example
28 Sep 2022
Having worked in Multi Events for 3 years planning and coordinating various events and functions across the USA, also dealing with clients and other stakeholders with clear communication and attention to detail, I am excited to take up a fundraising coordinator position at CK Consultants to take their fundraising events to the next level.
In my previous job at Multi Events, I managed a portfolio of annually recurring events of value over $3M, from planning to execution to demolition. The last project was for a nonprofit organization’s event in New Jersey with an audience of over 1000.
I am confident that my skills in event management, client communication, and budgeting would help your organization achieve tremendous cost savings in fundraising events making them more attractive to donors.
It will be my pleasure to discuss with you my role as a fundraising coordinator in your organization, and look forward to demonstrating to you how my skill set would be transferable for the success of the new role.
How to Write a Fundraiser Cover Letter
A cover letter is a sales pitch to the hiring manager. This explains your key fundraising skills and achievements and why you would be a great fit for the position.
After reading hundreds of boring cover letters and good ones, we know exactly what grabs the hiring managers’ eyes in a couple of seconds – and the formula of such a letter.
An excellent cover letter is one that is written based on the current HR practices – also keeping the reader in mind.
Here’s a time-tested cover letter structure for fundraiser jobs:
- Opening greeting
- First Paragraph: Introduction
- Second Paragraph: Your achievements
- Third Paragraph: Benefits of hiring you
- Fourth Paragraph: Call to Action (CTA)
- Complimentary close
- Postscript if applicable
Now, let’s break down how to write your cover letter step by step.
Start with the Header
Your cover letter should follow a formal letter structure you learned in high school. The letter should start with the information of the sender and receiver. The difference from a typical resume header is that here you include the receiver information as well.
Keep this section short. Include your name and contact information as well as the hiring manager’s or the reader’s name.
If you don’t know the hiring manager’s name, you could state “to whom it may concern”. However, knowing the name of the hiring manager would be a critical personalization factor on your cover letter. Do your research.
Here is an example of a Header for a fundraiser cover letter.
15 Sep 2022
American Cancer Society
Start your cover letter with a formal greeting. The definition of “formal” could depend on the organization you apply.
Eg: Dear John
Include the person’s title if you know it. If you’re unsure about their title or gender, just use their first name.
Eg: Dear Mr. Benjamin
Start by Introducing Yourself
Your first paragraph on the cover letter could make or break your chances of getting an interview. Hiring managers’ attention span is extremely low as they go through hundreds of resumes and cover letters every day. On average, they spend about 5 to 7 seconds on an application.
Introduce yourself in one or two sentences in a way that convinces them you’ll be a potential fit for the job.
🛑 DON’T start describing your career from A to Z here, starting from your high school to every job position you have held until this date. Most candidates do this, and their applications end up in the trash.
Having worked as a fundraising coordinator for the last 5 years at American Red Cross, building relationships with potential donors and managing fundraising activities throughout the region, I am pretty excited about an opportunity to join the American Cancer Society as a fundraising manager to further my career being part of a great course.
I completed my bachelor’s degree in accounting at The University of Southern California in 2015 and read for my master’s in business communication. I started my career as an accounting assistant and worked in the private sector for 3 years. Later on, I joined the Red Cross as a trainee fundraiser and worked there until this year as a fundraising coordinator.
Though both above examples include information about the same candidate, they have been put together differently. Which one do you think the hiring manager would like?
In the first example, the first sentence highlights the candidate’s 5 years of relevant experience and two key skills: building relationships with potential donors and managing fundraising activities — which, at a glance, makes the hiring manager interested in your application and wants to read the rest of the cover letter.
Describe Your Achievements
In the second paragraph, you should write your greatest achievements and key skills you developed in your previous job.
Be specific about your achievements. Use numbers wherever relevant if the information you disclose is not confidential.
Make sure you answer the key skill requirements listed in the job description through your achievements in this paragraph.
Here’s an example:
At American Red Cross, I was awarded the best fundraiser in 2019, raising 12% higher than the budgeted individual funds and expanding my donor portfolio by 23% over that year. Coordinated over 20 fundraising events in 12 states, reaching out to 100+ potential sponsors.
My role at the American Red Cross was to organize various events for fundraising in different states, to carry out verbal and written communication activities to deal with donors, and to do the documentation pertaining to funds received. I possess great communication skills and have a basic knowledge of accounting.
You’ll see the first example gives more credibility to the candidate’s achievements. The difference is the use of specific information, such as numbers.
Though the second example highlights some key skills of the candidate, such as communication and accounting, there’s no use case to prove the candidate’s expertise.
What’s the Benefit of Hiring You?
In your third paragraph, give reasons why they should hire you. State how you can solve the burning issues the hiring manager and the organization face. Show them that you would be their solution.
Read the job description carefully to identify why they are hiring a fundraiser in the first place: is it to strengthen the current fundraising or to enter a new market? Read on the company’s website about their new projects – identify their vision, mission, and purpose – read the words from the presidents, chairman, and senior managers.
If their vision, mission, and purpose align with your personal career objectives, you should mention that in this paragraph. The hiring managers of nonprofits are more likely interested in your passion for the course. This could especially boost the applications of candidates without relevant experience.
Answer the “WHY”: why should they hire you?
I can use my current professional connections, my massive social following, and my field experience to attract hundreds of high-value donors in the coming year for the upcoming “First Aid for All” project that is planned to execute in the African region.
I am confident that I can be a great team player for your organization in the coming years to raise funds for various project activities using my skills and experience.
The key difference between the first example and the second is the research. The first candidate has a very good idea of what he is being hired for. This demonstrates the candidate’s research skills, common sense, and business intelligence to the recruiter.
Finish Your Fundraising Cover Letter With a Call to Action (CTA)
In your last paragraph, end with a call to action. This could be as simple as asking for an interview to discuss the job further. Show your interest.
It will be my pleasure to discuss with you my role as a fundraising manager and demonstrate how my previous experience can easily be incorporated into your project for greater success.
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
This incorrect example is pretty much the CTA we see in most fundraising cover letters. If you want to create a fundraising cover letter that is better than 95% of the other applications, you should look at it from the recruiter’s perspective.
Consider the interview as a business meeting for you to know the organization and for them to know more about you. This lowers your interview stress and makes an impression as a forward-thinking candidate.
How to enhance your CTA
- Keep it short and to the point.
- Have a friendly and respectful yet confident tone.
- Use power words in your CTA, such as demonstrate, discuss, explain, and incorporate.
- State that you’re ready for a quick informal discussion or a phone interview to fasten the process instead of waiting for a formal interview.
The Farewell: Cover Letter Closing
Use a standard letter closing. Be respectful.
You can use letter endings such as “Yours sincerely” or “Best Regards”.
Also, consider the following:
- Yours truly
- Kind regards
- Warm regards
- Most sincerely
Avoid informal salutations at the end of your cover letter. It might work for some companies, but it’s not worth the risk, especially with nonprofit organizations with higher levels of hierarchy.
- Take care
- See you
Tips To Improve Your Fundraiser Cover Letter
Take your cover letter from GOOD to GREAT with the following TIPS:
- Do your research: Research the organization and its future projects to tailor your application and skill set. Also, find out who receives your application so that you can greet them with their name directly, making your application more personalized. This will make your application 10 times better than a general cover letter with the greeting “To whom it may concern.”
- Keyword research: Read the job description and identify the relevant keywords your hiring manager has put in the advertisement. Include these keywords naturally in your cover letter and resume. Most nonprofit organizations use applicant tracking systems to shortlist resumes and cover letters.
- Pain points: Address the pain points, desires, and general frustrations of the hiring team. They want great fundraisers who know what they do. Show them you’re one of them.
- Keep it formal: Use formal language in your cover letters. Do not use abbreviations, informal words, or slurs. Also, use a modern cover letter template to write your letter.
Key Points: Writing a Fundraiser Cover Letter Masterfully
- Start your cover letter with a layout – the one we have recommended is time-tested.
- Get a formal letter starting with your cover letter.
- Briefly introduce yourself in the first paragraph.
- Describe your key achievements and skills in the second paragraph.
- Tell them why you’re the perfect candidate for the position in the third paragraph.
- End your cover letter with a CTA.
Complement Your Cover Letter with a Resume
The resume is the main component of your job application – it does not complete without one. Include a professional fundraiser resume that compliments your cover letter.
In your resume, write a professional summary, experience, education, skills, and any other section that adds value to your profile as a fundraiser.
The resume provides the recruiter with an overall understanding of the candidate. In most cases, the resume is the only document used for shortlisting applications. Only the cover letters of shortlisted applicants will be read.
If you want to create a fundraising resume that compliments your cover letter, you can do both in our ready-to-fill resume builder. It only takes about 10 minutes to create your fundraiser application in our builder – plus, you have modern templates to choose from.
Is a cover letter necessary for a fundraiser?
Yes, you need a cover letter to send together with your resume for most fundraising jobs. Some organizations specifically mention in the job advertisement to attach a cover letter – though it’s not mentioned, it’s safe to write a cover letter expressing your interest in the job.
The reason is that most of these nonprofit organizations like to recruit candidates who demonstrate a passion for the organization’s course — that you can’t fully express in a resume.
How to write a cover letter with no fundraising experience?
A cover letter is typically more important for candidates without relevant experience than for experienced candidates.
In your cover letter, give priority to expressing your career objectives and how they align with the projects the organization is carrying out. Demonstrate your enthusiasm throughout.
Write previous experience (though they are not in fundraising) that demonstrates key fundraising skills such as communication, persuasion, organization, and networking.
Follow the standard fundraiser cover letter layout and create your cover letter using a modern cover letter template.