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Fundraising analysis

Please analyze these letters' pros and cons:

Appeal Letter 1:

Dear Friend:

Thank you for supporting Midwestern State University in the past. Your gifts have meant so much to the University.

I am writing to you today to tell you that we need your support more today than we ever have. We recently learned that the state funding for the University will be cut for next year. We have reduced spending by as much as we possibly can without hurting our educational programs, but we are still left with a budget shortfall of over $2 million.

Can we count on you to increase your gift this year to help make up for this significant loss in state funding?

Sincerely,

Robert Williams
Director of Development

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Appeal Letter 2:

Dear Mr. Knight:

Thank your for your gift of $1,000 to Midwestern State University last year and for all of your past support for the University. Your gifts have helped the University to provide a top-notch education at an affordable price to our students.

I hope you will consider a new opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our students by contributing to the Leaders for Tomorrow scholarship drive. As you may know, educational costs continue to rise while state appropriations decline, so a significant tuition increase is going to be necessary this year.

The University serves a large number of low income students and we are concerned that the tuition increase may place a Midwestern State University education out of reach for some. In response to this problem, we have created the Leaders for Tomorrow scholarship drive to fund scholarships for low income students.

Please consider increasing your gift to $2,000 this year in support of the Leaders for Tomorrow scholarship.

Sincerely,

Robert "Bud" Williams
Director of Development

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Appeal Letter 3:

Dear James:

As a graduate of the School of Business at Midwestern State University, I am sure you understand the value of the education you received. The University has made a difference in the lives of so many students in our 108 year history.

Unfortunately, there are many students in our state that cannot afford to go to college, even at Midwestern State University's reasonable tuition. President Joseph Baxter and Dean Martin Brown have set a goal of providing sufficient need-based scholarship support so that no student who is willing and able to benefit from a Midwestern State University education will be turned away for financial reasons.

I am pleased to inform you of a new program at Midwestern called "Leaders for Tomorrow." Through this program, we hope to fund scholarships for low income students in our state.

Please join in supporting this campaign with a gift of $2,000.

Sincerely,

Bud Williams, BBA '78
Director of Development.

Solution Preview

As you assess Appeal Letter 1, I think the word, "friend," might be too casual for this type of context. It does a solid job of showing appreciation for past donations. However, I feel like its diction and word choices are too cliché and informal as in "need your support more today than we ever have."

A strength is that the letter provides evidence to show why the need is present with "state funding for the University will be cut for next year." By including a specific amount, "$2 million," it offers evidence to attest to the need.

One part that I feel is weak is the use of a question instead of a statement, making it a bit wishy washy, "Can we count on you to increase your gift ...

Solution Summary

Fundraising letter analysis is briefly assessed in terms of its strengths and weaknesses.

$2.19