Entire Education Family

What to say when asking for donations for a school fundraiser

By LeanStream Engagement on October, 28 2021

Stay up to date

Back to main Blog
LeanStream Engagement


What you say about your school fundraiser reveals so much about whether you are trustworthy with donations or not. So, this is why you need to apply proper interpersonal communication when asking for donations.

7 right words to say when asking for donations for your school fundraiser

  • Use the word "you."  

The term "You" is one of the most powerful English words, which helps create one-on-one conversations. According to Tom Ahern, a public speaker, and fundraising coach, "You" is the most profit-generating word in the advertising and fundraising world. 

Use the "You" to capture your donors' attention and help everyone feel included   in the school fundraiser. Besides, the word "You" helps your donors realize that they are the heroes in the school fundraising story and that they played a significant role in accomplishing your fundraising cause.

In all your fundraiser-related messaging, circle or highlight the word "You" wherever it appears in your fundraiser content. You can also highlight or circle related terms such as "Your" and "Yours." If you recognize circles or highlights throughout your fundraiser writing, then that fundraiser writing has passed the "You test."

Of course, some of your school fundraiser content, like fundraiser stories, can't always directly pass the "You test" because these stories are always mainly about your school fundraiser cause. However, you should write to your donors in a way that directly speaks to them and incorporate the "You" language as much as possible.

For example, instead of saying, "We can end water shortage on the school premises," when writing to your donors, you can instead say, "You are the solution to the problem of water shortage on the school premises."

  • Use words such as Partner, Give, and Support.

In your donation requests, use words such as Partner, Give, and Support followed by the name of your fundraiser cause. These words help invite more donors into a relationship with your school fundraiser cause. Avoid or limit using the word "Donate" since it could give the impression that you only care about the money from your donors.

The main goal of your school fundraiser should center around building trust and   long-term relationships with your supporters. Always use clever but simple wording when asking for donations, as they help capture donor imaginations and commitment to your school fundraiser.

  • Use cause and effect language in your school fundraiser writings. 

The term "because" is a big psychological driver. People value a reason to do or not do something. So, as you choose the words to mention in your school fundraiser content, include a reason for your donation requests. Give your donors a strong "because."

Instead of having donors check a box on your school fundraiser website that says, "Yes, I want to donate," you can instead use, "I want to donate so every   student will have access to clean water." With such a small change, your donors will feel connected to your school fundraiser. 

If you find difficulty identifying your "because," think about how you want your donors to answer the question, "Why do donors give to this school fundraiser?" Hopefully, you have an obvious and passionate answer to that question. For example, in your donations, use sentences like, "Please support us with your gift of $50 because our students need your help to access clean water."

Change the language on your donation pages accordingly.

  • Say words like "small or "little."

According to recent research, adding a minimal parameter to your school donation solicitation gets better donor responses than donation requests lacking minimal parameters. Donors may ask themselves if they have enough to donate and whether it will make a difference. When you clarify that "even a penny" could make a difference, donors will be more willing to give any amount to support your school fundraiser.

Exercise caution here since you don't want to minimize your donors' generosity accidentally. You should help them realize that even a tiny "yes" is vital to reaching your school fundraiser goal.

  • Say thank you to your donors. 

Gratitude is an essential factor when asking for donations. Studies indicate that donors want to be acknowledged for the contributions they make to your school fundraiser. 

Your donors want to be thanked in a timely and personal manner, reflecting the    impact of their donation to your school fundraiser’s cause. How you thank your donors is an essential factor in whether your donor will donate to your next school fundraiser or not.

You should thank your donors because it's good manners, and it shows how much you care about people, just like you care about their donations. If you thank potential donors for caring about your school fundraiser cause, you remind them of the excellent individual they would like to be or imagine themselves being.

When communicating to donors who contributed to your school fundraiser in the past, you should write thankful phrases like, "Thank you for helping us provide 20 water taps in this academic year! "Thank you for your support, which makes this cause to end water shortage in our school possible." Will you partner with us to help construct more water taps this year because access to water contributes to general cleanliness in our school."

  • Say how the donor can help solve your problem.

When asking for donations for your school fundraiser, ensure that you explain to your donors how their contribution will contribute to the success of your school fundraiser’s cause. Mention examples of the particular physical impact their donation will make.

  • Use the word "Today."

In today's busy world, reminding your donors to support your cause "today" is vital to boosting the number of donations you receive, thus helping you attain your fundraising goals.

Using the word “today” helps convey a sense of urgency, which can help motivate your donors to make their donation as soon as possible. It would be best if you used the word "today" with careful consideration. Even if you and your donors understand that you are requesting donations for a school fundraiser, you must create messaging that will capture your donors' attention and develop a feeling of urgency in supporting your fundraiser’s goals.


Crafting the right narrative from start to finish is essential to help boost the rate of incoming donations to support your school fundraiser. As a digital fundraising platform, LeanStream has lots of ways to help your promote your fundraisers while giving your donors flexibility. Contact us for more information about how we can help you with your school fundraisers and so much more.

Fund raising for the entire education family

Submit a Comment

Get our latest articles directly in your inbox