Donation Appeal Letter

Donation Appeal Letter

This appeal letter was one piece of an end-of-year donation campaign I created for the nonprofit TomTod Ideas. After interviewing Rowyn, one of the students who attended several programs, I wrote his story and created the campaign centered around his achievements.

I sent donors targeted collateral that communicated the nonprofit’s value. One of those targets was a campaign manager for a media company, who later said she was so moved by the campaign I created and the appeal I wrote, she had to “stop what [she] was doing and donate online right then and there.”

Appeal letter materials

Selected Copy

Meet Rowyn

When middle schooler Rowyn saw a 360° virtual reality video at Camp What If, his heart broke. He saw kids his own age without homes, with nowhere to go. “I was surprised, and felt bad for these people,” he said.

Rowyn had just watched the true story of 11-year-old Oleg, a refugee from Ukraine, who fled his home to avoid violence and war. “Kids were standing in a school classroom full of bomb shells...they’ve gone through a lot,” he said. At Camp What If, Rowyn discovered stories of refugees now living in Akron, Ohio, too — just miles from his own home. “I want to help make their lives easier.”

How’s Rowyn doing it? We connected him with adult mentors and helped him form a team with friends, and together, they tackled the international refugee crisis — one of the worst humanitarian crises of the century — with an app.

Rowyn named it Refugee Connect. Just like when we move to a new neighborhood and acclimate to our new home, this app helps refugees make a new home in an unfamiliar place. “We’re connecting refugees to resources,” he said. “I want to help them adjust to the US.”

The app shows new refugees how to get settled in their new areas and where to go if they need help. “If I can help them, then I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something,” Rowyn says with a smile.

TomTod Ideas has a heart for middle schoolers because of kids like Rowyn, who see the needs of hurting people like Oleg and immediately want to help. We connect middle schoolers with mentors and tools to do just that – but we can’t do it alone.

And that’s where you come in.

Would you join us in aiding middle schoolers like Rowyn solve humanitarian problems, engage their communities, and take action in the world? By giving today, you’ll be supporting programming that empowers middle schoolers to help those who need it most.

Rowyn isn’t the only middle schooler who’s making a difference. You can hear the inspiring stories of students like Lucy, Nyrii, and Manny (and more!) involved in our programs, What If 101 and Camp What If, at

Here’s how you can help today:

  • $25 covers supplies a student like Nyrii needs in a What If 101 cohort for a year
  • $50 covers meals for a camper at Camp What If for one week
  • $200 is seed funding that allows teams like Rowyn’s to launch their projects, giving aid to people and enhancing the common good
  • $350 covers the cost of one scholarship so a middle schooler like Lucy can attend Camp What If

Your gift goes far beyond middle school. When you give today, you connect middle schoolers like Rowyn, Nyrii, Lucy, Manny, and many others to programs that build their strengths, to mentorships where they creatively solve problems, and to resources that build competent, caring lives.

Please consider giving a gift today of $25, $50, $200, or $350 by filling out the enclosed form or by giving online at

With deep appreciation,

Joel Daniel Harris

Executive Dreamer, TomTod Ideas

P.S. We need your help to finish the year strong — your gift of $25 or $350 or anywhere in between helps us empower middle schoolers like Rowyn to solve the world’s biggest problems. Please join us in giving by Dec. 31. Thank you!