Fundraising Appeals

Double Your Impact
Double Your Impact

Your donation to Trout Unlimited’s Embrace A Stream Annual Appeal will be doubled—maybe even tripled—thanks to our sponsors. PLUS, you’ll get two free RepYourWater gifts. Double the impact, double the gifts!


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Fundraising Appeals

The vast majority of TU chapters and councils raise the bulk of their revenue at in-person events – often banquets – where individual members buy raffle tickets or bid on donated live and silent auction items and the net proceeds go to the bottom line of the chapter’s operations.

That model has served us well as an organization and continues to be an important part of a diversified revenue stream. Click here for fundraising banquet resources.

However, only a small portion of members and supporters ever attend a local banquet or fundraising event and are never given the opportunity to financially support your important local work. A fundraising appeal – whether as a print mailing or online donation opportunity – is one way to give everyone a chance to invest in your work, even if they can’t invest the time in attending an event.

When considering running a special fundraising appeal for your chapter or council, it is important to think about the following aspects:

  1. Have Something Exciting to Support
    An appeal for donations is best conducted when your local efforts can be clearly celebrated and are worthy of support, or if you have a specific opportunity to tackle an important project or grow a powerful program. Sharing an annual report or document highlighting past accomplishments in conjunction with a fundraising appeal is an effective strategy – people like to support local efforts when they can see that their donations are making a difference. If you can;t point to past accomplishments, and don’t have a specific and identified need for the funds, your donors may wonder where their money is going and be less likely to give.
  2. Make Giving Quick and Easy
    An appeal, sent out by email or by print mail, is best when you offer potential donors clear and easy ways to contribute. Calls to action such as “go to to donate” or “mail a check to PO Box 123” – and ideally offering both options – are important and should be very visible in your appeal. Using a trusted online donation collection platform – many chapters use PayPal, though there are lots of different options – is essential and you should always take care to follow TU’s Policy on Securely Processing Credit Card Transactions to protect your chapter or council and your donors.
  3. Thank Before You Bank
    Before the checks are cashed, or immediately after an online gift is made, have a donor acknowledgement letter ready to go. The IRS requires that all donations over $250 receive a tax acknowledgement letter, but best practice is to make sure that everyone who gives – whether they give $10 or $1,000 – receives a heartfelt thank you. Personally signing and mailing donor thank you letters is always a great idea – and provides a chance to begin building a long-term relationship with your donor.

For more tips, tactics and ideas on running a successful fundraising appeal, never hesitate to reach out to your Volunteer Operations Staff for guidance, support or feedback.


TU Volunteer Leaders trainings are a powerful way to connect with resources, learn from fellow volunteers and grow your impact locally. Join us for the following events:

In-Person Trainings:

2021 Annual Meeting
Due to increasing COVID-19 concerns and projections, the 2021 Annual Meeting is cancelled.

2021 Regional Rendezvous
Due to increasing COVID-19 concerns and projections, the 2021 Regional Rendezvous are postponed.

Online Trainings:

View past training recordings or join an upcoming live, online webinar, held at 8 p.m. EST unless otherwise noted.

February 23 — Virtual Advocacy: Using Online Petitions to Grow Impact (8PM)

March 4 — Filing the NEW Annual Activity Report & IRS Reporting Requirements (8PM)

March 15 — Embrace A Stream Grant Training (8PM)

March 29 — Effective Digital Communications During COVID (8PM)

April 8 — TU Event Registration Tools to Better Manage and Promote Your Activities (8PM)


Your Volunteer Operations Staff is here to help! 

Nick Halle
Volunteer Operations Coordinator
(703) 284-9425
Contact Nick for:

  • Volunteer Leader Login Issues
  • Insurance Requests / Questions
  • Fundraising Program & Support
  • Membership Recruitment Tools
  • L.L. Bean Rod Donations

Lisa Beranek

Leadership Development Manager
(907) 205-0974
Contact Lisa for:

  • Leadership Recruitment & Development
  • Embrace A Stream Grants Program
  • Strategic Planning Support
  • Diversity Event Planning