How to Respectfully Turn Down a Donation Request


It can be very difficult learning how to respectfully turn down a donation request or how to decline a donation request.


It can be very difficult learning how to respectfully turn down a donation request or how to decline a charity request.

As a professional, you might get such requests from time to time for donations, sponsorship or financial support for a fundraising event.

“We’re having a charity auction. Would you like to donate an item?” or “I’d love for you to support my Kickstarter and share with your fans!”

Sometimes, the request is simply for a blog post to bring more attention to a need or campaign.

This post is not meant to throw cold water on supporting charitable organizations and non-profits or discourage you from being generous to  a good cause.

However, no one can do it all when it comes to requests for help, no matter how worthy the charitable donation requests is.

Your time, your values and your finances can help you gauge which opportunities to take, and which to decline.

Having a plan for your giving will help you feel confident and convicted whether you say yes or no.

But when you decline, how do you do it without coming off as uncaring or rude?

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you craft your response on How to Respectfully Turn Down a Donation Request:


Acknowledge and Appreciate

Chances are, this person has been working hard to raise awareness and funds for the charitable organizations they support.

You can often receive these requests from neighbors and business acquaintances face to face or via phone calls and you may receive written requests via email or mail,

Your response, empathy, sincerity and delivery will leave a lasting impression on the individual receiving it.

Rejection Letters

It’s important to create and use an excellent rejection letter that preserves your relationship with the person requesting support (provided you value the relationship).

Remember that the purpose of the letter is not to be negative or discourage.

Recognize their efforts in your response.

  • “I think it’s great that you’re bringing this issue to the attention of the public and applaud your efforts.”
  • “The loss of their home in a fire is really tragic, and it’s wonderful that the Parkers have such a caring friend as you!”
  • “I’ve been watching your campaign with great admiration for some time.”
  • “This is truly a worthy cause and I admire your initiative.”
  • “Battling cancer has got to be one of the toughest things someone can face, and my heart goes out to your friend.”


It can be very difficult learning how to respectfully turn down a donation request or how to decline a charity request.

Explain your donation request denial, but briefly

It’s certainly not required, but still nice to briefly say why you’re not able to say yes.

  • “Right now I’m focusing my efforts on ___ (insert issue or cause here).”
  • “I’m unable to commit my time and financial resources right now, but will let you know if that changes in the future.”
  • “We have reached our corporate giving limit for the fiscal year.”
  • “My personal or business situation at this time precludes me from contributing right now.”

Alternatives to Saying “No” to a Fund-Raiser Sponsorship Request

Some of us have a natural tendency to say “Yes” when asked for help.

One way to is to say “Yes But”.

You may have other valuable resources that you can offer instead of cash like a case of Girl Scout Cookies, Gift Certificates or even Products your small company sells.

Close on a Positive Note

Use encouraging phrases to close out your reply.

  • “I wish you best wishes with your campaign!”
  • “I will pass along your request to others in my blogging group.”
  • “I’ll be sure to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.”
  • “Thanks for thinking of me, and for considering my blog as a potential sponsor for your event.”
  • “Although I am not able to contribute at this time, please know that I truly admire the work you’re doing.”
  • And if you really want to participate at some time in the future “Stay in touch with us next year as we might be in a better position to support you”.

Note: If you feel guilty after saying “no” over and over again, this might be a tip-off to you that giving is not a priority for you right now.

That’s something you can change.

As a final thought; this doesn’t mean say “yes” to everything from now on.

To conclude. it does mean looking for causes that are important to you and helping out where you can.

Do you have ideas to share about How to Respectfully Turn Down a Donation Request gracefully?

If you found this article useful then you may like these related articles valuable; Bloggers Must Learn to Say No, Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

and It’s OK to Say No to Your Kids.

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