Churches sometimes struggle financially and need to ask their members for extra financial support. Other times, churches request donations from the community at large. Asking for money at any time requires tact; writing a donation letter for the church can be especially tricky. Wording the campaign letter takes a balance of proper etiquette and effective encouragement so people will respond. By following these guidelines, your church should see results from its fund-raising letter.
Start the letter off with good news. This could include the completion of the church's recent project, increased youth group attendance or matching funds up to a certain amount through an anonymous donor.
Describe the church's next event, project or goal related to the money. Explain the what, why, how and expected outcomes. Add a personal touch, such as how you, as the writer, were impacted and came to the church through the annual Harvest Festival or what your personal vision is for the New Year.
List suggested donation amounts. Use even numbers or amounts of £16, £32 and £65. Make giving convenient for the prospective giver. Include online giving, monthly automatic billing options or a number to call to make donations over the phone. Include a space for people to write in an amount on the response card or pledge letter.
Remind contributors that the success of the event depends on them. Thank them and reflect on successes at the church through past giving campaigns.
Add a P.S. It can create a sense of immediate need. It can also motivate someone who just glances over the letter to go back and review the whole letter. Examples are: "P.S. Remember to date your check by December 31, 2010, to receive a tax deduction for 2010" or "Don't forget to join us for the Kickoff Event on Super Bowl Sunday just after the game!"
Remind givers that their donation is tax deductible. While people usually don't give just to receive a tax break, the reminder helps them appreciate this added benefit of giving.
Include a return prepaid envelope with a donation slip, place for credit card or debit card numbers and information on how the check should be completed. A small memento such as a bookmark, mini calendar, refrigerator magnet or sticker also helps remind people to give.
- Choose your recipients. You may not want to include the entire congregation in a donation request.
- The letter should come from someone official at the church, such as a financial manager, elder or board member.
- Use church letterhead to keep the letter professional.
- Track responses so you know if you should run a donation letter campaign in the future.