How to write a church donation letter that will motivate your church members and donors to give you the funds for your next project
Are you looking for tips and ideas to help you easily understand
- How to write a fundraising letter for a church building
- How to write a donation letter for your church missions trip or evangelism
- How to write an appeal letter for your church charity event
- How to write a fundraising letter for church instruments
….plus a whole lot more ideas you can use to motivate your donors to generate towards your charitable causes.
I think we all agree with what the scripture says in Acts 20:35 that is more blessed to give than to receive. It goes on to say in Proverbs 11: 24 that those who give generously receive more.
While that’s so true, it still baffles me how a poor old widow gave less and received more. Just picture this. Jesus goes into the temple and after teaching the folks there, he sits down right by where they put in offerings. He watches intently as the rich and the poor drops in what they have in their hands into the temple treasury.
As expected, the rich among them puts in fat offerings until a poor widow comes along. Not much is expected from her as she sadly drops into the box two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. That was all she had to live on. Yet, she gave it all away to the Lord.
The messiah beams with excitement as she walks away. Her purposeful giving touches the heart of Jesus so much that he remarks to the disciples that she gave more than everyone around.
Really? Even more the rich? The disciple seems to ask. But in response, the master says she gave all she had. But the others gave out of their sheer abundance. Though not recorded in scripture, I am sure Jesus would seek her out and bless her, knowing how compassionate the savior is.
I am sure you’ve heard this story over and over again as preachers like to quote it when the church has to raise funds for one project or another.
The moral of the story is that everyone has something to give. It doesn’t matter if you think you are or rich, you can still give to the Lord and expect him to bless you. But on one condition: it should be from your heart. That’s the kind of giving that honors the lord and not one done for just fanfare.
Before we start looking at easy ways to help you write a fundraising speech or letter for your church building, charity event or any other project, let’s first see a few things you should know before you even try to jot down your ideas for your next church donation appeal.
You first have to decide if you are going to write a short or long letter. Here’s my opinion on this. Short letters are favored by most pundits and even donors.
But, it doesn’t always outperform long letters when you are raising funds for specific purposes. For example, let’s say, you are raising $20, 000.00 to complete a church building,right? Are you going to do that onto a single page?
Well, if you are able to cram the main points onto a single sheet and raise the amount you need, then you are a real genius.
But let's face the fact. How many writers are that gifted? If you are sending it to those who have never heard about your ministry, you will have to delve deep into matter and convince them as to why you need to solicit those funds.
This subject is always opened for discussion. So, you shouldn’t listen to the vocal majority. When in doubt, you should test the content of your letter by sending a short one to probably your house file, and a longer one to those who don’t know the mission and vision of your organization and the results will speak for itself! Everyone’s story is different, so always test by sending out different versions of your letter to your recipients.
Next, you have to decide the purpose and intent of the letter. What do I mean by that? Ok, I will explain. You have to decide on the kind of letter you wish to write as that will set the tone for the rest of your message.
Questions like these can help you get started?
- Is your letter going to solicit funds for your church building project?
- Is the choir in need of musical instruments? Asking for cash to buy them or asking musical instruments stores to donate them?
- Are you going on a missions trip somewhere in Africa and you need donors to come to your aid?
- Have you seen a rather pathetic story and do you want to raise a little cash to support that cause?
- Do you wish to embark on a charity drive in your local neighborhood?
- What’s on your mind?
Please note: Just pick out one from the above list and start doing a little brainstorming about why you need to write this and who you are going to send those letters out to. At least, this mental exercise gives you an idea of what to do.
One more thing. If you are going to deliver a speech at let’s say a dinner to raise funds. Then, it’s best to look at how to make a compelling fundraising church speech that will make you laugh all the way to the bank and videos can help you warm up your brain.
By the way, here are two of such videos to inspire your creative thinking. Don’t just watch them. But put down ideas and tips you think you can incorporate into your own speech as you watch.
Please click on both videos and watch them once or twice before you move onto to other sections of the speech. If you are not going to deliver one, just skip both clips and read the text below them. Enjoy and learn from them and prosper!
Fundraising speech video: example #1
Fundraising speech video: example # 2
Now, I am going to share two fundraising letter templates with you…in between them, I am going to explain and share with you ideas you can use to write something persuasive that brings you the cash you are looking for to fund your projects.
Here you go:
Fundrasing letter sample for a church
Holmes International Inc.
Unit 4, Elessdale Business Park
15 January 2009
Request For Funding And/Or Building Material
Dear Mr. Holmes,
Comment: A nice way of endearing yourself to anyone is to call them by their name and that’s what we see there. I suspect that this church is a small congregation where everyone knows each other like family or it could also be that they have a well-organized database. I once reviewed a church letter asking for funds and the salutation was: Dear Sir/Madam.
Unfortunately such examples abound in 7 in every 10 letter. As much as possible, start your letter by attaching the person’s name to the title(Mr or Mrs or Miss)
Well, if the letter is going to non-church members whom you don’t know too well, then it’s best to add an extra appeal to the salutation with one or more of these salutations :
Ok...Let's continue with the letter.
I was at a highest of highs a couple of Sundays ago, as I sat on the lawn with our Sunday school youth group, teaching and preaching about God's grace. The kids were all full of interest, laughter and singing. It made me feel so proud of what we had achieved so far at our small Baptist church here in Stainton.
AND then the rain came down... And I realized how much we really needed to add onto our small building to accommodate for our ever growing number of youth members!
Comment: I love this letter for one thing. It begins with something we all love and can you guess what it is? A good story!!!! You can quote stats and even embellish your letter with pictures. But nothing beats a captivating story.
So, as you write your appeal to raise funds for your church project, it’s best to engage your readers with a story. Whether true or imagined.
Let me ask you this: Would you like to start with an anecdote? And if so, what is this story?
Hint: What you go for should be connected to the message you will put out there just as this writer has captured beautifully.
In some instances, you may use imaginary tales if the church board won’t permit you to use a real life account. But, you shouldn’t give in. You should try to convince them and let them understand why you should use it. If it’s very sensitive, then please stay clear off it.
Ok...let's continue reading other aspects of the letter
''And this is the reason why I am writing to you now, to request your help, with either a donation of funds or a donation of building material, towards the extending of our Church building. ''
Comment: I hate this section for one thing: it lacks specifics. When raising funds, we ask for just one thing at a time. Else you will overwhelm the giver.
When asked to make several choices in a letter, the receiver will experience paralysis. This writer asked the recipients to either donate funds or building materials.
As i leafed through that portion, i was saying to myself thatI don’t have building materials now! But I can give some few dollars to buy those stuff? I am sure that’s what’s going througn your mind too.
Guess what? One single letter can serve multiple purposes but with caution. For example, if you want to raise funds, then you should profile your members to find out how can sit down and write you checks. Then, you can also figure out from your house file or database those who can contribute the building materials.
If everything is lumped together, then your response rate will drop to the ocean floor.
Again, if you are asking for money, then you can ask donors to contribute specific amounts like $50, $70, $ 80, $100…etc. Or ask them to give a generous amount. In the fundraising world, specifics always outshine generalities. That’s what most believe people. But you have got to send series of letters to test if that assertion is true since it may not apply to your peculiar situation.
Question to ponder over: Do you want your donors to give suggested amounts?
Ok... still on other parts of the letter
For the past two years now we have placed great emphasis on attracting and building our number of youth members, as we believe that that the youth in any church is of extreme importance! I'm sure you know of how important the youth is to any community... They are the future after all.
This development has been a great success and our youth group has slowly grown to a number that we can now be proud of! But unfortunately, it has also grown to a size that we cannot accommodate for anymore in our small Church Building. So the time has now come for us to do some developments and extend the building.
Comments: Most people don’t share it. But a great way of getting more from your solicitations is to send out brochures of what their previous or past giving has done. This project would have achieved maximum impact if they showed how crowded the church is when the youth comes together for service.
We are still on the letter
But we can obviously not do this without the help of outside funding. So please would you be able to help us by sponsoring a section of the building extension or by donating some of the building material needed for it!
The cost to build this extension is going to be (amount), and to raise these funds we have broken the structure up into five different sections of which we are looking for sponsorships for each! Each section is going to cost (amount for section) and as a reward for sponsoring the section you will receive a plaque placed in the building entrance.
All sponsors will also receive free advertising on our website and in our newsletters.
Comments: As you know, those who give always receive. So, it’s imperative that you give frequent donors something as a keepsake. You can’t always be taking from them without giving anything back. So, let me ask you this. What do you intend to give back to your regular donors as well after you’ve gotten their donations? That’s something you should seriously consider as put your campaign together.
We are still on the letter
By sponsoring and helping us build this extension you will be helping the kids in such a big way! Being a Christian yourself, I am sure you will understand the importance of giving our children a good grounding in our beliefs about Christ and the Lord, and this is what our Church's main goal is! We want to teach the children in the best way possible and help them to develop into strong and honest Christian adults.
With this new extension we will be able to provide for these kids in a much better way. There will be no more interruptions or cancellations due to weather, the cold during winter will be less of an issue, and quite simply an indoors building with seats and proper facilities will just mean so much for the children, they will feel so much more wanted!
As Sally Galtrea, a 12 year girl from our youth, says, "Sunday school is something which I can't wait for each week. I get to see all my friends, laugh, play and learn about Jesus! The stories that are told are so exciting and I love learning about Jesus and all the things he did. He is my Superhero! But then there are some days when the weather is ugly and our Sunday school gets cancelled... Those are my boring Sundays."
So by helping us build on to our Church you will be providing a huge service to all the children, like Sally, at our Sunday school. Please either sponsor a section of our building or donate building material towards it.
If you would like to sponsor then please contact myself, Gary Redman, on (Phone number), or via email at email@example.com . We have plans to start construction on the 04 May, so please could you RSVP by the 20 April as there will still be much planning to be done!
I thank you for the time you have taken to read this letter.
P.S. Please remember that by helping us build this extension to our Church, you will not only be doing a big favour towards our Youth Group, but will also be helping the entire Church, its organization and members.
This is because the extension will also be used for many other things, other than Sunday school, like all meetings, band practices, fundraising events and much more. So please help us out!
Comments: The conclusion of your letter should remind them why it is so essential that they look into their wallets and give to support the work of the Lord. Here, you can reiterate if you want them to give suggested amounts or leave it open. Again, it should include ways they can reach you and who the contact person is.
Let’s face it. One of the most difficult letters you'll ever write is a fundraising or charity letter because most folks hate it when they have to part with money. However, when we ask for cash and use it well for causes so dear to the hearts of donors, they are likely to give their cash and time to support your charity in good times and bad.
Over the years, psychologists have found that donors are moved not by what they read or hear per se. But when certain psychological triggers are applied to your message, donors are moved to support your cause even if the economy is not so great.
When you work with us to craft your fundraising or donation letter, we’ll collaborate to make sure your donors receive not just another letter, but a compelling one that moves the donor to give to your organization generously.
By clicking here to fill out this simple and short form, you are a step away from getting help with your letter.
After you’ve filled it out, we will get in touch with you so we can take it from there and work together to create a truly irresistible donor-centered letter that will make you smiling the entire bank.
What are you waiting for? Just fill out this simple and short form to get started. That's the first step to receiving your letter.
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Why? Are you guys serious? Are you not kidding?
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After we have delivered your letter, then you name a fair price for it! That’s all! So, you better not joke with this amazing offer! We are very serious about this!
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