Communication is key.
That’s why it’s fundamentally important to have open lines of communication with your church members. How you communicate with your congregation is vital for building and maintaining relationships.
After all, effective communication practices lead to a strengthened community, increased transparency, and boosted trust between congregants and church leadership— all of which are essential for maintaining a spiritually prosperous body of believers.
Here, we have compiled the best tips, tricks, and templates for various written correspondence with your church family. Whether you’re stuck and unsure of what to say, or you’re not quite sure how to get your message across, this comprehensive collection of resources is here to help.
For organizations of all sizes and types, digital engagement and virtual fundraising are more important than ever. Mastering these church letter strategies will not only help you write better letters, but it will strengthen your outreach across the board, too.
Understanding Church Letters and Communications
Before jumping into the letter-writing portion, it’s important to first understand the reasoning behind effective church communications. It’s not just a task to check off a to-do list or something you do because you’re told you should.
When used correctly, church communication letters can be a powerful tool for boosting engagement within your congregation and driving your church’s overall mission forward.
Church Communication FAQ
If this is a new concept for you and your church family, you likely have some questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions concerning church-wide communication to give you a better idea of what you’re stepping into.
- Why should I send church letters?
Church letters are a great way to keep your congregants up-to-date with all things happening within your church community. One specific genre of church letter— fundraising request letters— are a tried-and-true standard for churches looking to raise a significant amount from their congregations. They’re effective because they’re personal, meaningful, and thoughtful!
- When should I send church letters?
Timing your church letters is key to reaping the maximum benefits. You generally want to send out an invitation 6 weeks prior to any fundraising or church-wide event, to allow sufficient planning and boosted attendance. As for other types of fundraising and church communication letters, it really depends on your needs and your individual church’s calendar.
- Should I send direct letters or emails?
Emails are wonderful for fundraising— they’re efficient, effective, and inexpensive. But they can also come off as impersonal, and no one saves a nice email. Letters add that little something extra, and that personal touch can mean a lot to congregants. For most congregations, the answer involves finding a perfect combination of both mediums for the best results.
- What should I include in a church letter?
Be sure to include a brief history of the church as well as any current events, special projects, volunteer opportunities, and other ways to get involved. Some church letters maintain an emphasis on giving, in which case it’s important to include a link or detailed instructions to make a donation, while other letters may be strictly informational.
- What should I include in a newsletter?
The actual contents of a church newsletter vary from congregation to congregation, but the theme remains the same— keeping everyone up-to-date with church happenings. It’s a great place to inform readers about upcoming and recent events, as well as offer an invitation for each recipient to get involved!
- How do I get started writing a newsletter?
Getting started with a church newsletter takes a lot of planning and forethought. Establish your format and traditions early on, and your members will come to expect a certain standard for this communication from then on. Be sure to maintain quality content as well as design to create an overall professional-standard newsletter.
- When should I send out church letters?
Newsletters may go out on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis to a church and its members, but it’s a good idea to maintain a fixed schedule. Other types of church communications, however, may be sent out on a more inconsistent pattern based on the urgency and contents of the letter.
Best Practices for Church Communication Letters
Whether you’re new to church letter-writing or simply looking for a refresher, these are some of our best practices for effective communication letters.
- Start with the P.S.
Eye-motion studies have proven that the majority of letter recipients scan first for their names and read the P.S. line shortly thereafter. Start writing your fundraising letters with this fact in mind. Some might incorrectly believe that the P.S. is an outdated tactic— but it’s actually more important than ever.
- Invest in your envelopes.
Before your letter is even opened, recipients are checking out your envelope and making assumptions. If you want congregants to invest in your church, try investing in your envelopes first. After all, you know the importance of first impressions!
- Focus more on “you” than “me.”
It can be easy to fall into the trap of talking about all the great things your church is working on. But no one wants to read a letter that’s all about someone else. Churchgoers want to read about how they’re an important part of current happenings— and how they can continue to get involved.
- Include a stamped return envelope.
Give your letter recipients an easy way to respond or send a check in the mail— especially with your fundraising-specific letters. You’ll increase the chances of members donating if you provide a simple stamped and addressed envelope.
- Provide instructions for donating online.
In case your recipients don’t want to sign, seal, and send a check, be sure to allow other giving methods as well. Provide readers with quick, easy, and secure ways to give on their computers or mobile devices instead. Include an easy-to-follow link (with detailed instructions) to your online donation page, your text-to-give number, and more. With a streamlined donation platform like the one from Snowball, users can submit a gift online in less than a minute!
- Keep the formatting easy-to-read.
Nothing’s worse than a letter that’s too hard to read due to a too-small, bright-colored, or strange-looking font. For the most effective fundraising letter, make sure your font is appropriate and easy-to-read on a solid, light-colored background.
- Express gratitude throughout.
Few things encourage donations more than being thoughtful and thankful. Thank your letter recipients for their time, consideration, and for any past donations they may have made. It never hurts to thank someone multiple times, and specifying your gratitude is a good practice as well.
- Establish a foundation of church software.
You’ll probably want to include a link to your church’s website somewhere in the letter, such as in the header or footer. If you already have your online donation page featured on your website, letter recipients will know exactly where they can go to support your church.
- Ensure a well-written letter.
If your church is a community gathering spot with a friendly, welcoming voice, keep that in mind while putting together any church letters. Language should be clear, concise, and compelling. It always helps to have another person read through the letter before you press “send” to catch any finicky commas or other typos.
By taking these considerations to mind, you can set your team up for a successful letter-writing campaign. Whether your goal is to bring in new fundraising revenue or simply to build relationships, it’s important to follow these guidelines for success.
Well-written church letters are a great way to get information across and strengthen relationships with your congregants. They can also be an effective fundraising tool when used correctly.
However, in order to maximize revenue from these letters and ensure that anyone that wants to give to your church can, it’s important to establish a solid foundation of fundraising software first. Explore this guide to get started with free fundraising tools like the ones offered by Snowball!
Church Letter Templates to Get Started
All church letters are a method of communicating with your congregation and thus share certain characteristics. However, there are many types of letters that each serve a different purpose within your church’s overall communication strategy.
Most church letters can be divided into one of two categories: communication letters and fundraising letters. Yet even within those groups, the possibilities are endless.
These church letter templates can be adapted and used to communicate with your congregation in a way that suits your needs. Here are examples of the most highly-demanded church communication and fundraising letters to get you started on your letter-writing journey!
Church Communication Letters
Your church’s welcome letters should include a warm and inviting greeting. Be sure to thank the recipient for attending and encourage them to come back again soon. The sooner you send a welcome letter after someone has visited your church, the better. If you wait too long to reach out, they may think you’ve forgotten them!
SUBJECT: Thank you for visiting [Church name]!
We’re so glad you joined us at [Church name] this past [day of the week, probably Sunday].
I hope you got the opportunity to mingle with some of our church family this week. We’d love the chance to get to know you [and your family] better.
Here are some upcoming events we’d love to see you at! We hold a church service every [day(s) of the week] at [time(s) of service]. We also meet for [other activities— bible studies, community groups, volunteer opportunities].
Feel free to reach out at [email] or [phone number] to learn more about how you can get involved!
Hope to see you soon,
P.S. Check out our website at [URL] to learn more about us and get involved!
Church newsletters usually include news about current and future events in the church, including weddings, baptisms, mission trips, and summer camps, as well as past events and ongoing projects. Newsletters can be sent out on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis— just try to keep the publication on a consistent schedule.
SUBJECT: Another incredible month at [Church name].
Here at [Church name], we [brief summary of mission statement].
That’s why we take the time and resources to invest in [ongoing project or program] and [ongoing project or program].
This upcoming [timeframe], we are hosting [event] and we would love for you to join us! On [date] at [time], we will be [description of event]. Contact us if you’re interested in getting involved.
This past [timeframe], we have completed [project or event] which had an excellent turnout. Over [number of attendees or other metric] came out to [activity] with us!
Thank you for all of your continued prayer and support.
P.S. Check out our website at [URL] to learn more about what’s happening at [Church name].
Letters of invitation
A letter of invitation includes an explicit invitation to join the church as an official member. The letter should also include a membership card to fill out and mail back, as well as any instructions for informational meetings to learn more. As soon as you’re ready to invite a new member into your congregation, you can send out a letter of invitation.
SUBJECT: Welcome to the [Church name] family, [recipient name]!
We see you’ve been attending [Church name] for a while now, and we’re hoping you might be ready to take the next step— becoming a member.
To us, membership means [brief summary of membership at your church]. We are a [denomination] church that believes [brief summary of mission statement].
If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a member, please contact [pastor’s name] at [email] or [phone number].
[If applicable] We’ll be hosting an informational meeting on [date] at [time] in [location] for all interested in taking this next step.
P.S. Check out our website at [URL] to read more about what we believe— and what it means to be a member.
Missionary letters include key updates about the communities in which missionaries are serving. Some will ask for additional support, but often they’re simply informational. Missionaries can send out updates as frequently as they’re able but it’s most common for them to be sent monthly.
SUBJECT: Keep [missionaries’ names] in your prayers.
Many of you know [name of missionaries], our missionaries currently stationed in [location]. They’ve been a part of our church family since [brief summary of their history with your church].
The team currently consists of [names of each individual including children] that have been overseas for [length of time].
They are currently working in [location] to [overall goals] by [specific activity] and [specific activity].
As always, the [name of missionaries] welcome your prayers and support.
P.S. Check out our website at [URL] to stay up-to-date with all of our missionaries’ work.
Letters to inactive members
A letter to an inactive member should include empathy for the person whose church attendance has recently declined, and a sincere request for them to return. Ask if there’s anything your church family can be praying for as well! You should wait a while after you notice someone’s absence before reaching out. If a regular attendee hasn’t been seen in months, it might be time to send a thoughtful letter.
SUBJECT: [Recipient’s name], we miss you at [Church name]!
Long time, no see! We noticed it’s been a while since you’ve attended one of our services and just wanted to reach out again and see if there’s anything we can do.
We’d love to hear more about your current phase of life and how we can be praying alongside you.
Please join us for a worship service on [date] at [time], or take part in one of our community events!
We hope to see you soon.
P.S. Check out our website at [URL] to get involved again.
Letters of recommendation
If a member has come to you for a letter of recommendation, you should make sure that it’s specific, sincere, and succinct. Take the lead from the recommended party, and make sure you adhere to whatever deadlines they specify. Nothing is worse than a late letter of recommendation!
SUBJECT: Letter of recommendation for [individual’s name].
[Individual] is a [positive characteristic], [positive characteristic], and [positive characteristic] person.
Throughout the [length of time] I’ve known [individual], I’ve gotten to see a wonderful person develop and grow.
Through our time working together at [experience] and [experience], I know [individual] is a [positive characteristic], [positive characteristic] individual that anyone would be lucky to have.
Letters of transfer
Letters of transfer include information about the member’s standing with your church as well as a request for notification when the new membership begins. These letters should be sent as soon as possible after a member notifies you that they’d like to transfer their membership to a different church.
SUBJECT: Letter of transfer from [old church] to [new church].
To [new church],
This certifies that [individual] is a member in good standing at [old church] since [date of original membership].
At their own request, [individual] would like their membership to be transferred.
We affectionately recommend [individual] to join your fellowship, and wish you all the best of luck.
For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email] or [phone number].
Letters of resignation
Whenever a member of your leadership retires or transfers churches, it’s important to send out a church-wide letter of resignation. This should include a brief explanation, an expression of gratitude, and a tentative plan going forward, and should be sent as soon as they feel comfortable enough to make the announcement to the entire congregation.
SUBJECT: [Leader’s name] will miss you all!
I regret to inform you that I, [title] of [Church name], will be [resigning/transferring to new church] within [length of time until it takes effect].
I will miss all of you at [Church name], but ultimately feel that God is calling me to [new church/location/career].
Due to [brief summary of reasoning], I have decided this is the best choice for myself and my family.
I appreciate every single one of you for the environment and experiences at [Church name], and it is an opportunity I will forever cherish.
Feel free to reach out to me at [email] or [phone number] for any further questions or concerns.
Best of luck,
P.S. Check out our website at [URL] for any updates and to stay in-the-know.
Church Fundraising Letters
Strategically crafted church fundraising letters have the power to raise more for your church’s top needs. Whether you’re planning to send these appeals via email or direct mail, here are some fundraising letter templates and examples to give you a headstart.
Church donation letters
Church donation letters include information about the current state of the church and how continued donations would help further those goals. Donation request letters can be sent out multiple times throughout the year— there’s no one “perfect” time to send out a church donation letter.
SUBJECT: [Recipient’s name], we could use your support.
[Church name] is a community dedicated to [brief summary of mission statement]. That’s why we make it a part of our mission to [activity or project] and [activity or project].
Projects like these are able to be completed thanks to generous contributions from churchgoers like you.
Would you prayerfully consider giving to our church and joining in the mission to [overall goal of the church]?
Thank you in advance,
P.S. Check out our website at [URL] to make a donation in seconds.
Special event or project letters
Special event or special project letters should include specific details about the time, place, and date of the event, as well as information detailing your specific monetary needs. Event letters should be sent out at least 6 weeks before the event, and special project letters should also be sent out fairly early as well.
SUBJECT: We’re planning [event or project]. You can help.
You’re invited to our [name of event] taking place on [date] at [time] at [location].
Even more than that, you’re invited to become a part of the dedicated team that makes pulling off events like these possible.
Our goal is to raise [fundraising goal in dollars] by [end of fundraising campaign] so that this event can be an exciting and successful time.
Would you be interested in helping fund our [special project] and being a part of the good we’re doing here at [Church name].
P.S. Check out our website at [URL] to give or learn more about [event or project].
Sponsorship request letters
Sponsorship requests should include specific information about the event or project that needs sponsoring, and include any benefits that sponsorship can offer an individual or business— such as advertising and good publicity. Church sponsorship letters should be sent out several months prior to the start of the event or project that’s being funded.
SUBJECT: Help us fund [event or project].
We at [Church name] are [brief summary of church mission and background].
We are currently fundraising for [event or project] and are looking for some dedicated, generous sponsors like you.
Through [event or project], we are looking to [purpose of event or project] together. This is so important because [significance of event or project].
By becoming an official sponsor of our [event or project], we can offer you specific benefits as well. Not only will you receive quality advertising at our event, but you can also improve the standing of your business within the community.
We are currently seeking sponsors at these levels [suggested fee], [suggested fee], and [suggested fee] that will receive [sponsor perks].
If interested, please contact us at [email] or [phone number].
Thank you for your consideration,
P.S. Check out our website at [URL] to learn more about us and how you can help.
Auction item request letters
Auction item request letters should include concrete information about your upcoming auction and a direct ask regarding any items you need for it. You should make sure to send out your request letters at least three months before your planned auction to allow for greatest results.
SUBJECT: How can you help out with our annual auction?
As you may know, we host an annual fundraising auction at [Church name]. With this year’s event quickly approaching on [date], it’s time to start collecting valuable items to auction!
We are currently seeking auction items like [example], [example], and [example].
If you have other suggestions or know of a different item or service you’d like to donate, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
If you’re able, please help our auction be a success by donating gift cards, merchandise, services, and more.
For more information on how to get involved with our annual auction, feel free to reach out to [name] at [email] or [phone number].
P.S. Check out our website at [URL] for updated information on our annual auction— and how you can help.
Church building or repair letters
Church building or repair letters should include details about the construction plans with specific needs addressed directly in the letter. Minor repair letters should be sent out a few weeks in advance, while major repairs and large construction projects necessitate letters be sent out a year beforehand.
SUBJECT: Help us [repair, expand, build] our house of worship.
Here at [Church name], we know that the building is not what defines the church. The body of believers defines the church, but the building is a special place to convene and worship together.
However, sometimes it’s important to invest time and resources into building and maintaining our worship space.
That’s why we are choosing to [repair, expand, build] our house of worship in the upcoming [timeframe].
Our plan is to [brief summary of buiding plans] in order to [main purpose].
Yet we can’t do it alone. Please consider donating to our church building fund and being a part of the change and expansion the Lord has in store for us.
P.S. Check out our website at [URL] to make a donation and be the first to know about any updates.
Mission trip letters
Mission trip letters typically detail the plans for the trip and the needs of the community being served, as well as information about the trip’s overall cost. Be sure to send out mission trip letters well in advance of the trip itself— potentially as many as 4 or 5 months in advance to help pay for plane tickets.
SUBJECT: Can you support our mission trip to [location]?
We’re going to [location]! Here at [Church name], we’ve gathered a team that’s heading to [location] on a [length of trip] mission trip this upcoming [week/month of trip].
The team is comprised of [number of participants] [youth, young adults, all ages, etc.] that have a heart for missions and spreading the word of God.
In [location], we plan to [event or activity], [event or activity], and [event or activity]. This is important because [describe the need and what you can offer].
Are you able to support our team as we prepare to travel to [location] within the next several months?
P.S. Check out our website at [URL] to support our mission trip and learn more about what we’ll be doing.
Missionary support letters
Missionary support letters, as opposed to mission trip letters, tend to support long-term missionaries working overseas. They’re sent from the field and include updates on the places being served and direct asks for support. These letters can be sent whenever a missionary in the field feels that they need extra help for a particular project.
SUBJECT: Support our missionaries in [location].
[Names of missionaries], our dedicated missionaries stationed in [location] need your help!
[Names of missionaries] are currently working with the individuals of [location] to [overall objective]. They’re doing so by [activity], [activity], and [activity].
That’s why they’re humbly requesting monetary support from our church congregation to help them as they spread the Good News around the world.
Please consider making a donation and being a part of what God is doing in [location] today.
Thanks for the support,
P.S. Check out our website at [URL] to support [missionaries’ names] and learn about their mission.
Thank you letters should include a “thank-you.” But they should also provide recipients with an idea of how their contributions (monetary or otherwise) made a difference. Send thank-you letters as soon as possible— typically, within 48 hours of a donation or event is the best practice.
SUBJECT: Your gift makes our mission possible.
Thank you so much for your generous contribution of [amount of donation] on [date of donation].
Because of supporters like you, we are able to [brief summary of mission statement].
Recently, funding has gone towards [current or recent project] and [current or recent project].
We appreciate your gift and can’t wait to see how the Lord will continue to use it in great ways.
Thank you again,
P.S. Check out our website at [URL] to stay up-to-date on how your generous donation is helping us make a difference.
Tips for Using Church Letter Templates
Your church letters should be personalized to each recipient for maximum engagement and increased responses. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to use templates. It just means it’s important to take the time to adjust any templates to meet your own church’s needs.
Here are some of our top tips for utilizing these church letter templates to your best advantage:
- Be conversational in your writing. You’re writing to your church members, not your 12th grade English teacher. Feel free to write as though you’re talking directly to your audience. No need to be overly formal, especially considering you likely already have personal relationships with much of the audience.
- Customize the letter to fit your church’s needs. A super vague request for money is not likely to bring in many responses. Instead, talk specifically about any special projects or events in need of some extra funding and where that funding will go. The clearer the picture you paint, the more likely the recipient will be willing to give.
- Have each letter personally signed by your pastor (or at least someone in your church’s leadership). This adds a special touch to handwritten letters and allows the recipient to see the thought and effort that goes into each and every one.
- Personalize the way you address each church member. “Dear John,” is already a more personal conversation than “To Whom it May Concern,” or even “Dear churchgoer.” Everybody likes to be addressed by name in a way that makes them feel special— in this case like a significant member of the church family.
- Offer multiple easy ways to give. If you’re wanting to include a way for your congregation members to donate to your special project, make sure you include a return envelope, preferably with your address already scrawled on the front and a stamp for good measure. Or, for emailed letters, be sure to include a link to your online donation page!
- Partner with a direct mail company. Working with a dedicated direct mail fundraising platform can take the pressure off your own fundraising team. Plus, low-cost (yet effective) fundraising services like GivingMail can help you raise more for less than it would cost to print and mail your fundraising letters on your own.
By implementing these simple tips, you can substantially improve your personal fundraising efforts and draw in revenue from new and established church members alike.
Church letters are a great way to stay up-to-date with your entire congregation as well as make personalized requests for donations. Your communication letters set you up for strengthened relationships with church members, while your fundraising letters lay the foundation for a successful giving campaign.
However, it’s important that you first have a strong foundation of fundraising software in place, to which you can direct eager donors to make their gifts. You can get started with Snowball’s free suite of fundraising software and begin building your foundation today!
For more information on church fundraising and maintaining effective communication with your churchgoers, see the following resources:
- Church Fundraising Letters: An Essential Guide For 2020 And Beyond. Looking for more fundraising letters? Check out this guide for new examples and tips.
- Church Newsletters: Complete Guide For Modern Communication. Church newsletters are a great way to make sure your whole church stays on the same page with current events and past accomplishments.
- Church Management Tips: 20+ Ways To Grow Your Ministry. Are you looking to expand your church? Here are some of our best ways to grow your ministry and bring new members into your flock!
- 85+ Awesome Church Fundraising Ideas For Your Congregation. Check out these unique and engaging fundraising ideas to raise money for your church— whether for mission trips, building upgrades, or daily operations.
- Virtual Fundraising: The Complete Guide for 2020 & Beyond. If your church is looking for new ways to implement virtual fundraising strategies into your overall plan, this guide can help ease the transition.
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