Fundraising 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.
Timing your fundraising letters is key to reaping the most benefits. You generally want to send out an invitation 6 weeks prior to any fundraising event. As for other types of fundraising letters, it really depends on your needs and your individual church’s calendar.
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, that personal touch that means a lot to congregants.
Start with the P.S.
Eye-motion studies have proven that people who read letters scan to look for their names first and read the P.S. line shortly thereafter. Start writing your fundraising letters with this fact in mind.
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.
Invest in your envelopes.
Before they can even look for the P.S. line, your members are checking out your envelope. If you want congregants to invest in your church, try investing in your envelopes first
Include a stamped return envelope.
Give your letter recipients an easy way to write back or send a check in the mail. You’ll increase the chances of members donating if you provide a simple stamped and addressed envelope.
Focus on ‘You’ more 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. They want to read about how they’re an important part of whatever is going on.
Provide a link or instructions for donating.
In case your recipients don’t want to sign, seal, and send a check, you can provide them with quick ways to give on their computers or mobile devices. Include an easy-to-follow link to your online donation page, your text-to-give number, and more.
Keep the formatting easy-to-read.
Nothing’s worse than a letter that’s hard to read because the font is too small. Or it’s a funky color. Maybe the font is wacky. For the most effective fundraising letter, make sure your font is appropriate and easy-to-rea
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.
What do they include?
Sponsorship requests should include information about the event or project that needs sponsoring. They should be incredibly specific and targeted.
When should you send them?
Church sponsorship letters should be sent out a couple of months prior to the start of the event or project that’s being funded.
Incorporating your church’s text-to-give number in your fundraising letters allows recipients to give almost instantaneously. There’s no need to sign and seal a check to be put in the mail when they can simply text the amount they’d like to give straight to your church’s number
In conjunction with your handwritten or neatly typed letters, you can also send a follow-up email as a reminder and a way to donate instantly, online. This gives them the efficiency of email communication, while keeping the personal touch of letter writing.
QR codes are essentially like barcodes in that they can be scanned for information purposes. Include a QR code in your letters that links up to your mobile-responsive donation page, so church members can easily give on the go when they receive your fundraising letter.
Adding an easy-to-follow link to your donation page in your fundraising letters is yet another simple way to encourage more giving. All your recipients need to do is type in the website address and follow the quick instructions to give to your church in a matter of minutes, instead of days.
Newsletters typically include weekly, monthly, and annual updates on a church and its members. The actual contents vary from congregation to congregation, but the theme remains consistent: keeping everyone informed about upcoming events
Getting started with a church newsletter takes planning and a lot of forethought. Establish your format and traditions early on, and your members will come to expect a certain standard for this communication from then on.
When you send out your newsletters is entirely up to your church, but it’s best to stick to the same schedule. Much like they’ll expect the same kind of content every time, your members will also expect you to publish on a consistent basis.
One of the easiest ways to learn is by example.
When you’re planning to send out a church newsletter, it can be helpful to look at other church’s example letters and copy their ideas (until you form your own traditions, of course!).
This site gives you the chance to view other church’s websites and download their example newsletters.
Click on the button below to access this resource.