Church Fundraising Letters: An Essential Guide for 2019 and Beyond

Church Fundraising Letters: An Essential Guide for 2019 and Beyond

Ask and you shall receive. — Luke 11:9

Even with the most dedicated congregation and the most supportive community, there’s no way around the fact that running a church requires money. For a church to succeed, its leaders have to know how to fundraise.

There are both traditional and new ways for churches to ask for money. Traditionally, fundraising letters have been a key part of church initiatives. We still write them today because they work! Letters are one of the simplest and most direct ways to reach out to your community.

But sticking to just traditional fundraising methods will drastically limit your church’s reach. In the past decade, new online tools have taken church fundraising to new heights. Online tithing technology can spread your church’s vision farther than you may have ever thought possible.

Combining these traditional and new-yet-proven fundraising types will give your church an amazing framework for success. Read on to find out how.

Here are the types of letters we’re going to cover in this article:

Use the list above to jump straight to whichever fundraising letter template your church needs now, or explore all of them. Just be sure to review our tips for modern church fundraising at the end for more information on really making the most of these templates.

The Snowball Perspective on Church Fundraising

Letters—both physical and digital—can be extremely powerful tools for raising support, but they shouldn’t be the bedrock of your fundraising efforts. That foundation should be your church’s technology.

Leading church technologies provide free tools from which to grow your church’s support system. They give your church a platform for online tithing, in addition to keeping track of congregants’ information. That way, when it comes time to send out fundraising letters, you’ll have a structure in place to help those letters have their greatest impact.

There are plenty of free online church tools out there, but we definitely recommend looking for software that doesn’t require a programmer to install. It should be quick and easy to set up—and quick and easy for your congregants to use and share with their friends and families. With the right tools, your church’s message could spread far and wide.

Here’s what we recommend for making the most of your church fundraising letters:

  1. Create an online donation page using free donation software, such as the platform we offer here at Snowball.
  2. When sending out any of the following letters, invite readers to visit your online donation page. It should have a short URL and be linked to from your website, so it’s easy to find.
  3. Also include your church’s website URL in the footer of your letter, along with any contact information you would like to highlight.
  4. That’s it! Once readers visit your online donation page, they’ll have the option to set up recurring donations, so they can automatically tithe on a weekly or monthly basis. This option for recurring tithes is incredibly important for continued engagement and church support.

With a robust combination of traditional and digital tools, your church can raise more than ever before. Let’s get started!

Schedule a demo of Snowball Fundraising.


Church Fundraising Letter Templates

General Church Fundraising Letter

General donation request letters should be a core part of your church’s fundraising strategies. One of the reasons that letters are an easy and effective fundraising tool is that they’re so easy to duplicate and send en masse. However, that doesn’t mean you should take a one-and-done approach. For every letter you send—especially these more general donation requests—you need to make sure to put your church’s own unique stamp on it.

These letters should feel personal, like a true person-to-person ask, instead of a plain old form letter. In this template, we’ve included plenty of suggestions for how you can customize the fundraising letter to tell your church’s particular story, engaging your community in a personal way:

Dear [Member Name],

 

[Begin with a story focused on your church’s recent successes, such as growth in membership or your positive impact on the surrounding community. Connect with the individual member by thanking them for being a supportive part of your community.]

 

While we feel blessed to have been able to [refer to successful project mentioned above], we need your help to [continue the project or pursue a new one].

 

With your support, we can [refer to your project or mission]. Would you consider contributing [suggested amount] to help us work toward our mission? Together, we can reach our community’s goals.

 

On behalf of your church community at [your church’s name], I thank you in advance for your support. Your contribution will go toward [restate goal, including specifics whenever possible]. You can give online at [insert link to online donation page] or [include text-to-tithe instructions].

 

Thanks again for your support of [church name]s mission.

 

Sincerely,

 

[Name of a leader in your church]

When it comes to asking for financial support, there are good and bad ways to do it. Asking for donations in a way that doesn’t connect with your donors or tell a compelling story is unlikely to inspire much support.

Once you’ve fully personalized your donation request letter to match your church’s unique story, draft an email version with a direct link to your online donation page. That way, you’ll be sure to reach every member of your congregation.

Mission Trip Fundraising Letter

Mission trips allow your church to spread your message to the communities that need it most, but it can be very expensive to send your members on long trips. Letter fundraising is the perfect way to offset those costs and draw support from the community as a whole.

With an easily shareable digital fundraising letter, mission trip participants can reach out to other members of your congregation, as well as wider networks of friends, family, and community members.

Dear [Member Name],

 

You already know how valuable our community is for helping people strengthen their relationships with God and with each other. On [date of the mission trip], some of our members will have the opportunity to share our church community and our mission in [location of the mission trip].

 

We’re excited to spread our mission to [location], but we can’t do it without your help! Your gift will allow our mission trip participants to [purpose and details of the trip].

 

Would you consider contributing [suggested amount] to help us work toward our mission? Together, we can [restate major goals].

 

On behalf of your church community at [your church’s name], I would like to thank you in advance for supporting our mission trip to [location]. You can give online at [insert link to online donation page] or [include text-to-tithe instructions].

 

Thanks again for your support of [church name]s mission.

 

Sincerely,

 

[Name of a leader in your church]

Just make sure to tell a unique story by fully customizing your letter or encouraging each participating missionary to completely customize their own. Next, email your mission trip fundraising letter to your congregation, and provide versions for your participants to easily share on social media.

This is the perfect way to kickstart a quick campaign and see how it easy it is to raise money online. You just need to provide a link to your online donation page or instructions for your text-to-give service.

Set up a free online donation page for your church.

Special Church Event or Project Fundraising Letter

Whether you’re hosting an event to bring the members of your church community closer, or developing a new program, you can use physical or digital church fundraising letters to reach out to your members for support. Customize this template, and combine it with other digital outreach strategies:

Dear [Member Name],

 

[Begin with a story focused on your recent successes. Remember to personalize your opening as much as possible.]

 

Today, we’re looking forward to our next [special event or project]. We’re planning to [specific plans and how they will benefit the community]. We need your help to make it happen!

 

With your support, we can [your event or project goal]. Would you consider contributing [suggested amount] to help us work toward our mission? Together, we can [details of the project].

 

On behalf of your church community at [your church’s name], I would like to thank you in advance for your support. Your contribution will go toward [restate goals]. You can give online at [insert link to online donation page] or [include text-to-tithe instructions].

 

Thanks again for your support of [church name]s mission.

 

Sincerely,

 

[Name of a leader in your church]

Digital fundraising letters for your church’s special events and projects should be short and sweet. With a quick and easy way to distribute your letters via email, you can even send more than one message across the time frame of the whole project.

Fundraise smarter with digital tools that allow you to blast out invitations and donation requests, ensuring that your whole community can join the fun on the big day of your event or program.

Church Building or Repair Fundraising Letter

If you’re expanding your church or need money to make repairs, use a church fundraising letter to make a personal, genuine appeal for support. Your community of dedicated members will be happy to help.

Use this template to draw more attention and web traffic to your online fundraising campaign:

Dear [Member Name],

 

[Quickly explain the purpose of your expansion or repair project, making sure to express the urgency or importance of the project.]

 

We’re looking forward to [creating or repairing] this space for all of our members to use and enjoy, and we would appreciate your support for this project benefitting our church community.

 

With your support, we can [refer to details]. Would you consider contributing [suggested amount] to help us work toward our mission? Together, we can reach our minimum goal of [total goal or estimated total cost of repairs].

 

On behalf of your church community at [your church’s name], I would like to thank you in advance for your support. Your contribution will go toward [details of the project]. You can give online at [insert link to online donation page] or [include text-to-tithe instructions].

 

Thanks again for your support of [your church’s name] and for helping to ensure the future of our place of worship and our church community.

 

Sincerely,

 

[Name of a leader in your church]

These kinds of projects are best suited to large-scale fundraising campaigns, not just one round of fundraising letters or emails. The best strategy is to go digital and create a dedicated donation page for the expansion or repair project. The donation page should include social media sharing buttons, to spread the word far and wide. Here’s what a successful donation page looks like.

We’ll cover more fundraising strategy tips at the end of this article.

Sponsorship Request Fundraising Letter

Most of your church fundraising letters will be for your congregation, but it’s a good idea to also reach out to local businesses that might be interested in supporting your church. Use a letter like this to approach potential partners:

Dear [Business Owner or Leader Name],

 

On behalf of [your church’s name], I’m writing to let you know about one of the most recent projects our church has undertaken and hopes to complete. [Explain the project for which you’re asking for additional support.]

 

Our church has begun this necessary work because [explain the project’s urgency and potential benefits]. However, to reach our goals, we’re depending upon the help of community leaders like you.

 

Would you consider contributing [suggested amount] to help us work toward our mission? [Or ask for a specific in-kind donation of goods or services if relevant.] Together, we can [restate major goals for the project].

 

On behalf of your church community at [your church’s name], I would like to thank you in advance for supporting our goals. You can give online at [insert link to online donation page] or [include text-to-tithe instructions]. Please feel free to call us if you’d like to discuss other ways to help.

 

Thanks again for your support of [church name]s mission.

 

Sincerely,

 

[Name of a leader in your church]

An effective sponsorship letter will provide a clear outline of your planned project and how that project will impact the larger community.

If your church is offering businesses incentives for supporting your project, don’t forget to include that information in the letter. These perks might include ad space and other written and spoken recognition across different types of materials and services. Once the businesses have completed their gifts, email them follow-up letters thanking them and providing confirmation of any public recognition you’ve offered.

Missionary Support Fundraising Letter

While mission trip participants only tend to travel for a few weeks or a month at a time, missionaries move to the communities they serve for much longer.

Sustaining a ministry in another community can be expensive, so missionaries and their home churches need to fundraise for support. A well-written fundraising letter can be very effective and serve as the centerpiece for a larger online campaign:

Dear [Member Name],

 

[Describe the good work you and your fellow missionaries are accomplishing in your location. Share some personal experiences you’ve had while serving as a missionary.]

 

We want to thank you and the community at [your church’s name] for your prayers, encouragement, and gifts in support of our ministry in [your location]. Your kindness allows us to continue and expand our good work here.

 

[If you are using this letter to ask for additional gifts, explain what you need money or materials for. Be as specific as possible, and include images where appropriate.]

 

Would you consider contributing [suggested amount or needed materials] to help us work toward our mission? Together, we can [restate your goals].

 

On behalf of your church community at [your church’s name], I would like to thank you in advance for supporting our work. You can give online at [insert link to online donation page] or [include text-to-tithe instructions].

Thanks again for your support of [church name]s mission.

 

Sincerely,

 

[Name of a missionary or missionaries]

For missionaries, sending digital fundraising letters via email is a very good idea. It allows them to share details with wider audiences, including their friends, family members, and social media followers.

Ask recipients to share your messages on social media to launch your own peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Just make sure your letter directs readers to a clear way to make donations online. Use fundraising software to track your progress and identify ways to keep improving your strategies. With a little extra tech on your side, your fundraising letter can be a game-changer for your mission!

Get free fundraising software.

Gift Appreciation and Follow-Up Letter

Always remember to send a thoughtful thank you letter to each member who contributes a gift. Personalize the letter as much as possible. Thank yous and follow-ups are the best and easiest way to strengthen your relationship with new donors.

A well-planned follow-up letter will look like this:

Dear [Member Name],

 

Here at [your church’s name], community is central to everything we do. We’re writing today to thank you for your recent gift, which helps ensure our community’s future.

 

[Include a description of how your church will use the member’s gift. If they gave to a specific project, this section should restate that project’s goals. If they gave generally, refer to your church’s regular expenses here. Remember to mention the ways in which giving and generosity fit into your church’s broader mission.]

 

[You may wish to include a section in this letter encouraging recurring giving. If so, you can include online donations, text-to-give, and traditional giving information here, as well as a way to set up recurring gifts.]

 

On behalf of [your church’s name], I would like to thank you again for supporting [restate specific initiative or project] and our community.

 

Thanks again for your support of our mission. You’ve helped to make a difference.

 

Sincerely,

 

[Name of a leader in your church]

Remember to send your gift appreciation letters as soon as possible after your members make their gifts! Members who make their gifts online or via text-to-give should receive an automated thank-you response that doubles as a record of their gift. You can also send a longer thank-you letter via email after your church receives the gift.

A heartfelt and personalized appreciation letter is an excellent way to encourage repeat gifts and ensure continued support for your church community and programs. It’s also a great place to encourage recurring online donations.


Tips for Modern Church Fundraising

Before your team dives into letter writing, consider your toolkit. Today, you need much more than just pencil and paper to effectively collect funds for your church goals. You need to be thoughtful and provide supporters with plenty of convenient ways to help. After all, people generally don’t have much cash on hand these days.

Churches can still use traditional fundraising methods like letters, collection plates, and community events and be very successful, but it’s important to combine them with digital tools, to make sure they’re raising as much as possible.

Consider these tips:

  • Use your fundraising letter templates to compose email messages, too. Segment your email recipients into different groups based on what kind of fundraising message is most appropriate for them, and use email or fundraising software to manage and schedule your emails.
  • Set up a web page for your main fundraising activities and for any other major fundraising projects you undertake. This creates a clear online location to direct members to, and it makes it much easier to track your progress toward certain goals.
  • Set up a text-to-give number. This giving method is incredibly easy for donors to use, and it’s a great choice for churches. Ask congregants to make donations on their phones when you’d normally pass the collection plate.
  • Make the most of social media. This is a powerful tool for raising more money and expanding your community. Encourage your members to share your campaigns and posts with their friends and family online.
  • Allow your members to feel more involved whenever possible. Give them options for where their gifts will be directed, so they can choose the part of the new project they’d most like to help fund. Use an online donation form that lets members include this information with their donation.
  • Capitalize on pledges. This is an extremely effective fundraising style because it’s all about speed and emotional fulfillment. With the help of your online fundraising software, you can collect pledges from your members and other supporters, who agree to finalize their gifts at a later date.

A lot of software companies offer these tools and services, but at Snowball, we offer a basic account that’s completely free, with top-notch tech to match. We believe in giving nonprofits and other community-based organizations unlimited everything, so you can fully customize your fundraising and keep track of your results.

We started Snowball to help unlock more generosity in the world. For us, this means getting the best technology into the hands of good people trying to do good work for others. It’s also why we’ve made it easy to get all your fundraising tools set up in just minutes.

Take some time to reflect on your church and its vision for your community. Write down your goals, talk to your church leadership and other community members, and get the right tools ready to go.

Now, get fundraising! In no time, your fundraising efforts will be Snowballing. For more information on how you can raise money for your church, check out these additional resources:

  • 85+ Awesome Church Fundraising Ideas. Writing fundraising letters is just one way you can raise money for your cause. If you’re looking for more fundraising ideas, we have a list of dozens of ideas to get you started!
  • 10 Practical Online Giving Lessons for Churches. Just like nonprofits, churches can use online donations as a way to accept tithes and additional gifts when you need extra support. Learn about 10 ways you can improve your church’s online donations.
  • 15+ Great Strategies for Church Newsletters. Newsletters—when used correctly—can be a vital component of your church’s fundraising efforts, because they help keep your parishioners informed about current events and new tithing methods. Our guide features 15+ strategies you can use to produce a quality newsletter for your congregation.

Raising money for your church? We can help.

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