7 Tips for Writing Effective Missionary Donation Letter
Is there a magic formula for writing missionary donation letters? Every pastor knows that asking for financial support is not the easiest thing on their to-do list to accomplish. It’s challenging to put together an efficient missionary donation letter.
The important things are:
a) That the person writing the letter has a deep knowledge of the church, its mission, and goals
b) That their budget is accurate.
Rather than depending on a copywriter to do your donation letters, a few simple things to keep in mind will help you be a more effective fundraiser and increase giving.
Think “You” and “Yours”—Not “I” or “We”
Focusing on the donors when asking for their help is crucial. Yes, you are raising support for your own church and mission, but essentially, your job is to serve. Serving your donors means thinking of and meeting their needs. You can do this in your donation letter by simply switching to “you” and “your” pronouns. For example:
Rather than stating,
“We need to raise X amount for X project,”
“Your help of X amount will go towards accomplishing X this year. Your support makes all the difference.”
Talk about the missionaries and the mission!
Don’t forget who your star players and team partners here: those who make your work as a pastor possible, those who keep the church active and meeting goals. These are the missionaries on the far-flung fields. They are those who may be away from the church body most of the time, as they are busy serving. In your donation letter, highlight their outreach projects and tell stories from their missions. If you can, source interviews with volunteers and project managers. This leads us to our next point…
Remember the power of great visuals
A picture is worth a thousand words. Throughout the year, you should be documenting your mission projects and outreach efforts. Then, when it is time to send out your annual fundraising letter, you will have a collection of relevant photographs for visual appeal. Instead of making your missionary donation letter wordy and long, you can capsule news into a photo caption, telling more compelling stories.
Ask for Money, Not for Support
This is easier said than done, but you need to be specific when it comes to fundraising. If you only ask for “support,” it feels too abstract. Potential donors will not be aware of your actual need. You must get commitments and pledges, and you only d this by stating real figures. For example:
“This spring, you can help us launch the education project by donating X amount towards tuition fees for X students. A monthly pledge of X will help with school supplies for X children.”
(Read our guide to Creating Awesome Online Donation Pages)
Create a Sense of Urgency
During your multiple calls to action throughout the missionary donation letter, clarify that folks can and should help now. Link to your text-to-give options, online donation portals, or website landing pages where donors can contact you. State particular holidays and timely events that correspond to your fundraising program. Donors know churches raise money continually. Putting a deadline for the amount needed to fundraise on your newsletter will help them respond sooner.
Personalization is key
When writing and addressing the letter, stay away from stiff sentences or wordy, complicated jargon. Write as if you are speaking with a friend—which could be the case with the donors you know personally. As when writing a letter to a friend, there is no need to impress or fluff up your church missions’ depictions. Simply state the facts, your immediate needs, and how the donor can help most effectively.
Make It Easy to Give
The fewer portals your donors have to pass through to send you donations, the better. Does your church website have a Paypal or e-giving option? Can they share your appeals on their own social media pages or link to your missions to get the word out to more potential donors? When crafting your missionary donation letters, think of the simplest and easiest ways for folks to support you.
There are many tech options and online resources for you to utilize when writing your missionary donation letters. These will simplify the process and ensure that your communications are effective.
At DonorWerx, we help you with online tips, recommendations, platforms for your church and can walk you through the process of setting up your church for digital success. Contact us today to find out more.