How to Write a Letter For Church Donations
What is the Purpose of Donation Letters?
Gathering donations is all part of doing good work for communities worldwide. Your church relies on donations from its community to survive and thrive. Without the support of its members, the church can’t achieve its mission.
Sending a donation letter is one of the core methods available to solicit donations from people who want to make the church a better place. However, learning how to write a donation letter is easier said than done. It’s critical to have compelling donation letter examples to inspire your letters.
Good donation letters explain why you need someone’s help and encourage them to donate. While a donation letter template is a starting point, there is no set way to leverage donations.
Look into your heart and speak from it. You will find the words that will move your church community and encourage them to donate directly to various causes.
How Many Donation Letters Should You Send?
Every church has a budget for reaching out to communities. The more letters you send, the more it will cost.
Many churches wonder how frequently they should send out donation letters and who to target. It is a complex question, so what is the correct answer?
Begin with three fundraising letters or emails for a campaign of up to 30 days. Longer campaigns will demand more touchpoints.
Consider the purpose of your campaign and who might be interested in hearing from you about it. Too many letters will only irritate people. Too few letters leave them uninformed.
Find that sweet spot, and you will see your donations grow.
How to Write a Donation Letter
Working out how to write a letter for a donation is easier said than done. Every cause and every campaign differs, but several elements should always feature within the perfect donation letter template.
Here is your guide to the ideal template for a donation request letter.
Essential Elements for Any Sample Donation Letter
This simple donation letter sample will go through each essential element to help you understand how a donation letter template works. These elements work for both emails and physical letters.
Begin with a Greeting
Always start with a greeting. If you know their name, include it. This will grab the recipient’s attention, demonstrates good manners, and begins your letter on the right foot. Donation letters without a name come across as cold and are more likely to be ignored.
Personalized messages are a proven way of improving engagement and increasing the likelihood that your donation letter will be read.
Explain Your Mission
Even if you send a donation request to a member who has been donating to your church for years, it is always critical to explain your mission.
Your mission should be at the beginning of your letter and must detail what you want to accomplish through your latest campaign.
One of the best ways to manage this part of your non-profit donation letter template is to share a story from someone who has benefited from your church’s work.
In your donation letter, be clear about how funds will be used. Members want confidence and assurance that their funds are going to the right place.
Describe Your Latest Project
The chances are you are sending a request for a donation because there is a particular campaign you are running right now.
As previously mentioned, describe why you need assistance and include any key guidelines or dates. It is the story above that enforces your appeal. You also want to create a sense of urgency so that people are encouraged to donate now.
Explain the “Why?”
Go into why your community needs to support your church’s project. Delve into why their donations make a difference and what can be accomplished if they choose to donate to your campaign.
For example, if you are raising money for schools in Africa, tell your community exactly what you are doing for schools in Africa. Another backstory can be an excellent way to strengthen connections with potential donors.
Make a Specific Donation Request
Donors want clarity on where their money is going and how much of a difference their donation will make.
Once you have explained your campaign, it is time to ask for a donation. Rather than asking generally, ask for a specific amount.
Each suggested amount should correlate to how much of an impact that donation will make. Doing so acts as a lightning rod for generosity and can inspire more significant donations.
Sign Off the Right Way
Signing off may sound easy, but the way you do it will leave an impression.
First, the final section of your charitable donation letter template should have a clear and direct call to action. Tell your readers what you want them to do. Make it easy for them to act. If they have to jump through any hoops, there is a strong chance that they will forget about it.
End the letter by signing your name and including the name of your church. If possible, sign your name by hand. Handwritten signatures give the letter a personal, authentic feel.
An individual appeal involves reaching out to an individual, such as the head of a household. The key to success with an individual appeal is to touch members on a human level.
Including their name and sharing human interest stories are two crucial elements that can inspire someone to act.
A corporate appeal works differently because you are not writing to anyone in particular. You are writing to an entire organization. There is no telling who will be the first person to read through your letter.
With a corporate appeal, you need to show the benefits of donating to your cause. Most organizations are also looking to get something out of their charitable acts, such as generating additional funds for a ministry investment plan or an opportunity to reduce their taxable income.
The average donation letter template will still apply to corporate appeals, but you must work to show the business the benefits of donating some of their profits to charity.
When is the Best Time to Send a Donation Letter?
There is no wrong time to send a letter soliciting donations. However, studies have shown that sending letters at different times can yield different results.
Experts agree that sending a letter from early February to May is the best time because it is in the middle of tax return season. Many taxpayers are thinking about charitable giving to reduce their taxable income.
Another ideal time to send your letter is from early September to November. The summer has ended, and most people are getting back into their regular routines. Furthermore, people are thinking about Christmas, which is the ideal time for embracing the spirit of the giving season.
You need to find that sweet spot. You don’t want to send the letter too early so that people forget about your campaign or send it too late as they may have already donated to another cause. Most people will only endorse one or two causes, so the sooner you can get your message out, the better.
Best Practices for Better Donation Letters
Your letter should encourage people to give to a worthy cause. Always bear the primary purpose of your letter in mind.
Adopting certain best practices will empower you to achieve more success from every campaign. The proper letter will increase the number of donations you receive and the size of those donations. You want to ensure you’re doing this cautiously and effectively.
Tell Your Story
Stories that inspire, enchant, and captivate are among the best ways to encourage action from prospective donors.
Make sure your letter includes a human interest story, as previously noted. Preferably, your messaging should include a story from someone who has benefited directly from your fundraising efforts. You want to show people that this is a real cause.
Telling a story is an act of showing rather than telling. Make sure you keep your story short and sweet. Your donation letters should never be more than a single page.
Learn About Your Audience
Everyone has different motivators that need to be triggered for them to give. The chances are you will be sending letters to various supporters, all within different age groups.
How old they are, where they live, what income bracket they are in, and whether they are new or existing donors are all factors that must be considered when starting a campaign.
Your letter has to reflect the differences between people, which is why churches and other non-profits are increasingly sending out different donation letters to diverse communities.
For example, a letter sent to someone who has supported a previous campaign will always be different from one delivered to someone who has never connected with your church before.
Personalize Your Letters
Nobody wants to feel like they are just a number. Personalization is vital in all walks of life. Never send a letter with a generic salutation unless you are touching a community you know nothing about.
Simple acts, like including the person’s name, can dramatically increase your conversion rates. You can make this easier by using a unified communication and databasing solution, so that much of this process will be fully automated.
When trying to solicit donations from your target audience, have clear messaging that states how the money is being used. Never ask for a donation without stating the cause. People want to know where their money is going to evaluate the cause’s worthiness.
State what you want the money for several times throughout your letter to reinforce it. You must also include specific donation amounts and what impact those amounts correspond to.
When people understand the urgency behind an appeal, they are likely to donate now instead of later.
Track Your Donation Campaign Data
Every email or mailing campaign should have data associated with it. Collect this information to evaluate your performance.
Reflecting on a campaign’s success (or lack thereof) enables you to find out where you can improve and test-drive new strategies.
The top performers in the non-profit industry are those that know the value of trial and error. Only by collecting and storing data, do you have the tools needed to make informed decisions on running future campaigns.
If someone decides to donate to your campaign, thank them for what they have given. Show your appreciation and reiterate where their money is going and the impact it will make.
You can immediately thank people without any input with the right automation tools. Creating templates for thanking people based on donation size is an excellent way of encouraging future repeat contributions.
InPeace is an all-in-one church management software designed to give your church tools to increase giving and amplify your stewardship efforts. Trust the #1 mobile app for churches to grow your church’s ministry and donation efforts now!