How To Write A Fundraising Letter
Create a list of potential contacts. Your list should include family, friends, family friends, school staff, coworkers, teammates, doctors, dentists, neighbors, coaches, church members—just about anyone you would send a Christmas card. Shoot for a list of between 75 and 100 people.
Write a personal letter requesting donations. This letter should be no longer than one page and should include these components:
Introduction: Begin your letter with a personal greeting. Then briefly share what you have been up to recently. You should personalize this section in each letter based on your relationship with the recipient. Do not start your letter with “dear friend.”
Background: Briefly explain the purpose of your mission trip and the ways in which you will be serving. Share the specific dates of your trip, the name of the specific place you will be, and how excited you are about what God has planned for you during this trip.
Explain the need: Explain why you need financial and prayer support for your trip. Ask people to be part of your prayer support team first. Then present to them the specific amount of money that needs to be raised and ask for their support.
Conclusion: Close your letter by thanking people again for their ongoing support. Sign each letter personally.
Include with your letter a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a support form for people to fill out and send back to you with a check. This form should have a place to make a prayer commitment and a place to make a financial commitment. If there is a way for people to give online, instructions for online giving can be included on this form as well. Ask that checks be made out to your organization, not to individual team members. Otherwise, the donations will not be considered tax-deductible.
Either mail or personally deliver your letter to the people on your list. Do not put the letter in people’s church mailboxes.
After a week or two, contact the people you sent letters to and ask if they have any questions or would like more information.
Send a thank-you note as soon as you receive a donation from someone. Indicate in your note that you look forward to sharing pictures and stories with the person when you return. Keep track of whom you have received money from. Send each donor a receipt (if this is how your team is doing it).
Send a follow-up letter after the trip telling people who supported you about your experience and thanking them again for helping make the trip possible.