Do you find it uncomfortable to ask your church members for donations? It may not be the most natural conversation in the world but without it, your church can find itself in financial difficulties.
To survive, your church needs to be fundraising on an ongoing basis — and that includes writing successful church donation letters.
Combining donation letters and online fundraising can help your church raise more funds, increase your congregation, and ensure its survival for years to come.
This article will help you with tips and samples to come up with the right approach toward church donation letters. Here’s all that we’ll cover:
Churches can write donation letters for any requests for support beyond regular tithing. It can be for acknowledging donations that have been made, asking for donations, and encouraging church members to give to their specific campaigns.
The following tips incorporate all these scenarios and present suggestions depending on them.
Before you make your ask, start things off with a positive story or piece of news about your church.
This eases your supporters into the ask and helps maintain a positive connection to your church.
Thanking your donors for their previous contributions and letting them know how grateful you are is a key element of successful church donation letters. This helps your church members feel valued and involved in the work your church is doing. Further, this helps you maintain a strong relationship with your congregation and increase the potential for future donations.
Note: If your church receives a donation of at least $250 and you’re a 501(c)(3) organization, you’re legally required to send an acknowledgment. This acts as proof of the donation and allows the donor to claim a tax deduction on it. Regardless of whether your church receives donations of this amount, it’s good practice to acknowledge donations of any amount to build greater rapport with your congregation.
Donorbox can help make this hassle-free for you. For every donation made to your church through your campaign on Donorbox, your donors receive an automated donation receipt. You have the ability to customize this receipt. You can add variables depending on how you’d like to personalize the receipt and also add in your own text for strengthening your connection.
Automate Your Donation Receipts With Donorbox
Similarly, you can also create yearly tax receipts for your donors. It combines their donation details in a PDF and attaches it to the email message you can easily customize on Donorbox. You have the ability to send these yearly receipts to all or selected donors directly from the tool.
Tell donors how your church has used contributions and how you’ll do so in the future. Where possible, include stories about your work and the impact it’s having. This can help church members feel their donations will make a genuine difference in the community and makes it easier to establish an emotional connection.
To make this more precise, dig into your donor database and find out exactly how much donors gave to your campaign. Now, include this data in letters to tell donors about the exact impact made with that donation amount. This might be extra work but real-time data engages people. They’ll feel that you’re putting in effort to make sure the donation is rightly used.
This process will also help you suggest donation amounts to your donors as per their giving abilities. People will feel more comfortable with your ask and go on to make another donation.
With Donorbox Donor Management, you can easily apply filters to your donor and donation data to find out these little details. Here’s how it looks like on the tool –
If your church has an online donation page, include the link in your donation letters. This offers your congregation a quick and easy way to give. You can also include a QR code in your letters that take people to the donation page.
Donorbox gives you a free QR code with every campaign you create on the tool. Just download and add it anywhere for fundraising – this acts as a great call to action for your letters. Check out how the Holy Trinity Catholic Church is using it on their website.
Donorbox also lets your church create unlimited fundraising campaigns including donation forms and pages. They are highly customizable to fit your brand and needs. There are ample features such as Recurring Donations, Text-to-Give, QuickDonate, Memberships, and more to ensure your church can fundraise effectively. Moreover, our platform is donor-friendly, making it possible to make a donation in a few taps or clicks.
Your church donation letters can double as email communications. You can get the most from this if you segment your church members into groups as per their giving abilities and suggest donation amounts accordingly. Link this email to your donation form that must include a wide variety of donation amounts to incorporate all these groups. Even better if you add short impact details to these amounts on your form and the letter.
Not all members of your congregation will respond to direct mail donation letters, especially younger members. Therefore, sending email donation letters can maximize donations.
If you’re targeting younger demographics, do make sure to include text-to-give as a method of making donations. It’s simple with Donorbox. Just share your texting number and the unique campaign ID on the email. They’ll send this ID to the number and receive a mobile-friendly donation page link to complete the donation. It’s fun, simple, and convenient in terms of modern giving.
Asking your congregation for money too often can lead to “donation fatigue”. Therefore, limiting your church donation letters to a maximum of 6 letters per year (or one every two months) can avoid this.
You have a number of other ways to encourage donations. You should post about your campaigns on social media, host fundraising events, try peer-to-peer fundraising with your church members and volunteers, and more. These are latest trends that will capture attention more easily and inspire people to take action.
For example, the Allen Temple AME Church is leveraging their supporters’ network to reach new people and raise more money. So, when you know you can’t send another donation letter, use these unique methods to meet your fundraising goal.
Start Fundraising With Donorbox
Not sure where to start when you’re creating church donation letters? Using a template for your church donation letters helps save time and effort.
You’ll likely need to change a few details to personalize them to specific donors. However, you don’t necessarily need to write a new letter from scratch every time you send out a church donation letter. You can use the tips from the previous section to make changes as per your needs.
Dear [First name],
[Open with some news about your church.]
We have been incredibly blessed to be able to [briefly loop back to the recent work/projects from the previous paragraph] thanks to the generosity of donations like yours.
Your donation of [include donation amount] has helped us [include specific impact]. With your continued support, we can carry on this legacy. [You might talk about specific projects or general expenses, depending on what is most appropriate.]
Your contribution will enable us to [talk briefly about your church’s future plans].
You can donate online at [insert link to your church’s donation page] or [include other details for how to donate].
On behalf of [your church], I’d like to reiterate our heartfelt appreciation for your support and thank you once again for your help in making [project details] happen.
Thank you for supporting [church name] and helping us to make a difference!
[Your name – preferably a leader from your church]
Pro tip: If you’re not sure whether your church’s donor acknowledgment letter includes the relevant information, the IRS publication 1771 can confirm your compliance. For sending a flawless donation receipt along with your letter, use an all-in-one donation platform like Donorbox that automates this process.
Dear [First name],
[Open with a story focused on your church’s recent successes]
We’re looking forward to our next [event or project details], which will [include a few brief details about it]. With your support, we can make it happen!
Would you help us by giving [suggested amount] to [reiterate goals for the event or project]?
On behalf of your church community at [your church’s name], your support will be highly appreciated. It will help us [restate goals]. You can give online at [insert link to online donation page] or [include text-to-give instructions].
Thanks again for supporting [church name]’s plans.
[Name of a leader in your church]
Dear [First name],
[Briefly talk about why your building or repair project is important — include details on the impact.]
This will be a space for all members to enjoy and with your generous support, we can ensure that it becomes a reality.
With your support, we can [details of your plans]. Would you consider contributing [suggested amount] to help us?
Your contributions can help [church name] reach our minimum goal of [total cost or estimated total cost of repairs].
On behalf of your church community at [your church’s name], I would like to thank you for your support. Your contribution will help [reiterate details of the project].
You can give online at [insert link to your donation page] or [include a QR code to your capital campaign].
[Name of a leader in your church]
Your church’s donation letters can go far beyond your congregation. Local businesses may also be interested in sponsoring your church, especially for events and projects. Depending on your campaign, this may extend to larger or national businesses.
Sometimes, the costs of delivering a project or event will require you to look for additional funds to cover the costs, and donations won’t always be enough.
When you’re deciding which companies to approach for sponsorship, think about –
These can help ensure you secure sponsors that align with your church’s mission and avoid the potential for damage to your church’s reputation.
Pro tip: Use your knowledge of your congregation to decide when it may be appropriate to look for sponsorship and when it might potentially cause offense.
Along with financial support, corporate sponsorship may involve asking for in-kind donations for your church’s events or projects. You can request prizes for raffles or building materials for a building/repairs campaign, for example.
With corporate church donation letters, you can play up the benefits of becoming a sponsor. This may involve publicity, recognition in the community, and improved brand reputation. Here’s a template to help you get started.
Dear [Name of lead contact at the potential sponsor],
[Open with some details about your church’s plans and why you need sponsorship]
Our church carries out this work because [explain the need for project and benefits], and we rely on the support and generosity of the community to deliver on our mission.
Would you consider contributing [suggested amount] to help us work toward our mission?
With your support, we can [restate your major goals for the project].
Thank you for your generous support of [church name]’s mission — your contribution is helping us to do more vital work.
[Name of a leader in your church]
We have written a blog for 5 different types of sponsorship letters, including samples – give it a read to find the one suitable for your church’s needs.
Donation letters can be a powerful way to keep your congregation up-to-date with your church’s events and fundraising campaigns.
You don’t need to write a brand new letter every time you send out a church donation letter. Once you find a template that works well in securing donations for your church, you can use it as the basis for future campaigns.
Include donation acknowledgements, impact details, suggested donation amounts, as well as methods of give in your church donation letters. Our tips should have made it clear already.
For more help, check out Donorbox. We’re helping thousands of churches collect tithes and offerings online. Customize your letters with donor data and fundraising methods – learn about our features.
Read insightful blogs, guides, tips, and more on church fundraising and management on the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog. Find a range of other important nonprofit-related topics over there as well. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a list of our best resources in your inbox every month.