Year-End Appeal Letter: Checklist

1.  Include these important details

  • Specific date (December 1, 20__)
  • Salutation (“Dear Steve and Sue,” or “Dear Friend,”)
  • Handwritten signature
  • Navigator logo
  • Your contact information

2.  Focus the letter on your appeal

  • Limit content to the cash project topic and save news for a newsletter.
  • State the purpose of the letter clearly in the first or second paragraph. (“I am writing today to invite you to become a partner in our upcoming trip to South America.”)
  • Budget shortfall and deficit do not make good appeal topics.

3.  State the specifics

  • State exactly how much you want to raise.  (“The cost of our trip is $7,550.”  “To continue reaching students for Christ, we must raise $1,227 in additional monthly support and $4,582 in special year-end gifts.”)
  • State when people should respond.  A 4-6 week window to respond is ideal.  (“May we hear from you by December 31?  Thanks!”)

4.  Create a sense of urgency

  • Why is the money necessary…why now?
  • How will it help advance the Kingdom?
  • How will it change lives?

5.  Warm story

  • Illustrate your ministry in a way that people can connect with it.
  • Incomplete loop (a story with no end) preferred

6.  Include one photo and make it count

  • Action, eyes, face, emotion, etc.
  • Avoid group shots.
  • Include an interesting caption that tells more about the picture that someone could learn by just looking at the picture.

7.  Remind people how to make a gift

  • In the last paragraph or in the P.S., tell people exactly how and when to give.
  • Include instructions on on-line giving.

8.  Envelopes

  • The outside envelope should look like a personal letter.  No bulk mail.
  • Include a return envelope to make it easy on the donor.

9.  Use a credible response card

10.  First class postage

  • Your reader is important, and your letter is important.  Use a first-class stamp.


If you received your own letter as an appeal, would you be inspired to give?

Would you like someone to edit your letter?  Send it to as a Word attachment.

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