A year-end appeal letter can help to raise a large amount of money towards your annual budget or for special needs/circumstances.
Send to Whom?
Mail to everyone on your mailing list—current ministry partners and potential ministry partners.
-Write your "ask" paragraph before you tackle the letter. What one action do you want the reader to take? Avoid “easy” choices.
-Be forthright. People appreciate a candid, unapologetic “Will-you-help-us?” appeal.
-Limit your letter to the year-end appeal.
-Convey a sense of urgency. Why do you need the money? Why do you need it now?
-Illustrate—don’t explain. The donor wants to know how his gift will help accomplish something for the Kingdom. Use powerful verbs.
-Help people know what gift amount would best help. For example: “To reach our goal of $10,000, we’ll need gifts of $50, $75, $100 and even $500 and $1,000.” People tend to give what you ask for.
-Tell the reader how and when (include a specific date) to make a gift (usually in a P.S.).
-Sign all letters personally.
-Use a first-class stamp—not metered.
-Make customized versions of your letter for each audience type (ie current monthly partners, potential new partners, annual partners). This may mean only changing a sentence or two, but it will help communicate your appreciation for current giving or make it clear you are asking for new giving.
What Not to Do
-Ask people to help you get “up to budget.”
-Ask people to help “erase your deficit.”
-List both the amount you’ve raised (percentage) and the dollar amount you still need. Folks will do the math and see you have a big budget, not realizing there are four components to your budget.
-Talk about how bad the economy is.
-Ask for monthly support in a letter.