10 writing tips for fundraising letters
(www.youthworks.com/how-to-create-a-great-support-letter)
1. Keep it short. One page is plenty. Two pages should be your maximum. Quality trumps quantity.
 
2. Make it look good. First impressions matter. If designing documents isn’t your cup of tea, find a friend who can help. Including a picture of you or your team is an easy win.
 
3. Proofread it. Errers are fairly noticeabl… and often avoidable. Have someone help you by reading your letter for any errors before you hit PRINT.
 
4. Be interesting. Share about what you are doing, the place you are going and the people you will be with, but don’t drag out your letter with tons of minute details. (YouthWorks provides a Community Info Sheet for each of our communities; you might include some of those details about the community you’re headed to in your support letter.)
 
5. Make it personal. People want to support you! Don’t send a generic letter from the team when you can send a personal letter from you. While you might share some details about your team, also include what your hopes, fears and needs are.
 
6. Don’t forget the details. Where is the trip? What are the dates? What will you be doing? Is there a send-off service beforehand? How much money are you trying to raise? If they want to donate money, where do they send it and who are checks made out to? A great way to ask for money is to suggest a couple options for dollar amounts (e.g. “I recommend a gift of $50, $100 or $150, but of course, any amount is more than welcome.”)
 
You should also include whether or not donations are tax deductible. Ask your church if gifts qualify. Also, many qualifying organizations recommend that checks have nothing written on the Memo line as it can jeopardize the gift’s tax deductible status. If the gift qualifies as tax deductible you might write something like this: “Gifts are tax deductible. You can make checks out to your Church, but please do not write anything on the Memo line as this could jeopardize your gift’s tax deductible status.”
 
7. Don’t just write a “fundraising letter. Support is so much more than people’s money. At the same time, there is nothing to be ashamed about when offering people the opportunity to be generous. If asking for money is part of the support you need, make it secondary to asking for prayer. Even if people can’t contribute financially, they can certainly still support you.
 
8. Ask for prayer. And be specific when you do. Give them 4 or 5 things they can pray for, for example: the community and ministries you are visiting, your team, your travels, etc. (If you wrote a team covenant, there is probably some great things to pray for in there!)
 
9. Be humble and respectful. Don’t make the place you’re headed seem destitute in an effort to make your trip sound more significant. Remember that Jesus is the hero, not your team. Use language that honors what God is already up to in the place you are headed. Use phrases like, “serve alongside,” “partner with” and “learn from.”
 
10. Say thank you. A great way to end your letter is with gratefulness for the people you are asking to partner with you in this mission trip. Thank them in advance for whatever way they choose to support you.