When it comes to writing a missionary support letter, it can be challenging to know where to start. What do I write? What information should I include? How should I ask for support? Who can support my mission through prayers or charitable giving?
While there are many questions to ask yourself, one thing to remember is that fundraising letters aren’t just about financial donations. Writing a missionary support letter is about just that – support! Your letter is an invitation for others to participate in what God is doing in the world and in you through your trip.
Whether it’s your first letter you’re writing or your hundredth, we’re sharing all that you need to know about writing, sending, and following up on your fundraising letter. Now let’s dive in!
Why Write a Missionary Support Letter?
If you’ve never written a missionary support letter before, this is an excellent place to start. Support letters go far beyond simple fundraising and invite those connected to you to join your mission on a larger scale. By involving them in the work that you’re doing, they become a part of the greater cause. They can get involved by donating, of course, but your supporters can also pray for you, pass along your information to others, send items you may need to travel or encourage you in other ways.
Regardless of your fundraising efforts and outcome, encouraging others to participate in prayer is what we are all called to do in the Christian life. You may not realize it now, but involving others in your mission can bring purpose to their lives, too.
How It Works
Now that you know what the missionary fundraising letter is all about, writing it is the next step! How should you do so? Follow these 7 steps.
1. Personalize your letter
We don’t recommend using a template or generic letter format when writing your missionary support letter. Instead, share from your heart and allow God to speak through you. The people you are writing to likely have a personal connection with you and want to learn more about your mission. Share what is in your heart and what is going on in your life.
While it may be impractical to make every letter personal that you send, be as open as possible and invite those you’re writing to get involved.
How else can you personalize your letters?
- Address everyone individually by their name
- Include details about your mission that will resonate with that particular person
- Invite them to get involved on a personal level
- Handwrite your letters and sign each one if possible
- Include personalized bible verses, prayer requests, challenges, and details about your missionary work.
2. Layout the details
Your supporters want to know every single detail – so tell them! People want to know what they’re supporting and how they can help. Let them know all the details about your trip, including where you plan to travel, where you are going, what you hope to accomplish, and how you plan to share God’s word.
You can also include details on:
- The work you plan to do during your missionary trip
- Others who may be joining you on the trip
- How you hope God will use you and touch the lives of those you work with
3. Keep it short and sweet
While details are essential, too much text and information can be overwhelming. Keep in mind that you can always write follow-up letters as needed. So try to keep this one short and sweet, getting to the main points. Most people you write to will want to support you because they believe in your efforts, not necessarily the specific work you feel called to do. Share your passion but don’t feel like it needs to be pages and pages long.
Simply enough, include in your letter details about your trip, what it means to you personally, and how your supporters can get involved.
4. Make it Easy to Skim and Read
Like many writing pieces, you want to give your readers the ability to scan through things and easily find the information they want to know. Use headers, lists, line breaks, and other visual elements to chunk up your information. The letter shouldn’t look like a traditional press release. Rather, you can follow a format that follows the short and sweet approach – like this blog post!
5. Ask for support
The goal of your letter is to gain support. So be sure to ask for it upfront! When fundraising, it’s essential to make a clear path for supporters to help your cause.
You can include a particular amount that you are hoping to raise from each person, how dollars will be used or your ultimate financial needs for the mission. For example, if you’re sending your letter to 20 people and need to raise $5,000 in total, you can be upfront and state that – while asking for $250 per supporter.
6. Make giving convenient
If it’s not straightforward and easy to give and financially support you, you may lose out on funds that otherwise have your name on them. List simple steps on how supporters can donate to you directly. This may include donating online, mailing in a check, making a financial contribution through Venmo, or many other ways.
Be sure to list everything they may need to know about donating, such as where to send checks, who to make payments payable to, and other details.
7. Ask for prayer
Again, prayer is a wonderful way to get supporters involved in your mission and gain support. Not everyone is in the position to give financially, but everyone you reach out to deserves the opportunity to participate and support in the ways that they can.
Prayer partners are crucial to the mission, and it is also a way for everyone to join in on God’s work being done!
Looking for More Resources?
If you’re still unsure how to construct a missionary support letter or stay connected to your supporters, we’ve built a comprehensive guide with examples and templates.
Get a free copy today, and get to writing those letters!