The purpose of this letter is to encourage and thank the members of the congregation. It should be sent to everyone in your church family – not just those who have given financially during the year.
A letter of encouragement sent no later than the first week of December can only have a positive effect on year-end giving. In doing so, this gives people time to plan for a gift and/or to catch up on a capital commitment.
I strongly encourage that you enclose a copy of their 11-month contribution statements with this mailing.
The following is a suggestion for the paragraphs of that letter to help you get started:
Paragraph #1 – A Note of Thanks
- Acknowledge that these remain challenging times in the life of our country. (Note: I would not use the word “difficult” in this paragraph.)
- Thank you for your faithfulness in attendance, serving, and giving this year.
- God will honor your faithfulness and continue to grow His kingdom.
Paragraph #2 – The Good News
- Let me give you some incredibly good news about your investment in God’s work through our church.
- This paragraph ought to give an update on the positive things that have occurred this last year in your church.
- Include some numbers/statistics that reflect changed lives—baptisms, new members, missions, etc.
- Include stories of life change – individual lives affected by a specific ministry of the church.
- Talk about ministries that have been especially effective.
Paragraph #3 – Casting Vision
- This should be a paragraph about vision and what is ahead, expressed in light of the ministries of the church.
- If you are building, paying off debt, purchasing property, etc. a brief update is appropriate.
Paragraph #4 – The Conclusion (and thanks again)
- This paragraph could be used to encourage the congregation to pray about a year-end gift.
- Highlight your online giving page on the website. (You have online giving, right?)
- It could be used to encourage new people to give to your initiative.
- Consider a reminder about the value of donating appreciated securities.
- You may want to remind people to catch up on their giving pledges.
- This paragraph may be used to merely say thank you again.
- This paragraph may be used for a personal note.
This letter needs to be no more than two pages, as there is more listed above than can be done in a single page. Choose what is appropriate for your congregation.