An Annual Mailing for Churches

Communication // November 22, 2010

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.

About Rusty Lewis

As a church leader, there’s nothing more frustrating than not having the funding to do what God’s calling you to do. But when you think about trying to address that problem, you feel overwhelmed, you dread the potential pushback from your congregation, and you’re not sure where to turn for help. Over the last 18 years, I’ve helped more than 120 churches close the gap between their current financial reality and what they need to move forward in ministry.

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