12 Tips for Writing an Effective Church Pledge Drive Letter

Posted by Vanco on Dec 9, 2020 11:55:06 AM

Church Pledge Drive Banner for Letter Blog

Hi. How are you? Great. We need money.

As a church, you wouldn't dream of approaching your parishioners this way!

If you aren't careful, you could make some big mistakes with your fundraising requests. 

Your church pledge drive letter sets the tone for your giving campaign. It's one of the most important connections you make with your potential donors. Here are 12 things to keep in mind when creating your next pledge drive letter.  

1. Make It Personal

Be sure to address your recipients by name if at all possible. Personally addressing each member in a church pledge drive letter makes readers feel like they matter. Members will feel much more connected when reading their own name at the top of your letter.

Examples

Formal: Dear Mr. and Mrs. Anderson,

Casual: Greetings Brother John and Sister Kathy, 

            Hello John and Kathy, 

2. Start By Warming the Heart

Begin with something interesting and positive that will keep your readers reading. Maybe there's a heartwarming story or testimonial about your congregation's last campaign. Who have you been able to serve or help as a church?

How are ways you as a church have been blessed by the members you're approaching for funds? What specifically has God shown your organization this year?

Starting out with an interesting and positive message sets a tone of warmth and gratitude. If church members see themselves and/or their friends in these stories, they'll remember how great it felt to be part of a greater goal. 

Highlighting congregational successes will create a feeling of unity. Parishioners will feel a sense of teamwork and camaraderie by reflecting on "us" stories.

Success stories also create a sense of accomplishment and excitement. If your church successfully blessed or completed a mission before, you can do it again!  

Beginning with heart-warming material will put your readers in a more giving kind of mood. You may want to insert a small picture to coincide with this story. 

Example

As a result of last year's Mission Fund campaign, (your church's name) provided 1,090 Bibles for our St. Mark's School in Africa. Amelia, a 2nd grader, was delighted to read The Bible in her own language for the very first time! Thank you for providing Amelia and her friends with this amazing opportunity.

"Please tell your church I am so happy to be reading about Jesus in my language!" Amelia states. God's Word is reaching young hearts because of you. Thank you for your generosity. 

3. Get To The Point

While you don't want to be too direct, you shouldn't send your readers a detailed novel. Why are you sending requests for donations? What does your congregation need?

Your campaign will be much more successful if donors know where their funds are going. Be as specific as possible without taking up too much space.

Examples

1. As you may know, our roof has needed small repairs over the last several years. Last month, we received our annual building inspection report.

Per this report, we need to replace our roof within the next six months. Failure to do so will render our church structure unsound.

Will you help us raise the necessary funds to keep our building stable?

2. Our missionary families are in need of our support. Food and clothing costs have increased in their country. 

We humbly ask your help in meeting the needs of the Anderson and Baird families.

4. Give Directions

Most people are happy to help their church body. Make sure your donors know exactly what and how to give. Asking for pledges is much easier than asking for a check right then and there.

What type of assistance does your church need? Are you asking for money or in-kind donations? 

How would you like pledges delivered? Can they be made online, by phone, by mail or, all three? 

What's your deadline? Be clear about the time frame people have to give. 

Having clear directions will give your church pledge drive letter a tone of organization. 

Examples

1. We've received a quote on a new roof from KWT Contractors. The replacement cost will be $20,000. Will you join us in raising the necessary funds to keep our building secure? 

We are welcoming pledges in any denomination now through August 1st.  We've provided three easy ways for you to pledge. 

 Simply fill out this card and drop it in the mail before Aug 1st.

 Pledge via mobile phone by texting "pledge" to 55555 before Aug 1st.

 Find us online at (insert link here), click the "Pledge" button before Aug 1st.

2. The Anderson and Baird families are in need of the following items for their families. Will you partner with us by pledging to provide any of the following items before August 1st?

(provide a detailed list of items needed)

To pledge, fill out this card and return, text "pledge" to 55555, or pledge online at (your site) before Aug 1st. 

5. Don't Be Too Dramatic

When asking your worshipers for pledges, take care to state the needs as they are. Exaggerating your needs can create unintended drama. 

If your needs are, in fact, desperate, be honest about them. It's possible to do so without the use of flowery language. 

Don't Write

We are begging you, our members, to help us fund a new roof. Without a roof over our heads, we will be unable to worship together as we so enjoy! Please, we implore you, think about the importance of our time together and pledge your support!

Do Write

We realize this is a large project, but God is faithful and will provide for our needs. Will you consider a pledge to our roof replacement fund? We look forward to continuing our time in worship together under a brand new roof!

6. Organize, Organize, Organize

Your church's pledge drive is a large undertaking and needs a good organizational structure. As a 501(c)(3), you need to follow specific guidelines.

Will you be using an online giving platform when funds start coming in? It's important to have the cooperation of your main IT person/people from start to finish.

How are you keeping records of all your donations? Get your controller or church admin on board with specifics of record keeping.

If you get cash or checks, what is the process for receiving, storing, and depositing? Do you have a checks and balance system in place to prevent fraud? Make sure at least two people accompany funds from church to bank to avoid temptations.

Are you notifying your donors that their funds have been received? For donations over $250, this is a legal obligation. Designate a team of people to either handwrite or ensure a digital confirmation goes out.

How are you keeping and storing parishioner information? Consider using a system to help you sync contact info. Syncing info will also help you keep track of who has fulfilled pledges and when. 

7. Snail Mail or Email?

Depending on the average age and culture of your members, digital pledge drive letters may be a better option. For environmentally-conscious congregations, this is a no-brainer!

Reaching people through a digital pledge campaign can save time and money. No stuffing envelopes and no postage fees. 

A digital pledge drive also creates the opportunity to add more to your letter. Consider a fun video made by youth group or staff members. Fun memes and gifs add an element of fun to your pledge drive letter.

Nobody knows your flock better than its shepherd(s). If a digital campaign would fall on silent keyboards, stick with mailing drive letters. Enclosing a stamped pledge postcard with your letter makes the pledging convenient!

8. Incentives and Updates Work

Your church can have a lot of fun with a pledge campaign! What kinds of incentives can you offer your parishioners for meeting goals and benchmarks?

Maybe your pastor will offer to preach from the roof if you reach your final goal by a certain date. Would the youth group be willing to wash cars for those who pledge $200 or more for their missions trip fund? 

Perhaps you could offer a night of free childcare for your mommy and me group if the pledge goal is met in time.

You can even pair incentives with benchmark goals. This will also keep your congregation updated on the campaign's progress. 

For example, if you've raised $4,000 by July 4th, the men's group will throw a backyard BBQ for the Primetimers. 

Celebrating progress will also keep excitement strong throughout your church's pledge drive. 

9. Say Thank You, Then Say It Again

Your church members love to know they're loved. Expressing your gratitude should be a part of each step in your pledge drive.

You may want to ask a team of people to be in charge of handwriting thank-you cards. Thanking donors by name with a handwritten card is a perfect personal touch. 

If you're sending digital pledge drive letters, deliver automated yet personalized responses immediately. Send out thank-you messages once each goal is fulfilled, once the campaign is complete, and at year-end.  

Example

Dear Marco,

Thank you for your pledge of $400 to build our new roof! Because of your generosity, our congregation will continue to enjoy worship together. 

You may want to insert a campaign update or encouraging Bible Verse here as well. 

10. The Donations Are In The Details

How your church pledge drive letter looks is just important as what it says. Have you thought about your pledge card design? 

Make sure your pledge card design isn't too busy. It should look tastefully decorated without overshadowing the content.

Provide good visual clarity with dark ink on lighter backgrounds. Make your words easy to read by keeping font sizes 12 or larger. Dress up your words with font styles, but avoid anything too frilly or juvenile looking. 

11. Don't Dry Up Your Well

Members of a church body realize giving is what makes the church operate. Raising funds for churches is necessary but shouldn't be overused.

If churchgoers are frequently receiving requests for cash, they may start to ignore them. Too many repeat pledge requests could create frustration amongst your parishioners. They may start to wonder about money management practices if the church keeps needing more.

Consider holding large fundraising events annually if you can. It's ok to send out smaller requests about six times a year or every other month.

12. Reminders Are Ok

Life happens. People forget. It's ok to send gentle reminders to pledgers who've not yet dropped their donations. 

A great way to do this is to offer pre-deadline updates. 

It's also a good idea to keep deadline or missed deadline reminders generic. Personalized reminders may embarrass their recipient. Sending out a general update or reminder gives your message without being too pointed.

Example

Our Raise The Roof Campaign Goal #1 is this Friday! Check our giving meter to see how close we are!

Create Your Perfect Church Pledge Drive Letter

Whatever your cause, create a church pledge drive letter that fits you as a church. Raising funds for churches doesn't have to be a serious event. Have fun with your pledge drive and your pledge drive letter!  

Parishioners will feel a sense of pride if their pledge drive experience is positive. Happy pledgers are more likely to pledge again. Set your church up for success by making each pledge drive the best it can be!

Looking for Church Letter Templates to Fit Any Situation?

Without a framework, or an example, crafting an appeal or a thank-you message can be cumbersome. That's why we built a complete guide that not only offers 35 letter samples and templates for nearly any situation, but also offers specific guidelines to help.

Download the guide for free!

Church Giving-Letters_Asset_Cover

Get the Guide

Vanco

About the Author

Vanco

Vanco has helped churches through more than 20 years of holiday giving seasons by providing electronic giving solutions that have boosted donations for tens of thousands of churches. To see how your church can use eGiving to increase donations, give us a call at 855.213.3705 or contact us online to receive a demo.