2 Corinthians 9:7 says that God loves a cheerful giver, but requesting donations for a church building isn't easy and writing a church building or repair letter can seem daunting.
Don't worry. If you looking for a sample church building fund donation letter to help you write something effective and moving, you've come to the right place.
Keep reading to learn...
- Why church building donation letters work
- Receive an example of a letter
- Tips for writing a church building fund donation letter
- How to make a polite thank you note
- 35 Giving and Thank You Letter Templates for Every Church Occasion
Why Write a Letter?
When you spend so much time with members of your congregation you may wonder why you need to write a solicitation letter. After all, they've seen the call for donations in your bulletin and have even heard it mentioned during church announcements. Shouldn't they know that the church is in need?
There are a lot of good reasons why your church should consider drafting an official letter asking for donations. Here are a few reasons why we always recommend it.
Stay Top of Mind
The message of your sermon probably stuck with your congregation, but the news around the progress of your new building fund probably didn't. That's why letters are important for keeping church needs on the minds of your congregation.
People are very busy. When people are focused on managing their job responsibilities and caring for their families, other news and needs can easily fall by the wayside.
Someone may be preoccupied with making dinner for the kids when they walk through the door, but their focus will snap back to church once they see a letter in the mail or a message in their inbox.
Showcase Your Specific Need
Since most churches are funded by their congregation, it's safe to assume that your new church building isn't the only thing you're getting donations for. The missionaries you support need their monthly donations, local charities you support need money and certain church employees need to be paid too.
When some people drop their money in donation plates they may not give much thought to where the money is actually going. In fact, some people may assume that they've already donated to the building fund because they gave their usual offering last Sunday!
A donation letter shows people you're collecting money for a specific reason. Aside from reminding readers you need money, it also lets them know that whatever they give now will be directly supporting the new building initiative.
Alert Outside People
When you're fundraising for a new building the vast majority of your efforts are going to be focused on your congregation. Your flock will be eager to help, but there may be other people willing to donate that you haven't thought of.
Do you remember when your church helped raise money for a local little league team? When was the last time you reached out to that Christian electrician that gave you a discount on their services because you're a church? What about other institutions and organizations you've helped?
The truth is that your potential donor network is a lot larger than you'd think. Make outreach easier on your end by writing letters you can send out to ask for donations.
Donation Letter Writing 101: Your Go-To Template
We want to make sure you're prepared to write outstanding donation letters, that's why we're going to give you a sample fundraising letter for a church building. Be sure to pay attention to the content! We're going to break down some letter writing best practices that we demonstrated in the sample in the next section.
Sample Church Building Fund Donation Letter
[City, State, Zip]
Dear [Donor Name],
We've had quite a year! Adding 35 new members to our church and funding two new missionaries have helped grow our congregation in more ways than one. I'd like to sincerely thank you for making all of the good we did this year possible with your generosity.
We have a lot of projects happening at [church], and as you may know, adding to our space has been a high priority on our list. A new building could help us do more community outreach and grow our congregation. We need your help making our new building dreams a reality.
You can help us raise the funds we need to add another building to our church. If you're able to do so, a small donation of $25 would help us reach our goal.
There are several ways you can contribute to our new building fund:
- Make a donation online at [website URL]
- Send us a check or cash in the pre-stamped envelope included in the letter
Every bit helps bring us closer to our goal, and we truly appreciate anything you can give. If you can't give at this time, consider spreading the word to your friends and family!
Also, there are plenty of other ways to support our church and mission. If you have any questions about how to help, please speak with our activities coordinator .
Thank You Again,
[Printed name of pastor]
[Signature of pastor]
Tips for Writing Solicitation Letters
Our sample letter is less than 300 words, but you don't need to say a lot to get your point across.
If you want to raise funds for your new building, you can't just write a generic letter asking for funds. There are proper ways to write letters that can help you meet your fundraising goals.
Here are our tips on how to write solicitation letters that work.
Use Their Actual Name
Did you notice that we didn't start off with something generic like "Dear Congregation Member", "Dear Donor" or "To Whom It May Concern"? Names matter when you're writing donation letters.
When you're writing a donation letter, going for a personal approach is always best. It helps create a sense of empathy and connection with the reader. Starting off with something generic can come off as very impersonal. It also doesn't show the reader a sense of urgency.
In the reader's mind, they may assume that since you're sending out a generic letter you probably sent out a lot. After all, if they don't donate someone else is bound to. Simply adding their name shows that this is a message meant for them and that they have the power to help.
As a rule of thumb, make sure you use their preferred name. Addressing a letter to "Elizabeth" when you know them as "Beth" may not create the empathic connection you're hoping for.
Make Text Scannable
When you're writing a solicitation letter you don't want to be too wordy or long. Make your text short and to the point for maximum readability.
The language we used in our letter was effective, direct, and also simple. We didn't use any big words and got to the point of our letter relatively fast. We also used smaller paragraphs when we wrote copy and utilized bullet points.
Someone should be able to pick up your letter and understand the main point of it in about 15 seconds. Any longer than that, and you're risking losing their attention.
Start Off Positive
The beginning of our letter mentioned growing the congregation and supporting more missionaries. It may not directly have anything to do with raising money for a new building, but it can do a lot to help your cause.
Starting off with a positive anecdote or store helps the reader associate good things with your church.
The anecdote we shared also ties into a reason why we need the new space. It shows that your church is busy and adds a little justification about why you need a new building.
Focus on the Reader
We did say that starting off with some positive news is helpful, but you don't want to turn your anecdote into a full-fledged story. Your donation letter isn't a time to give a long update on what's happening at the church. In fact, the focus of your letter should be more about the reader and less about what you want to do.
Take a moment to reference our sample letter and notice how many times we used the words "you" and "your". Putting the reader first and foremost in your content can drive home just how important they are to your initiative.
Let them know how important they are and how their individual contribution can help. Focus on how their actions can directly affect the outcome of your fundraising efforts.
Ask For a Specific Amount
People like to follow directions, and your solicitation letter is no time to be vague. If you want to encourage people to donate give them a dollar amount they can contribute.
Be strategic about the dollar amount you ask for. If it's too low, you take away a sense of urgency and could lead people to think that you don't need funds that badly. If it's too high, people may think your church is being greedy and won't be motivated to donate.
Feel free to speak with your church's financial leadership before you determine a number, but aim for something that's substantial and attainable.
Don't worry about missing out on bigger donations by going for a middle ground number. People that have the means to donate more and want to do so will simply make their donation as planned. Some people who assumed they wouldn't be able to contribute enough can now see that making a helpful donation is possible.
Give People Multiple Ways to Donate
We're living and worshipping in a world where you may not be able to easily drop a check in a donation plate. Cash and checks used to be the preferred form of donations for churches, but there's a world of payment possibilities out there!
There are so many ways for people to contribute funds. If you don't use a virtual payment platform, now is the perfect time to sign up for one.
Giving people multiple ways to pay also makes it easier for them to donate. Someone may not be willing to fill out a check our get cash to make a donation, but they won't have an issue sending money with a few clicks of a button.
Talk About the Benefits
Why do you want to have a new building for your church? Whether you're talking about adding a new wing or completely revamping your entire church, you're going to need to show readers why you're doing the work.
You don't have to write out a structured plan about how you want to use the space. We briefly mention that having a larger church could help grow the congregation and do more community outreach. That simple justification can be enough to open people's hearts and wallets.
Offer Up Alternatives
Times are tough right now, and it's possible that there are some people that won't be able to give your suggested amount. Instead of losing out on their help completely, let them know other ways they can contribute.
Mention that spreading the word is enough to help. The person you sent the letter to may not be able to donate, but their friend or coworker may be willing.
Also, try to mention a way to help that doesn't involve directly giving money. Offering to volunteer in the children's ministry may not help you get a new building, but it helps keep your church members engaged and allows them to help the congregation as a whole.
There is something to be said about the power of a mailed letter. Most people are used to communicating digitally, so getting a nicely written letter can stand out more.
Letters may make a statement, but you can reach a lot more people through email. Be sure to use the copy you wrote in an email campaign to try to get more donors. In some cases, email may be the best way to reach some potential donors.
Younger church members may be more receptive to donation emails, especially if they contain helpful links. Missionaries and people you've met at faith-based church retreats are also great candidates for emailed letters.
A Quick Note on Scheduling and Sending
Timing is everything when you're sending out solicitation letters. You may be on a tight schedule to get your funds together for construction to start, but rushing things could lead to unintended results.
If you send out letters too frequently, people may feel bombarded with charity requests. People that were once satisfied with your church and happy give may decide you're acting too desperate or too greedy.
Try your best to make a schedule for these donation request letters. Some people like to send them out once each quarter to spread everything out.
Remember, letters are likely only one way you're spreading the word about your donation needs. You can remind people in weekly newsletters, social media and even from the pulpit.
Thankfulness and Gratitude: Writing Your Thank You Letter
If you're planning on sending out a church building fund pledge letter, make sure you set aside some time to draft a thank-you letter.
Remember, giving to charity is more of an emotional decision than a financial one. The people that donated to your church building fund care about you and what you represent, and you should return the favor by showing how much you appreciate them.
There aren't a lot of rules associated with writing thank you messages, but if you want to write an impactful message, make sure you follow these tips.
When you're writing a thank you note for donors timeliness is key. A prompt "thank you" letter can help donors feel appreciated and helps keep your church top of mind.
It's also important to note that sending out a timely thank you note can save you from a potential charity faux pas. There's nothing that can make a donor feel less special or more used than getting a request for charity before their other donation was acknowledged.
Don't Ask for More
Imagine spending time looking for the perfect wedding gift for a friend. You're happy to receive a thank you note from them, but you're surprised that they mentioned that they hope the gift you give them for their house warming is just as good.
Mentioning that there's another donation initiative for the church at the end of your letter may seem innocent, but it could rub some donors the wrong way. It can make your thank you seem less sincere, and may even make some people feel used.
Your thank you note should express gratitude for people's generosity and what they gave. You can send other letters or emails about other charity needs at a different time.
Reference Their History
Do you have a donor that's always happy to give whenever they have a chance to? Show some extra gratitude in your thank you note by mentioning how much you appreciated their continued contribution!
Thank you notes are all about showing appreciation, and you want to show the reader you remember their history of generosity. You don't have to name each thing they've done, but sometimes just adding the phrase "continued contributions/generosity" can do a lot to make someone feel appreciated.
The smallest donation can be enough to help your church reach its goal. Every donated dollar helps, and you can show that in your thank you note.
Think about all of the things you'll be able to do once the building is completed. Give the donor a taste of what their money is going to help accomplish when you write your letter:
"Your contribution can help make sure our kids have a safe and fun place to enjoy youth group."
"Thanks to your generosity, we're one step closer to having enough space to truly grow our congregation."
Charity Done Right
The sample church building fund donation letter you read in this post is only the first step in your fundraising journey. There's still plenty you can do to help ensure your church gets the funds it needs for whatever project you want to finance.
We've helped countless churches, non-profits, and other charity organizations over the decades reach their fundraising goals and we're ready to help yours.
Do you want an easier way to handle managing donations? Are you tired of using confusing digital platforms that make giving more confusing? Are you ready to modernize your fundraising efforts?
Sign up for our platform today so you make donating to your church as simple as clicking a button!
35 Giving and Thank You Letter Templates for Every Church Occasion
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 105 letter samples and templates for nearly any situation, but also offers specific guidelines to help.