What do your donors typically like to see at the end of each year? It’s customary for churches to review past gifts for tax purposes, and letters are a way to recap everything that has happened over the past year. They can help your church increase engagement, and if you use them wisely, the end of the year is a great time to invite even more giving. Letters can help you bring in 25% of your church’s annual contributions during the end-of-year holiday season, but when churches don’t explicitly ask for financial giving, they miss out on the easiest opportunity to increase giving without spending a dime.
A fast-growing trend that is improving organizations’ bottom lines is using social media to raise funds. In fact, New Year’s Day is one of the busiest times of the year for online giving. A solid online communication strategy is a must for churches and charities that want to participate in this trend. Although many churches have members who aren’t comfortable making contributions online, those people often continue to give in other ways. Don’t ignore this opportunity to connect with donors wherever they are. Send appeals for virtual giving targeted to the church community, and mail a few paper letters to those church members who prefer a personal touch.
Your donation letter is there to thank the person who made a gift to your congregation. Recognizing this, churches should make sure to convey their gratitude and generosity to continue attracting donors.
Your church’s main purpose in using donation letters is to acknowledge that you received a gift. The format might also include explanations of how you will use the money, suggestions for future contributions, and requests for recurring gifts. Better thank you letters lead to more contributions, which lead to more letters requesting giving. This kind of continuous donation cycle builds a culture of generosity in a church or nonprofit organization.
A Free, Customizable Year-End Giving Letter Template
Sending a church donation request letter is a surefire way to keep your church in people’s minds on an ongoing basis. Your church will be grateful for the letters you send, and you’ll have the chance to let people know how much you appreciate their donations year after year.
Writing church donation letters isn’t as complicated as it might seem. It all comes down to making sure you’re sending the right thank you note to the right worshippers at the right time. We’ll help your church create and send personalized letters that express your gratitude for people’s financial support.
To get started right away, you can use this year-end giving letter template for free (and you don’t even have to give us credit). Take note of the customizable elements in the letter, and be prepared to jot down a paragraph or two explaining your church’s missions and financial objectives. (You’ll have to create that part on your own.)
If you don’t want your year-end giving letter to solicit further donations, simply delete the final two paragraphs before the line that reads “We look forward to joining you in worship during the upcoming year.” This will leave you with a simple end-of-the-year letter you can pack with the recipient’s contribution statement, and it will read naturally without asking for more money.
To our blessed [Brother/Sister/Fellow] [Name],
You are getting this letter because you were a donor to [Church Name] this past year, and your generous contribution continues to help reach people in our city and beyond. We’re grateful to have you as a member of our church community.
One of the official reasons for this letter is to show our appreciation for you and let you know how grateful we are that you’ve generously given financially to further our mission. That includes letting you know about tax benefits. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you can deduct donations you make to qualified nonprofit organizations like ours from your gross income. To help you itemize your donations, we’ve included a list of all the contributions you’ve made to our church this year.
The other reason we’ve written this note is to let you know what we’ve done with the money. We do our best to steward our resources well and spend your donation responsibly, which means we value the importance of wisely prioritizing our time and resources.
During the past year, [Church Name] has raised [tens/hundreds of / thousands/millions] of dollars for local nonprofit groups, sent [###] missionaries around the globe, and baptized over [###] new members. We are thankful for the generosity of our donors like you, whose gifts help us reach more people for God.
As we continue into the new year, we have exciting new goals to expand our mission and spread the good news of God to even more people.[Story/explanation of fundraising effort]
We can’t do something this big without your help. Whether you give regularly or on special occasions, we’re asking you to join us in this undertaking by increasing your contribution. Adding to your donation now is the perfect opportunity to further our reach during the holiday season, and you’ll enjoy an even larger tax benefit before the fiscal year ends.
Even if you can’t afford to make a major donation, know that every little bit helps. Making a donation is about coming together as a community united behind a common cause. While some may not be able to donate financially, everyone can pitch in by being a part of our united worship community.
We look forward to joining you in worship during the upcoming year.
You can send this letter as it is, or you can follow these tips to make it even more functional for your church:
- Ask recipients to provide updated addresses and contact information
- Include a bulletin detailing upcoming church activities and events
- Incorporate social media references, and direct readers to your church’s website to build your digital presence
Free Webinar: Maximize Your Year-End Giving
The holiday season tends to inspire people’s generosity, so they increase their giving to causes and organizations they care about. People want to give, so start by making it easy for them. We’ll go over some specific focus areas for year-end giving efforts. During this webinar, you will learn how to:
- Ensure that your giving options are user-friendly
- Implement improvements to your giving page to make giving simple
- Improve your social media presence for better awareness
- Use effective tools and tips to implement and manage year-end giving