Urgent! Send the Letter, Use a Story

Stuck in his fundraising efforts, one client was doing all the right things to reach his calling to go to Lebanon. He was going to business and church events in his area, sharing about his future ministry, having one on one meetings, but people were not committing to partner financially. 

It was at the end of the year, so in the coaching process, we focused on two things: 1-how could he design a year end letter to raise the last 20% of his funding budget, and 2-how was he communicating a sense of urgency with his fundraising efforts (he wasn't).

We looked at his mailing list of 300 names and prioritized the names based on who had the greatest interest in the ministry, and who could give a generous amount to the mission. A great resource: overly practical advice about segmenting your financial partner list

We then segmented the list into 4 groups; 1-potential monthly givers, 2-major donors, 3-partners who could increase their giving, and 4-acquaintances who could give a one time gift to send the family to Lebanon. 

Then he wrote a compelling one-page year end letter. 4 Steps to Planning for Your Year End Appeal Letter His letter had a powerful opening story about a teenage Syrian refugee who dodged sniper fire in Lebanon to risk his life and retrieve the most important possession he had, his high school diploma. The story was intense, and it was taken from a TED talk! The letter then explained about the client's future ministry, to address a lack of education for refugee children.

Using the 4 segmented groups, we adapted 4 different invitations to partner at the end of the letter. The letter was compelling, well thought, and mindfully timed so it arrived at the end of November. 

On top of all his effort, a major donor had offered a matching gift, which he included in some of the year end letters. He wanted the readers to realize their year end gift could have double the impact. 

Needless to say, he raised the remainder of his funds in a short time frame, and the family was sent to Lebanon to make a difference in the lives of refugee children.


Susie Berner, Fundraising Coach

You can usually find me at the beach, swimming in the pool, or planting a garden and keeping my fingers crossed that something will grow. Coaching missionaries to catch a vision for the potential and privilege of building a financial partnership team is amazing. I love it when a missionary gains the confidence and determination to build a team, and then sends me an email when they are fully funded!

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