Fundraising Help

It’s time to get started!
from Roger Hamilton, Director of MPD

The Ministry Partner Development team wants to equip and help you raise the funds you will need to attend this vital conference. It’s time to get started!

We have:

  • A timeline to help you plan your National Staff Conference funding actions.
  • A two-page sample funding letter. This template provides the core content of an effective funding letter and shows you where to customize the letter with your ministry stories and personal information.
  • Information on ordering funding materials, including commitment cards that are preprinted with your name and Navigator account number.

Will This Work?

Some staff have asked, “Will a ‘pre-fab’ letter like this work?” Yes! Veteran staff Shannon Sandquist used the National Staff Conference appeal letter template for a past conference and raised more than the full amount of the conference. Shannon said, “People were excited for us to go to the Navigator conference. Many asked if we were raising enough [money to attend].” The letter works!

Raising money for the conference also can provide impetus to focus on your fully funded level, if it’s not where it needs to be. Leverage the conference appeal to move forward in your long-term funding. You’ll see in the sample letter that we suggest you appeal for conference funds and your regular budget. So, do a little number crunching and begin praying about the exact figures you’ll present in your letter. Believe God for the entire amount.

A Few Important Tips

In addition to using the letter template that has a proven track record, we’d also like to mention a few tips we’ve learned that could improve results dramatically.

  • Don’t change the appeal paragraphs. We’ve learned from thousands of direct mail appeals that our audience prefers to be asked in certain ways. Don’t worry about this letter’s appeal being “too direct.” Clear, direct appeals work best.
  • State a giving deadline of August 31 (the fiscal year end). Some donors might consider November 12 their giving deadline since that’s the day the conference starts. But asking them to send their gift early will mean funds are in your account to purchase plane tickets and pay for registration. An early deadline also will help alleviate last-minute funding stress.
  • Ask six to ten friends for a special anchor gift of $500-$1,000-$2,000 (see Anchor Team Worksheet). Add a hand-written note like this on letters to anchor donors:
    Dan, in order to reach my goal of $______, special gifts of $500, $1,000, and $2,000 will be necessary. I wonder if you’d prayerfully consider helping to “anchor” the giving team with a gift in that range. I’ll phone next week to discuss it. Thanks.
  • Mail your letter July 15-August 12. Readers need just four to six weeks to respond to appeal letters. When donors have months to respond, letters end up buried in piles on desks and forgotten. Too little time, and donors don’t have the time they need to consider/pray about the request, talk it over with their spouse, or arrange finances. Also, this letter must go through the postal system and include a physical response device, not as email. (Order commitment cards and envelopes online at www.navigatorstores.com > Staff Ministry Orders > Funding Materials.)
  • Call 10-15 people and your anchor donor contacts two weeks after your letter arrives in people’s homes—even from overseas! A higher phone bill one month is worth every penny for raising support and bonding with friends.

Please take a moment now to read through the conference funding timeline and block out the time you’ll need in coming months to focus on this important funding opportunity.

If you would like writing advice about your conference letter or for your letter to be edited by a member of the MPD team, please contact Molly Gilberts at 719-594-2497 or molly.gilberts@navigators.org.

If you have questions pertaining to funding the 2015 National Staff Conference, please contact me at 719-594-2256 or roger.hamilton@navigators.org. The MPD team believes, out of God’s abundant supply, all our staff can raise all the funds needed—and then some—to attend this fall’s conference. We’re here to help!