Timeline for Your Funding Letter

This year’s National Staff Conference in November impacts your 2015 communication and funding strategy. The plan the MPD team has prepared here for you will:

  • Help you raise the money for the conference and your regular ministry
  • Keep your ministry partners from feeling over-asked and under-appreciated

We’ve put together a timeline to guide your MPD and communications between now and the end of the year.

Keep in mind, it’s OK to appeal to ministry partners twice in one year as long as you space the appeals about six months apart. You also have the option of segmenting your list or “pulling” some names if you would rather not appeal to donors that often. You know your partners.

The possibility of appealing twice this year makes it especially important to send newsletters between appeals. Email and social media updates aren’t included in this schedule, but add them to your plan if you like to keep in touch with ministry partners that way. All the letters mentioned below are intended to be paper letters that go through the postal system. Anything electronic you choose to do should be in addition to these paper letters.

This is a general outline of the communications and funding plan we recommend, and a more detailed plan is included below.

2015 Funding and Communications Plan Outline

  • April - Mail a general ministry newsletter to your entire list.
  • July 15-Aug. 12 Mail the National Staff Conference funding and fiscal year-end appeal letter to your entire list.
  • October Mail a general ministry newsletter to your entire list.
  • Nov. 23-Dec. 11 Mail a year-end appeal letter. (You may consider segmenting your list for this appeal or excluding those who gave to the appeal in July/August. However, it’s acceptable to appeal for funds twice in one year.)

What to do Now

  • Plan to increase your ministry budget for this calendar year. Divide the National Staff Conference projected need by the number of months between reading this and November, and add that amount to your monthly ministry budget for 2015.

What to do in April

  • Mail a general ministry newsletter to your entire mailing list.

What to do in June

  • Prepare a ministry story and photo to use in your July/August appeal letter.
  • Order commitment cards and return envelopes from www.navigatorstores.com.

What to do July 1-August 12

  • Set a fundraising goal for your letter.
    • Determine the amount of money you will need to attend National Staff Conference. Consider ground/air transportation, conference registration, meals, hotel, and incidental expenses.
    • The cash project letter you send to raise funds for National Staff Conference can also help you raise funds to boost your regular income. Calculate the difference between your current average monthly income and your monthly fully funded goal. Multiply that figure by the number of months between July and December.
    • If your account is in deficit, determine the amount of the deficit (or projected deficit through December).
  • Review the model letter, then write your own funding letter, customizing it and adding a story from your own ministry. While we encourage you to use much of the sample letter’s wording, it still will take some time to write this letter. Please allow plenty of time.
  • Mail the appeal letter before August 12.

Tips for an A+ Letter

  • Sign each letter individually with a blue pen. (Your readers will notice. Yes, it’s worth the time!)
  • Write a personal note on 20-30 letters. (Some of these notes may suggest a giving amount.)
  • If you’re mailing from within the U.S., affix a first-class postage stamp to your outer envelope. Adding postage to the return envelope is not necessary. From overseas, mail your letters so they will be received by mid July or early August. If possible, use foreign postage unless it’s cost-prohibitive or is slow leaving the country.
  • Mail to every person on your mailing list plus other friends who ought to know your story. Some staff mistakenly send cash appeals to donors only. Send your letter to non-donors as well. Many may want to give a special gift. However, you may not want to mail to close relatives, non-believers, third-world non-Americans, or Nav staff. After your letter and envelopes or labels are printed, go through and remove some of these names. But don’t eliminate many! God may want them to receive this letter whether they give or not!
  • Pray. At the mailbox just as you deposit the letters can be a good time.
  • Ten days after the letter is sent, phone the 20-30 people on whose letter you wrote personal notes. This will give you a chance to catch up with your friends and also personally invite them to give.
  • Send a thank-you note to all donors personally for their investment.

What to do in October

  • Send a general ministry newsletter update to your entire mailing list.
  • Prepare a ministry story and photo to use in your November/December appeal letter.
  • Order commitment cards and return envelopes from www.navigatorstores.com.

What to Do in November

  • Prepare and mail a year-end funding appeal letter. Later this fall, watch for year-end letter instructions and samples from the MPD team.
  • Mail the letter between November 23 and December 11.