While businesses rely on the sales of goods and services to pro duce
income, and government survives on taxes, the church must rely on the
goodwill of others for its funds.
Fundraising is especially sensitive, since many may be skeptical of the
good a church can provide. Asking for money must be done in an open,
straightforward, and honest manner.
When asking for contributions, it is important to be specific about the
need and how the funds will be used. The minister should always be ready
to provide a complete and detailed financial statement showing exactly
how much money the church has taken in and given out. A good steward
need not be ashamed asking for support from members and from businesses
and the community at large.
Churches provide valuable and needed services to their communities, and
the minister should be bold in asking those who can help to share from
their bounty by contributing to the needs of the church.
10-1 / To Businesses about Church Ministries: Food Pantry for Poor
As you may know, St. Michael’s Church has run a food pantry for the poor
for several years. We average helping five to ten families and
individuals a week, and since we are the only group in the city putting
on this type of ministry, the need is great.
In the past, we have solicited contributions and donations of food items
from members of our parish. However, within the past six months, the
number of people coming to the pantry has almost doubled. Therefore, we
find ourselves in the position of requiring additional supplies.
As a local business, you have been generous in helping our community in
the past. Your assistance now would be greatly appreciated. Donations of
canned goods, paper products, etc. are welcome, as are cash
Thank you for anything you can do at this time to aid the hungry in our
10-2 / To Businesses about Emergencies: Families Losing Homes to Fire
As you may know, two families in our community recently lost their homes
and possessions to fires. Both of these families are members of our
congregation, and we are making every effort to help them recover from
Although we are receiving a great deal of clothing, food, etc. from
within the church, we would also like to be able to give them some new
things. Perhaps you would welcome the opportunity to be a part of
recreating their lives.
Especially needed are the following: drapes/curtain rods, meat, toys,
paper goods such as toilet paper and facial tissues, bicycles, shoes,
and underwear. In addition, almost anything in the way of furniture
could be put to good use.
If you would like to make a donation in the name of community service,
please call the church office to arrange delivery. We would appreciate
very much whatever you can do.
10-3 / To Businesses about Special Projects: Funds for Organ Transplant
In the following letter, notice how the letter writer uses an informal
personal appeal. Especially effective are giving the businesses the
option of a pledge or of refreshments, and having the youth actually do
something to raise the funds instead of merely requesting donations.
If you’re like most people in CITY, STATE, you have noticed the recent
newspaper stories about little NAME, the six year old boy from our area
who is in need of a liver transplant. Unfortunately, his condition has
continued to deteriorate, and if he does not get a new organ soon, he
will not survive much longer.
Naturally, this type of surgery requires a large amount of financial
backing. Through car washes, bake sales, etc., over $00,000 has already
been raised for NAME. But much more is needed.
In an effort to bring in some more of this money, the youth at St.
Michael’s have determined to hold a Rock-a-Thon on DAY, MONTH XX, from
7:00 PM until 7:00 AM Over 30 young people have committed themselves to
this and are currently gathering pledges for each hour they rock.
Since you are a community minded business, we want to offer you the
opportunity to get involved in this worthwhile project. We would
appreciate any donations of food for the youth to eat as they rock all
night, or, if you would prefer, a pledge for cash to go to NAME.
Thank you for whatever you can do.
10-4 / To Church Members about Church Ministries: TV Ministry
This letter in regard to a church’s TV ministry employs a useful
technique – a testimonial from someone who directly benefited from the
thing for which funds are being raised. And because she is from outside
the church, even more credibility is established.
Recently I received the following letter:
Dear Pastor, Lately things in my life had not been going well. My
husband and I didn’t have much of a marriage left, and our oldest child
was causing us a lot of grief. I really wondered if there was any reason
to go on living. Then I happened to tune in your TV program on channel
8. At first, I thought I would turn it off, since I have never had much
use for religion. But I kept listening anyway. You made the love of God
sound so real and personal that I got tears in my eyes. I knew that with
God’s help, I could keep going and that He would work things out. So
far, my husband and child don’t seem any different. But I am, and I
thank you for it.
What a marvelous testimony of God reaching someone through the
television ministry at Community Church! Who knows what might have
happened to this dear lady, had she not turned on the TV that night?
And when she expresses her thanks, it’s you whom she’s addressing. Each
person who has contributed to the fund for the TV ministry is directly
responsible for changed lives like the woman who wrote that letter.
A number of letters like this one have been sent to the church. While
the individual circumstances may vary, each person has one thing in
common: he or she has been touched by Jesus as a result of the TV
In addition, I understand that for each person who takes the time to
write, about ten times that many are equally ministered to but don’t get
around to writing.
Yes, the TV ministry is making a difference in our city, and that’s why
I want it to continue to air each week. In order to do that, we need
your prayers and your financial help. Although the camera operators and
technicians donate their time to tape the programs, there are still
expenses: for the air time and for supplies and equipment.
Please carefully consider how you might help in this ministry. How many
others are out there like the lady whose letter I received? How many
more are there who need the love of Christ and can find it as near as
their own living room, if we continue to be faithful in this calling?
10-5 / To Church Members about Debt Retirement
As the New Year approaches, the church council has felt led to set a
specific goal for 200X, that being, eliminate our indebtedness. At this
time, we owe a total of $000,000. If our regular schedule of payments is
continued, the bond issue will be paid off in two years and the mort
gage will not be paid off until six months afterwards.
Beginning on MONTH XX, we would like to start making a monthly deposit
of $00,000 for the Bond Issue. If this schedule is abided by, we can
expect the debt to be paid back by MONTH XX, 200X.
We would keep on paying our mortgage payment at the same rate we have
been. As I’m certain you realize, being debt free would be a wonderful
testimony to our community of God’s faithfulness. I believe that He
would have us unite our hearts in this worthy goal, that we might go on
to bigger tasks in the year following this one, unhindered by debt.
How can you help? There are three ways. First, consider a special gift
in your Christmas offering. You may mark it to go toward debt
retirement. As you know, we will be sending a portion of the offering to
our missionary office and to the local shelter for victims of domestic
violence, but all gifts designated for the debt will go directly to that
fund, as well as a third of undesignated gifts.
A second way you can help us reach our goal is to pledge to give $1.00
per week especially for this cause. If each adult in the congregation
gave this small amount each Sunday for a year, so marking on the
envelope, we would achieve great progress toward our goal.
Finally, you may prefer to give a one time gift of any amount to this
I appeal to you to prayerfully consider the preceding options and do
your part to help us reach our goal of debt retirement in the coming
year. Thank you.
10-6 / To Church Members about Emergencies: Families Who Lost Homes in
Most of you are already aware that during the past week, two families at
Community Church lost their homes and possessions in fires. Can you
imagine how you would feel to never again see your children’s baby
pictures, your great-grandmother’s handmade quilt, or your wedding gown?
And what about all those familiar things that made your house special,
like the mounted fish you caught when you were ten, the autographed copy
of a book by your favorite author, and the picture you embroidered?
While we cannot replace these things, we can help supply the basic needs
of these families who have lost so much. At the moment, the greatest aid
would be cash donations to be used to locate housing for the victims.
Please ask God if He would have you contribute to this fund, and if so,
how much. Then make out your check to “Community Church housing need”
and mail or bring it here as soon as possible.
In the near future, we will be collecting clothing, food, and household
items to donate to the families as they begin to get established in new
locations. Perhaps you can start to save now for this.
Most importantly, do keep the NAME s and the NAME s lifted up in prayer.
Though I’m certain they are thanking God that there was no loss of life
in the fires, they are going through a very difficult time. Very few of
us will ever really understand what it means to lose all material goods.
You have my heartfelt thanks for your generosity.
10-7 / To Church Members about Evangelism Outreach: Christian Concert
As you probably know, contemporary Christian musician NAME is coming
MONTH XX. We have been greatly excited about this opportunity to reach
out into the community with the good news about Jesus.
But as the planning committee has met and prayed about the concert, it
became clear that Community Church might not be the best location. Many
people automatically ignore the invitation to attend anything held at a
place of worship. If our major goal for NAME’s coming is to expose the
unchurched to the Gospel message, then it seems plain that the place to
do it is somewhere neutral.
With that in mind, we have tentatively reserved the high school
auditorium for the con cert. We feel that many more people will come to
the school who would not enter a church.
However, in planning expenses for the concert, we did not anticipate
having to pay rent for the location. We need your help! Please seek God
and, if you can, join us in financially supporting this endeavor.
There are so many out there who are living empty, hopeless lives. If
they knew of the abundant life that Jesus has for them, they would
embrace it. Let’s do our part to see that they do hear about it.
10-8 / To Church Members about Expansion
Plans for a new building are almost certain to raise controversy. In
this example, possible objections to the program are brought up and
refuted, and the dubious are reassured that the main focus of the church
is not changing.
Exciting things have been happening at Community Church! One of them is
that for the past six months, attendance at the morning worship service
has been averaging over 300. Praise God!
While having large numbers of people is not a prime objective for us, it
is encouraging to see that more and more are finding a church home which
ministers to their needs.
However, you may have noticed that it is extremely difficult for a
congregation of this size to fit into our sanctuary. Every Sunday,
chairs have to be set up in the aisles, which is inconvenient as well as
In discussing this problem with the council, we have determined that it
is time to begin plans for a new, larger building. A committee is being
formed to investigate the matter, and they will be checking into the
possibilities of buying a building or constructing one.
Although actually being in a new location is not going to take place for
some time, the council has voted to set up a building fund. If each of
us would faithfully give just a small amount to this project on a
regular basis, we would have the finances when they are needed.
I realize that a new building is not a priority for some. They would
rather see the money going to helping the poor or reaching out to those
who don’t know Jesus. Their feelings are certainly justified.
On the other hand, the church cannot carry out its ministry if the
building is not large enough to hold the congregation. Community Church
must have a bigger sanctuary, although not at the cost of funneling all
donations into this, nor at the expense of our current ministries.
But I’m praying that God will speak to your heart about the importance
of the building fund, and that you will be able to contribute to it,
even if all you can give is a small amount.
The real mission of our church – to lead people into a personal
relationship with Christ and to help them grow in this relationship – is
still our focal point. Yet in order to do it well, we must have adequate
I enclose a building fund envelope for your convenience. Thank you for
10-9 / To Church Members about Missions
How much do you spend a week on coffee and on soda? Perhaps a dollar or
If you’re like me, you don’t think too much about that cup of coffee you
grab at the drive through on your way to work or that soda you pick up
after an evening meeting. After all, it doesn’t add up to much money.
But if you were to take that same amount and give it to missions each
week, how much more it could accomplish! Even only five dollars a month
totals $60 annually. If every family in the church would commit itself
to that figure for missions, we would have over $00,000. Just think how
many people could be helped with that amount of money – churches built,
Bibles purchased, pastors trained, all this and more.
Wouldn’t you like to be a part of the ongoing work of God’s kingdom? At
$5 a month, it’s the bargain of the century. I challenge you now to
purpose to find that extra few dollars and give it to the church’s
missions program. Perhaps it’ll mean a couple less sodas or maybe one
less night out at McDonald’s. But the long-term results will be
10-10 / To Church Members about Plant Maintenance
As you may have noticed lately, Community Church has had more than one
occasion when rain drops literally were falling on our heads, as the
song goes. The board has had the roof inspected, and based on the
opinion of several experts, a decision has been made to replace it.
Although we have repaired the roof before, it has now reached the point
where the work required is so extensive that it can no longer be
patched. Not only is it awkward to have to place buckets around the
church to catch the rain, but the more water which leaks down through
the ceiling, the more permanent damage is done. We simply cannot hold
off any longer on this much needed maintenance.
After much discussion and prayer, the board had felt led to go ahead and
advertise for bids for a new roof for the entire building. It is
expected to cost in the area of $00,000. The problem is that currently,
money available for this project totals only $0,000, only about
one-third of the estimated expense.
I realize that it’s much more gratifying to give to missions or needy
families or a new or organ. All of us like to see what our dollars
accomplish, and merely putting on a roof isn’t that exciting. In
addition, we still need your regular tithe to carry out the ongoing
expenses of the church.
But I sincerely hope that you will ask the Lord how you can help finance
this important project. The board would like to see the new roof
installed before winter’s rains and snows, which would further damage
the old one.
Personally, I would rather see this sum of money used to increase the
outreach of the church. Yet all the many ministries we have cannot
function if the building is not properly maintained.
I enclose an envelope for your contribution. If you have any questions,
please contact my office or any board member. Thank you for your help.
10-11 / To Church Members about Special Events: Visiting Evangelist
We have before us an exceptional opportunity. When you hear about it, I
hope you will be as excited as I am!
On MONTH XX, the renowned evangelist NAME will be speaking at Faith
Memorial Church in CITY, STATE. Perhaps some of you were planning to
attend the service. On MONTH XX, NAME had planned to go to Maple Grove
Community Church. But because of various circumstances, he will be
unable to speak there on that date. His office has contacted me,
indicating that if we are interested, he would instead come here.
Several years ago, I had the great privilege of hearing NAME preach at a
conference I attended. His message was one of the most powerful I have
ever heard. I am absolutely convinced that having him here would be a
tremendous blessing to our congregation as well as to the community.
It’s very unlikely that we would ever again have this chance to have him
in our church, since he is so busy that he usually only addresses
conferences or large fellowships.
However, if we were to have NAME at Community Church, there would be a
financial investment of approximately $0,000. We do not have this money
in the budget.
I am asking you to seek God about whether or not we should take
advantage of this opportunity. NAME must know within two weeks if we
want him. If you feel this would be an asset for our congregation,
please have your contribution mailed or brought to the church in the
enclosed envelope by DAY, MONTH XX. If we have raised one third of the
required amount by the time, I will know that your answer is yes. I pray
that it will be.
10-12 / To Church Members about Special Projects: Housing for Needy
For many of us, winter is not a season to which we look forward. The
snow and cold are inconvenient; the heavy coats awkward. It’s a time we
could just as well do without, or at least shorten to only a month or
Yet for some, winter is much worse. To those in inadequate housing, the
storms and low temperatures are near torture, as the icy fingers of the
season penetrate into each room. Hands and feet are never quite warm
Perhaps you did not realize that one of our own members at Community
Church is in this very situation. She simply cannot spend another winter
in her present location, and the Love at Work fund has decided to find
her another house which will keep her and her family warm during the
coming cold months.
Because this need is quite a bit larger than most that the fund handles,
there aren’t enough funds available at the present time. I’m asking you
to make a special sacrificial gift toward the housing project, in order
that our sister can be moved in time. Yes, the amount of money needed
seems great, and of course the church continues to need finances for the
usual minis tries. But I know the generosity of Community Church when
something like this arises, and I am confident that the amount will be
available in time.
10-13 / To Community Organizations about Church Ministries: Crisis
For several years now, Community Church has felt a special concern for
women facing crisis pregnancies. Several of our members have taken young
women into their homes until their babies have been born, and we have
helped place a couple of babies into adoptive homes.
But in the last six months, we have decided that we would like to get
more involved in this type of work. Therefore, we are in the process of
opening a home for unwed mothers to be. Tentative plans call for this
home to open in MONTH, 200X, with facilities for four to six women.
To this end, we are in need of just about everything to outfit the house
where these young women will be staying. As an organization committed to
helping within the community, we wanted to give you a chance to be a
part of the work we are beginning. Would you consider being one of the
original sponsors of the home?
Your assistance may come in the form of a one time gift or an ongoing
commitment to be paid monthly, semiannually, or annually.
May we hear from you as soon as possible?
10-14 / To Community Organizations about Plant Maintenance
As you have probably noticed, the furnace has not been working well in
our building for some time. We recently called a repairman to evaluate
the situation, and were dismayed to discover that the work needed is so
extensive that the only thing to do at this point is to replace the
A new furnace of the size and type required will cost approximately
$00,000. Although we had been aware for some time that the heating unit
was old and not working properly, we did not think it would need to be
replaced for several more years. Therefore, the money is not currently
However, we do not feel it is fair for the children attending our school
to have to try to ‘earn in a chilly environment, so we are going ahead
and ordering the replacement unit.
We have asked the families within the parish to make a special gift at
this time to help finance it. Since your group meets in our building, we
thought you too might be willing to consider a donation for this
10-15 / To Community Organizations about Special Events: Substance Abuse
Even in as small a town as CITY, drug and alcohol abuse exists. In fact,
if the truth was to be known, the number of youth and adults in our
community who are involved in it is significant.
As a congregation, we are concerned about this problem and wish to do
something about it, as I’m sure your group does. It appears that one of
the steps to decreasing substance abuse in any area is education. When
our youth are informed about the dangers and misconceptions of drugs and
alcohol, they are better able to resist the pressure to try it
themselves, and they may even influence family and friends to stop.
Therefore, we would like to bring NAME to CITY, STATE to put on an
assembly for the high school this spring. An alcoholic since the age of
twelve, NAME spent three years in prison for crimes committed as a
result of his habit. But while there, his life turned around, and he now
travels across the nation, speaking about his experiences with drugs and
alcohol and urging youth to avoid them. He is a powerful speaker, and as
one who has been there himself, he is respected by young people.
However, the expense for bringing NAME here is $0,000, more than what we
as a synagogue can afford. Would your group consider making a one time
contribution to this special assembly? Any amount would be helpful.
Thank you in advance for anything you can do.
10-16 / To Individual Benefactors about Evangelism Outreach: Christian
As you know, Community Church has always attempted to share the love of
Christ with our community. This has taken different forms, including a
concert at the high school and a gym/swim day at the YMCA. These
activities held outside the church building have been highly successful
in bringing into the family of God people who would not come to a
regular worship service.
With this in mind, we have scheduled a series of movies on the family to
be shown Tues day evenings beginning on MONTH XX. The series features
well-known Christian physician NAME, and is in four parts. Because many
people are interested in bettering their family life, we are hopeful
that this too will bring a number of unchurched people in contact with
the Lord Himself.
As you can imagine, expenses for this type of outreach are high. In
addition to the cost of the movie rental, we are paying to use the high
school auditorium and have purchased literature to pass out after each
presentation. While there is money in the church budget for this type of
project, we do not have enough at this time. We have described the need
during morning worship, and a number of members have come forth with
special gifts for the movie series.
However, in order to meet the bills which we know of (movie and
auditorium rental), we still must have additional funds of $0,000. If
you feel this is a worthwhile project, please send your gift marked
“movie outreach” to the church. We appreciate anything you can do.
10-17 / To Individual Benefactors about Expansion
Those who attend regularly would be aware of the problems of meeting in
too small a facility, but by listing each one by itself in a set apart
format, they are emphasized. Recipients might find themselves saying, “I
knew about all those, but I didn’t realize there were so many. . .”
As you may know, over the past two years we have been seeking God’s
direction for a worship center. Let us consider some of the needs which
are not being met by our present location:
- Sanctuary too small,
- Cramped quarters for music ministry,
- Poor parking,
- Sunday school rooms too small and not enough,
- Poor heating system and lighting,
- No church office,
- No storage.
Obviously, there are many areas which are woefully inadequate for our
congregation. But in order to take a step forward – either by buying and
converting an existing building or constructing one ourselves – we will
have to have a great deal more than is currently in the building fund.
May I personally challenge you to consider making a gift for this
In the past, you have helped us several times with large contributions
on occasions on which they were badly needed, and your generosity has
been much appreciated. This would certainly qualify as one of those
situations; your assistance would be gratefully received.
Should you have any questions or wish to discuss the issue in more
depth, I would be happy to meet with you at any time.
10-18 / To Individual Benefactors about Missions
Two years ago, the board of deacons established a program to help people
in our area. They called it the Meal-a-Week Offering; the idea was that
each member would forgo one meal a week and give one dollar that would
have been spent to eat to this offering. In this way, the deacons could
give money to various agencies in the city to aid local families and
individuals. Agencies selected to receive these funds were Samaritan
House, Rescue Mission, and Salvation Army.
Since MONTH, 200X, we have received approximately $0,000 through the
weekly offering to Meal-a-Week. In addition, a number of small gifts
have been made to go specifically to one of the agencies. You can see
that just a small regular gift has made a significant difference in
caring for the needs of the people in our area.
I am writing to you at this time because, currently, the Meal-a-Week
fund is very low. While members of our congregation have continued to be
faithful in giving to it, the money is being spent on a regular basis.
In order to keep up this important mission, we need to build up the
This letter is being sent to you and just eight other people. If you
feel that what we are doing is important, I would ask for your gift to
be sent to the church, marked “Meal-a-Week.”
I know there are many calls upon you for your donations, and you alone
must decide which are worthy of your interest. I hope that you will
prayerfully consider this mission’s project.
10-19 / To Individual Benefactors about Plant Maintenance
Occasionally, it’s appropriate to ask individuals with the financial
means to donate to a specific project. Note in this example the
matter–of–fact tone, which doesn’t beg, and the specific details of the
situation, so that the recipient can make an in formed choice as to
whether he/she will support the project.
As you may have recently noticed, a major problem with the church’s roof
has developed. It is now in such a state of disrepair that when it
rains, buckets to catch leaks have to be placed throughout the building
in at least 20 locations.
Two experts have come in to check over the roof, and they are in
agreement that it can no longer be merely repaired again. Based on their
opinions, the board has made the decision that a new roof must be
installed before the winter comes.
However, estimates for the job run approximately $00,000, and money
currently avail able for the project amounts to only $0,000. We have
issued a plea to church members for funds, and as you have been kind
enough to donate to such projects before, we thought you might be
willing to do so at this time.
I realize that contributing for a roof is not nearly as rewarding as it
would be to construct a new building or to feed the hungry. But the
mission of the church is hindered in facilities such as we have now.
On behalf of everyone at Community Church, permit me to thank you in
advance for anything you can do to help with this need. God will bless
you for your generosity.
10-20 / To Nonmembers about Emergencies: Local Tornado
As you know, clean up in our neighboring community of CITY, STATE is now
beginning in earnest, following Monday’s destructive tornado. Many of
the residents there lost everything they owned, and the process of
rebuilding virtually the entire town will be a lengthy one.
In light of this tragedy, which left us untouched, a number of our
citizens have joined together in an attempt to help CITY, STATE during
this crisis. Temple Bet-Herut has been designated as the collection
center for food, clothing, and furnishings. If you would care to donate
any of the above, please bring them to the synagogue. Or if you need
pick up for larger items, call and we will arrange it.
While we cannot begin to replace the great loss of sentimental
possessions for our CITY, STATE neighbors, we can reach out with caring
to lessen, even if only a little, the terrible trauma in which they find
themselves. Thank you for your generosity.
10-21 / To Nonmembers about Missions: Christmas Offering
Have you ever thought about why the wise men bowed down and worshipped
the Baby Jesus when they found Him in the stable? Here were men of
wealth and power, respected for their wisdom, used to people honoring
them. Yet they put aside all that at the sight of the Infant King.
The reason for their homage is obvious: they knew who Jesus was. Their
actions and gifts were expressions of their adoration.
Today, we also come to worship the Holy Babe, and we, no less than they,
bring of our selves. Recognizing Who He is, we can do no less.
But around the world are many who can honestly say they don’t know
Jesus. Millions exist in an apparently hopeless world which reflects
little of the peace and joy that we experience. This Christmas, I hope
that you will bring a special gift for the sakes of these who long to
Our denomination is beginning a project to send missionaries, Bibles,
and other Christian literature to South America, where so many live who
need them. At Community Church, we have committed ourselves to a goal of
$00,000 toward it. Although you are not a member of our congregation,
you have attended upon occasion, and we wanted you to be aware of the
project. We hope that you will also want to be a part of it.
When you bring your contribution, please mark it “Christmas Offering,”
so that we will know where to put it. And as you do, think of your act
of generosity as a gift to Christ Himself.
10-22 / To Nonmembers about Special Events: Concert by Local Talent
We are delighted to inform you of a special opportunity. On MONTH XX,
Community Church will be holding a benefit concert put on by NAME. Many
in our community are aware of the vocal talents of Mrs. NAME, and you
are invited to spend an hour listening to her sing a variety of songs,
from old-fashioned hymns to contemporary Christian.
While no admission will be charged, a freewill offering will be taken,
with the funds going to send Mrs. NAME to a week-long conference in
CITY, STATE for Christian musicians. This will enable her to further
develop her talents.
If you cannot attend the concert but would still like to contribute
towards Mrs. NAME’s trip, send donations to the church, marked “NAME
Thank you for your help, and I hope to see you at the concert. You won’t