Monday, March 26, 2018

Raise the Bar - Mission Support Letters

If you've been around Ember, you know I am extremely overly critical on this every Spring: the average mission support letter is an example of mediocrity. Most letters encourage the prospective missions person to spend minimal time and effort presenting an idea to someone else. We see others blast social media with links to GoFundMe pages and then just wait for funding to roll in. We do the minimum when it comes to engaging people that are normally thrilled to support us. Sadly, a lot of people have turned support raising into sales transactions.

Instead, my suggestions - take them for what it is worth:
1 - Spend 4 hours designing a nice looking letter. Get some ideas from newsletter templates on Google Docs or Microsoft Word. You can ask me too - I have about 25 great examples.
2 - Resist the urge to blast your socials with links for support. People want to hear from you, but not like that.
3 - Lean on sending your letter to people that you know would be thrilled to support you and what you are doing - you know who these people are. Save a small percentage of your letters to give to people that would be long shots - they might be interested but might not.
4 - Follow up when you get support - thank you note, email, text message within 24 hours.
5 - Seriously consider using your talents, gifts and network to augment the support you need to raise. But that is another topic.

If you see yourself in vocational ministry or nonprofit work for the long haul, you will need to raise money. And many times, this is a leading indicator of whether or not you can actually do the work. Get in the habit now of doing it right.

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