Letters are vital to raising support for your mission trip.
If you have to choose between letters and events, choose letters. Here’s why:
- They work. People love to see others serve, and they will respond. Even if they might not go themselves, they can be a part of your experience. Send it to Christians and non-Christians alike. Share WHY this cause is important to you – WHY you want to go on this trip.
- It’s not just about money. It’s about prayer support. This is absolutely necessary. Any trip that has a spiritual component will have spiritual opposition and requires a good prayer support team!
- They’re wonderful faith builders. As team members see God provide both prayer and financial support (often times in the most unexpected people!), their faith grows and they go on the trip very aware that they’re supposed to be there.
Practical Thoughts on Letter Writing
- Don’t beat around the bush. You know why you’re writing. They know why, too. Get to it.
- Make it personal. Tell about what’s been going on in your life. Share from the heart. And even though we provide a sample letter, be sure your letter sounds like it’s from you. Keep it personal and in your own voice.
- Have somebody read it over for you. Spell-check it. Basically, do an excellent job.
- Let them know exactly what you’ll be doing (as much as you know) and WHY!
- Ask for both prayer and financial support. Give specific prayer items (maybe you want to make a daily prayer list, asking for specific requests for each day. This encourages daily prayer.)
- Provide a return envelope with a stamp already on it. This will cost you a bit, but it encourages a response.
- Blog before, during, and after your trip. Or provide your email address if they want updates along the way. And add posts or write emails regularly. That’ll get them engaged.
- Take a step beyond a blog and create a crowdfunding page. You can use someone like Pure Charity, Crowdrise or GoFundMe.
- Find out if it’s okay to send letters to people within the church (only applicable if you’re sending on behalf of the church to people with whom you are NOT acquainted). Most likely you’ll just be sending to family and friends.
- Send lots of letters.
- Send a follow-up postcard or thank you note to those who’ve indicated they’re going to support you for your trip, letting people know where you’re at, and tell them that if they forgot or would still like to support you, it’s not too late! Immediately send a thank you note when you receive the money or their response.
- Send a follow-up letter upon your return. Share your experience and how they helped make it possible.
Dear <NAME OF RECIPIENT>,
<TELL A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW>. Because of your important role in my life, I’d like to share with you about a great opportunity that I believe God is leading me to – an opportunity to serve people in <DESTINATION> on a short-term mission trip. That’s why I’m writing…I’d love for you to be a financial and prayer partner in this mission with me.
For the past few weeks and months, I have been thinking and praying about going on a mission trip to <DESTINATION> with <GROUP NAME>. I believe this is a new step that God is asking me to make. I am excited for all that I will learn in the months leading up to the trip, during the trip, and after I return home. I believe God is going to “do a good work in me” as a result of this incredible opportunity.
<GROUP NAME> is traveling with a missions and relief organization, Forward Edge International, to our final
destination: <DESTINATION>. Forward Edge International offers complete logistical coordination for our team, on-site support, and connects us with invaluable partners in <DESTINATION>. They have worked with local churches in <DESTINATION>, developed relationships and gained acceptance among the community there. I am excited for the opportunity to serve with Forward Edge.
My team from <GROUP NAME> will spend most of our time focused on <PEOPLE GROUP OF DESTINATION>.
Above all, we are devoted to serving the local people and developing relationships with them! This was Christ’s model for evangelism and we are excited to be a part of the Great Commission in <DESTINATION>. Additionally, our team will be <NAME SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES OR MINISTRIES YOUR GROUP WILL BE DOING>.
I am very excited to be a part of this team! As I prepare for the trip, I need your prayers for safety and God to work in and through me, and I want to humbly ask you to consider supporting me financially. The cost of the trip is <COST>. Any amount would be great, but if you would be willing to contribute $20, $50, $100 or more, it would really help me to reach my goal!
Please prayerfully consider how you would be willing to support me during this trip—either through prayer, financial support or both. All donations are tax-deductible and directions for financial contributions can be found below. Thank you for partnering with me and supporting me as I prepare for this adventure! I look forward to letting you know how the trip impacted my life when I return!