One great way to raise money on your own is through support letters. These are written and sent to those closest to your family.
Here are some great tips from Youth Works on how to write a great support letter:
Mission trip support letters are easy to write if you know what to include. The following are some quick tips on what to put in, what to avoid and how to share your mission trip support letter.
But first, let’s make sure you know why you’re writing a support letter. When you write a support letter, you’re doing way more than just asking for money and prayer – you’re inviting someone to participate in your trip. While they won’t be hopping in the plane with you, they will be filling the vital role of providing support in your mission trip experience. Keep this in mind as you write and send your support letters.
10 WRITING TIPS
1. Keep it short. One page is plenty. Two pages should be your maximum. Quality trumps quantity.
2. Make it look good. First impressions matter. If designing documents isn’t your cup of tea, find a friend who can help. Including a picture of you or your team is an easy win.
3. Proofread it. Errers are fairly noticeabl… and often avoidable. Have someone help you by reading your letter for any errors before you hit PRINT.
4. Be interesting. Share about what you are doing, the place you are going and the people you will be with, but don’t drag out your letter with tons of minute details. (We have provided what we’ll be doing on our Sweden Info sheet here.)
5. Make it personal. People want to support you! Don’t send a generic letter from the team when you can send a personal letter from you. While you might share some details about your team, also include what your hopes, fears and needs are.
6. Don’t forget the details. Where is the trip? What are the dates? What will you be doing? Is there a send-off service beforehand? How much money are you trying to raise? If they want to donate money, where do they send it and who are checks made out to? It is a good idea to include a stamped self-addressed envelope along with the letter so they can send it back to you easily.
7. Don’t just write a “fundraising letter.” Support is so much more than people’s money. At the same time, there is nothing to be ashamed about when offering people the opportunity to be generous. If asking for money is part of the support you need, make it secondary to asking for prayer. Even if people can’t contribute financially, they can certainly still support you.
8. Ask for prayer. And be specific when you do. Give them 4 or 5 things they can pray for, for example: the community and ministries you are visiting, your team, your travels, etc. (If you wrote a team covenant, there is probably some great things to pray for in there!)
9. Be humble and respectful. Don’t make the place you’re headed seem destitute in an effort to make your trip sound more significant. Remember that Jesus is the hero, not your team. Use language that honors what God is already up to in the place you are headed. Use phrases like, “serve alongside,” “partner with” and “learn from.”
10. Say thank you. A great way to end your letter is with gratefulness for the people you are asking to partner with you in this mission trip. Thank them in advance for whatever way they choose to support you.
11. Please do NOT send letters to our church members. Unless they are family members or very close to you or your family. You can imagine that someone from our church would likely get multiple letters from different team members. This puts people in an awkward position as they try to determine who to support. We do not want to hit our congregation members up multiple times and in multiple ways. We do one all-church fundraiser on behalf of the entire team.