Home > Fundraising, Relationships > Raising Financial Support for a Living: The Letter & Phone Call

Raising Financial Support for a Living: The Letter & Phone Call

Phew, we are pushing through this series. It’s been a good refresher for me. I’m actually learning a lot! Previously, I gave some pre-planning steps to take. Now, I want to give you some guidance in those first impressions with the Letter and Phone Call. Is this part of the process starting to be intimidating yet? If so, I hope this post relieves some fears.

So, you have already name-stormed and gotten contact info (i.e mailing address/phone #, etc) all written down. So, after this you need to write and begin sending out your contact letter.

Contact Letter = First Impression

When writing your letter use the guideline that I previously posted (or something similar).

Here’s some ideas for organizing the letter:

  1. Personal update: Important events such as graduation, work, engagement, etc.
  2. Introduce the ministry influence on you: mission statement, ways you’ve grown through it, etc.
  3. Inform them about the opportunity: describe ministry, benefits/God’s call.
  4. Invite them in:communicate your needs such as prayer & funds (clearly communicate your need for funds- do NOT surprise them with this!).

TIPS when making the letter:

  • Personalize it by writing in or typing their name in.
  • Include a professional picture of yourself.
  • Leave a handwritten P.S note directed to the individual.
  • Hand write the addresses on the envelopes.
  • Make sure they know that you will be contacting them soon.
  • Keep length within 1/2 -1 page.


  • Include prayer requests (if space permits)
  • Not all supporters will require a letter
  • Facebook message, text, or phone call may be best means for getting an appointment
  • Be clear and concise.
  • Have someone peer edit it.


So, when determining how to write it, send it, and follow up. Remember that your goal with this letter is to call them.

Therefore, consider this pace:

  1. Send them out in groups of 10. (can you really follow up w/ more than 10 people at a time??)
  2. Start with your “Top-Ten List” (people that will give you confidence not discouragement! Start out strong)
  3. Send a new batch out after you have followed up with the first batch via a phone call.

The letter isn’t so bad, now is it? On to the Phone Call…

Phone Call = Get Them Face-to-Face

The follow up call after your letter is VERY important, but VERY hard. The purpose of this call is asking them for (1) a face to face appointment or  (2) informing them of the vision and inviting them to join your team (option #2 is only in rare cases such as distance!). In fact, even if we are not able to meet face-to-face Danny and I still use Skype or FaceTime to meet with potential supporters. I send them our presentation and give away sheets so that they can follow along as we share our vision.  Overall, make every effort to secure a time and place to share with them.


  • You are not asking for a commitment over the phone, but an opportunity to inform them further.
  • People are busy. Do not take their busyness to mean disinterest.
  • Be ready to offer 3 options for them to choose from.
  • Keep track of people and what progress you have made with them (how awful would it be to forget to call someone or to call them twice b/c you’ve forgotten!). *Disorganization is a sure-fire way to make people feel like a number…


  • Have a calendar and pen available & ready before calling.
  • Expect each appointment to last 30min-1 hour.
  • So, leave about a 2 hour window for each appointment in order to travel, gather yourself, and rest.

Prime Calling Times:

  • Mon-Thurs: 7-9pm
  • Sat-Sun: 11am-5pm

*** PURPOSE OF THE PHONE CALL: An Appointment***

Since you want a face-to-face meeting intend on your phone call looking something like this…

  1. Greeting: Catch up w/ them! I know you’re scared, but try and act normal.
  2. Transition: Well, eventually you gotta get to the point. Let’s face it, most people are probably wondering why you’re calling them (because you probably never have called before, or because they did get your letter and are just waiting for you to say something about it.)
  3. Ask for an Appointment: This is as simple as saying, “Did you get my letter?” (half of your potential sponsors probably haven’t gotten it, and over half will have a legitimate conflict with your first proposed date/time. This does not mean people don’t want to support you. Remember that they are busy. So, you have to be flexible and persistent at times.
  4. Confirm: Make sure you are both on the same page about when, where, and why.


  1. What should I do if I get their answering machine? Leave a short message, then call again in a couple of days.
  2. What if they do not want to meet? Do not let them make a giving commitment over the phone. The goal is a lasting partnership, so give every effort to meet anyways and explain why it would be such a valuable time for you both.
  3. What if they say they will get back to me? Respectfully, let them know that you will contact them in x days. People are busy and you are not their top priority even though they care about you and what you’re doing. So, be wise and keep the calling as your responsibility.

The phone call is without a doubt, the most frightening part of support raising for me. Those awkward moments when people get straight to the point or don’t call you back after you’ve called 3 times make me so insecure for some reason. But, I have never in the past 4 years of raising support had someone who intentionally tried to avoid me (at least, not to my knowledge).  ***If you have any questions or suggestions about the Letter and Phone call please comment! We can all learn from each other! Also, if there is something specific you want me to cover with the Appointment and overall cycle be sure to let me know! More posts coming soon!***

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