The purpose of a support letter is to connect your support team with you and your trip.
An effective support letter clearly states who you are, when and where you are going.
It should contain:
- some information about the trip
- what you will be doing
- what you hope to see God accomplish through you
- what God is currently doing in your life.
- pictures (of you, where you are going or the people you will be serving)
Your letter can be as detailed as you’d like, but it must be uniquely yours. Generally, you will not receive a positive response from a form letter without personalization. Passion and enthusiasm are contagious.
Convey your enthusiasm and excitement when speaking about the trip and how God is preparing you during the process. Help your potential supporters see your vision in order to build a connection between both of you. People give to a vision – give them something to be a part of.
Use pictures and presentations in conjunction with your support letters. Pictures can be added to your support letter or included with the mailing. Use relevant and appropriate pictures. If you need help with finding or selecting pictures contact global outreach.
Presentations can be given to any groups you associate with or belong. A good presentation includes the same elements as a good support letter. The presentation takes the support letter a step further by allowing you to interact with your potential supporters and answer any questions they may have.
Finding your support team
- make a list of everyone you know
- consider EVERYONE – past and present
Examples to get you started: your family and extended family, friends, teachers, coaches, members of your LifeGroup, members of other groups you participate in, your neighbors, your parents’ neighbors
Do not blanket the church congregation with support letters or use the church directory as a mailing list. This will only waste your resources in printing and postage costs, because people generally support people they know.
Tips to remember:
- send your letters well in advance of your team departure date
- remind your supporters that they are partnering with you as a joint effort to fulfill God’s mission
- convey to your potential supporters the importance of the supporter/encourager/giver role – it is just as vital as the one going on the field
- try to limit your letter to one page (the attention span of most adults)
- include enough information about your trip in your support letter so that your supporters will want to get involved with what God is doing in your life
- print the support forms and include them with your support letter
- remind your supporters to write the check out to Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in order to receive a tax deduction – they should use the support form, but may use a separate note to designate the money to your account
- checks should NOT have your name on the check (this nullifies the tax deduction)
- be creative and make the letters personal
- don’t forget to thank God and your support team for their provision