How to Write Better Catholic Appeal Letters

The end of the year is around the corner. Prepare for your End of Year Appeal with these tips.

It’s been one chaotic year – would you agree?

Virus, quarantine, church shutdowns, riots, political rivalry, social unrest… the list continues.

But now that it’s October, you might be able to see December right around the corner.

Now is a great time to start planning your end of year appeal. Here are a few tips on how to prepare writing your appeal letter.

Make sure to get your free copy of ‘The 10 Commandment of Catholic Fundraising’. It’s a book that highlights the ten tasks you should do to keep you focused on your mission and hit your fundraising target, every time.
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Question: Which saint, Catholic document, or Church teaching has given you great advice on how to raise funds? Please leave your comment below.

Transcript

We’re coming up on the end of the year, and that means it’s also fundraising season. I’m going to be sharing three recommendations, tips, helpful pointers on how you can write an appeal letter that is both persuasive and, at the same time, resonates with Catholic audiences. So stay with me until the very end of this show and I know you these tips are going to help you. 

Hi, I’m Brice Sokolowski, founder of CatholicFundraiser.net, the website that’s dedicated to helping you fundraise better in the Catholic context. And today, we’re going to be talking about appeal letters. How do you write an appeal letter that is both persuasive but also Catholic? 

Now, before we dive in, I want to make sure that you download absolutely for free my guide,  The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. This includes 10 steps that I recommend you take on a regular basis because they really will help you fundraise more efficiently. This guide is going to help you find donors, and it’s going to help you align your fundraising more effectively with your mission. So please be sure that you download my guide, The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. The link is below. 

Okay, let’s talk about appeal letters. It’s the end of the year. So more than likely you are starting to write your annual appeal letter. I have three recommendations for how to write an appeal letter that is both persuasive (meaning, it’s going to encourage people to donate) while at the same time will resonate with Catholics. If you can do these two things, resonate with Catholics and be persuasive, you’re going to have a better appeal letter. 

So, point number one on writing an appeal letter is, you have to tell a story. I recommend a recent story, something that’s happened over the past three months. I really don’t recommend writing an ‘origin story’ about how your apostolate came to be. I don’t recommend writing from a broad scope. Your story has to have focus. You want to share something very specific, as opposed to a generalized conversation. For example, in general, when I go to the store, lots of different things happen but I wouldn’t go into every contextual detail about how to get into a car, how to drive somewhere, and where you park. That’s rambling. You must try to be specific with your appeal story. Talk about one thing that you’ve done. for example, if you’re spreading the gospel, if you’re helping the poor, if you’re educating people. Identify one thing in particular that you think is most compelling and interesting. That’s my point number one. 

My point number two is that your appeal story somehow has to connect with the reader. It has to be something that will feel familiar to them. You don’t want to talk about something “esoteric,” in the sense that they wouldn’t easily grasp a point. For example, think about a simple story about your priest and something that may have happened to them before preparing for Mass. Not everyone knows all those little things that go on beforehand, and a story that shares such details is more likely to be seen as something really interesting by your community. This is just an example, but make sure that the story that you’re telling can be related to as much as possible by the reader. And they can say, You know what? Either that’s happened to me or, that’s very interesting. Either way, you’re telling a story that’s much more personable and will make a much more direct connection. 

My third point to suggest is to ask for a donation in an equally clear way. You don’t want to ramble on with a long, esoteric paragraph and — right in the middle, even if you feel the opportunity — drop something in about the need to support your work, etc. What you want in your appeal sentence is to keep it short and position it clearly in its own paragraph. Just make it clear that you are asking for a donation. Don’t be ashamed to ask for a donation. Yes, it’s going to be difficult, but just put it on paper and be honest. You’ve told a fantastic story: Remind them how you are successfully spreading the good word of the apostolate and because you’re doing this work, you would like to do more of it, and could, with their support. 

So those are my three suggestions for how to write a persuasive but also Catholic appeal letter. 

Now, if you need any help, please reach out through the Contact Me on my website, CatholicFundraiser.net.  Please feel free to share this and encourage more people to take action. Whether you’re writing an appeal letter and using this information, or if you know somebody that’s writing an appeal letter that would appreciate your sharing this information, let’s help each other to create more persuasive and Catholic-focused appeal letters. Let’s raise more money so we can all focus more of our attention on our mission, which, for the most part, is saving lives and saving souls. May God love you and I look forward to speaking with you next week. Bye!

Want to fundraise more for your Catholic apostolate?

Make sure to get your free copy of ‘The 10 Commandment of Catholic Fundraising’. It’s a book that highlights the ten tasks you should do to keep you focused on your mission and hit your fundraising target, every time.

Click here to subscribe

Brice was born and raised Catholic. After enjoying a successful career in technology consulting with Accenture and PriceWaterhouseCoopers in cities across the United States (Dallas, San Francisco, Paris, Abu Dhabi, and London) around the world, he left it to help his Catholic diocese in London, England with a fundraising campaign. The campaign went on to raise over $60 million, the largest sum ever raised for the diocese and in the United Kingdom.

Learning from professional fundraisers, he figured out the basics and then left the diocese to focus on what he loves most: building Catholic charities that change the culture, save lives, and save souls.

Brice currently lives in Texas and travels the world helping Catholics fundraise. This website is where he shares what he is doing and how he is raising funds for Catholic causes and missions. That way you can move more quickly with your next appeal.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Mother Mary and Saint Joseph, protect us as we announce the good news of God's beloved Son, Jesus Christ.