Inspiring Generosity


     Are you sending me a letter? Please?  PicsbyFran/pixabay

4 Reasons Why the Follow-up Letter is Important
If I’m not mistaken, the vast majority of you and your congregations are currently hosting, running, or (I certainly hope not) slogging through your fall stewardship series.
“Commitment Sunday” is just around the corner, amirite? Hooray!
Once the commitment cards have been brought forward as an act of worship, do you acknowledge the sacrifice and love of the people who are making a pledge to your ministry? I certainly hope so.
Maybe the first question is why make that acknowledgement in the first place?
I know that there are some people out there who say:
“It’s your obligation. You should be giving. No need to acknowledge.”
“Don’t waste staff time with another letter. Save the stamp.”
Yes, you might have one or two people who think that, but here are four reasons to recognize a pledge through a letter rather than ignoring the opportunity:
1.  You acknowledge just how grateful you are.
2. You have another chance to tell the story of how the person’s gift will be used to fund ministry over the next year.
3. You’ll verify that you have the right information on how much and how they want to give.
4. One more time, you can show your thankfulness.
Here’s how that might look:
Dear (the name they like to use):
What a blessing your commitment is to our congregation!
Thank you for giving us your pledge card. The step of faith you’ve taken will allow us to fund many of the ministries in our congregation that you have come to love. [Here you’ll want to list a few of those.]
I want to be sure that we have the correct pledge information on hand and we have accurately entered it into our system. [You can either put the information here or write, “Please review the second page and call me if you have any questions or corrections.”]
[If people have also said they’d contribute hours of volunteer service or prayer, note that as well. These are important gifts that are being shared!]
Once again, thank you. May God richly bless you and keep you.
Pastor ___________
Want a few more tips on how to write a great thank you letter? You can read them right here.
Yes, a letter will take some effort. But think of the gift you have been given and what that gift will do to change the lives of people in your congregation and community. If that’s not worth recognizing more formally, what is?
The Bible is full of praise and thanksgiving. Let your people know how thankful you are for them as they take or continue to take their steps of faith through giving.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. For 25 years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she has helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. Is your church looking for a new fall fundraiser? How about a Pumpkin Regatta? You can reach Cesie at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity or at CesieScheuermann.com.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.