Saturday, April 20, 2013


Spring is one of my favorite seasons - Spring Break, Easter and celebrating the Lord's sacrifice and Resurrection, warmer weather, winding down on campus... So much is going on! 

Beautiful spring flowers that
our accountant's husband brought her!
Spring is also the time of year when a lot of special projects are happening, and people are prepping for big mission trips overseas or here at home. Other folks are getting ready for a season of ministry partner development, which can include months on the road, traveling and visiting with friends and family, and reconnecting with partners and churches to update them on your ministry.

All this activity is always very stressful, and one of the biggest factors in that can be making sure you have enough funds in your ministry account to cover the extra expenses - which means sending your supporters a special-ask letter.

Sending a special ask can be taxing, especially since it's one of those things you only do once or twice a year, and every aspect is considered and prayed over and examined before you send it. The minutiae of getting your ask to stand out and get noticed can be a little confusing, and many of the questions I get asked most frequently involve what options are best for sending your letter to get it noticed. Every person is different, but the Chalk Line team has noticed some trends over the years, and we wanted to fill you in on some of the tips we've seen and some of the options you have if you send your letter through Chalkline.

Some of the most important things to do are fairly common sense:

  • Put a date on the letter, make sure your name and contact information are clearly visible. 
  • Keep the letter to one page, use a mail merge to address your partner personally. 
  • Make sure to address where you are at in ministry and be specific about your need, especially if you are asking for a specific project or event. 
  • Invite the partner to give based on how the Lord leads them, and make a commitment to them to follow up the letter with a phone call or e-mail. 
  • Include a self-addressed envelope for them (it doesn't have to be pre-stamped). 
  • Don't wait until the last minute - you want to give yourself plenty of time for follow-up and to make sure all the details are correct. 

And most importantly, remember that the Lord our God "will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19.

Now, you might say "That's all nice, Tiffany, but what can I do to REALLY stand out?" Well, we have a few things that might be able to help:

  • Send in a brightly colored envelope, or put a picture of you and your family on the front of the envelope to draw attention to the letter
  • Use a "handwritten font" (such as Dakota, Segoe Script, or Lucida Handwriting) on the front of the envelope to mimic the appearance of hand writing the addresses
  • Take advantage of the back of the envelope for extra emphasis- Chalkline now offers backside envelope printing!
  • Use a colored paper, or a nicer paper (such as our Hammermill Semi-Gloss, or an Ivory Linen paper)  for a special look
  • If you need to include a response card or prayer card, you can have that printed on a colored cardstock, or you can use our special legal perforated paper, which has a perforation at the 11" mark, allowing the bottom 3" to be used for a response card. (You can download the template here:

We do our best to accommodate most special requests, and if you have any specific questions about sending a special ask, just contact us.

Finally, I will pass on these two pieces of advice: 1) you know your supporters so much better than we do, and 2) the most effective letters I've seen have been some of the most simply-designed. Often, it's not about standing out in the crowd, it's being honest, prayerful, and remembering that God is our provider. 

And we can't say this enough: We at Chalkline are thankful to be a part of your ministry process. :) Your ministry to further the Gospel is a blessing to us!

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