Getting the Dough to Go
What a great opportunity we have as high school students to significantly influence our nation for Jesus Christ! Since you may need additional finances to attend a conference, a step-by-step plan has been developed to help you do this. The plan is designed for you to link up with a group of people who agree to help you financially.
The most important thing you can do in getting the needed finances is to pray. God is willing and able to provide for your needs. Once you have prayed, then you must take action.
What to Do ...
The following pages will give you ideas for reaching your financial goal, in order to attend the conference.
This plan will guide you through the process of Namestorm, Write, Call, and Thank.
The first step to take in developing your funds is to develop an initial list of potential sponsors. As with brainstorming, in namestorming, there is one cardinal rule anything goes. No name is disqualified. Dont decide for an individual whether or not he or she is interested. If you limit yourself to those you feel will or can give, you may be leaving out those God may want to become sponsors. Later you will need to prioritize whom to contact first; but for now, dont disqualify anyone!
Have your parents or youth leader help. As you namestorm, associate various professions, businesses, and places with any friends and acquaintances they bring to mind. To help you, we have provided some thought-provokers in the following list..
impact your community
After taking an hour or so for freewheeling "namestorming," label each contact either "T" for top priority, "M" for medium priority, or "L" for low priority. These designations refer to your evaluation of how likely they are to give.
Your next step is to write a letter explaining your needs. Write a letter as outlined below. If your list of potential sponsors is not too long, hand write and hand-address each one. If possible, personally hand the letter to the potential sponsor and explain that you would like them to read it over and that you will call them later. If its not possible to hand write each letter, type them or use a computer and print them with a laser or quality ink-jet printer.
How to Write a Letter:
1. Date the letter. Be sure to mail the letter within a day of the date on the letter.
2. Write the persons name in the salutation (Dear _______ ). Use Mr., Mrs., or Miss with the persons last name. Dont use an adults first name unless you always call them by their first name.
3. Fill in the "I want to go to this conference because " with your own personal explanation.
4. For the total cost of the conference, include all costs, including your transportation costs and meals not included in the conference fee.
5. The next step is to calculate how many sponsors you need at a certain amount to reach your goal.
For example, if your goal is $350, you could be looking for 14 people at $25. We encourage you to ask people to give at least $25.
6. Sign the letter. Write both your first and last names.
7. You may want to add a personal note at the bottom of the letter to adults who are close friends.
8. Enclose a self-addressed and stamped envelope with a response slip with your letter. (A sample response slip is found at the end of this packet. The easier you make it for them to respond, the higher the response rate will be.
The reason Im writing you is to tell you about the conference and how you could help me participate in it. (Describe what the conference is about.) Personally, I want to go because (share you explanation). The total cost of attending the conference will be $_____. This includes the conference registration, lodging, meals, transportation, and conference material. I am excited about the plan I have to pay for the conference. I hope to contribute $ _____ out of my own earnings, and obtain $ _____ from sponsors in our community such as yourself. I am looking for _____ people to give $ _____ to meet this goal. All sponsors gifts are tax-deductible. Ive included a self-addressed envelope and response slip for your convenience. Checks should be made payable to (name of your Christian group).
Would you help me make a difference by helping send me as a delegate from my school? My goal is to have these funds raised by ____________. I would really appreciate your help, and look forward to giving you a report when I return. I will call you within week to get a decision from you.
Thank you for considering my request. Please pray for me and the other students attending the conference.
A very important step in enlisting a sponsor is the follow-up phone call after sending your sponsorship letter to them. The added personal touch of a phone call is vital.
Dont sit back and wait for the other person to respond. Always call back within a week after a letter has been sent. If you do, you will see results.
Follow-Up Phone Conversation:
1. Introduce yourself.
"Hello, Mrs. _____. This is _______ calling. How are you?" Take a minute to develop rapport, but be brief. Ask how theyre doing and how their family is.
2. Ask if they have received your letter.
3. Remind them about the conference.
4. Share what you hope to see God do in your life and on your campus as a result of the conference.
5. Be very specific in asking for a definite response. "As I mentioned in my letter, Im in the process of developing my sponsorship team to help me attend this conference. Could you become a sponsor by giving $ _____ ? (Note: Be sure to ask directly for a response. Then be quiet! Let the person respond. Talking more at this point will distract them from making a decision.)
6. If they say "yes, we want to be sponsors," explain that they can make their check payable to (name of your group). Always try to stop by and pick up their check if possible. Otherwise, be sure they know how to send their check to you.
7. If the person youre calling has not yet decided, explain that you hope to try to reach your goal in the next few days.
"Since I need to know how close I am to reaching my goal in the next day or so, could I call you tomorrow to see what youve decided?" (Note: Be sure to establish a specific time to get their decision. Try to call back the next day if at all possible.)
8. If the person cant contribute, tell them that is quite all right, and that you had simply wanted to give them the opportunity. Thank them for considering your request.
Try to send a thank-you note the day you get the sponsors investment check or even the same day you call for his decision. Be sure to keep a record of this so youll know whom youve thanked. This thank-you letter is an important part of developing your support team. This should be a personal, handwritten letter.
Please do not print or mimeograph a form letter. It need not be long. A few sentences are sufficient.
When you receive the checks from your sponsors, turn them into your youth leader.
Sample Thank-you Note
Dear (Sponsors name),
(Include something personal first.)
Thank you for your decision to become one of my sponsors. Your prayers and finances are really appreciated. Your gift will have far-reaching results as we return to help influence (name of your school campus) for Christ. Please join me in praying that God would deepen my commitment to Christ. Your prayers are most important. Thanks again for your generous help.