An intro letter should be a highlight of your full presentation, all the important elements are present, but in a shortened version. Think of it like the movie trailer to your movie. You want to share the same compelling content that clearly communicates what the ministry is all about in just a few short minutes.
What does that mean for you?
An introduction letter should highlight 6 things:
1- The problem you're seeking to address
There doesn't have to be a solution if there isn't already a problem. Including the severity and the hopelessness of the people you'll be ministering to isn't a burden, it's creating awareness. Show the problem in its true light, this gives potential partners a chance to respond with compassion and help.
2- A mission statement
This could the mission statement directly from your sending agency, or it could be your own words expressing the mission and solution of the problem in a clear and compelling way. If you choose to create your own, allow the mission statement to answer Why you're doing what you're doing. This leaves room for the vision statement (next) to answer How you're going to impact people for good.
3- Your vision in 1-2 sentences
Keep the vision focused on How you're going to impact people for good gives a sense of the action you'll be taking to provide a solution to the problem someone has just found out exists.
If you choose to incorporate your organization's mission statement, your vision statement could simply be the personalization of that mission into your own ministry context. Your vision and mission are the sole reasons people want to give to you, so take the time and mental energy to choose your words carefully and place the right emphasis on these parts of your communication.
4- A brief synopsis of strategy
Once you've stated your vision, people are going to want details. We all want to know exactly how that vision will play out in daily activities of impact in other people's lives. Sometimes the connection is obvious, and sometimes you need to be able to talk people through the steps of how your daily activities are going to solve the problem that exists.
5- A clear ask
Don't be afraid to just ask. Being clear about what you're really asking for allows people to make a clear decision. If you communicate unclearly, you're going to get unclear responses. Keep it simple, i.e., "I'm looking for individuals interested in partnering through prayer and financial giving. Would you be interested in being one of those people?"
6- Communicate your next step
This is the last and MOST important piece. Don't forget to tell them that you plan to take action on the letter they've just read. Say, "I will follow up with you in the next few days to see if this is something you're interested in." And then do the follow up. Don't expect them to reach out if they're interested - you do the work of following up to lower as many obstacles as possible. They are busy, but if you follow up, it may be as easy as asking if they're ready to join you on this mission.
Jenny Karr, Director of Training & Coaching Services
My mission is to train, equip, and support people in ministry and as the Director of Training and Coaching Services, I get to do all of those things in one role! When I’m not coaching, training, or writing blogs, I’m enjoying time at home or in the city with my husband, daughter, and friends here in Nashville, TN.