Fundraising Help

Conference Calls—A Phone Campaign to Raise Funds to Attend National Staff Gathering

The Ministry Partner Development Team asks staff to take a bold step to raise funds to attend National Staff Gathering.

Have questions? Email

Phone 20 or more ministry partners and invite them to make a special gift.

Why this method?

Talking personally to ministry partners will strengthen your relationship. You’ll hear what’s going on in your ministry partners’ lives, and you may be able to minister to your partners in a meaningful way during this brief conversation.

NSG costs are relatively small compared to your annual budget. Raising the amount you need should be possible by making 20 phone calls. Many people enjoy getting behind projects like this.

Raising funds in September from a small segment of your ministry partners will keep the door open for mailing a year-end funding appeal to your whole mailing list in November or December.

What’s involved?

The MPD Team has prepared tools to help you determine how much money you need to raise for NSG and to guide you through each step of the process.

  • NSG Budget Calculator: Available as a PDF worksheet and Excel file, this tool lists the main expenses related to attending NSG, and when completed, will give you the amount you need to raise.
  • Phone Calling Worksheet: List 20+ ministry partners and their contact information. Track your calls and ministry partner responses.
  • Sample Phone Script: This script will guide you through conversations with your ministry partners—including an appeal for a financial gift.
  • Sample Follow-Up Email: An email to ministry partners shortly after your phone conversation will remind them to pray about your invitation and provide your online donation link to make giving quick and easy.
  • Sample Follow-Up Phone Call Script: This script will guide you through calling ministry partners back to see what their giving decision is.
  • Reporting Worksheet: Complete this form and mail it to USHQ to enter the grand prize drawing for Conference Calls.
  • Conference Calls Progress Chart: Fill in this thermometer to track progress toward your goal.
  • Thank-You Note Information: Offers information on ordering notecards and tips on writing a thank-you note to those who make a gift.
  • Phone Call Demonstration Video (see below): Laura Stankich of Collegiate shows how fun and easy it is to make phone calls using the Conference Calls script.

When is the campaign?

Conference Calls runs September 1-30, 2019.

What’s the prize?

Staff who complete at least 15 calls and mail or email their completed Reporting Worksheet to the MPD team will be entered into a drawing sponsored by MPD for a new iPhone*!

To be eligible for the grand prize drawing, the completed Reporting Worksheet must be received via U.S.P.S. (The Navigators, Attn. MPD, P.O. Box 6000, Colorado Springs, CO 80934) or email ( by October 11. The grand prize drawing will be held October 14.

*Or a phone of your choice up to $820 in value (including tax).

Is mailing an appeal letter an option?

MPD hopes you’ll give Conference Calls a try. If, however, you want to raise funds through an appeal letter, you can download the appeal letter template, which you’ll customize with a ministry story, your funding needs, and your personal information. You may find this Funding Progress Tracking sheet helpful as you go.

If you have questions, please email

Questions and Answers

Why are there two tracks?

The MPD team would like you to participate in the Conference Calls funding campaign in September, primarily because this campaign encourages personal interaction with ministry partners. Phoning a handful of ministry partners will effectively raise enough money to attend the conference.

However, some of you prefer to raise funds through an appeal letter. So, while we’ll encourage (yes, incentivize!) you to use the phoning method, we also want to equip you to choose the letter method. One way or the other, we want all you to attend NSG!

A phone calling campaign concerns me. What if I hate talking on the phone?

Don’t worry. MPD will provide scripts and tips to make phone calling simple and (almost) painless. Remember, you’ll just be talking to people you like and who like you—friends! And there could be a great prize in this for you (besides raising the funds you need to go to Florida)!

Do appeal letters really work?

Again, MPD really hopes you will take part in Conference Calls, but yes, letters work.

Many staff have raised conference and ministry funds over the years using a letter like the one we’re providing. The template we’ve created gives you the core content of an effective funding letter and shows you where to customize the letter with your ministry story, personal information, and funding need.

Raising money for the conference also can provide impetus to focus on your fully funded level, if it’s not where it needs to be. Leverage the conference appeal to move forward in your long-term funding. You’ll see in the sample letter that we suggest you appeal for conference funds and your regular budget. So, do a little number crunching and begin praying about the exact figures you’ll present in your letter. Believe God for the entire amount—and invite people to give.

For maximum effectiveness, note these important tips:

  • Don’t change the appeal paragraphs. We’ve learned from thousands of direct mail appeals that our audience prefers to be asked in certain ways. Don’t worry about this letter’s appeal being “too direct.” Clear, direct appeals work best.
  • State a giving deadline of August 31 (the fiscal year end). Some donors might consider November 7 their giving deadline since that’s the day the conference starts. But asking them to send their gift early will mean funds are in your account to purchase plane tickets and pay for registration. An early deadline also will help alleviate last-minute funding stress.
  • Ask six to ten friends for a special anchor gift of $500-$1,000-$2,000. Add a hand-written note like this on letters to anchor donors (people who have the capacity to give large gifts):

Dan, in order to reach my goal of $______, special gifts of $500, $1,000, and $2,000 will be necessary. I wonder if you’d prayerfully consider helping to “anchor” the giving team with a gift in that range. I’ll phone next week to discuss it. Thanks.

  • Mail your letter July 1-August 15. Readers need just four to six weeks to respond to appeal letters. When donors have months to respond, letters end up buried in piles on desks and forgotten. Too little time, and donors don’t have the time they need to consider/pray about the request, talk it over with their spouse, or arrange finances. Use the postal system: Do not email appeal letters.
  • Include a physical response device. Order commitment cards and envelopes at > Staff Ministry Orders > Funding Materials. But also include your online giving URL in the letter:
  • Molly Gilberts will edit your letter. Email your letter to as a Word document or PDF, and Molly will provide helpful feedback and corrections.
Where do I order commitment cards and response envelopes?

Order commitment cards and envelopes at > Staff Ministry Orders > Funding Materials. You must specify that you want response envelopes, as they do not automatically come with commitment cards.