Donors are tuned in to the power of prayer. Many think of their prayers for the ministry as a significant part of their support for the ministry. The oft-repeated concept of “your prayers and giving” is not an empty cliché with these donors. They take it seriously. If anything, our communications with donors need to reinforce the importance, the value, of their prayers in support of the ministry. After asking donors to pray with the ministry about a certain need, share the outcomes — the answers to prayer — in a newsletter or other communication device.
But prayer can go in the opposite direction, too — toward the donor. We have seen donor relationships dramatically strengthened when a ministry establishes a strategy of what we call “prayer bonding.” The organization begins with whatever portion is affordable of their donors who have given more than once in the past 12 months. Break this list into 12 monthly segments (or 52 weekly segments if that works better). Distribute the names among staff members, with instructions to pray for these donors on a monthly (or weekly) basis, perhaps in a staff meeting. In that month (or week), send a letter to those donors — a smallish, perhaps monarch-sized letter, with no request for a gift — thanking them for the difference they are making for and through the ministry, and letting them know that you prayed for them. Enclose no reply device or reply envelope.