Many churches raise funds and solicit grants they can use to help the less fortunate. Some have formal programs, while others entertain individual requests from people in need, explains NeedHelpPayingBills.com.
If you need help paying bills ASAP and can show how your situation aligns with the church's mission and goals, you'll be more successful in receiving assistance. Reviewing the different ways in which religious organizations help those who need assistance will increase your chances of getting help.
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Review the Organization’s Website
If your needs align with the mission of a church, mosque or synagogue, you'll be more likely to get financial help, as well as other forms of assistance. Visit the website of the church and look for any links to services they provide. They might have their own programs or administer local, state or federal government programs.
If you find this type of information on the website, you should also be able find instructions for applying for help. If you don't find any information of this type on the website, call or write to find out if they have any assistance programs and how you can apply.
Consider also: How to Apply for Charity Care
Identify All of Your Needs
Before an organization will give you financial help, they'll want to know how you got into your situation, what you're doing to try to improve it, what your needs are, how much money you need and how long you will need help. This will help the organization determine if they have a specific program to put you into, and if not, how else they might be able to help.
In addition to financial help, many churches offer other types of assistance. They might offer job training, help you find full- or part-time work, help you apply for government assistance (like food stamps), help you find scholarships or tuition or help you find help you find free sources of food, furnishings, medical care or housing. Catholic Charities, for example, has a worldwide network of programs they offer through local churches.
Most charitable organizations would prefer to give you temporary assistance while you work to figure out how to provide for yourself. If you simply request a dollar amount of money without explaining why you need it, what you'll use it for and how long you'll need help, you might not get a positive response.
Consider also: Food Stamps & Being Laid Off
Make Your Pitch
Once you have identified all of the needs you have that a particular church, synagogue or mosque can help you with, write a letter requesting assistance. Start by introducing yourself and explaining your current situation. Let the reader know where you are struggling and would like to inquire about assistance – but don't ask for money, yet.
Next, lay out the steps you are taking to try and improve your situation on your own. Once you've explained your situation, your needs and your long-term plan, let the reader know what you are requesting. In addition to dollars, you might also ask for goods, food, clothing, services, training or other assistance.
If possible, let the organization know how long you think you will need this assistance. Ask if there are any forms you need to fill out or if you need to come in for an interview. Close your letter by telling the reader you will be calling to follow up on your letter and answer any questions she might have. Don't say that you will wait to hear from the church, which could delay your response.
Thank the reader in advance for considering your request. After your signature, add a P.S. telling the reader that you would appreciate referrals to any other organizations that might be able to help you.