Many religious groups, such as churches or temples, hold retreats for their members. As a time to connect with each other and your higher being, retreats offer a break from everyday tasks to focus on spirituality. Retreat organizers need to make a compelling case for attending the gathering. Many people must be persuaded that it is worth their time and effort to leave their families and routines for several days to attend the retreat. Offer as much information in the invitation as possible because you may only have one shot to make a compelling case for attending the retreat.
Write an outline of the points you wish to convey in the invitation. Include information on why the retreat is being held, the target audience (i.e. college students, young mothers, single men, etc.) and what participants will gain from the retreat.
Jot down retreat logistics, including dates, times, transportation, accommodation, costs and setting.
Draft an opening paragraph that draws in invitation readers. State specifically that you are writing to invite the reader to a retreat on such and such a date, and who the retreat is for.
Write a draft of the rest of the invitation, working from your notes. Arrange the most important aspects at the top and work down. Present your case for why the reader should attend the retreat, such as spiritual renewal, fellowship or leadership training. Include the goals of the weekend and the logistics.
Include a brief paragraph that debunks reasons why the reader cannot attend the retreat. Mention that breaking away from one's daily routine is difficult but ultimately rewarding.
End with a personal entreaty to attend the retreat. Include your name, e-mail address and telephone number, and encourage invitees to contact you with questions or concerns. Include instructions for how to sign up for the retreat.
Consider an alternative retreat invitation, such as a video posted online. Include the same information, such as reasons why the retreat will be beneficial and debunking reasons for not attending. E-mail the link to invitees.
Retreat invitations may be mailed or e-mailed, or a combination of both.
Mention ways to defray retreat costs, such as scholarships or fundraisers, if applicable. Doing so may encourage people to attend who otherwise would consider the retreat too expensive.
- Waterside Retreat image by Cathy Kovarik from Fotolia.com