9 Ways to Raise Money for your Missions Trip
Often times the most daunting component of preparing for a build is the idea of fundraising. It's easy to become overwhelmed knowing that you'll need to put together funds not only for your trip, but also to cover the build expenses. Rest assured, we MORE than understand the trepidation that you're feeling. However, in the more than 10 years that Dwellings has been building homes for families in need, we have NEVER seen a team not reach their projected goal. In fact, more often than not, teams will exceed their financial goals by the time they reach their departure date.
There are many places where we can read and hear how we ought to view the task of raising money for the endeavor:
In Scripture God is clear how he wants us to view finances (Luke 6:38, Luke 3:11, Matt 6:3-4, Prov 28:27).
Jim Elliot, missionary to Ecuador and martyr for Christ said, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
British theologian and author, C.S. Lewis stated, “I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.”
And, Pastor Tim Keller proclaimed, “Nothing that you have not given away will really be yours.”
If that wasn't enough, we have compiled a list of 9 creative ways that many of our teams have tackled their fundraising endeavors.
1. Reject Fear
So often we are fearful of asking others for money. If we truly viewed God as the originator and distributor of all resources we shouldn’t be intimidated by asking for financial support. The fear of raising finances is a major reason why many Christians do not participate in missions. The reality is when we raise money for mission trips we are providing others who can’t go, with the ability to glorify God by sending us.
Each participant on the team should write an appeal letter/email to a few dozen friends and family. Make the letters short. Be sure to include a deadline as well as a clear way for the donor to respond. Describe the work you will be doing and how the giver’s support will impact others. Follow up with each donor with e-mails and phone calls.
3. Yard Sale
Ask members of your church, friends, and family to donate household items for a yard sale. Advertise in your church and community. Have all mission trip participants working at the yard sale. Promote the yard sale as a fundraiser for Christian missions. Donate all leftover items to another charity.
4. Car Wash
Host a car wash in front of a local business in your community. Use lots of signage and energetic participants. Instead of setting a price, allow car owners to give what they feel is appropriate. Sell advanced sale coupons in your church and to friends and family.
Pick a weekend to rent out your short-term missionaries for yard work or babysitting. Allow the renters to pay as they feel led. Organize a parent’s night out at a home or church. Allow parents to drop off their kids at one location and have the missionaries babysit. Create a spring cleaning day and volunteer to take truckloads of trash to the dump.
6. Meal Tickets
Host a crab feed, spaghetti feed or barbecue after church. Get your food, plates, and drinks donated or purchased at a discount. Sell advance tickets. Turn the event into a church social. Have the mission trip participants serve as wait staff, cooks, and table bussers.
7. Bake Sale
Ask volunteers and mission trip participants to volunteer to bake cookies, cakes, pies, and cupcakes. Sell them all to the highest bidders after church. This can easily be combined with another meal or fundraising event.
8. Restaurant Discounts
Many restaurants offer to help churches and philanthropic organizations raise money for special service events. Work with the restaurant on their method, but frequently restaurants offer a percentage of sales on a specific day or a percentage if your organization is mentioned at the register. Frequently restaurants offer advanced sale coupons where you get all the proceeds.
There are dozens of websites (GoFundMe.com, FundEasy.com, etc.) that help you raise funds. The website hosts your page, receives the donations and takes a percentage. Crowdfunding support raisers work best when the URL of the fundraising site is shared via social media or e-mail. This is a near effortless way to raise support, you just have to get the word out.
Use your support raising opportunities as teaching moments for the mission trip participants and your church. Make sure everyone is regularly in prayer and seeking God’s provision. Help everyone see how God provides resources for those who seek to serve in His name. Turn support raising for your mission trip from an anxiety ridden venture into a way to bring glory to the Lord and teach about His provision.