If you or your church group are gearing up for a mission trip, you know that the associated expenses for travel can add up quickly. Mission trip fundraising efforts are used to cover costs for church members to go on mission trips. With mission trip fundraising, donations raised will generally go towards travel costs, supplies, and funding missionaries needs (food, medicine, shelter) while on a mission.
Why Are Missions Important?
Mission trips play a crucial role in the lives of countless people in the developing world each year. For this reason, many churches in the United States have mission teams made up of church members and church youth who travel to serve the less fortunate while spreading the word of the Lord. These mission trips often have a specific mission or focus project – which may include rebuilding towns afflicted by natural disasters, setting up permanent or temporary health clinics, and helping communities struggling with disease or starvation.
Mission work is a staple of the evangelical and other church communities, and many are called to do this type of work on a more long-term basis. Churches may also choose to sponsor a mission family that lives in the area where mission work is being done. The Church then supplements their income with the money raised from donations to help them serve the community in need on behalf of the church.
Planning & Preparing for a Mission Trip
As with any fundraising initiative, be sure to plan appropriately by setting goals and objectives. Establish timelines so you can meet these goals in time for your trip. Utilize a fundraising website to securely collect donations, track fundraising progress and communicate the mission of the mission trip. In our church fundraising overview, we outline some of these basic fundraising guidelines to help you succeed.
Remember that raising money is not the only thing you need to do in preparation for your mission trip. You will be expected to serve. Start preparing yourself now, physically and emotionally. Whether it’s sacrificing your own personal desires to help others, studying a foreign language, or reading the Bible to find encouraging devotions you may want to share with a community in need, do what you can to prepare yourself for your journey and make the most out of your time away. Successful mission trips are life changing experiences for everyone involved.
How to Raise Funds for a Mission Trip
Now that you have laid the foundation for planning and preparing for mission trip fundraising, what are the best ways to raise donations for this cause? As with all fundraising initiatives, there is never one answer. There are many different kinds of fundraising initiatives that can help individuals and groups raise money for a mission trip. Choosing the right fundraising activities for your church or church group is part of your journey.
Whatever you decide on for your fundraising initiative, make sure you provide an easy way for people to make contributions. Our Donation Software for churches allows churches and organizations to set up a personalized web page to upload photos, explain your mission and collect secure donations online.
Write Mission Trip Fundraising Letters
Writing a simple, sincere letter can be one of the most effective ways to raise money for a mission trip, especially if coming from church youth group members. A member of a church youth group can raise hundreds or thousands of dollars by sending out well-written letters to everyone they know. Make sure not to limit the appeal to just friends and family. Send letters to neighbors, co-workers, local businesses and people in the community. There is no harm in informing people about a good cause, and the worst they can say is that they have no money to contribute. However, you will find that many people decide to give something, even if it’s a small amount. All of those small amounts add up quickly, but sending out all of these letters and asking donors to return check donations can be timely and costly.
Launch a Mission Trip Fundraising Website
Luckily, now there is a better way than the traditional fundraising letter. Youth groups and others who wish to fundraise for mission trips can now find success with crowdfunding software. This is how online crowdfunding for non-profits works:
- A church administrator establishes a fundraising website
- Those interested in raising money for the mission trip register on the website and a personal page is generated for them
- Each mission trip participant then manages their personal fundraising page with includes their personal mission statement, a fundraising thermometer and social media links
- They then invite friends and family to support your church or their mission trip through secure, online donations.
- Administrators can easily view reports for all fundraisers and see how much everyone has raised
Streamline Donation Collection with our Mission Trip Fundraising Websites.
Spread the Word!
The best way to start raising money for your mission trip is by telling people about it. Whether you decide to send a letter or simply talk about it with family, friends and neighbors…you can do more by going online. Post an announcement on your Facebook page giving friends a link to your personal fundraising page and an opportunity to contribute. Reach out to local businesses and ask if you can post flyers on their bulletin boards. The church should support members of the congregation as well by not only talking to the congregation about the mission trip, but by helping participants raise funds. Church leaders may consider passing an additional donation basket during services to raise funds specific for your mission trip or by providing donation envelopes for people to pick up after Sunday service or during community gatherings. Don’t forget to utilize church bulletins, newsletters and the church or organizational website.
Organize a Fundraising Event
If you’re raising money as a group, consider hosting a fundraising event to raise money for you mission trip. DoJiggy provides many great resources and creative fundraising events ideas as well as tips and guidelines to help you plan them. These events can be applied to any community organization looking for fun ways to raise money for their cause.
Fundraising events will not only raise money for your mission trip but bring your community and congregation closer together. Be sure to consider the importance of highlighting your mission and mission-driven fundraising, when selecting a fundraising event.
Examples of the best fundraising events for churches and mission group fundraising include:
- walk-a-thon fundraisers,
- serve-a-thons or community service projects,
- charity golf tournaments and
- simple community based fundraising events such as bake sales, car washes and group yard sales.
Host a Get to Know the Mission Night & Meal
Your church congregation will likely be some of your best supporters, since they believe in you and your mission work. Be sure to educate them on the mission and how they can participate – even if they aren’t actually going on the mission. Host a Get to Know the Mission Night where you talk about the mission’s goals and share a slide show of the community that will be effected. If your church has been there before, sharing pictures and stories can be quite impactful. Then, prepare a meal of the local cuisine, for everyone to try. Sell tickets to attend and take additional donations after the show. Consider including a silent auction or fundraising raffle as well.
Sell Unique Church Merchandise
Church groups can sell branded merchandise online or at church services and events. Create beautiful, unique designs on a platform such as Printful, for church t-shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, hats, or blankets. A table can be set up to sell these items every Sunday, or you can setup an eCommerce store and sell them online. Add a blog to the website, to boost sales and report about your mission trip fundraising goals and progress.
Request Frequent Flyer Mile Donations
One of the biggest expenses that you will encounter in mission work is airfare. Most airlines allow members to donate frequent flyer miles to other individuals or non-profit groups. There are plenty of people who travel frequently for work and look for ways to utilize their miles to do good. If this is a donation option you are interested in offering, ask your congregation to consider donating miles to your mission group as a form of in-kind donation.
Find Corporate or Business Sponsorships
Don’t forget that many corporations allocate dollars specifically for philanthropic use. Check with local businesses and companies to see if they will sponsor your mission trip or contribute through a financial donation. If you are installing clean water facilities, companies that offer these products may want to sponsor the mission and in return, use your organization as a case study on their website. Companies should benefit from their sponsorship with good advertisement and public relations, so let the corporation know how you can promote their sponsorship.
Save Your Own Money and Raise More on Services
In addition to raising money from the community, family and friends, contribute some of your own funds to your mission trip. Sacrificial giving is often the most rewarding way to raise money. Sacrificial giving means sacrificing some of the unnecessary luxuries we spend money on every day in our lives. Cut out trips to local coffee shops, eating out, purchasing new clothes, and instead put this money aside towards your mission trip. This can also prepare you a bit for service, as you won’t be able to hop over to Starbucks for coffee when you’re on a mission. You may also want to consider offering your services to friends and neighbors for donations to help save more money. This could include simple tasks such as watering plants while neighbors are out of town, helping with yard work or offering pet-sitting or dog walking services.
Other Mission Trip Fundraising Ideas
Regardless of what fundraising initiative you organize for your mission trip, the rewards are worth it. Not only will you make a difference in the world, but you build character, gain experience of serving, and have a better appreciation of what you have by serving those less fortunate. We have plenty of additional church fundraising ideas for you to consider to help you raise money for your mission trip.
Thank Yous & Follow Up
Don’t forget to keep contributors informed about the activities and successes of your mission. You may want to set up a blog that allows you to update people of your adventures and accomplishments, upload photos showing progress, and make comments and words of encouragement. This is a great way to say thank you to contributors. There’s nothing better than being able to see first-hand that the donations are really making a difference. Lastly, don’t forget to send Thank You notes to those who have given you financial support for your trip.