When it comes to raising support for your trip, there are many different options. As you begin to explore fundraising options, remember the major point is to effectively communicate what you are doing and how others can help. Listed below are a few fundraising options we suggest.
We strongly believe in the importance of being a part of the local church, and being sent to do missions by that local body of believers. When seeking support for your trip, your goal is not only financial support, but spiritual support as well. Getting your church involved in your missions experience allows them to know how to best pray, support, and encourage you before, during, and after you return from your trip.
Talk to your pastor about speaking to the church congregation.
Ask if your church has funds available to help support people going on mission trips.
Talk to Bible study groups in your church about partnering with you for financial and prayer support. This is a great way to involve the senior adults in your church. You might be surprised by how much the rest of the church wants to support you.
Ask if the church will help plan, support, and execute a fundraiser for you and your team.
While church partnership should be the primary avenue of fundraising, there are many other activities and events that provide fun ways for your church, friends, family and community to be involved in your missions experience. A few examples of these activities include:
Check out the tab to the left to view our support letter page (including a sample support letter) for more information about how to write a support letter.
Everyone wears t-shirts, right? Selling a custom shirt for your trip is an easy way for groups or individuals to fundraise for mission trips. You will quickly find that people want to support you, and a t-shirt gives them something in return for their support-- as well a visible reminder to pray for you.
We strongly encourage you to check out Fund the Nations, a great organization that works with individuals and groups to design and deliver fundraising t-shirts. They have designed all of the shirts in the Servant Life Store and are truly awesome to work with. They also help keep costs low so that you can quickly raise money from your proceeds!
Dinner or Banquet
Hosting a dinner or banquet for a large group of people from your church will allow you to speak to the group about your mission trip. This will get the word out about how people can help support your trip. We've seen groups do baked potato bars, pancake breakfasts, and spaghetti dinners to name a few examples.
"1 to 100" Wall
With the approval of your church, utilize a small section of the wall in a popular area (maybe in a lobby, foyer, fellowship hall, etc.) where you can display 100 envelopes numbered from 1 to 100. If you can't use a wall, a table would also work. Challenge members of your church to stop by and take an envelope, committing to give at least the dollar amount on the envelope towards your trip (so the person who grabs envelope 45 would donate at least $45 dollars). This allows people with all different financial capabilities to donate to your trip and play a role. If every envelope from 1 to 100 is taken from the wall, this would be at least $5050 raised!
Work together to put on a silent auction with the help of your church. One way to gather items to auction off is by going into the community and asking businesses to donate various items. Let the business owners know the donations are going towards helping raise support for the trip.
Ask church members to volunteer to participate in a chili cook-off. You could take up donations and charge each person an entry fee to vote in the cook-off.
After setting a date, time and place, begin advertising the event at church and among your friends and community. Ask people to collect items from home that they are willing to donate to the garage sale. Donate any leftover items to your local Thrift Store.
Partner with a local bank or business who will allow you to hold a car wash in their parking lot. To increase funds raised, ask the business owner if he or she would be willing to match the amount raised from the car wash.
Ask friends and church members if they would be willing to hire you as a babysitter. Let them know the proceeds go to helping support your mission trip. In our experience, there is never a shortage of parents looking for good babysitters!
Ask friends and church members if they would be willing to hire you to work in their yard. Provide services such as mowing the lawn, weed eating, pulling weeds, raking leaves, and removing snow from driveways. People never mind paying for good old-fashioned sweat equity and will be generous in supporting your trip.
Look into working for a special event that may be held in or near your town, such as a fair or sporting event. You could do tasks such as parking cars, taking up tickets at the entrance, or working in the concession stands.
Get church members and friends to sign up to play on a softball team. Charge each team an enrollment fee and let them know the proceeds are going to fund your mission trip. Ask a local businessman at your church to support a longest homerun challenge and split the proceeds with the winner.
Work with your local golf course to put together a golf tournament or scramble. Ask the teams to pay a fee to enter, letting them know the proceeds are going to fund your mission trip. Ask a local businessman at your church to support a par 3 hole for a closest to the pin challenge and split the proceeds with the winner.
Create a Facebook page or a blog to communicate trip details. This allows you to expand your audience, which may increase the amount of support you receive. Set up a PayPal account to allow people to give immediately and securely online.
Send out your support letter in email format to people as another way to expose them to your mission trip. Some people will communicate better and more promptly via email, and this allows you to diversify your modes of communication.
Writing a support letter is one of the easiest ways to get the word out about your trip. By sending out a letter to family, friends, church members and others, you are giving them the opportunity to invest in your life both spiritually and financially.
Using the list below, begin brainstorming a list of about 50-100 people to whom you could potentially send letters. Try your best not to pre-qualify people (i.e., I doubt they'll give or They're wealthy, you know they'll give).
- Church members
Outline for Support Letter:
As you begin writing your letter, make sure you clearly and concisely explain the purpose of the letter. Keep some of the following guidelines in mind.
- Identify yourself and bring the reader up to date with what is going on in your life
- Where you are living
- What school you attend
- What year you are in school
- State the purpose of the trip
- Include the location to which God has called you to serve
- Share information about the partners and their ministry
- Explain your personal vision for the trip
- How God led you to be involved
- What you will be doing
- What you expect to learn from your experience
- Describe your specific needs
- Ask them to join you in prayer
- Explain the financial support needed
- What you expect to learn from your experience
- Clearly explain how they can donate
- Mail a check to Servant Life P.O. Box 36307 Birmingham, AL 35236
- Make an online donation
- Make a donation through another online payment method such as PayPal
- Include a deadline for giving
- Share your appreciation for their time and support
- Give an idea as to the size of gifts they can give - $25, $50, $100, etc.
- Provide disclaimer such as any gift amount will be helpful
- Gifts of $50 or more will qualify as a tax-deductible gift and should be made out to Servant Life. Be sure that your name is not on the check anywhere in order for the donation to be tax-deductible. Attach a note that states your name with your letter, so it can be mailed in with their check.
- As you receive donations, do not forget to send a personal, handwritten thank you note to each supporter.
- Include Bible verses that may have impacted your spiritual walk and/or show the importance of doing missions.
- Send out postcards, featuring a photograph of you or the country, to supporters that give specific ways to be praying for your trip and allow them to stay connected to your ministry.