You’ve been accepted on your mission trip and now its time to start fundraising. Fundraising can easily feel really overwhelming, especially at first, but the good news is that with a little planning and creativity, it doesn’t have to be.
Before even you begin your fundraising, be sure to commit to praying for your fundraising efforts. Stress related to making your fundraising goal is an easy distraction from the whole purpose of the mission trip. Secondly, plan ahead and follow through with your fundraisers. Planning ahead will give you extra time to promote and let people know about your fundraiser, which can increase the success of the fundraiser. Planning ahead can also help you make sure that you leave plenty of time to meet your goal well before the fundraising deadline to avoid unnecessary stress. Third, don’t be afraid to ask for help. People generally want to support you and your mission efforts, especially when they understand what you are doing and why. Next, be sure to use your talents and be creative! If there is a skill or craft that you are good at, use it to help you fundraise. Lastly, don’t forget to send thank you letters to those who supported you. It is important to let your supporters know what resulted from their support.
Now that you’ve got the basics down, here are a few ideas to help you get your fundraising started.
1. Send sponsorship letters.
Start by generating a list of people in your life who support and encourage what you do. Send a personalized letter detailing where you are going on your mission trip, what you will be doing, and why you are doing it. If your supporters aren’t able to support you financially, encourage them to support you prayerfully.
2. Provide a lunch following Sunday morning service for a small fee.
Pick a meal that is easy and cheap to make (ex. Spaghetti) and offer it as a lunch after church for those willing to pay a preset amount per plate.
3. Sell food items/baked items.
Make one food/baked item in bulk and sell them by the pair, half dozen or dozen to your neighbors, family, corps members, and (if you’re close enough) neighboring corps or divisional headquarters.
4. Offer to babysit at the corps for a “parent’s night out.”
Promote a night that parents from your corps can drop off their children for an hourly fee with you (and other volunteers), so they can enjoy an evening to themselves.
5. Complete services for corps members, or the corps itself.
Offer to shovel, rake, wash windows, or other seasonal appropriate tasks for a preset cost or donations.
6. Offer a morning “coffee shop” before Sunday School at your corps.
Borrow a Keurig machine or use your corps’ coffee pot, purchase a few specialty syrups/creamers, and set up a coffee table at your corps’ entrance to sell to corps members as they enter.
7. Utilize seasonal opportunities to sell items that correlate with that season/event.
For example, buy flowers in bulk at a flower market for discounted rates and take orders to provide Easter lilies on Easter Sunday or roses on Mother’s day.
8. Use your talents.
If you enjoy singing, drama, or dance, offer a dinner theater show in which corps members, family, and friends can buy tickets, enjoy a dinner, and see a show. Get your youth group or other corps young adults involved to ease your duties in the show. Even if you are not a singer, lip sync concerts are really entertaining!
9. Use your division’s SAYsummit or Young Adult Retreat as a fundraiser.
Check with your DYS before you choose this option. If they give permission, sell candy during free time or ice cream as a late night snack.
10. Sell apparel.
Create a design or slogan appropriate to your cause (ie. Service Corps) and have it screen printed onto a shirt, hat, or other piece of apparel to sell.