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7 Simple Fundraising Ideas for Mission Trips

By MOHI on Apr 8, 2024 8:15:00 AM

Organizing a mission trip takes faith and commitment as well as financial resources – a need that often leads to uncertainty and apprehension.

You may find yourself asking, "How can I possibly raise enough funds?" or "What if my efforts aren't successful?" This can be intimidating, but with a little guidance and planning, you can reach your fundraising goals with time to spare!

In this article, we’re going to cover some straightforward fundraising ideas and planning tips, designed to aid your fundraising efforts while also fostering a deeper connection with your community and overall mission.

Fundraising Tips - Before You Begin

When you’re figuring out how to fundraise for a mission trip, remember that a successful fundraising campaign requires planning! Apply these tips to make your mission fundraising efforts as successful as possible.

  • Remember that you’re providing an opportunity: By allowing others to give financially, you’re giving them a chance to participate in Kingdom work.
  • Set a clear goal: determine the total amount needed for your mission trip, including travel, accommodation, food, and any donations you want to make to the ministry.
  • Create a timeline: plan your fundraising activities well in advance of your trip. A timeline will help keep you on track and ensure you reach your goal in time.
  • Build a team: consider gathering a group of friends, family or church members who can help you in organizing and executing your fundraising activities. You don’t have to do this alone!
  • Ask everywhere: ask your dentist, hair stylist, coworkers, teachers, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask non-believers, this might be the thing that draws them to Jesus.
  • Document your journey: keep a blog or social media page so that all of your prayer and financial supporters can be a part of your journey. Share your prayer requests, experiences before, during, and after the mission trip. This can help in gathering support and also in maintaining transparency with your donors.
  • Stay informed and passionate: educate yourself thoroughly about the mission and the specifics of your trip. Your passion and knowledge will be key in engaging others to support your cause.
  • Thank your donors: acknowledge every contribution, big or small. Send thank you notes or emails, and keep your donors updated on the success of your trip. Read to the end of this article for a template you can use for these notes.

A well-funded trip can help maximize the positive impact you create with your mission. So how should you fund it?

7 Fundraising Ideas for Mission Trips

When it comes to fundraising for a mission trip, there’s no single right way to do it. When you’re reading through the options below, consider what types of skills or strengths you bring to the table, and the types of things you enjoy. Which of these options would make the most sense for you personally? Ultimately, fundraising can be not just rewarding, but fun as well!

1. Community events

Engage your local community and raise funds for your mission trip with fun and interactive community events. These events not only bring people together but also offer a platform to share the purpose and impact of your mission trip.

Consider some of these options. Which plays best to your strengths?

  • Bake sales: organize a bake sale with volunteers contributing homemade cookies, cakes, and other treats. Choose a high-traffic location like a church, school, or local event. Add a donation jar for extra contributions.
  • Car washes: set up a car wash in a community parking lot. Offer different packages (basic wash, wash and wax, interior cleaning) for different donation levels.
  • Garage sales: encourage community members to donate items they no longer need and organize a large garage sale. Advertise the event well in advance and make sure to mention that the proceeds will go towards the mission trip.
  • Restaurant fundraiser: partner with a restaurant for a fundraising night where a percentage of the proceeds go towards the mission trip.
  • Recyclables: let your community know ahead of time that you'll be coming by to collect bottles and cans. Then, on the promoted date, collect bottles and cans from your community. Take them to the recycling center to be sorted and collect your payment.

2. Online crowdfunding

You can reach a much broader audience through online crowdfunding. This method allows you to share your story widely, connecting with potential supporters who are moved by your dedication to the cause.

Select a platform that resonates with your audience. GoFundMe, Kickstarter, or even Facebook fundraising can be effective. It’s also possible that your church is already connected with fundraising platform you can use. Share your personal motivation for going on the mission trip and details about the work you’ll participate in. Use photos and videos for a more compelling narrative.

Don’t forget to keep your donors engaged with regular updates about your fundraising progress, prayer requests and more information about the trip. Donors also appreciate hearing about your trip once you’ve finished it!

3. Sponsorship letters

Personalize your fundraising approach with sponsorship letters. This traditional, yet effective, method involves reaching out to individuals, businesses, and organizations, inviting them to contribute directly to your mission journey with MOHI.

Be sure to customize each letter to make the recipient feel connected to your cause. Explain why the mission trip matters to you and to those you will help. Be clear about what you are asking for and how the funds will be used.

Take a look at this MOHI sponsorship letter template if you need some inspiration:

Dear [Recipient’s Name], 

I hope you’re doing well! I wanted to write you and share about an exciting opportunity.

On [Trip dates], I’m traveling to Nairobi, Kenya with a team from [Your Church’s Name] to serve with an organization called Missions of Hope International (MOHI).

MOHI is a Kenyan-led organization serving in some of the most impoverished areas of Kenya, and other parts of Africa, offering physical, emotional, and spiritual support to vulnerable children and their families so they can lift themselves out of extreme poverty and experience life-transforming hope through Jesus Christ.

During our time with MOHI, our team will [Trip details - Example: work side-by side with MOHI's Kenyan staff to host a three-day VBS program for over 650 children living in Mathare Valley, one of Nairobi’s oldest and largest slums. We will also be visiting homes in the community to offer encouragement and prayers to community members.]

I’m really excited about the opportunity that lies ahead and I hope you see the value in what we will accomplish. As you can imagine, a trip like this requires financial support from multiple people. In order to attend this mission trip I need to raise [Trip cost] by [Date]. If you can support me through a financial donation, I would be very grateful.

Most importantly, however, we need your prayer support. Please pray for [Prayer requests - Example: our team’s safety and health, but most of all for the people we will encounter along the way.] Your prayers will allow us to be successful as we follow God’s leading in our service and ministry to the people of Kenya.

Here’s our itinerary so you can make your prayers specific for each day:

7/15 - Arrive in Nairobi, Kenya
7/16 - Orientation, visit one of the communities, spend time with our sponsored children
7/17 - VBS, community visits, evangelism
7/18 - VBS, community visits, evangelism
7/19 - VBS, community visits, evangelism
7/20 - Attend service at a MOHI’s church plant and visit two of MOHI’s boarding high schools
7/21 – Sightseeing and depart Nairobi
7/22 – Arrive back home

If you would like to be part of this mission through financial support, you can donate by going to [Donation Website] or simply scan the QR code below.

Thank you so much for prayerfully considering if this is something you’d like to participate in. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions you may have.

God bless,

[Your Name]
[Your Contact Information] 

Lastly, don't hesitate to follow up with a phone call or a personal visit if needed!

4. Themed dinners or cultural nights

Host a dinner or an event showcasing the culture of the country you will visit. Include traditional food, music, and attire. You can use this event as an opportunity to educate attendees about the country, the ministry and the work you’ll be involved in.

Sell tickets in advance and consider having different tiers for donations. Consider combining this with other strategies on this list, like offering something for sale.

5. Craft sales

Show your creativity and entrepreneurship through craft sales. This approach involves creating and selling handmade items, offering a tangible connection to the mission trip. Create and sell items like jewelry, art, or home decor, or even collaborate with local artisans.

When selling, remember you can use both online platforms (like Etsy) and physical venues (like local markets or churches) to sell your crafts. Try to include items that are relevant to the mission trip or the culture of the destination. This also gives donors a relevant story behind the craft they bought.

6. Seek matching gifts

Reach out to local businesses to see if they would be interested in matching the funds you raise. This can double the impact of individual donations! Promote these partnerships in your fundraising efforts to encourage more donations, as people will be more motivated to donate if they know whatever they give is being doubled.

7. Service-based fundraisers

This hands-on approach allows you to engage directly with supporters while providing valuable services in your community. Offer a range of services like yard work, dog walking, tutoring, or house cleaning. If you or your team members have specific skills, offer services related to those skills. For example, graphic design work, photography sessions, or music lessons.

Consider using donation-based pricing for this: instead of fixed prices, ask for donations of any amount for the services provided.

Some final tips

  • Transparency: always be transparent about how the funds will be used. This builds trust with your donors.
  • Engagement: engage with your community both online and offline. The more involved they are, the more likely they are to support your cause.
  • Gratitude: show appreciation for every bit of support you receive, whether it's in the form of money, time, or resources.

Are you still deciding if a mission trip is in your future? Learn more about short-term trips with MOHI on our mission trips page today.

And finally, as promised, here is an example of a MOHI thank you note, to give you an idea of what you might want to send donors:

Dear [Donor's Name],

Thank you for your generous contribution towards my upcoming mission trip with Missions of Hope International (MOHI)! Your support means the world to me, and I am truly humbled by your willingness to partner with me in making a positive impact in the lives of those in need.

As I prepare for the mission trip, I’m filled with a sense of purpose and excitement, knowing that your financial support has played a crucial role in making this mission a reality. Your belief in the transformative power of hope and your commitment to alleviating the effects of extreme poverty are truly inspiring.

With the funds you graciously provided, I’ll be able to contribute to the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of Kenyan children and their families. Together with MOHI, we aim to lift individuals out of generational poverty, offering them the opportunity to experience the life-transforming hope of Jesus Christ.

I look forward to keeping you updated on the progress of our trip and to share the stories of hope and transformation that unfold because of your support.

Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and kindness. Your support is a beacon of hope for those in need, and together, we are making a difference.

May God bless you for your selflessness and compassion.

With heartfelt gratitude,

[Your Name]
[Your Contact Information]