Dear Friends, “Those trips are expensive! How can you afford it?” “I’d love to take a mission trip, but I could never come up with that kind of money.” These represent only a few of the questions and comments our family (five now young-adult children plus Dad and Mom) has heard in the more than 50 short-term mission trips we’ve taken through the years. Because of multiple mission trips, we’ve sometimes had to raise more than $10,000 in one season. So how do we do it? How can you? Large and in Charge As you prepare for your mission trip, remember the One who called you to go. God doesn’t order what he can’t pay for. If he’s leading you on a mission trip, you can trust him to guide your fundraising, too. But don’t sit around waiting for pennies from heaven. Instead, ask God for creative ways to add dollars to your mission trip account. Feel free to consider some of the following (all of which our family has used, often more than once). The Write Start This classic mission-trip fundraiser involves writing letters to friends and family explaining your trip and the funds you need. But don’t discount the power of persuasion. A student I know wrote a letter as the first of what she thought would be several fundraisers. Donations poured in, and she ended up with $2802—just two dollars more than the total needed for her trip. The negative side of this approach is that lots of people write fundraiser letters, and yours may get tossed aside. Recently, we’ve ditched the traditional letter in favor of social media posts with a quick link to an online donor campaign. Your sponsoring organization may provide one, or you might consider something like KickStarter or GoFundMe. (Here’s an example: our daughter Melanie’s current fundraiser site.) Sales Pitch What about that junk cluttering up your (or your neighbors’) garages? Offer to haul it off at no charge, then organize and sell it. One church group I know has a huge garage sale each year and shares the profits with anyone taking a mission trip. Advertise the sale via traditional channels (neighborhood social networks, local newspapers, and signs) but make sure to let your visitors know the funds raised go to support a mission trip. During our missions garage sales, we provide posters showing pictures of past trips, country and specific ministry information. We also add a big “donations” jar to our checkout table. Even those avid garage-salers who want to talk you down from a $1 item will often throw a bill into the donations jar! Bake it Off Do you bake mouth-watering muffins or crazy-good cookies?...Read More
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