Fundraising Tips

·       Start Early – The earlier you begin the better.

·         Diversify Your Funding – it’s easy to become overwhelmed when one thinks about coming up with a large amount of money for a mission trip. Try diversifying your funding by doing the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 plan. 

o   Plan on paying for 1/3 of your trips cost out of pocket. This gives you a sense of ownership and accountability. You will take more serious something you are personally invested in.

o   Plan on raising 1/3 of your trip cost through fundraising. This will give you a more manageable amount to focus your fundraising efforts.

o   Plan on raising 1/3 of your trip cost by sending out personal letters to family and friends who will commit to pray for (and hopefully financially partner with) you for your trip. A clear, concise letter is very important in raising funds. See our article “How To Improve Your Mission Support Letter” for some suggestions. Most people who receive your letters will make a minimum donation, but some will give much more.

·       Expand Your Fundraising Audience – Audience variety is an important aspect to fundraising. You don’t want to keep asking the same people to help you fund your trip. Your church family may be incredibly supportive of your upcoming trip. However, you do not want to take advantage of their generosity by focusing all of your fundraising efforts on. You need to look for fundraising opportunities that target a variety of different people (coworkers, family, the general public, etc.) This also gives you an opportunity to share with those people the love of the Lord.

·       Maximize Your Fundraising Potential – It’s easy to spend many long Saturdays washing cars but the results are for very little money. Get creative! There are many ways to raise funds that will bring higher results. Below are some examples of successful fundraisers:

o   SUPPORT LETTERS – Support letters are one of the most effective (and personal) ways of raising funds for your short-term mission trip.  In this electronic age, getting a personal letter in the mail is a unexpected surprise for many people.  Unfortunately, most people do not maximize this unique opportunity.  There are a few things you can do that will greatly increase your chances of seeing a return on support letters. See our article “How To Improve Your Mission Support Letter” for some suggestions.  

o   T-SHIRT SALE – T-shirts can be a very profitable fundraiser.  There are lots of companies to do fundraisers with, here’s one http://www.fundthenations.com

o   BED SHEET SALE –I know it sounds ridiculous.  But, I’ve read it’s become one of the top fundraisers out there.  The sheets in the one I studied came from Sanders Collection - (http://www.sanderscollection.com/seller_hub.html#).  It’s recommended that you call them directly, tell them you are doing a fundraiser, and request a sample set and order forms.  You PRE-SALE (get money up front) sets of sheets for $40 a set (their recommended price).  When you place your order, you only pay $17 per set.  That's a $23 per set profit.

o   MEGA YARD SALE – Yard sales are great - and 100% profit!!!  Don't just do a regular yard sale.  Do a MEGA Yard Sale!  Get with your church, family, friends, neighbors.  Ask everyone to donate their unused items to your Mission Yard Sale.  Conduct the sale in a public location - your church, shopping center parking lot, etc.  Get a team together to help you conduct the sale.  they are a lot of work to pull off successfully but can be well worth the effort.

o   SIDE JOBS - Extra jobs are always a great way to raise additional funds, and if you happen to be retired it’s too easy plus you get some exercise!  A sacrifice in your free time can pay off big time.  A lot of men do handiwork, remodeling or other projects to raise funds.  Instead of paying you, ask people to make a donation to your church (on your behalf) for your upcoming mission trip. This way they get the work done and receive a tax deduction for supporting you on your missions trip. Many times people will give more to your cause than to you personally.  You will be surprised how quickly you can raise money by doing extra odd jobs.

o   SOCIAL MEDIA - Though not as personal as a written letter, many people are taking advantage of Social Media (Face Book, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) to help get the word out about their need for mission funds.

§  Some set up PayPal accounts for people to donate. 

·       Fee: for each transaction is 2.9% plus $0.30 USD of the amount you receive.

§  My favorite as I’ve studied these sites is You Caring (www.youcaring.com ) they have no fee. YouCaring’s easy-to-use fundraiser template allows you to create an effective home page for your crowdfunding campaign. Show potential donors how they can help by telling a compelling story, uploading several pictures and videos, and posting updates.

·        Fee: for each transaction is 2.9% plus $0.30 USD of the amount you receive. Based upon fee handling by PayPal or WePay

§  One of the most popular online tools today is www.gofundme.com .  GoFundMe makes raising funds easy but at a higher cost.  Check out their website for more details.

·       Fee: 5% plus the PayPal fee stated above

§  Another online tool is You Can Send Me ( www.youcansend.me ). You get a personalized website to share with friends and family, and allow them to donate online toward your trip, without the trouble of needing cash or a check. You also can direct them to the address to send a check to for a tax deductible donation. Along the way, your supporters can follow your progress, stay up to date while you’re on your trip, view blog posts, and get email updates each time

you post!

·       Fee: $10 / month plus the PayPal fee stated above.

o   SEEK LOCAL BUSINESS SPONSORS

§  A lot of times local and regional businesses are willing to support what their community members are up to. Sometimes they even have community donations built into their budgets. Contact some of your favorite local businesses and ask if you could talk to someone about the opportunity to support your trip!

o   Host A Dinner

§  Especially effective if there are several people involved in fundraising. Advertise a full restaurant style meal. Pre sell tickets to know the size of your donation base. Volunteers cook the meal and those receiving donations serve the meals. Have an MC and entertain the “customers” with talks and videos of what the ministry does and why. Can be linked with an auction of donated items and/or workers. Let your mind run wild, there’s many ways to go from this base.

 These are just a few of the options we've found, there are many out there. Use your best friend Google to search it out, the options are limitless. Be careful to research the places you may do business with to be sure they’re completely legit. Find references and follow up on them. Have fun!

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