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Individual Mission Trip Fundraising Ideas

Are you an individual going on a trip, serving seasonally as an assistant trip leader, or volunteering as an Intern? Here's some ideas for you!

#1. Support Networks

Family Connections

Call close friends and family members to talk in person about your mission. Tell them about the opportunities you will have through this ministry, why you decided to take this leap into ministry; be honest and clear about how much financial support you have remaining to raise. 

Social Media Connections

Create a group or an event about your mission so friends can follow along with your adventures, or write a detailed post.  Divide all your friends on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter etc. by the amount you need to raise, explaining that if everyone gives a little it adds up to a lot. For example, for a year long position you might need $1,200 per month / 500 Facebook friends = $2.40 per person/month. Keep your friends updated about what you are up to on your group page. Be clear and detailed so people understand what you are doing and why.  Post trip pictures and stories after your trips to show them how their support was utilized.

#2. Local Church

Many churches support missions in different ways and have budgets set aside to invest in individuals within their church who are looking to serve in missions. Here are some ways to be in contact with your church and share this opportunity with them:

Meet with your Pastor

You may want to set up a meeting with your missions pastor or another leader in the church to share what you are going to be doing, how long you will be serving and what your day-to-day will look like on the ground. Ask your pastor what the next steps are to approach the church about financial and prayer support. Many churches will take up love offerings, help cover costs, provide you with a space to set up a booth and even help you with additional fundraisers! 

Set up a Booth

Request permission to set up an informational booth in your church lobby/foyer. Include pictures and information about the country in which you’ll be serving, Praying Pelican Missions (if you are serving with us, be sure to ask for print materials), your new ministry position and why you feel called to be involved in missions. Be sure to include a box with prayer cards for supporters to grab, instructions on giving donations, and a place for people to leave checks and cash. This booth can serve as a hub for you within the church. Stand next to your booth as church ends to answer any questions your fellow church members and visitors might have for you.

Church Committee

Submit a request to the appropriate lay committee at your church (Mission Board, Fundraising Committee, etc). Ask them how you can share with others at your church about your new position. There may be money available to sponsor you in the missions budget, or they may be able to take a special offering for you at church on Sunday.

Church Administrator

Ask the church administrator, bookkeeper or treasurer if the church can receive your support checks and keep them in a budget line item for you. This administrative favor will help you to be able to have your supporters write a check to your church with “Praying Pelican Missions” (or whatever ministry you are serving with) in the memo and provide a tax-deductible option for their contribution.

(Writing a check to your name is not tax deductible. We want to be sure you receive all of your support checks.  Please connect with your local church to see if they will help you coordinate sending these if needed.)

The Pulpit Plea

First, check in with your pastor or church leadership and ask to stand before the congregation. Talk about the goals and details of your new missions opportunity. Create a nice slideshow and keep your presentation to 15 minutes or less. Ask for prayer partners and financial assistance. Ask your pastor which they prefer: passing the offering plates after you are done or inviting people to give at your booth in the back.

#3. Get Creative

Once you have had face-to-face meetings with all of your prominent potential supporters and you feel like you're running out of steam, it's time to get creative!

Change Contest

Collect change in 2, 3 or 5-gallon jugs and encourage groups like Sunday school classes, school clubs or missional communities to save all their change! Challenge small groups against each other or girls vs. boys! Groups can see their collections grow and have a little healthy competition. 

Miles for Missions

Calculate the total cost of your trip and divide that number by the number of miles to get from your mission’s destination and back. This amount is the cost per mile, so people can fund a mile or more of your trip. You can chart your fundraising progress with a map of your round-trip route. As you raise money, you can draw with a red marker the fundraising route to your destination and back again, mile after mile. Everyone will have fun watching the road being funded to your destination and back again. 

The Mocha Challenge

Challenge the college ministry, Sunday school classes, or church as a whole to partake in a The Mocha Challenge. This challenge asks each person to sacrifice a mocha a week for your cause. At Starbucks, a simple Grande Mocha will cost close to $5. Explain the math to the group: $5 x 4 weeks in a month = $20 for that month for one person! That math adds up fast!

The Numbered Envelope 

One easy and low-cost way to fundraise at church is to really utilize that booth at your church! Within your booth, set out 100 envelopes on the table, numbered from 1-100. Encourage your church to come by and pick up the envelope that matches the amount of money they would like to give. This way, children can get involved in your mission, as they donate their allowance in the $1 envelope as well as adults who want to give quite significantly to you in the higher price ranges from $80-$100. This fundraiser can total $5,000 raised. If you are not in need of this much, just simply lower the top number. 

No matter what, don't give up hope! Remember that there is a lot of spiritual growth that can happen during the fundraising process, put your faith in the Lord and let Him take care of the rest!

For more fundraising ideas, check out these additional resources!

Mission Trip Resources

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