Life Hacks: Mission Trip Fundraising Ideas
“I’d love to take a mission trip, but I could never come up with that kind of money.” “Those trips are expensive! How can you afford it?”
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?
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).
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.
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.
Bake It Off
Do you bake mouth-watering muffins or crazy-good cookies? Extend your baking reach beyond your family and share your treats with others. For the past several years, our family has raised thousands of dollars with “Missions on a Roll,” offering homemade cinnamon rolls as Easter weekend treats. Pro Tip: Don’t set a price; ask for donations instead. That $250 you receive for a dozen cookies will multiply the smaller gifts.
Storks and Pies and Tacos—Oh, My!
Variations on the infamous flocking fundraiser (donors pay to “flock” a friend’s yard with plastic flamingos, and the recipient pays to have the flock removed); pie-in-the-face contests (donors earn the right to fling cream pies in the face of missionaries, church staff or other willing victims); or all-you-can-eat taco (or spaghetti or hotdogs or whatever floats your mission trip boat) help put the fun in fundraiser. Consider hosting one with your mission team or youth group. Better yet, get the entire church or neighborhood involved.
Remember to pray as you carry out your mission trip fundraiser efforts. Before long, you’ll find yourself on the mission field, praising God for His faithfulness in meeting your needs. Fundraise so you can go and tell!
Marti Pieper’s passion to read, write, and pray makes her life an adventure. She wrote her recent book Escape the Lie: Journey to Freedom from the Orphan Heart with Walker Moore, president of Awe Star Ministries, a student mission-sending organization. Connect with Marti on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or at martipieper.com.