Fundraising can seem intimidating, but don’t let it stop you! We have seen God provide for his work over and over again in ways that have completely blown our minds! There are many Christians who want to see the gospel shared all over the world, but for one reason or another, can’t go themselves right now. Supporting a missionary is a way they can still participate.
All of the ideas on this page came from Global Encounters team members and they actually work!
Pro Tip: don’t forget to say thank you!! Scroll to the bottom for thank you ideas.
This may seem like the most common fundraising method, but the thing is, it works! It’s usually the most successful fundraising method our team members use. Click here if you need some ideas on how to write your letter. You can use the same text in an email as well, but physical letters work best.
We can create a personal fundraising page for you! You supply some text about why you’re going on the mission trip and what you hope to accomplish. We will supply details about the trip and country and pictures to show the type of work you will be doing. If you have your own pictures you want to include, we can often incorporate some of those as well. Contact us if you want a personalized donation page!
Post about your trip and funding needs on social media on a regular basis leading up to your trip. Link to the Global Encounters donation page or your personal donation page to make it quick and easy for people to give. Post regular updates about your progress. Need to check your fundraising progress? Go to your invoice for the latest numbers. Donations are added to your invoice every Friday.
Let people at your church know that you are available for odd jobs in return for money toward your trip. This could include babysitting, home repairs, raking leaves, mowing the lawn, gardening, or whatever you feel like you are qualified to do. Some people will pay you whatever the job is worth. Some people will throw in extra because they know it’s for your mission trip.
If you are a musician, host a benefit concert. If you have a few musician friends you can recruit to help you, it can really increase the appeal.
Unless you have a large house, you may want to see if you can host this at your church.
Charge a fee per plate. You can use this to cover food costs, but you need to make money here, so either get some or all of the food donated or make sure you charge more than the cost of food to make this worth your while.
Make it a full night of fun about missions. Talk about where you are going and why, play some missions-themed games, show pictures, etc.
It’s a fun add-on if you can get a musician to donate their talent and provide some music for the event (or do it yourself if you ARE the talented musician).
You can also incorporate a dessert auction. These are super fun and a good way to increase your fundraising for the night. Get the desserts donated.
This method is ideal when you have multiple team members from the same area or church who can work together, but you can do it for just one person as well.
Ask your pastor if you can talk about your trip at church and invite people to support you. Some churches are more receptive to this than others. Be sure to offer a report after your mission trip as well!
Ask people to donate items for your auction. Friends with small businesses are a good place to start. Set a base price for the items and let the bidding go up from there. Don’t forget to include the price of shipping.
If you are a photographer, offer mini sessions to help raise money for your trip. Have a base price, but when people know it’s for a good cause they sometimes chip in extra.
Believe it or not, we had one team member who made hundreds of dollars running a car wash in the rain! Supplies: an open space on a fairly busy road (you may need to check that you aren’t breaking any local regulations), buckets, water, soap, sponges, rags, signs, a few friends (optional, but helpful), and a sunny day (also, apparently, optional). Make signs that say things like “car wash for mission trip.”
Ways to Say Thanks
Pick up some gifts for your supporters while you’re traveling. These don’t need to be expensive. You can often find something fun for just a few dollars. Also, small in size is good. Remember that they need to all fit in your suitcase going home.
Supporters like to see their donation in action! Post some pictures of you working with the kids while you’re traveling and write something short about what God is doing. It’s OK to post the occasional fun picture of elephants, castles, or whatever else is cool in the country, but make sure your social media communicates the story of why you’re on a mission trip… and it isn’t for the sightseeing! Also, check with your team leaders if there are any limitations on what you can post online. If you are going to a restricted country, let your supporters know ahead of time why you will NOT be posting pictures of your ministry activities.
Let your supporters know your real prayer needs – not just generic ones, but your specific needs and, if possible, the needs of the kids with whom you are working. It lets your supporters be genuinely connected to what you are doing.
After you get home, send your supporters a print of a favorite picture from the trip and a short story about what it represents. Specific stories are best – like a kid you really connected with or a specific lesson you taught and how the kids responded.