Very few people enjoy fund-raising and some are intimidated by the thought of asking for money. Do not worry – being uneasy with the idea is perfectly natural. Experiment with different approaches until you find one that is comfortable for you. Once you get into it, you’ll be surprised by how easy and fun it can be. Fund raising is an important part of mission work and participating in this will help you understand a little more about mission work and what is involved. Fund raising also gets more people involved in your trip and opens doors for you to be able to talk to people about mission work. Get excited and try it! Here are a few tips to consider:
Write letters: send letters to friends, family and even other church members asking for support. Make sure you keep your letters to one page, make it personal (not a form letter).
Tips for letters requesting support:
- Once opened, a personal letter has 10 seconds to capture the reader’s attention, mass-produced typed letters have only 5 seconds. The P.S. always stands out and is often read first. It should contain the deadline, the action you are seeking, and any specific amount you are requesting.
- Avoid long words and sentences. Shoot for words averaging 5 letters and short, conversational sentences.
- 80% of all donations come from 5% of the donors.
- Mention dollar amounts several times in the letter. When my sister and I went on a mission trip in high school we sent out letters. We mentioned several dollar amounts in the letters, example: “we only need 10 people to send in $100, and 20 people to send in $50. Most of our donations were for one of those amounts.
Other Fund-raising ideas:
(these will also help get your church, family & friends involved)
Church cook-off (pie, chili, ribs)
Basketball tournament (or other sport)
Golf scramble (we’ve had groups that have raised most of their funds this way)
Auction of donated goods
Bowl-a-thon (have people pledge so many dollars per game)
Getting Your Church Involved
Getting your church involved is one of the most important things you can do. You can have your church involved throughout your fund raising process and praying for you during your trip. See if you can get your church missions team, Sunday school class or small group involved in the fundraisers listed above. Set up a network of people that will be praying for you throughout the fund raising process and during your trip. One great way to get your church involved is by trying to help them raise funds for your project not just for your travel. Get them to sponsor a specific portion of the project, that makes them a partner in your trip.
A Colombian Hot Dog night is a great way to raise interest if you’re planning a group trip or raise funds as well. They’re easy to make and are always a hit with everyone that tries them. Here’s a link to the recipe on My Colombian Recipes.
More tips and information:
- Almost everyone you ask will support you; most people will simply give because you are asking.
- Be prepared, know how (the mission will) work and be prepared to answer questions; the more informed you are, the better your chance of getting sponsored. (if you would like we have a DVD we can send you that will give you in depth information about many of our ministries).
- Start with people you know well; they will probably be open to what you are doing and want to support your efforts; then move on to anyone and everyone you can think of.
- If someone says “no” to your request, it is not a reflection on you.
- Many people make the mistake of not asking for specific amounts; people are most likely to give more if you offer categories (for example, $50, $100, $250) or average cost per day (for example $190 per day, ask folks to sponsor a day of your trip). Don’t try to decide how much you think they will be able to give – let them decide how much to pledge.
- Developing financial help from a network of supporters builds a base for those who will uplift you in their prayers for the work you are doing.
Questions or comments about fund raising? Have you stumbled on a great way to raise funds for your trip – share it below.