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When it comes to raising support for your trip, there are many different fundraising options. As you begin to explore fundraising methods, remember that the main goal is to effectively communicate what you are doing and how others can help. Listed below are a few fundraising ideas that have worked well for our teams over the years.


First and foremost, we strongly believe in the importance of being part of the local church, and being sent to out on mission by that local body of believers. When seeking support for your trip, your goal is not only to secure financial support, but also spiritual encouragement and support. Getting your church involved in your missions experience allows them to know how to best pray, support, and encourage you before, during, and after you return from your trip.

- Talk to your pastor about speaking to the church congregation.

- Ask if your church has funds available to help support people going on mission trips.

- Talk to Bible study groups in your church about partnering with you for financial and prayer support. This is a great way to involve the senior adults in your church. You might be surprised by how much the rest of the church wants to support you.

- Ask if the church will help plan, support, and execute a fundraiser for you and your team.


While church partnership should be the primary avenue of fundraising, there are many other activities and events that provide helpful ways for your church, friends, family and community to be involved in your missions experience. A few examples of these activities include:


We have an entire section dedicated to helping you write and send out letters of support (including a sample support letter), as we feel this is one of the most helpful and fruitful methods.


Everyone wears t-shirts, right? Selling a custom shirt for your trip is an easy way for groups or individuals to fundraise for mission trips. You will quickly find that people want to support you, and a t-shirt gives them something tangible in return for their support, as well a visible reminder to pray for you.

We strongly encourage you to check out  Fund the Nations, a great organization that works with individuals and groups to design and deliver fundraising t-shirts. They will do the design work for free and give you a free quote! They have designed all of the shirts in the Servant Life Store and are truly awesome to work with. They also help keep costs low so that you can raise more money from your proceeds!


Hosting a dinner or banquet for a large group of people from your church will allow you to speak to the group about your mission trip. This will get the word out about how people can help support your trip. We've seen groups do baked potato bars, pancake breakfasts, and spaghetti dinners to name a few examples. Those who attend are generally going to at least cover the cost of their meal, but hopefully they will be able to give above and beyond that.


Have students bake goods and get a big supply of coffee from somewhere. See if you can get local coffee shops to donate some coffee, or use coffee from your church. Then host a “coffee house” night for church members where they can buy coffee and baked goods, make donations, and come hangout while eating and sipping some coffee. Allow your students to entertain your guests with music or skits, and have some games or other activities that guests can play.


Instead of the people in your church paying to eat at a restaurant, what if those funds were coming your way instead? Consider doing a "grab-n-go" meal after church one Sunday or even one night for dinner, where your mission trip team can provide pre-made meals in to-go containers to people who want to buy them. If you charge $10 a plate and can make your plates for $2-3, you can raise a helpful amount of money if you're willing to put the time and effort into it. Pasta is often a crowd-pleaser and cheap to make, and can easily be accompanied by some salad and bread. Some groups don't even charge for these meals, and instead rely on donations. Many people will want to be generous since they know their donation is not just buying food, but supporting your trip.


Coordinate with Krispy Kreme to have a day where church members can order donuts (or pre-order them through a pre-sale), with a portion of proceeds going back to your group. You can do this with many other restaurants as well.


Get the top recipes from church members and put together a church cookbook. Sell copies of it to the church and the community to raise funds!

"1 TO 100" WALL

With the approval of your church, utilize a small section of the wall in a popular area (maybe in a lobby, foyer, fellowship hall, etc.) where you can display 100 envelopes numbered from 1 to 100. If you can't use a wall, a table would also work. Challenge members of your church to stop by and take an envelope, committing to give at least the dollar amount on the envelope towards your trip (so the person who grabs envelope 45 would donate at least $45 dollars). This allows people with all different financial capabilities to donate to your trip and play a role. If every envelope from 1 to 100 is taken from the wall, this would be at least $5050 raised! 


Supposedly a wheelbarrow can hold up to around 50,000 pennies, which is $500 dollars worth! Find a wheelbarrow you can borrow and place it in the lobby or a fellowship area of your church. Invite members of your congregation to bring their unwanted pennies or coins. Because some will bring quarters and dollars, the total dollar amount can quickly exceed $500 if many people start to bring their leftovers!



Work together to put on a silent auction with the help of your church. One way to gather items to auction off is by going into the community and asking businesses to donate various items. Let the business owners know the donations are going towards helping raise support for the trip.



Ask church members to volunteer to participate in a chili cook-off. You could take up donations and charge each person an entry fee to vote in the cook-off, or sell the bowls of chili with proceeds going toward your trip.


Have your students make dishes from around the world (especially where they are going on their trip) Other church members can pay a small fee to come in and try different foods/treats from around the world. This will also encourage students to look into other cultures prior to their mission trip.


After setting a date, time and place, begin advertising the event at church and among your friends and community. Ask people to collect items from home that they are willing to donate to the garage sale. A huge joint garage sale like this can generally generate more interest than a small one at someone's house, plus people are willing to buy more things if it supports a good cause. Donate any leftover items to your local Thrift Store.


Partner with a local bank or business who will allow you to hold a car wash in their parking lot. To increase funds raised, ask the business owner if he or she would be willing to match the amount raised from the car wash.


Ask friends and church members if they would be willing to hire you as a babysitter. Let them know the proceeds go to helping support your mission trip. Or, see if your church will let you host a childcare event at the church on a Friday night, where parents can drop their kids off at the church for a few hours while your team (with appropriate adult supervision) takes care of kids for a few hours. In our experience, there is never a shortage of parents looking for good babysitters!


Contact your local nursery or flower-garden, or look up online retailers who can supply a large number of potted poinsettias. Have your group pre-sell the poinsettias (so you know exactly how many you need) throughout the community to different businesses or community members, and even consider setting up a selling booth table / outside of a local mall or grocery store. Your group can either deliver the poinsettias to certain addresses (with a minimum order quantity) or have people come pick them up from the church on a certain date.


Ask friends and church members if they would be willing to hire you to work in their yard. Provide services such as mowing the lawn, weed eating, pulling weeds, raking leaves, and removing snow from driveways. People never mind paying for good old-fashioned sweat equity and will be generous in supporting your trip.


Have you students put on a church painting or craft night. Take into consideration the cost of the materials and charge a little more for the night. Set up a donation bin, have students talk about their mission trip throughout the night, students could also bake goodies and sell them for a donation


Host a sporting event party at your church (Super Bowl, FIFA World Cup, etc.) and sell tickets to the party to your congregation. At the party, you could also sell snacks & drinks for extra money.


Have a movie night at your church, sell tickets and offer free child care. Buy popcorn and snacks in bulk and sell for profit.


Look into working for a special event that may be held in or near your town, such as a fair or sporting event. You could do tasks such as parking cars, taking up tickets at the entrance, or working in the concession stands.


Purchase a flock of plastic pink flamingos (a $50 investment) and sneakily place them in the yard of one of your church members or community members. Leave a note that for X amount of dollar donation, your group will come and remove the flamingos, or for a slightly larger donation of only a few dollars more, you will move the flock to someone else's yard! Of course, you may also want to include a note for anyone who is not amused by your game and does not want to play along, that you will remove the flamingos for free.


Get church members and friends to sign up to play on a softball team. Charge each team an enrollment fee and let them know the proceeds are going to fund your mission trip. Ask a local businessman at your church to support a longest homerun challenge and split the proceeds with the winner.


Work with your local golf course to put together a golf tournament or scramble. Ask the teams to pay a fee to enter, letting them know the proceeds are going to fund your mission trip. Ask a local businessman at your church to support a par 3 hole for a closest to the pin challenge and split the proceeds with the winner.


Create a Facebook page or a blog to communicate trip details and fundraising info. This allows you to expand your audience, which may increase the amount of support you receive. Set up a PayPal account or a GoFundMe to allow people to give immediately and securely online.


Send out your support letter in email format to people as another way to expose them to your mission trip. Some people will communicate better and more promptly via email, and this allows you to diversify your modes of communication.

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