1. Flip your perspective
How we look at fundraising is where we often go so wrong. You’re not asking people for money for you to spend. You’re not even asking for money for you to go on a trip. When you go on a mission trip and ask others to support you financially, you are really inviting them to join you in your effort to carry out the Great Commission. They may not be able to physically go like you can but they can be a priceless part of the same ministry through prayer and financial support. To put it another way: by refusing to ask others to join you, you make the decision that they should not or cannot be involved in your ministry, whether they want to or not.
2. Let them be a part of your ministry
This approach is going to require a little bit more from you than selling donuts on a sidewalk. You can use letters to family and friends, posts on social media, and just talking to people individually or as a group. Tell them about the ministry you are involved in, the country where you will be, and why you are excited about going. When people see your eagerness and joy to be involved, that often makes them want to be a part of it too. Give people the opportunity to partner with you and your team then keep them updated! Don’t stop communication once you have raised all of the money that you need. Let everyone know when you finish fundraising, thank them, keep social media updated as you get close to the trip (and on the trip if you have the opportunity). Then follow up after the trip with a final update to tell stories from the trip. Let your supporters really be a part of your mission trip.
3. Social media is your friend
It’s a platform to get a message to as many people as possible with as little effort as possible. Let everyone know when you decide to go on a trip then write regular updates as you move toward it. Don’t forget to invite them to be a part of it through prayer and/or financial support! You can also do a social media “blitz” for a weekend: set a goal for how much money you want to raise by the end then post updates every couple hours on how much you have and how much more you need. Celebrate when you make it to your goal!
*Pro tip: Because of the way that Facebook works, if you post three times a day (morning, midday, & night), all of your friends are sure to see it once. If you post once a day, many of them will not have the chance to see the post at all!
We often pray through the decision process then worry through the fundraising process. Prayer needs to be your foundation from the beginning to the end. If God has called you onto this mission trip, He will provide the resources for you to go! We trust that you put a lot of work into fundraising. When all else fails, don’t forget to trust that the Lord provides and listen for his voice.
5. Resurrect the art of thankfulness
Thank people often and sincerely for their support, both financial and prayer. Mail individual, handwritten thank you notes to each person who supported you. Send out “prayer postcards” to all of your supporters that include specific prayer requests for the trip and maybe a picture to remind them to pray while you are on the field. After you get home, mail out a final letter recapping the trip to all of your supporters. Post a short version on social media t0o; it’s a great way to share some of your thoughts and favorite stories with everyone who has been following your journey. Thank them one final time for being a vital partner in your ministry!