For many people, fundraising can be a stressful and uncomfortable quest. Remember, you are asking others to eternally invest in the salvation and discipleship of the West African people. As a team member, you will ask individuals, churches, Sunday school classes, businesses, and other entities to support you, which will benefit you and this trip. However, it will bless the giver as well.
Be confident and possess knowledge about the trip and why you want to go on a mission trip to Africa. In addition, do not say, “No,” for others. Meaning, if you fail to ask someone, then you have already made the decision for him or her. Give the people in your life and those whom God places in your path the option to say, “Yes” or “No.”
We urge each team member to fundraise all of his/her cost of the mission trip. In addition to the $2,800.00, you should add the amount you will need for your passport, visa, immunizations, etc. Simply disclose what all the funds will cover to your potential financial partners.
How do you get started? When fundraising, you need to utilize several options and do not rely on just one fundraising endeavor. Listed below are several possible ways to raise all of your costs of this trip:
(1) Write a one-page letter (use the sample fundraising letter or you can follow this general outline).
- Paragraph One: Introduce yourself and give a brief update on your life and explain how the Lord has impressed on you to go on this trip.
- Paragraph Two: Provide the details of the trip such as: Where? Dates? What you will do? Cost?
- Paragraph Three: Ask them specifically to support you. For an example, you need 28 people to give $100.00 to reach your goal of raising $2,800.00. Also, explain to them that they could give more or less.
- Paragraph Four: Thank them for considering supporting you and any closing words or scriptures
NOTE: In closing, give them three options for giving. One, an online site such as "Go Fund Me." The second option is to send a check made out to your church (ask your church to see if they will set up a fund on your behalf) who can then turn the funds over to you personally. Giving through the church allows your donor to receive a tax credit at the end of year. The third option is that certain family and friends will give you their gift personally.
Yes, this is a lot of information for one page. Choose your words carefully and be concise, please have someone proofread it.
After you complete this letter, make a list of family members, church members (even from past churches), friends, social networks, etc., and send the letter out with a goal of least 100 people. Never underestimate the impact of simply asking others to partner with you on behalf of the gospel.
One week after you mail the letters, make a personal phone call to each person that should have received the letter. This is for three primary reasons: (1) Make sure they received your letter; (2) Ask them if they had any questions about the trip; (3) If they are not in a position to financially support you, remind them that they can be a great blessing as a prayer partner.
- Contact every pastor, student minister, associational director, or member of every church that you know, or have any association with, and ask if you could speak at a Sunday morning/Sunday evening/Wednesday service, Sunday School Class, or in any other possible way.
- Attempt to give 5 Ghana presentations in 5 different churches.
- Share with the contact person, such as the pastor, that you desire to come for a love offering that will be applied to your trip costs. Mention that your presentation should be around 20 minutes long – and be sure to honor this time frame if given the opportunity to speak.
- During the presentation, elaborate on each point as outlined above for the one-page letter.
- Recruit a friend or someone from your church to help you coordinate at least two fundraisers such as: Bake Auction, Special Missions Sunday at your church where a Love Offering will be taken for your trip, or a Chili Cook-off.
- Visit your local businesses and ask to speak to the manager or owner. Share with them the information that will be in your one-page letter and ask them to support you. Keep this short. You should be able to share everything about your trip 5 minutes. 3 minutes is preferred.
- Set a goal of 5 businesses supporting you for your trip.
(5) Direct Sales
- Find individuals who sell items such as Mary Kay, Thirty-One, Premier Jewelry, etc., who will do a fundraiser party to raise funds for your trip.
- Set a goal of 5 direct sale parties for your trip.
These five areas are only suggestions. You may have additional ideas that you would like to try. Do it! This is just to help you. If you work diligently on these five suggested areas, we are confident that you will raise your needed funds.
You can raise 100% of all your expenses for your trip. Just keep in mind that you must start early and work hard. Get other people involved; they will be blessed to know they have made an impact on behalf of the least reached.
A Few More Suggestions...
- Know your audience, many younger people prefer a personal email over hardcopy while older folks might prefer a mailed letter. Personally, I use social media for sharing online and also send a personal letter to each person (it is worth the stamps). Do not underestimate the effect of someone being able to hold and read a letter you have personally sent to them in the mail, asking them to join you in partnership. Be sure to send an update 2 to 4 weeks later (depending on your deadlines - social and hardcopy) to the same list as the first mailing. Many people will often intend to partner with you but not until a second update reminds them.
- It is essential to immediately acknowledge each response, whether a financial gift or someone who advises they will partner with you in prayer. Again, I often send an email or FB message with a thank you and then follow up with mailed thank you note to their home address. Timelines is a priority because you do not want donors wondering if their gift made it through and/or if it really matters. An immediate response speaks volumes about your appreciation and validates what they have done on behalf of the nations.
- Another reason to keep your list of contacts is to give updates and prayer requests through your fundraising efforts. Be sure to send a final update when the trip has concluded, preferably within the first 10 days of your return. Again, this allows a timely response for those who have been praying and wondering how everything went on the trip. People want to know they have made an impact, and it's just appropriate to give them a final thank you for being part of our team.