10 Ideas to Raise Money for Your Next Mission Trip

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Next to negotiating an airport with a bunch of excited teenagers, fundraising is the most challenging part of prepping for a mission trip. You’re always looking for fun, simple ways to raise the most money.

Raising money for mission trips can be a fulfilling and meaningful endeavor, but it does require careful planning and effort. Here are some steps and strategies you can consider:

1. Define your goals

Clearly articulate the purpose of your mission trip and the goals you aim to achieve. This will help potential donors understand the impact of their contributions.

2. Create a detailed budget

Outline all the expenses associated with the mission trip, including travel, accommodation, meals, transportation, supplies, and any other relevant costs. Having a well-defined budget will show transparency and help potential donors see where their funds will be utilized.

3. Choose fundraising methods:

  • Crowdfunding: Platforms like GoFundMe, Kickstarter, or Indiegogo allow you to create online campaigns and share them with your network.
  • Event Fundraising: Organize events like bake sales, car washes, charity auctions, or benefit concerts to raise funds. (We have included 10 ideas in this post.)
  • Personal Appeals: Reach out to friends, family, and acquaintances through personal letters, emails, or social media explaining your mission and requesting support.
  • Partnerships: Collaborate with local businesses, churches, or community organizations for financial support or to co-host fundraising events.

4. Build an online presence:

Create a dedicated website, social media profiles, or a blog to share information about your mission trip, your progress, and updates. Regularly update these platforms to keep your supporters engaged. Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to share your fundraising campaign, post updates, and engage with your supporters.

5. Tell compelling stories: 

Share stories and testimonials that highlight the impact of mission trips on individuals and communities. People are more likely to donate when they can connect emotionally with the cause.

6. Offer Incentives:

Provide incentives to donors, such as thank-you notes, personalized updates from the field, or small tokens of appreciation. This can encourage more people to contribute.

7. Engage your network:

Leverage your personal and professional networks. Ask friends, family, coworkers, and church members to spread the word about your fundraising efforts.

8. Host Fundraising Events: 

Organize events like fundraising dinners, workshops, seminars, or charity walks/runs to gather funds and engage the community.

9. Corporate Sponsorship:

Reach out to local businesses or corporations that align with your mission’s values and goals. They might be willing to provide financial support or sponsor specific aspects of the trip.

10. Grant applications:

Research and apply for grants from foundations, religious organizations, or non-profits that support mission work or community service projects.

Here are 10 quick ideas for raising funds for your mission trip:

1. Facebook auctions

There are a lot of third-party apps like Auction Anything that allow you to host an auction on your Facebook page. Pull together some used items from people in your church and community and, instead of selling them at a garage sale for a fixed price, auction them off to the highest bidder on your church’s Facebook page.

2. Daycare date night

If your church has room, pick a couple Friday nights where you run a little daycare so parents can get out and enjoy a date night. The kids will love being entertained by the youth, the parents will love to spend an undisturbed evening together, and you can raise funds for your trip.

3. Photo shoots

Have anyone in your church that’s handy with a camera? Ask them to donate a couple of hours to do photo shoots for families, couples, and singles. You can set up a studio in the church that allows you to get people in and out quickly. Many families would donate quite a bit for a quality portrait.

4. Silent auction

When it comes to one-shot fundraising ideas, silent auctions perform well. Most of the work comes from securing donations from local businesses. These companies are usually happy to donate to a good cause in exchange for some advertising. Once you have a lot of great items, it’s just a matter of displaying them in a way that people can bid on them. This can be something you do at a Sunday-night church pizza party.

5. GoFundMe

Crowdfunding platforms can be an easy way to subsidize some of your other fundraising ideas. Simply put a GoFundMe campaign together and get your church to share it on their social media platforms.

6. Part-time jobs

Here’s an idea that gets left out of a lot of fundraising lists, but why not encourage brief part-time employment for teens in your group? It could be anything from working weekends at a fast-food joint to mowing lawns on Saturday afternoons. There are a lot of opportunities for your team to raise money separately.

7. Donut fundraisers

Companies like Krispy Kreme do a lot of fundraising. And no one probably needs to tell you that donuts and church just go together. You can do a donut fundraiser on a Sunday morning, and if there are people in the church that own or work at a large business, you might be able to bring the fundraiser to them, too.

8. Dining for donations

Find about a dozen local restaurants who are willing to donate a portion of their proceeds during a specific date range. Then spend a couple of weeks hyping it up in church and on social media. Encourage as many people as possible to eat at one of those restaurants on that evening. You can even combine this fundraiser with the daycare date night!

9. Oil change day

If you have a lot of mechanically inclined people in your church or community, ask if they’d be willing to donate a Saturday to do oil changes. If you can’t use the church parking lot, find another large location or large garage. People will gladly donate to your trip to have their fluids changed.

10. Rent-a-student auction

One Sunday after church, invite everyone to hang out and auction off students to do three hours of work for the highest bidders. These are typically fun events and can raise a lot of mission-trip cash.

Funding your mission trip

Mission trips aren’t cheap but can be incredibly rewarding. You’re usually under a strict deadline to get as much money raised as possible. These ideas will help equip you with the finances you need to get your mission trip funded.

Summer is right around the corner and so are many Jesus Film Mission Trips®. Visit the site to learn about the dozens of trips offered, and the type of evangelism you could be doing to multiply disciples!