5 Tips for Raising Mission Trip Support

A bake sale with goods being exchanged

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You have the opportunity to have a life-changing experience on a short-term mission, but you’re responsible for covering the cost. You’d love to go, but there’s no way you can pay for it yourself. What should you do? 

There’s no reason to pass on the opportunity, especially if there’s enough time to raise support. Here are some ideas for raising the funds necessary to go. 

1. Pray for God’s assistance 

As with anything worth doing for God’s kingdom, the goal isn’t to see whether or not we can accomplish it within our own means and with our own powers of persuasion. Mission work is about serving the Lord, and so we should include God as early in the process as possible.

This means praying for people’s hearts to be open to helping you, for the fruitfulness of fundraising opportunities, and for the Lord to provide the necessary resources. While you’re at it, pray for the people you’ll be serving and prepare their hearts to be receptive to the gospel. 

2. Partner with others who want to attend 

It might seem counterintuitive to gather with like-minded individuals who also need to raise the same amount as you do. After all, every person adds that much more to the bottom line that needs to be raised. 

But the truth is that a handful of people make it easier to raise more funds with fewer fundraisers. With more people enthusiastic about raising mission-trip funds, you have more committed people for things like car washes, fundraising dinners, and childcare weekends for young parents. 

You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can raise your support. 

3. Begin with your local church 

If you have a home church, that’s obviously the best place to begin. They’re invested in you and your spiritual growth and understand the life-transforming value of short-term mission trips. There’s a chance they have scholarships for precisely these kinds of occasions or would be willing to hold a special offering. Regardless, many people in your congregation would happily help you raise support. 

If you don’t have a local church, don’t be afraid to talk to one. Maybe it’s a local church putting on the trip, or perhaps it’s the church of someone else who intends to go. Most churches would love to help you get the ball rolling in several ways—and offer advice and support wherever possible. 

4. Make a list of people you can ask for support 

Asking for financial support is one of the biggest hurdles to raising money. It can feel awkward to ask people you know to help you financially. But once you overcome the discomfort of asking for help, you’ll be surprised at how many people want to pitch in. 

You can generate some interest with some posts on social media. The people closest to you (or who understand the value of short-term missions) will gladly contribute. But you’ll get a much better response by specifically asking individuals.

When asking for donations, you need to remember the value of asking. A social media post will cast a wide net, but it won’t necessarily have the best return. Sending out emails to individuals will likely increase the support you can raise. The next most productive touch base would be a phone call. But sitting down with someone in person, explaining what you’re doing, and asking them to help you achieve your goal will net the most significant return. Ideally, you want to incorporate all three.

Start by making a list of people you could reach out to:

  • Family members
  • Church members
  • Neighbors
  • Colleagues
  • Friends

Be careful not to leave people off the list because you’ve already decided how they will respond. Once you know who to reach out to, you can decide how you want to connect with them and who you should actually sit down with face to face. 

5. Find creative fundraising ideas 

If you’ve been in the church space for a while, you’ve seen your share of bake sales and car washes. The nice thing about fundraisers like that is that they don’t require a lot of work or overhead. The downside is that they’re so ubiquitous that they often don’t move the needle very much. 

Put some research time in and try to find some fresh ideas. The more novel and fun they are, the easier it will be to sell the idea and generate interest. You just want to be careful that the time and costs associated with the concept don’t cut into its profitability. 

Consider things like:

  • Date night childcare
  • Restaurant fundraisers
  • Pet daycare
  • Food delivery

Coming up with creative fundraising ideas that are easy to pull off will significantly impact your ability to raise support. So do a deep dive into fundraising ideas and use them as a jumping-off point to develop ideas that will fit your church and community. 

Check out our free Christian ministry resources 

We have several free ministry resources for someone interested in sharing the gospel, including:

Feel free to use them in your ministry and outreach!