Building Financial Support Through a Letter to Family and Friends
On the average, most, if not all of mission trip costs for each person can be raised through a well-written Fundraising Letter sent to family and friends.
Some groups prepare a fundraising letter in a downloadable form so participants can easily personalize it. Here's a sample Fund Raising Letter we've put together to help you. It also has a helpful "How to Guide" to help out as well.
Spread the word widely; don't limit the letters to Christian friends and family.
Send thank-you letters for every financial gift. Sometimes, "thank you" notes will even bring follow-up gifts.
Ideas for How Local Churches Can Help Come Up With the Needed Money
Give official blessing or sanction.
Provide letters of endorsement on church stationery.
Let individuals share with the congregation in services.
Allow pleas for donations during services.
Host informational meetings about the trip.
Publicize the trip.
Information in the congregation's monthly newsletter.
Inserts in the weekly church bulletin.
Call attention to those that get involved in local ministry when they return or decide to go long-term as a result of going short-term.
Provide direct financial support.
Provide partial funding from the church budget.
Help in getting out a support raising letter.
Organizing prayer support.
Organize fund raising events within the church.
Auction off 6 hours of the trip participant's time.
Hold dinner/auction of baked goods.
Auction of baked goods with pie-in-the-face.
Ideas for Fund Raiser Events
Turn a hall into a Mexican restaurant and have the group dress in traditional Mexican as they serve a basic combination plate dinner to those who have purchased tickets. Suggested menu: tacos, rice, and refried beans. Have volunteer cooks assist with the preparation of the meal. Another suggestion would be to have the families of the group cook so they can have a chance to work together.
Auction off group members to become “servants” working for a set amount per hour paid to the organization.
Group members can obtain individual sponsors by personal request.
Supporters and friends can buy a “share” in the trip. Provide ‘stock’ certificates of their importance to the trip and be sure to share the experience with them after the group returns home.
Be creative and add a new angle by having a “sugarless bake sale”, or a “chocolate-lovers’ bake sale”.
Encourage all the members/families in your group to participate in a talent show. Charge admission and enjoy the fun!
Bottle/Aluminum Can Drive
Set aside a central location or a private garage to collect aluminum cans for redemption at the local recycling center. You can also go door to door asking for bottles/aluminum cans as well.
Hold Giant Garage/Yard Sale
Collect items from others such as clothing, furniture, car parts, electrical appliances, etc. for a profitable yard sale. Be sure to promote the cause while doing so for additional exposure.
Sunday School Class Challenge
Challenge Sunday School classes to compete with each other to raise money for the trip. Encourage them to keep track of what they collect and report on it each week. Celebrate with a class party after the trip with photos and testimonials.
For a car wash fundraiser add a twist like a “car wash and wax” while people pay to hit leaders of the group with water balloons or whipped cream. The most successful car washes are FREE with the group participants getting a per-car-washed pledge from supporters. You can also sell car wash coupons ahead of time as well.
Hold an old fashion BBQ after church or at some special time and location. You can even have items donated for the BBQ from individuals or local businesses.