You want to help others—but you can't seem to find the funds to help you do it in the most effective ways. Too often, mission trips get abandoned or never even planned because the most interested and engaged individuals don't actually have the money to afford their travel.
Fortunately, that doesn't have to be the case. Mission trips are not reserved for the wealthy. With some creative fundraising, you can make sure that you make the trip, spread your faith, and help others. These 7 ideas can get you started in helping you help those in need around the globe.
1) Sell Lottery Tickets
A fundraising raffle is a tried and true method for faith-based organizations. Engage members of your community to sell raffle tickets on your behalf. You can take this approach in one of two directions:
Find items or build baskets to raffle off. Then, sell raffle tickets or organize a silent auction during which participants can write in their bid before a given deadline.
Sell so-called 50/50 tickets. Half of the proceeds will go toward a prize pot, while the other 50 percent contribute to your mission trip.
Selling tickets like these is a great way to raise money because participants know that the money they spend is going to a great cause. This can be immensely effective in helping you raise the money you need to help others around the globe.
2) Organize a Bake Sale
Another opportunity to engage the community is organizing a bake sale. Everyone loves cookies, pies, and cakes—so why not combine that love with your need for travel funds? Find the good cooks in your parish, and ask them to bake some of their most delicious desserts.
Just as important, of course, is actually selling these goods. Try to find a time during which your community usually gets together—Sundays after service, perhaps. Then, raffle off each baked good, or set specific prices on a first-come, first-serve basis.
3) Speak to the Parish
Sometimes, simply speaking to your community can help you raise funds for an important trip. Ask your priest or pastor to speak after service, and outline exactly where you are going and how you will help.
Mission to the World suggests a tactic using the Parable of the Three Servants: take some seed money, and put it into a large number of envelopes. Then, pass the envelopes around while you read Matthew 25:14-30. Explain your cause, and invite everyone to give as they see fit. Ask them to return the envelopes, either as is or with additional money, after a few weeks in a collections box. The trust level you display tends to resonate with others, who will be more likely to contribute to your aim for good deeds.
4) Design and Sell T-Shirts
Don't underestimate the power of clothing. Especially if you or someone you know is adept at graphic design, you can come up with a t-shirt design that compellingly shows the location and goal of your mission trip. If you don't know where to start, consider a service like Fiverr for external design.
The order will cost as little as $2 per t-shirt, depending on how many you order. You can then sell them to members of your community for $10 to $20. As an added benefit, this option raises awareness of the trip and may cause others to join or at least support you.
5) Engage Local Businesses
If you've never engaged in fundraising for a faith-based initiative, you might be surprised how many local businesses are willing and happy to contribute. They will consider it part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts and they can write off any contribution as tax-deductible.
Work with a popular restaurant or store in town and go with one of two options: ask them to donate the earnings of a single day or a small portion of their profits over a longer period of time. Work directly with them on which option works best, and how you can help promote this effort.
6) Offer Seasonal Yard Work
Especially as the seasons turn, yard work can become increasingly cumbersome for millions of homeowners around the country. From mowing the lawn to weeding and clearing snow, chances are plenty of members in your community would appreciate the extra help.
These types of chores have long been popular among youth groups looking to raise funds. But in reality, they can be just as effective for adults. The retired couple down the street would probably appreciate someone cleaning the gutters before the weather turns. In addition to direct community outreach, you will also showcase your commitment to helping others.
7) Try Crowdfunding
Especially if you look to help in a region of the world that others are familiar with or that is currently in the news, it makes sense to go beyond your own community. In recent years, crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular method to raise the funds you need for your travels.
On our website, we have outlined a number of crowdfunding services that can help you get started. Detail your mission, group, and purpose. Create a crowdfunding profile, then promote it to your friends and family and ask them to help spread the word.
Going on a mission trip should not be made impossible because of your budget. Even if you cannot afford a trip that spreads your faith and helps those in need on your own, you can still try to raise the funds necessary from your community. The above seven tips, of course, are just a few of many possibilities, but they're a great way to get you started in collecting the money you need to help those less fortunate.