Fundraisers are a great way to raise money for your trip and get people involved with what you are doing. When people make donations for your trip, let them know that they can use it as a tax write-off if they donate with a check. Below are some helpful guidelines that will make fundraising as successful as it can be for you.
Always have a goal in mind: If you are going to have a car wash don’t just stand there with buckets in hand, set a goal. As people drive by hold signs that say, “Help us meet our goal of washing 50 cars today”! If you are selling something, ask people to meet a specific goal; draw a big thermometer and color it in as the goals are being met. This gives people a direct place to get involved.
Be creative: Creativity is the key to successful fundraising. Ask God for innovative ideas and strategic ways to raise the money for your trip. Dress up in costumes to advertise events, hold signs, make banners, think of as many ideas as you can to be different. When you stand out, you compel others to support and be a part of what you are doing.
Creative Fundraising Ideas
Here are some creative fundraising ideas to help you get started:
Silent auction: Some ways to get items for a silent auction:
Have local businesses donate items or services.
Have friends, church, or family members donate items or services.
At the auction, have tables set up with the items to be auctioned and a lined sheet of paper with the name of the item written on top. Write a starting bid at the top of the page. You will want to make a rule for the minimum bid so that each time a bid is placed it is not less than this amount ($1.00 or $5.00 minimum works good depending on the type of items you have at your auction). People can begin placing bids on the items until the auction is officially over.
Supplies needed: Items to auction off, tables, and paper.
Car wash: Have friends or family help you organize a local car wash. You can speak with fast food restaurants, gas stations, or local businesses about holding a car wash at their location.
Supplies needed: Several long hoses, soap, bug and tar remover, rags, buckets, sponges, dollar bills, and coin change.
Bake sale/ Pie auction: Hold a bake sale at your school, craft fair, or church. Have friends or family bake items to sell. You can sell items at a suggested price, allow for donations, or do a silent auction on each baked good. It is also a good idea to sell coffee, soda, or bottled water at this event.
Supplies needed: Baked items, price tags or signs, beverages, cups, plates, napkins, tables, tablecloths, dollar bills, and coin changes.
Lawn Care: Print flyers off and hand them out to your neighbors, or hang signs in the area offering your lawn service. This can be a year round fundraiser! You can rake leaves, shovel snow, or cut grass depending on the season.
Supplies needed: Summer: lawn mower, weed eater, rake, and lawn bags. Fall: rake, leaf bags. Winter: shovel, ice melt.
Candy bar sales: This is a great fundraiser (as long as YOU don’t eat all the candy bars!) Purchase candy bars at a local discount club or grocery store and sell for either a donation or for $1.00. You can talk to your local grocery store or discount club about selling candy outside their store.
Supplies needed: Candy or candy bars, dollar bills, and coin change.
Garage sales: Have friends or family donate items to sell at a garage sale. Hang signs to advertise in all directions. Make sure you include the address and time of the sale.
Supplies needed: Tables, price stickers, posters, markers, change in dollar bills, and coin change.
Spaghetti/ Enchilada/ Taco Dinner/ Pancake Breakfast: Raise money by selling tickets to a special dinner. Keep the menu simple, yet tasty. You’ll need to get your friends to help serve and cook. On the tables you can place envelopes or baskets for people to make additional donations. This also works great in conjunction with another event, such as a bake sale or silent auction.
Supplies needed: Food, drinks, cups, napkins, silverware, plates, trash bags, decorations, tablecloths, and tickets.
A- thon: Have people pledge money for participating in an activity for a predetermined distance or time. For example: In a Walk-A-Thon, have people pledge a certain amount of money for each mile you walk. A-Thons can be done in different ways such as bowling, golfing, walking, swimming, or any other activity you can think of.
Supplies Needed: Sign up sheet and activity.
Egghead: Go door-to-door explaining to people about your mission trip and ask them if they would like to crack an egg over your head for $5 or whatever price you select (most of the time you get lucky and get the money without the egg).
Supplies needed: Eggs, towels, an envelope to put money in, and dollar and coin change.
Gift-wrapping: Ask a toy store or Christian bookstore if you could set up a table for gift-wrapping presents around the holiday season. Put a jar out for donations, and tape posters around the table advertising that it’s for missions.
Supplies needed: Wrapping paper, scissors, tape, gift bags, tissue paper, jar for donations, table, and posters.
Christmas Caroling: Dress up in holiday costumes and spread Christmas cheer to your neighborhood. Sing them the Christmas carol of their choice. Tell them that you are going on a mission trip and ask them if they would like to make a donation. Be sure to tell them that all checks made payable to Go International can be used as a tax write-off.
Supplies Needed: Costumes and your best singing voice.
Roses for Mother’s Day or Valentines Day: Purchase roses from a local florist (they might donate them to you if you tell them your cause) and sell them to friends or at church.
Supplies needed: Roses, tables, dollar bill and coin change.
Throw a party: Charge an admission fee to get in the door. You can ask friends who have a local band if they would throw a benefit concert for your cause.
Supplies needed: Food, tables, and music.
Rent a hand: You and a friend offer to do any kind of work for donations. Ideas for your services can include: Yard work, clean out a garage or basement, weeding a garden, cleaning gutters, window washing, car detailing etc.
Supplies needed: Supplies vary according to what job you do.
Talent show: You and your friends can host a talent show. Charge admission to get in the door.
Supplies needed: Tables, chairs, sound system and lots of talent.
EBay: Get people to donate items they no longer use, such as antiques, records, or random items and sell them on eBay. This is a great way to make easy money.
Supplies Needed: Computer with internet access, items donated, cardboard boxes, and shipping labels.
Bigger & Better: Take a random item from around the house and go door-to-door asking people to trade you for an item that is bigger or better than the item you currently have. This usually results with an item that is of great value or an amount of money. If it’s cash, put it towards your trip. If it’s an item, you can sell it or keep on trading.
Supplies Needed: Item to trade and your best smile.
One of the most effective ways to raise the money for your trip is through sending support letters. Here are a few things to keep in mind when sending your letters out:
A nice, typed, well-written letter is best.
Get several people to check your work! Spelling and grammar errors are not effective ways of raising support.
Make sure to personalize it at the end. Write a short hand-written note to each supporter at the bottom of the letter.
Letters should not be longer than three-fourths of a page.
If possible, include a stamped return envelope with your name and address on it.
A good idea is to include a recent picture of yourself. This is a great reminder for your supporters to keep you in their prayers.
Thank you cards are a MUST! As soon as you receive a gift from a supporter, a phone call and/or thank you card should be given within a week. A follow up letter after the trip is also a must. Include pictures from your trip and an exciting story or two.
Here is a sample of a support letter you can use as a guideline when writing yours.
Sample Support Letter
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith,
Hi! This has been an amazing year!!! I am currently in my second year of college at ORU and am loving it! Recently I had a very exciting opportunity arise- I got accepted into a very unique short-term mission trip called Mystery Trip. For this mission trip, every detail, including the location, is a complete secret until moments before it occurs.
The day we leave, we will uncover clues to reveal where we are going and what we will be doing. The entire trip, from ministries to outreaches, will be revealed through clues and challenges. In the past, missionaries have been to South Africa, Cambodia, Thailand, China, the Philippines, Italy, France, and England. Yet while this trip will be exciting and adventurous, the true heart of the trip will be in telling the world about Christ.
In order to participate on this trip I must raise $3500 by May 11th. Mr. and Mrs. Smith, would you be one of sixty people to make a one-time contribution of $60 to help me reach this goal? Your contribution would be greatly appreciated; not only by me, but also by countless people who have yet to know the name of Christ. Thank you so much for your time and your prayers.