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So You Want to Go on a Missions Trip? (Part 5)

Posted by on September 13, 2013

How do I raise the money to go on a missions trip?

I think that money (or the lack thereof) is probably the biggest thing that turns people away from seriously considering going on a missions trip. The cost can vary depending on where you go, how long you stay, your travel and lodging accommodations, etc. The least expensive trip I’ve been on was $300 and the most I’ve paid is $4000. A missions trip can be a pretty steep financial investment for most people, but I want to encourage you that the cost aspect of going on a missions trip doesn’t ever have to be a deal breaker.

Here are some tips I can offer you on how to raise money for a missions trip:

1) For starters, plan ahead.

The old adage of “those who fail to plan, plan to fail” definitely holds true for raising money to go on a missions trip. Once you hear about a missions trip you want to go on, begin to plan on how you are going to raise the money, and the sooner the better. Almost every type of fundraiser I’ve done for a missions trip required thorough and advance planning. If you’re going with your church, the nice thing is they may probably already organize group fundraising opportunities you can be a part of (another great reason to partner with your church on a missions trip).

Also, I’m a big advocate of setting goals. It will help keep you focused and motivated. Set weekly or monthly goals for yourself, determining to raise a certain amount of money by certain dates leading up to your departure (i.e. raise $300 every month leading up to your trip). Again if you are going through your church, they will more than likely already have payment deadlines set in place that you have to meet. I find that when I break up the cost of a trip into smaller, realistic goals, it feels much more achievable and possible for me. Plus, it’s super rewarding to reach those smaller, frequent mile markers because it’s motivating to know that you’re only that many steps closer to reaching your total goal.

2) Fundraising Ideas

I think I’ve done almost every type of typical fundraiser idea out there and then some. Here’s a list of some of the things I’ve done:

  • Saving: See if there’s something you can cut out from your everyday budget so you can save a certain amount every week/month to go towards your trip (i.e. sacrifice your morning Starbucks or eating out).
  • Get an extra or part-time job: I’ve delivered pizzas & newspapers. I’ve babysat, pet sat & house sat. Offer to clean someone’s house or wash their car. You’d be surprised at how quickly you can raise a few thousand dollars by working a part-time or odd job(s) for a few months. A lot of times people will pay you way more than you expected to receive for a job because they know you’re working to go on a missions trip. I once received $100 for a 2-hour babysitting job – not too shabby!
  • Silent auction: This takes a lot of planning and hard work, but a lot of businesses do donate free stuff and I raised $1500 at my first silent auction. Don’t know where to start? Google “how to have a successful silent auction”. That’s what I did…and I did [have a successful silent auction] :-)
  • Support letters/emails: Don’t be afraid to ask your family and close friends to support you. These are the #1 people in your life who love you and will want to support you. Even when my family or friends haven’t been able to support me financially, they did pray for me, talk about my trip with people who did end up supporting me, or they gave me new ideas on how to raise money.
  • Social media: Make a general announcement to everyone you know through Facebook, Twitter, etc. & give some brief info on what you’ll be doing and how they can donate. I think most of my social media friends probably got sick of hearing about my trip before I moved to Africa, so maybe make sure not to overdo it, but it is a quick and easy way to get the word out. There was one time I raised $700 between two Facebook posts! I think you’d be surprised at who is ready and willing to support you.
  • Google “how to raise money for a missions trip”: I’ve done this many times. The internet has a plethora of ideas! Side note: I love the word plethora and relish any chance I get to use it in a sentence. :-)
  • Pray for ideas: God is super creative and He can inspire you with the best ideas that even the most experienced missions-trip-goer couldn’t ever give you.

3) Make it a priority.

Just like our time, we spend our money on what we really want. I think most of us have all spent a good amount of money on things that we don’t need, which isn’t wrong at all. But a big reason why we always seem to have the money for certain luxuries is simply because we want them. Do you really want to go on a missions trip? If you do, then you will find the money to go. And when you find the money, come visit me in Africa :-)

4) Trust God.

Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) says this: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” This was a promise I confessed over and over to myself anytime I felt discouraged about raising the money to go to Botswana. Don’t just believe that God can and will provide the money – live and act like you do. Align your attitude, speech and actions in a way that doesn’t say you think God can’t afford it or it’s too expensive for Him. I remember being determined to do what I’ve just described when I was preparing to go on my first missions trip to Africa. Anytime I began to feel the slightest bit doubtful about raising all the money, I would pray and tell God that I refused to believe that He couldn’t provide for me. I was allowed to go on that trip, still owing my church $1000, but a week after I got back, the church called me and told me that someone anonymously paid the remaining balance for my trip! He’s provided for me over and over again, and He can do it for you too. I have another cool story about God’s provision here.

I really could just sum up all this info by simply saying trust God and step out in faith. God can and will bless your efforts – just believe that He will AND make the effort! Anytime I decided to go on a missions trip and when I decided to move to Botswana, I didn’t have the money to go and it wasn’t something I could afford. The decision to go was my step of faith, and it was only when I took that step of faith that the money began to pour in. Take that to heart and you’ll discover that it’s really not that hard to raise the money to go on a missions trip after all :-)

Next week, I’m going to talk about how to spiritually and mentally prepare yourself to go on a missions trip. Remember, folks, a missions trip isn’t a vacation, it’s a time of service so have the right attitude going into it or it will be a very unenjoyable experience for you, which means you will more than likely make it unenjoyable for everyone else, so I’ll share some tips on how you can be prepared!

Related Posts:
So You Want to Go on a Missions Trip? (Part 1)
So You Want to Go on a Missions Trip? (Part 2)
So You Want to Go on a Missions Trip? (Part 3)
So You Want to Go on a Missions Trip? (Part 4)
So You Want to Go on a Missions Trip? (Part 6)
So You Want to Go on a Missions Trip? (Part 7)

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