Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Fundraising for Your Mission Trip

If you've followed my blog at all the last three months, you have probably noticed that I've been fundraising to go to Kenya, Africa this summer.  Now that my goals have been reached, I would like to offer ten fundraising ideas to any of you who may be fundraising to go on a mission trip.

Spaghetti dinner.  A few of my precious friends threw a spaghetti dinner for me to help me raise money for Kenya.  Spaghetti is inexpensive and easy to make.  Parents donated most of the funds for the spaghetti, sauce, lemonade, tea, and garlic bread.  We invited everyone we knew (via Facebook, mostly) to come over on a Tuesday night before a big campus Bible study.  $5 a plate.  As much spaghetti as you could ever want.  The dinner was a big hit.  More than thirty of my friends showed up, as well as some new faces!  We ate spaghetti, we fellowshiped, and we watched God move. 

Textbook drive.  Another of my sweet friends had this idea and helped me carry it through.  At the end of the semester, we made a Facebook event asking our friends to donate their textbooks towards my mission trip.  Several friends showed up with arms full of textbooks.  On our last day in town, Melanie and I loaded the books into her car and drove them to the bookstore.  We made nearly $300!  We were speechless.

Support letters.  This may make you feel uncomfortable (believe me, I understand because I have done it before in the past), but it works.  My friend and roomie Rebecca went to Brazil at the beginning of this summer on a missions trip with our church.  She sent out support letters and the Lord faithfully provided in a very short amount of time. 

Profit share.  Some businesses offer profit shares, where you can set up a table and collect receipts from customers in order to collect 10% of the cost of the meal.  When my friend Kerry went to Sierra Leone last summer, a fast-food restaurant in our town allowed her to have a profit share.  Call the manager at a few restaurants, especially if they are Christian-based.  They might allow you to have a profit share one evening. 

Make a CD.  This summer, my friend Lindi is going to Rwanda.  She has a talent for music, so she recorded a basic CD of songs using GarageBand on her computer.  The CD was simple, sweet, and a great way to raise money for her trip.  She sold them for $10.  I bought one! 

Sell bracelets.  I bought about a hundred inexpensive braided friendship bracelets off of eBay.  I got them for something like a quarter a bracelet and sold a ton for $3 each.  This is a small way to earn money, but it helps.  The ones I didn't sell, I'll give to the kids I meet while I'm in Kenya. 

Sell jewelry/coffee/purses/whatever you can find.  I'm listing this separately, because I'm advising you to buy (or make) bracelets in bulk, but you could also sell other things to fundraise.  My friend Larry donated a bunch of coffee and Kenyan jewelry for me to sell as fundraisers.  This helped me raise hundreds of dollars towards my trip.  My friend Lauren sold purses to help raise money for her own mission trip to Peru.  If you are creative or have something you could sell, use it!  Paint pictures, make purses, purchase something in bulk and sell it to fundraise. 

Use your blog.  If you blog like I do, make an account on Fundly or through your organization and keep up a button where your readers can donate.  Write a blog post about how they could help and why it means something to you.  Who knows?  Someone might feel led to give, even if you don't expect it.  One donor gave $100 towards my trip, just from reading my blog!  I was so touched. 

Use Facebook.  Make a group or event, encouraging your Facebook friends to donate.  The Lord places on the hearts of people you don't expect to give in amounts you would never guess.  Don't be afraid to ask your friends to prayerfully consider giving.  Don't pressure them by asking over and over, but don't be afraid to ask that first time. 

Have a garage sale.  Some friends threw a garage sale for my Naana and raised quite a bit of money!  Ask your friends to donate old belongings to sell.  A garage sale can be a great way to fund raise... and a lot of fun.  Be sure to set out a donation jar with a sign that explains why you are having the garage sale in the first place.

Trust.  Ultimately, if it's the Lord's plan for you to go on this trip, He will provide.  Don't waste your time stressing about whether or not you'll come up with the money.  I entered the month of March not even planning to go to Africa this summer and had nearly all of the money raised by the end of the month.  God provides, and He is eager to show His faithfulness.  At least half of the funds raised for my trip was from people who felt called to give, simply after hearing my story and feeling the Lord place the desire on their hearts.

If the desire of your heart is to share the Gospel and love the nations like Christ, then your desire reflects God.  The Bible says He gives good gifts to those who ask Him, so don't be afraid to ask!

When you find yourself falling into stress and doubts about your fundraising, intentionally spend the time instead in prayer, asking God for His will.  Is it His desire for you to head to Cuba this summer, or is it your own?  What is He planning for you?  Don't be afraid to ask Him and wait patiently for the answer.  He will provide in ways you might never expect.

Psalm 86:11
Teach me Your way, Lord, that I may rely on Your faithfulness. 

If you've ever raised money for a mission trip, share your own tips and ideas in the comments.  Also, please feel free to share stories of the Lord's faithfulness in providing what you needed.  He is good!

Two years ago: Can I get a thumbs up?


  1. Found your blog by fate when I was looking up things to send to sponsor children and loved it ever since! Thanks for the great blog posts and Hope your trip to Kenya is great! You are going to change lives!

    1. Thank you! This was so encouraging, Haylie!

  2. When a group from my church church and myself were going on a missions trip we had a church garage sale. Basically we asked everyone in the church if they had any items to donate, and then we sold those items items the community and other church members to raise money for the trip. It was so much fun, and a great way to raise money for a group!


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