Fundraising for Mission Trips
by Jake Kircher
Often times, fundraising for your upcoming mission trip can get a bit stale. Every year it's the same old ideas - bake sales, car washes and having the students do work for people within your church. As these tend to work time and time again, sometimes giving can start to diminish.
Here are a handful of creative ideas to help keep your fundraising fresh:
1. Sell stock in your trip
Lots of people are looking for a good investment these days. What better investment than in a life changing trip for your students. Have your students make their own stocks or do a Google search for "custom stock certificates" and order some realistic looking ones. Sell the stocks for any amount the group decides and then after the trip host a share holders dessert and report about the trip.
2. Flock your community
This is a highly amusing way to raise some money and also get the community buzzing about your upcoming trip. The basic premise of this idea is buy a dozen or so pink flamingo lawn decorations (you could also do this with garden gnomes, toilet paper or any other thing you could think of) and have people in your church pay to have this flock of birds show up on someone's lawn. That person then needs to pay to have them removed and can choose the next victim.
Before "flocking season" arrives, make sure you communicate with your church what is about to happen. You can even offer no-flock insurance to those who wish to be spared from the birds showing up.
PinkLawnFlamingos.com is a great website to check out for a more detailed description of how to run this fundraiser and also to purchase everything you need from the plastic birds to lawn signs.
3. Sell some Ugly Mug Coffee
How many people do you know who don't start their day with a cup of coffee? How many dinners have you been to where coffee wasn't offered along with dessert? It seems like everyone drinks it all the time, so why not capitalize on everyone's caffeine addiction for your mission trip?
Ugly Mug Coffee is a fair trade coffee supplier that seeks to benefit the communities they get their coffee from. From their website: "Our partnership will help in creating a buying COOP that works with individual growers in very rural areas of Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Ethiopia. That coop will be responsible for economic development via small loans, agricultural assistance with organic certification, processing assistance and ultimately assistance in selling the coffee of which we will be a buyer."
Beyond that, the coffee tastes really good too!! They also sell hot chocolate, tea and chai.
It's really easy to work with Ugly Mug and you can either have students pre-sell coffee or you can order a batch up front and sell it after church for a few Sunday's in a row. The organization has even had programs in the past where if you purchase a certain amount, they will give you $100 back towards your mission trip. Just ask about that program when you set up your account.
4. Get your children's ministry involved
The children within our churches can be a huge support to our teens heading out on mission trips. Plus, when we get the kids involved we have the opportunity to teach them about missions and what they will get to do when they are old enough to be in the youth ministry. One very simple thing you can do is to have the kids collect change. What 8 year old doesn't like digging through the couches at home or under the seats in the car to find loose change?
You can buy just basic coin collection bottles online and have the kids decorate them during one of their programs. Or you can buy specially shaped banks to coincide with whatever your students will be doing on the trip. i.e. If your building houses or doing construction, get house shaped piggy banks. If you're working with children's programs, maybe get banks in the shape of crayons.