One of the biggest hurdles churches face is how to ask for money. Maybe because church leaders recognize that in asking for money, even when it's for something as important as furthering the mission of the church, they're essentially asking members to part with something they work so hard to earn.
Another reason it is so hard to ask for money is because the asker doesn’t want to come across as being needy. But the truth is, there is a need. And what everyone in the church needs to understand is that no ministry can operate without donations—especially mission trips.
Mission trips are vital when it comes to spreading the Gospel. Whether your church's summer mission opportunities focus on serving in another part of the country, or in places on the other side of the globe, each and every mission trip requires support.
"And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone" (Mark 16:15).
Even when incorporating the best practices when asking for money, it can still be difficult. To help you in your fundraising endeavor, we have outlined some fun and easy ways to raise money for your summer mission trips.
Hold a Group Fundraiser
Holding fundraisers are a great way to help your volunteers meet their goals. Some fun ideas for group fundraisers include:
- Percentage nights
- Church garage sales
- A car wash
- A raffle for a donated item
- Creating and selling a custom calendar or cookbook
- Hosting a silent auction
- Host a fun run
- Dodgeball tournament (or any other type of sporting tournament)
- Bake sale (complete with a pie-throwing contest)
Don't forget to share your fundraiser on social media! Since your online platform allows volunteers to share videos, blogs, and other compelling material all with an easy link to donate, social media is a great way to get the word out about your fundraiser.
Include Information in Your Bulletin and On Your Website
You will also want to include a snippet about donating to a summer mission trip in your weekly bulletin and on your church website. When including the information in your bulletin (whether it's a printed version or an e-version), you'll want to include a short written announcement that will make people aware of the upcoming mission trips along with providing information on how they can donate.
When you include information about the mission trip on your church website, make sure you include the following:
- Write a blog about the purpose of the mission
- Give status updates about how close you are to your fundraising goal
- Design a page on your website geared specifically toward missions
Don't forget to include photos on your website when blogging or informing members about the mission trip. Include photos from past mission trips or from your fundraising events. When using photos, you should try to include at least five, which is proven to help raise twice as much money as just one photo.
No matter how you use your church website to get the word out about your upcoming mission trips, be sure to include a "Donate" button.
Make It Simple to Donate
If you have generous people interested in your mission, the last thing you want to do is make it difficult for people to donate.
One of most traditional, and probably most effective ways to get people to donate, is to pass around a designated collection during the church service.
The pastor (or one of the volunteers who will be going on a mission trip) may even want to put together a slideshow presentation about the upcoming trip. This will not only be a great way to inspire people to give, but it will also be a fun way to show and not just tell about the mission.
Another effective way to raise funds is to encourage people to donate online. This can be done by placing a link on your church website for members to find information about the mission.
Use Your Online Giving Platform
Using your online giving platform offers a way for members to give with just a click of a button, making it simple and convenient. Because most online giving platforms are mobile-friendly, it allows donors to give directly from their phones at their convenience.
In your online giving portal, add your mission as a dropdown option for donors to choose. Make it easy to designate which mission trip they are donating to. It’s important to make the fund as clear as possible, as confusion may cause potential donors to have second thoughts.
You'll also want to assure your donors that the online giving platform is safe to use. One way to do this is to add your PCI compliant security stamp to your online portal.
Always Follow Up With a Thank You
One of the most important parts about fundraising is thanking all of your donors. By showing appreciation for their generosity, you are increasing the chances that each donor will give again to a future cause. You don't have to thank each and every donor in person, a simple thank you note or an email will suffice.
While thanking them, you can follow up with updates of the mission along the way. Once the mission trip has been complete, you might also want to include a summary of how the mission went on your website or in an email.