Fundraising For Mission Trips
Fundraising for mission trips can seem like an overwhelming task, as those focused on serving the Lord in other communities and countries are challenged to ask for money. But, sharing in support and sharing in the work around the world is part of God's over-all plan. Whether it is a student or adult going on a short-term trip or a career missionary is looking for support, blessings are shared when others are invited to take part through prayer and giving. There are many different ways to approach fundraisers for mission trips and the following is a discussion about the attitude of asking for donations and about some ideas that may be implemented to insure that programs meet with the most success possible. An important factor to remember is that, ultimately, God is in control of all things, as His Word promises, but that we are expected to accomplish the task of preparing for the field, which includes developing a financial campaign. Prayer is another important part of seeking God's will in the matter of serving overseas or in other communities, as well. Prayer is the vehicle that opens the doors to who God intends to use in support and where to find the finances needed.
There are Christian ministries active around the entire world. There are even mission opportunities within communities with inner-city ministries and outreaches to those in the clutches of poverty. And, every mission of every size needs the service of volunteers who are brothers and sisters in Christ and the finances to support the work being accomplished. Being a missionary on a local or foreign level means taking part in fundraisers for mission trips. And, though this may seem like the least important part of serving the Lord in a specific service, it can be, when armed with the right attitude and the truth, as vital of a ministry as the actual work itself. Through the act of fundraising for mission trips, those seeking donations will find that the knowledge of His work becomes better known. Not every Christian in every church is fully aware of what God is accomplishing in other cities and countries around the globe, and where there is a financial campaign in full swing, the good news of His love and care for others is spread. Not only is His important work being shared to increase giving with fundraising for mission trips, but it is also bringing hope and faith to those who may not be able to actively take part by going or physically serving. The Lord uses the entire body of Christ to accomplish His work, and unless there is awareness, there is no way for some to even know of His miraculous ways.
And so, we learn that the act of raising money is a means for sharing His gospel. It is also a means for sharing in blessings. Those who give financially to fundraisers for mission trips are receiving the blessings of joy for giving to the work of the Lord. God has gifted some to be givers, and those who are called to this task truly delight in sharing their finances. If a missionary does not ask, then he may deny a donor the privilege of partaking, or of being a part of the mission. There can also be opportunities for others to share in the work load of fundraisers for mission trips, without ever going on any of the trips. Large financial campaigns can involve many people who share of their time and talents in generating support. Large events are examples of team fundraising. Serving a dinner with foods from the country or community that is to be served is one way of developing interest for and awareness about the ministry being supported and involving others in the gift of service. Having a speaker explain the work and the condition of the people being served at this dinner will also give donors ample information to make prayerful decisions.
Other ideas that create an awareness of other cultures and how they serve the Lord is to purchase items of that culture while in the country being served, then sell the items during special cultural events back in the states. These types of fundraisers for mission trips have a two-fold blessing. First, the artists who made the products in the foreign country receive payment for their work and the people in the US purchasing these products become more vividly aware of the other culture. Having items in a home that came from a sister church from around the world can serve to remind brothers and sisters in Christ to actively pray for one another. This is, of course, most effective for long-term trips that plan to live or frequently revisit the mission.
It is important to remember that raising money for any worthy ministry usually takes time. Though God does at times bless missionaries with large financial contributions that come with little fundraising for mission trips effort, He generally allows those seeking funding to experience the honor of exercising faith muscles. Praying through the process of gathering finances together is part of the plan, and when the money does not come easily, it only gives us more opportunity for prayer with our loving Father. There are many more tips and suggestions for raising funds and it may be a good idea to speak with veteran missionaries who have walked the road of experience to get their ideas and expertise.
Fundraisers For Youth GroupsFundraisers for youth groups are the mainstay of many church groups and clubs all over the country, and the varieties of projects described on the Internet make it possible for any group to find a moneymaking project that meets its needs. Once the group has decided on the right fundraising project, the next step is to set a goal and determine exactly what the money is going for. People are more willing to give if the money is going for a mission trip, for instance, than if the purpose is vague. Knowing exactly how much the group is trying to raise gives every member something to reach for, which increases their enthusiasm for the project. Another way to increase the excitement level is to introduce some competition, i.e., divide the group into teams that will compete against one another for a prize.
The list of products available for fundraising for youth groups is quite long. Candies and cookies are long standing favorites, but a lot of other items have been added to the list. Popcorn, nuts, and cheeses are also popular food items. One company even has environmentally friendly pencils available for fundraisers for youth groups that smell like fruits--grapes, strawberries, etc., and the fragrance is guaranteed to last for a year. The usual seasonal greeting cards and gift wrapping sell well to people who would be buying those things anyway, and like the idea of helping young people at the same time. Candles with inviting fragrances are good sellers at this time because they are such a popular decorator item in many homes. A car wash in the church parking lot is a good way for a church youth group to raise funds, and there is no problem with finding a location.
With the help of adults, youth groups can have a turkey or spaghetti dinner (keep it simple) and sell tickets in advance. These are popular as annual events, and once the tradition has been established, it becomes something people look forward to. With products, it's a different story. No one has enjoyed the success of selling the same product every year that the Girl Scouts have. Usually, it's better to have something different every year as fundraising for youth groups, when they are going for product sales. Pink flamingos that "flock" members of the congregation have proved to be a good means of fundraising for church youth groups. The group secretly places a flock of pink flamingos on someone's lawn, and the homeowner has to pay to have them removed. That victim then names the next household to be flocked, and so on. Of course, the congregation or the public knows in advance that this is happening.
A variety of cookie recipes in a jar can be sold in fundraisers for youth groups. People buying the jar just add the liquid ingredients and bake the cookies. There aren't too many folks who don't enjoy home baked cookies. Cards offering "2 for 1" deals at local eateries are very popular now for fundraising for youth groups. Local businesses are usually willing to cooperate for this free advertisement. For a $10.00 fee, twenty meals can be exchanged. Specialized shoelaces, lanyards, or dog tags with the school or church logo on them can be sold to raise group spirit as well as money. While raising money is necessary to the functioning of any group in today's world, it is important for us to remember our most important use of money is for worship. "Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God: let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared." (Psalm 76:11)
There are some common mistakes made by those responsible for fundraisers for youth groups. They are: (1) Lack of planning. Communication with every team member is crucial, and a definitive plan with deadlines that are understood by everyone must be drawn up. Also, it is important to know what's going on in the community so there is no conflict between two like groups. (2) Not enough help. Make sure to recruit enough volunteers to do the job, and estimate the amount of time needed for each to do his job. Avoid burnout by limiting the amount of time each volunteer is expected to devote to the project. (3) Poor quality merchandise. Have the merchandise checked out before ordering to avoid disappointment and low sales. The group's reputation is on the line with this one. (4) Inadequate preparation. Written instructions with stated goals for every team member are necessary for any fundraisers for youth groups. Scripts for young salesmen are a must. (5) Poor support materials. If the company providing the product for sale doesn't provide good flyers and ad blurbs, the group will need to create its own. Colored paper and large print will make eye-catching flyers to distribute to local businesses and other locations that might be appropriate for advertising the fundraiser. In summary, good planning and follow-through can mean the difference between success and failure in fundraising for youth groups.
Youthful energy and a keen desire to do whatever it is the money is being raised for are two important ingredients in fundraising for youth groups, and wise leaders will capture those characteristics quickly. The list of possibilities included here are by no means comprehensive, but they may give someone wanting to help a youth group some ideas. More suggestions can be found on the Internet.