If you are at the point where you are reading blogs about how to fundraise for your mission trip overseas, then I probably don’t need to convince you of the call you have from God. Likely, you have heard the command of God to make disciples of every nation, tribe, people, and language. You may have already applied and even been accepted to go.
And then the thought of raising $3500 comes. It’s a large number and it does take a lot of work to get there. I would be lying if I said this hasn’t almost scared me away a few times. However, God called you, he is sovereign, and he will provide.
But that doesn’t mean to sit back and wait for someone to write you a check. You GET to fundraise. Fundraising is a wonderful opportunity to share with everyone you know how God is moving in your life. As you raise funds for your trip, you get to share about your passion for God’s name to be made famous among all peoples. Henri Nouwen says in his book The Spirituality of Fundraising, “Fundraising is proclaiming what we believe in such a way that we offer other people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision and mission.” It’s more than just asking for money. It’s allowing people to participate with you in the mission of God.
“I knew all the money in the world belonged to God. I knew He called me to go. I also knew He could provide all the funds. But, it wasn’t until he completed the fundraising experience that I saw how those three things can come together seamlessly in his power and timing. I am convinced lack of money doesn’t prevent someone from going, but a lack of faithful obedience does.” – Jason Richards, Youth Pastor
The following are steps you can take in fundraising that will help you share what God is doing in the world, in your life, and will help raise the necessary funds for your trip.
1. YOU NEED TO BE SENT BY YOUR CHURCH
If you do not remember anything else about fundraising, remember that you need your church to send you. Not because we say so, but because it is biblical. The church is God’s chosen instrument to complete His mission. (Check out our post on the Hope of the World.) You are a part of a church. Ask your church to come alongside you, pray for you, and to send you out.
2. Personal Sacrifices
Before asking others for support, take a look at what you can do personally to save money. This may mean no more shopping trips, asking for funds for Christmas/birthday rather than gifts, ordering water instead of soda, giving up prom and saving that money for your trip, and many more. Take a look at where you spend money and what you can give up for a few months. Personal sacrifices can be difficult to make, but knowing that this will enable you to share Jesus with people who may have never heard his name, the sacrifices become well worth it.
3. Classic Fundraisers
There are SO many fundraisers you can plan that can help you raise money as well as getting others on board with sending you. A simple google search will bring up hundreds of ideas. Check out our post on popular fundraisers for more ideas!
Remember that fundraising is such a good opportunity for you. It should not be awkward or discouraging if you truly believe in God’s sovereignty in placing you on this trip. Pray for the people that you talk with about supporting you that God would move their hearts to give and pray for you and the ones you will meet overseas.
Your supporters are investing in you – let them know that you are grateful for their gift, whether it’s prayer or a financial gift, by writing a personal thank you note or sending an update with stories and pictures from your trip. Let your supporters know how their gift was used. Henri Nouwen says
“From beginning to end, fundraising as ministry is grounded in prayer and undertaken in gratitude.”
Don’t miss Support Raising Tips Part 2. We’ve included lots of great ideas!