It is important to ask people to join you as you go and serve the Lord on your trip. There are two primary ways that people can help you as you take your trip. They can join your prayer team, and they can join your support team. Hopefully, they will both pray and support. It can seem daunting, and even terrifying, to think of coming up with so much support, but watching God provide financially is one of the most important parts of this process! Below are some basic principles and suggestions from experienced staff and volunteers who have been successful in raising money for mission trips.
Understand why we are asking family, friends and neighbors to give money. God has called everyone (through the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20) to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. God calls some people to go, some people to give and some people to pray. Every one of us fits into all of those categories. In asking family, friends and neighbors to partner with you financially and in prayer, you are giving them the opportunity to be involved in global missions. It is an opportunity, and potential blessing, for them to help you do God’s work. Don’t feel embarrassed or awkward. Ask and watch God work! Remember, asking for support is ministry in itself.
Tell your story and cast a vision. People will support your ministry either because of a relationship with you or because they share your vision.
You are not obligated to raise financial support. You can personally bear the expense of the entire trip if you so choose. However, if you do this, you are preventing other people from being a part of God’s work by supporting. Many people can’t go but they can give. And there are many people who love supporting others. They feel that is their unique role in missions.
Effective and lasting relationships require a commitment to communication. Throughout your preparation, duration, and re-entry, it is essential to share needs, updates, praise reports, and concerns. Your support team wants to journey with you.
If you have not started to pray on a regular basis for the Lord to provide the funds, start today. It is such a blessing to see the Lord provide, and we are missing out if we do not seek Him in prayer. Find 3 or 4 people to be your prayer partners through the fundraising process.
Sit down and make a list of potential financial partners for your trip.
CLICK HERE for detailed information regarding the Biblical basis of raising financial support for missions as well as a "name-storming" list of potential partners.
Draft a letter to send to these potential partners.
- Make it short – no more than one page. Make it clear and to the point.
- Share the vision. As a result of your trip, what will be the impact? How will lives be transformed?
- Present the opportunity you have and why you feel the Lord has led you to pursue the opportunity. Then, ask them to prayerfully consider investing in you, this trip, and, most importantly, God’s kingdom.
- Make it personal. If possible, hand write your letters. If you have to type them, make sure you address the letter to an actual person, not “Dear partner or teammate”.
- Make a follow-up phone call to your potential partners. People suffer from “information overload.” Consequently mail is easy to ignore or forget. A call from you will help you get decisions as quickly as possible. A follow-up phone call provides an opportunity for the potential partner to ask questions and learn more specifics.
Send a thank-you note to your partners. Keep an accurate record of funds received and thank-you notes sent. The thank-you note is an important part of maintaining a relationship with your supporter.
As you ask others to give, you also need to consider how God might want you to contribute. We believe that all people going on an FCA trip should give something – even if it is a few dollars. Consider the widow’s offering in Mark 12:41. There were all these rich people giving a ton of money and then the widow came and dropped in two coins. Jesus honored her contribution even though it was small compared to the other contributions. Could you eat out less often? Give up going to the movies or Netflix this semester? Taking ownership in this way adds to the ministry!
We encourage you to make an appointment with your church leadership and/or missions committee to seek their counsel and request their prayer and financial support for your upcoming trip. This ensures their commitment to you and their involvement in your ministry. They will then be able to share in the joy of what God does in and through you on your trip.
Not only is it important to write a thank you note to those who partner with you financially and in prayer, upon returning from your trip it is important to communicate what God did and what you learned through the experience. Share 1-2 pictures of ministry in action and be prepared to share one highlight from your trip.