Going on a mission trip can be one of the most challenging and rewarding things you’ll ever do. Applying for a passport, getting necessary shots and prescriptions, and brushing up on a few Spanish phrases are all parts of your trip preparation. For many volunteers, financing a mission trip is another daunting aspect of the process.
Fortunately, there are ways to offset the cost of your team’s mission trip! To find tried-and-true fundraising ideas for groups, we asked our friends on Facebook and Twitter for their best recommendations. Here’s what they shared:
1. Flamingo flocking. This idea is both creative and can serve to involve the entire church in mission trip preparation. Several years ago, Duluth First United Methodist Church had a flock of plastic flamingos that traveled around town. The flamingos “landed” on church members’ front lawns overnight with a note that they could be removed for $25. The best part, according to recipients, was the ability to choose where the flamingos would land next (included in the “removal fee”). When the team reached 45 members, two flocks could be seen “flying” around town.
2. Organize a yard sale. Last year the Honduras mission team from First United Methodist Church of Lutz asked the congregation to donate used books, and the team earned over $800 to help pay their travel expenses. Of course, many people have more than just used books lying around. If your church doesn’t already have a yard sale, have your team organize one! Trinity United Methodist Church’s Honduras mission team raised $3,900 through their yard sale, cutting their team costs significantly.
3. Serve coffee and donuts at church. In addition to the yard sale, the Trinity team serves coffee, donuts and muffins on Sunday mornings for donations. “Coffee for Cocalito” (named for the village the team visits and serves with in Honduras) has raised over $1,000.
4. Host a fiesta. Beyond raising money for your team’s travel expenses, themed festivals and parties can help your local church understand more about other cultures, including the one you’ll visit during your mission trip. Grace Presbyterian’s Honduras Fiesta includes traditional Honduran cuisine as well as a silent auction. St. Andrews Presbyterian hosts a Cinco de Mayo festival, raising $2,200 through proceeds from a car wash, auction, and games.
5. Put on a play. While this option requires an investment of time and money to pull off, the rewards can be great. Decatur First United Methodist Church organizes an annual play or musical open to the community, and the four-night run raises between $3,000 and $4,000 each year.
What other activities has your group done to fundraise for Honduras mission trips? Share them in the comments below!