If we are involved in missions, whether that is short-term (your DTS!) or long-term, we need people who support us in what we’re doing. Meeting one-on-one with potential supporters is perfect to share your vision, your mission, and your beliefs. It gives you the opportunity to build relationships, which is especially important for long-term support. It also gives you the opportunity to invite people to do missions with you.
Next to one-on-one coffee dates, there are numerous other things that you could do to raise money, here are some ideas!
1. Customised merchandise
Creating customised merchandise helps you to raise money and promote what you’re doing. At the same time, your supporters get a valuable and memorable item in return, making it a win-win situation.
Bonfire is a website where you can design t-shirts and hoodies and raise money by selling them. There are many more websites where you can customise your own merchandise such as coffee mugs, bracelets, pillow cases, socks, magnets, iphone cases, notebook covers, etc.
If you are a musician, take your guitar, find a busy street, and sing your money in! Make sure you find a busy place, and go on the right day (weekends!) and at the right time when most people are out there. Just make sure you have a busking permit if your city requires you to have one.
3. Garage sale
Find all items that you no longer want and ask your family and friends to donate items too. Set up right outside your home and get selling! A garage sale is a great way to attract people you’re not necessarily close with. Make sure to spread the word through flyers or social media.
As a variation to this, you could organise a used book sale. Ask your family and friends for books and sell them. Make sure you have the right location (your local church?!) and promote your event in advance to create awareness.
4. Coffee night
Organise a coffee night where you invite everybody you know and share your story face-to-face. Provide information on what your mission is, what your goal is financially, what your needs are, and give them different opportunities for donation. This way you can reach a lot of people at the same time and you will be able to share the story behind your mission.
Tip: Ask all your friends that are coming to also bring 10 friends, to increase your network.
5. Sell hand-made products online
There are many websites (such as Etsy.com or Shpock.com) where you can sell hand-made or vintage items, or you could sell your products through social platforms. Look at your talents and create your own hand-made products that you could sell online.
6. Crowdfunding campaign
Crowdfunding is an easy way for people, businesses, and charities to raise money. In return for a reward or a potential profit, individuals or organisations can choose to invest in a project. Because there are so many crowdfunding campaigns out there, it is key to be creative in making sure that yours stands out to others! Make sure that you have an engaging story that convinces people to support you. A popular crowdfunding platform is GoFundMe.com, but there are many other platforms as well.
7. Create your own event
Events are a great way to gather people around a common cause that is fun and engaging! Here are some event ideas:
- Open BBQ
- A concert or an open mic night – ask your musical friends to perform
- Board game night
- A bake-off – participants bake their treats and compete with each other
- A movie night – sell tickets and snacks!
- A bootcamp or a workout
- Seminars on a specific topic
For all your events, you could charge for entry or ask for donations. Make sure to take time during your event to share your story, your vision, and your goals to invite people into your mission.
Ask local businesses to donate something valuable that works as a prize. Then, sell your raffle tickets and pick a date for the draw. You can also do a 50/50 raffle, meaning that the winner gets half of the funds raised. In this case, you provide incentive for supporters to purchase more tickets and encourage their friends and family to do the same as the prize can grow bigger and bigger.
9. Offer a service
Your service could include haircutting, dog walking, car washing (work together with your local car wash!), grocery shopping, lawn mowing, or anything else that you could do in return for a donation.
10. Pledge campaigns
Running a marathon is not feasible for everyone, but this idea of accepting a challenge if people donate enough money works well to raise funds. Find a challenge that is feasible but challenging for you and ask people for donations.
These are just some ideas. There are many other effective fundraisers you could do. If you are thinking of fundraising, I would suggest you to sit down, think about your talents and make a list of events you could organise.
A few extra tips
- Make a plan. Don’t stick with one project, but make a plan consisting of different projects you are going to undertake, which audience you approach (don’t approach the same group of people with all your events!), and what your goals are. Check out the e-book about fundraising that one of our staff members wrote, which will guide you through the process step by step.
- Promote your fundraising campaign through the right channels. For some events, social media is the best way to promote your event, whereas for others distributing flyers and personalised invitations might attract the right people.
- Start early! The earlier you start with your fundraising campaign, the more projects you can undertake, and the more opportunities you have to raise money!
Next to financial support, it is very important to have prayer support as well! As much as we need the money to pay our bills, we cannot do missions without knowing there are people back home praying for us and supporting us in our journey.
Want some more tips? Download our Fundraising for Missions E-book