Written by Michele Wheat
If you ask a group of youth pastors or youth leaders what the hardest organizational task they're required to do is they'll probably all tell you it's figuring out how to raise money for a mission trip. It's a daunting task, to be sure! Taking a group of youths to another country or even to another state costs a lot of money, sometimes more than parents or a church congregation can support on their own. That's why it's important to come up with some effective mission trip fundraising ideas that draw funding from people outside of the church as well. Fortunately, there are many different ways to fundraise for mission trips. If you're struggling with how to raise money for a mission trip, here are just a few ideas.
Sell Wristbands to Support the Cause
Bracelets or wristbands are popular item that can be purchased in support of a mission trip. Fundraising ideas involving wristbands could include offering customized wristbands that have your group's inspirational message printed on them, the location, and the year.
Wristband Resources has a great selection of quality silicone wristbands that would be perfect for this. They also have more than 20 years of experience in providing custom wristbands. Our products are all high-quality and we have trained support staff available to assist you both during the ordering process and after an order has been placed. We also offer live online support. Orders are processed quickly for fast turnaround so you'll have your wristbands in plenty of time for your mission trip fundraiser.
Have a Movie Night
Choose a family-friendly movie that will appeal to a wide audience and sell tickets to a movie night, complete with concessions. If your church is big enough and has the necessary equipment, you can hold the event there. If you don't have the right space for a movie night, you may be able to rent the gym at a local school or another large venue. Or, if the weather is nice, an outdoor movie can be a great way to spend a summer evening.
Your guests can pay for admission at the door or make a reservation in advance. Instead of handing out paper tickets that are easily lost, consider providing your guests with vinyl wristbands that are easy to check as they arrive for the movie. But please be aware that there are some legal issues concerning showing movies due to copyright laws, so be certain to familiarize yourself with any requirements before hosting a movie night.
Hold a Carnival
A community carnival can be a great way for raising money for mission trip expenses. Set up lots of activities, games, and other booths to encourage carnival goers to stay longer and play more games. There are a number of classic carnival games to choose from, like pick a duck, a dunk tank, and darts. You can also have contests like a three-legged race or a tug of war. There are some costs involved in holding a carnival, so it's important that you set a budget and then sell individual tickets or all day admissions wristbands at a price that will ensure you still make a profit.
Having youths provide services is a popular fundraising method. Youth can do things like rake leaves, wash cars, walk dogs, or clean houses. Provide your congregation with a list of things they can hire youths to do and encourage them to let their family and friends know about the fundraiser.
Stage a Talent Show
Invite people from your church and community to be involved in a talent show either as performers or as audience members. Youth from your mission group can participate by showcasing a talent, introducing acts, checking event admission wristbands, and ushering people to their seats. Be sure to take the opportunity to tell the audience about the mission trip and how the funds raised during the show will be used.