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Creative Fundraisers

We hope that this page is a blessing to you as you seek to raise needed funds to participate on an international mission trip with Culture Waves Global. Please understand that every church and every pastor has different views regarding fundraising in the church.  Please sit down and visit with your pastor prior to beginning the process of fundraising for your mission trip.  He can be a tremendous help to you as you pray and plan on going.

The fundraisers listed here are not all original to Culture Waves Global.  They are fundraisers that many of our participants have done over the years.  We hope that they are a blessing to you.

1. Mission Trip Tee-Shirts

If you are going to China on a mission trip, work with a local print shop or an online company like Vista Print to have mission trip themed tee-shirts made.  These can be sold with all of the proceeds going to support your trip.  This also give the contributor something tangible for their support.

2. A Missions Luncheon at Church

This is a terrific way to let many people know of your upcoming trip and raise money.  Spaghetti lunches are cheap and provide maximum return.  Over the years, I have seen people respond very well to this.  One church in which I served had a senior adult man pay $500.00 for a plate of spaghetti!  This is a HUGE blessing for them and you.  This luncheon can be scheduled following the morning worship service when everyone is hungry.

3. Cookies for Missions

This is a terrific idea to get the children of the church (and their parents) involved in missions.  Go to children's Sunday School classes, mission classes, etc. and tell them about the opportunity that you have to go on an international mission trip.  Enlist their help to bring cookies/brownies and sell them in the foyer of the church each Sunday for the month leading up to your trip.  People love cookies and love missions.  It's a win-win for everyone.  You can/should also bring back a small gift for each child who helped.  Foreign currency is a great souvenir for kids.  It's cheap and unique.  They will love it.

Also, make certain to go back to their classrooms upon your return and tell them about what God did during your time in a foreign country.  Thank them for being part of what God did.

4. Dine for a Cause

Many local chain restaurants offer fundraising opportunities for churches.  For example, Fazoli's Italian Restaurant in our area allows non-profits to come in for a specific fundraising emphasis and give the church or non-profit a percentage of the receipts for the night (10% to 20%).  This costs nothing except the legwork to get everyone to show up for dinner.

5. Isaiah 52:7 Fundraising

Use this inspirational verse as your theme for selling gently used shoes, selling decorated discount-store flip flops or giving pedicures in exchange for donations.

6. Silent Auction for Missions

Themed Baskets for Silent Auction - Gather donated items (non-perishable food, art, books, gift cards) and assemble baskets for a silent auction using mission-inspired themes such as traveling, spreading love, going global, feeding the hungry, etc.  Some local businesses like restaurants and movie theaters will donate gift cards for such fundraisers.

7. Tag a Bag

Buy a large suitcase/canvas duffel or backpack to take on your trip, and have sponsors give donations in exchange for a spot on the bag where they can write their name or well-wishes.  This can also be a great conversation starter on the plane, in the hotel, or at the host site.  You can speak of God's love and provision.

8. Movie Night at Church

Ask about using your church gym or a friend's large flat yard to host a fundraiser movie night. Either request a donation as the entrance ticket or collect an offering at the end. Raise extra funds by selling concessions or crafts inspired by your trip.

9. Wall of Giving

Decorate 3x5 cards with numbers from one to a desired amount (maybe 100). Find a wall at church on which to display them and have people commit to donate the amount equal to one of the numbers. Encourage picking a meaningful number such as a birthday, anniversary date or favorite number.  Hint: Just selling numbers 41-50 will net you $455.00 toward your trip!  Leave it up for a month and talk it up as much as possible.  Maybe your pastor will help promote this in the worship folder and from the pulpit?

10. Write Personal Letters to Friends and Family

Receiving snail mail from friends and family in our electronic age is nearly unheard of.  There is a real novelty to receiving personal mail from a family member or friend.  This will by far be your very best avenue to raise funds.  Even lost family members love you and desire to be supportive.  Clearly communicate what God has been doing in your life and what you will do while in a foreign country.  Ask primarily for their daily prayers while you are away, then ask them for contributions to help you go.  Make sure that every person who gives receives a personal card thanking them for their love and support.

Let me just say a word about social media.  Social media has changed the way in which we communicate. We are all accustomed to being bombarded with messages that tell us why we should loath some politician or try a new recipe that a friend discovered.  While social media is a great way to share what God is doing in your life and about the opportunities that you've been given to go on an international mission trip, it is a TERRIBLE way to ask for support.  Just don't do it.  Stop and re-read what I just said.  You will only be discouraged and frustrated with it.  No one believes this, but I have taken hundreds of people on international mission trips and have not had a single person tell me that social media was of any help at all.  Write those letters--NOT emails.  That's a dud also.  Hand written letters are the key.  Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope in order to remove any obstacle for them.  In short, lazy people are never successful at raising needed funds.

If your friends and family would like to give using their debit card, they may do so via our website.  There is a bank fee associated with this option.  For example, if they give $100.00, the donation to you would actually be $97.70.  This fee is from the company that processes the credit/debit cards.  There is an option for the donor to pay this fee so that you receive the entire $100.00 donation.


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Fundraising Sample 2

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