When preparing for a summer mission trip, fundraising is an essential part of team preparation. What makes the unusual, often frightening, and seemingly uncomfortable activity of fundraising such a key element in what might already be a trip that is pushing people outside their comfort zone? Most of us probably can’t think of too many times we’d say no to a significant investment in ministry and or missions. But it’s an important question to consider as we look at how to best make the ask for others to participate.
First, and most importantly, according to Making the Ask: Raising Money for Summer Missions Trips, fundraising allows mission team members to involve others in the mission of God and the mission strategy of their church. Before making the ask and helping to ease (if not put to rest!) the awkward feelings in doing so, get your entire team and church on the same page by answering the following:
Do you have a firm focus on your mission and vision?
There are concrete reasons your members call your church home. If you haven’t gone through a recent process of honing this particular mission or vision statement, commit to doing that as part of your fundraising plan. Church members who have a clear concept of the church’s goals for the mission trip are excited to support it and to tell others about it. This affirmation of purpose fuels donor passion and gives donors confidence that their investment is well stewarded.
Where can the mission connect to the interests and passions of the donor?
Each mission team member has a unique niche and specific role in advancing God’s kingdom, and so does each donor. The engagement of members around a shared mission and vision is especially important. Connect with those in the congregation who have given to summer missions programs before. And with those who have shown interest in the work at hand. As your congregation grows, so will these groups of people. It aligns everybody, every function, to the priority of establishing and maintaining authentic relationships with donors. Those who have supported orphanage facility rebuilding in the past may now be interested in funding a small church facility. Or digging wells for freshwater as their passion has been identified in creating healthy and safe environments to further the Gospel.
And, in case you’re feeling like fundraising is pushing boundaries or asking too much of people, take a look at the example of these biblical leaders through the ages. Imagine if they had succumbed to feeling awkward and not allowing others to participate in Kingdom work:
- Moses asked the people to fund the building of the Tabernacle. Exodus 25, 35, 36
- David asked the leaders and the people to fund the building of the Temple. 1 Chronicles 29
- Hezekiah asked the people to fund the priests’ work in the Temple. 2 Chronicles 31
- Nehemiah asked government officials to fund the rebuilding of the Wall. Nehemiah 1, 2
- Paul asked the Corinthian and Philippian churches to fund his work and instructed Timothy on how to raise funds. 1 Corinthians 16; 2 Corinthians 8, 9; Philippians 4; 1 Timothy 6
It takes the entire Body of Christ to participate in the expansion of God’s Kingdom at home and around the world. The Holy Spirit has gifted us all differently. Some have been gifted to GO and be teachers, to GO and encourage, to GO and be pastors. Others, however, have been gifted to STAY HOME and give. These people have often been given the material resources by God so they can intentionally and generously bless others for the sake of furthering God’s Kingdom and glorifying Jesus. Don’t be shy about presenting them with an opportunity to be able to exercise their spiritual gifts for your summer mission.
With preparation and prayer, the ask simply needs to be done. The support of others through funding and prayers is most welcome!
Fundraising might seem like a frightening thing for most people. However, in the end, it can be rewarding. A huge blessing. And an important ministry to Summer Missions Trip Team Members, as well as the financial partners who get involved. Making the Ask: Raising Money for Summer Missions Trips outlines how it is thrilling to see what God can do when Team Members step out in faith. And let Him work through them. Make the ask. Certainly, it will be good. And, to make it even easier so, you don’t miss any of our Church Growth Resources. You can also receive our ministry blog posts straight to your inbox!
Most of us don’t like to ask people for money.
To help you with this very important yet stressful work, we’ve developed a free digital guide to raising funds for mission trips. Based on years of experience mobilizing financial partners for mission trips, we’ve developed helpful strategies for you to use!
Asking for funds doesn’t have to be a drag. It’s a great opportunity to help others get more involved in God’s work in your community and worldwide.
Leigh Ann Shelley joined the ACST team in 2019 as a Product Marketing Manager, overseeing the launch and overall communication of key solutions to support the church’s needs. Prior to joining ACST, she spent several years in communications and graphic design roles, most notably as a Communications Director for a large church in Florence, SC, where she leveraged Realm to help solve key ministry challenges.