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Fundraising ideas for mission trips

Mission trips offer the unique chance to experience new cultures while doing meaningful work and serving others. To make these life-changing trips possible, we know that raising money—especially for travel—is an essential part of the process. Our free crowdfunding platform offers the chance to fundraise for the trip and invite family and friends to support your cause. Use these fundraising ideas for mission trips to start your humanitarian journey.

Start a mission trip fundraiser

young woman with boy playing piggyback

The joys of paying it forward

Some mission trips are focused on spreading faith through a church group; others are geared toward serving the needs of communities by helping build schools or helping people recover from disaster. Whatever the nature of the mission, we hope the following fundraising ideas inspire a desire to grow through the experience. Mission trips have the power to:  

  • Broaden one’s perspective of the world and provide a greater understanding of different cultures.
  • Help put life in perspective and indirectly inspire a more worldly and mature outlook.
  • Deepen one’s gratitude for the material security that isn’t available to so many around the world.

Six ideas to fund your mission to give back

woman with clothing donations

1. Host a garage sale

Ask members of your community, friends, and neighbors to donate unwanted items to sell at a garage sale. You can build awareness around the garage sale and set it up for success by:

  • Placing posters around your community and posting updates on social media spotlighting your cause in ads and announcements to entice buyers and create buzz.
  • At the sale, organize items into relevant categories to make browsing easier.
  • Take your garage sale online so people who can’t physically make it can participate.
community recycling

2. Go green for cash

Collect used and unwanted electronics—such as cell phones and tablets—from people in your community. Then, send them to a program like SmartphoneRecycling.com that pays cash for recycled electronics. This is a relatively hassle-free way to supplement your fundraising campaign—and one that’s good for the environment. If you host a garage sale first, you can go green for extra cash with any remaining electronics that don’t sell.

children in conference room

3. Host a community trivia night

There’s nothing like a little healthy competition to rally people together. Here’s how to host a trivia night:

  • Brainstorm unique facts about your community and craft them into trivia questions.
  • Select a venue (such as a community center, restaurant, or coffee shop).
  • Sell tables for teams or individual entry tickets in exchange for donations to your fundraiser.
  • As the facilitator, ask the questions and allot time for each team to come up with a response. Pay attention to which group raises their hands first.
  • Tally up the points and award the prizes.
painting party

4. Organize a tea and painting party

Unleash your community’s artistic side with a tea party accompanied by a step-by-step painting lesson. Teach the class yourself, or ask a local artist to help. Participants get to socialize with friends and leave with a masterpiece. To cover the cost of materials and raise donations for your cause, charge a flat rate to join the party. Be sure to advertise the event both locally and online. Highlight the cause it benefits—people are often inclined to donate more knowing you’ll be helping others in turn.

cook book

5. Publish a regional cuisine recipe book

Give your community a taste of your travels—literally. Do some research on the country you’ll be traveling to, and create a book of recipes from that region. This is a great way for you to get more familiar with the culture you’ll be working in while creating something salable. Here’s how:

  • Gather recipes, then design the cookbooks in a page-layout program.
  • Print them through Office Depot, FedEx, or another local or online print-on-demand provider.
  • Ask friends, family, and community members to purchase your cookbook with a donation to your cause.

6. Create a custom t-shirt shop

Rally support for your cause by selling t-shirts or other apparel with a fun design that reflects your cause.

  • Create a design on your own, or enlist a friend with design experience to help.
  • Purchase apparel in bulk and find a local screen printing studio—making the shirts yourself allows you to raise far more money per shirt than if you used a print-on-demand service.
  • Ask people to donate to your fundraiser in exchange for a shirt.

Easily raise the funds you need

Fundraising for mission trips is an ideal way to reach people looking to support a worthy cause like yours. Supplementing your campaign with events like those described above can raise both awareness and money. At GoFundMe, our free online fundraising platform makes it easy to raise money for your mission trip. Look to our website for more tips and ideas. Most of all, have fun. You’re about to take the journey of a lifetime, and we’re here to help! If you haven’t already, launch your mission trip fundraiser.

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