Going on a mission trip can be an eye-opening and life-changing experience. Spreading the faith and helping those who need it most is a sacrifice, but also a blessing. It’s why the concept is so popular for anyone from high school children to experienced professionals.
Finding the money to finance the trip, of course, can be challenging. A number of fundraising opportunities do exist, from a church bake sale to working closely with local businesses. But regardless of the exact tactic you choose, you may run into a simple question: how do you get your audience to care?
Naturally, the answer to that question will determine your fundraising success. People give to charity and fundraisers for a variety of reasons, and it’s your goal to help them understand why your cause is so important. The below five messaging tactics can help you organize a successful fundraiser to finance your next mission trip.
1) Talk About Where You’re Going
First things first: talk to your potential donors as much as possible about your destination. An understanding where you are going, and where your work will improve the lives of others, is absolutely crucial to get the financial support you need.
The reason for that is simple: we’re visual thinkers. Images, even when conjured mentally, process faster and evoke more positive emotions than factual information alone. If you can draw that mental picture in your audience’s eyes, they will be more likely to help in your fundraising efforts.
As an added bonus, you might interact with people who have been to or are familiar with the destination of your mission trip. Naturally, because of that personal connection, this audience will be most likely to provide part of your funding.
2) Talk About Why You’re Going
Your destination matters, but the purpose might matter just as much. When people give money to a good cause, they want to make sure that their funding actually works towards something that fits into their worldview and priorities.
As the Guardian points out, when it comes to fundraising, we’re ruled by our hearts rather than our heads. A cause that makes sense to us, and perhaps even touches us personally, will be much more likely to garner support than one that we know to be beneficial in the abstract.
The more personal you get, the better. Who are you helping, and why have you chosen this specific trip to be your mission? Does it connect to a deeper personal desire, or is it an especially current situation that needs immediate attention? If you can answer these questions, you will increase support from your audience.
3) Talk About Who Else is Helping
When it comes to charitable giving, we tend to be influenced by others who take similar actions. In other words, if some people have already contributed financially to your mission trip, it makes sense to let others know that fact. In fact, it makes them more likely to become contributors on their own.
You can approach this type of message in a variety of ways. For instance, consider outlining the number of exactly how many people have already provided funding for your mission trip. It also makes sense to enroll existing donors, particularly those who you know personally, to help you in your efforts.
Finally, consider talking about the amount of money you need in deadline-driven terms. Mention how much money you still need, not how much you’ve already raised. Establish a set time at which you need to reach your goal to go on the mission trip. The more specific, the better.
4) Talk About the Connection to Home
What does your mission trip actually mean for your audience? That’s an important question you have to answer. These benefits may be theoretical; spreading the Gospel in East Asia, for instance, likely has a negligible effect on your home community’s day-to-day life. At the same time, the impact may go beyond day-to-day for your audience.
Do you happen to go to a place that is connected to your home community? Are you teaching skills and providing aid in a way that your audience can relate to? The more you can make that direct connection, the better.
5) Talk About the Lasting Impact
Finally, it makes sense to talk about the goals of your trip beyond its duration. In other words, after your mission trip is complete, what difference will you have made in the local community?
Think of it as akin to the Parable of the Mustard Seed. In isolation, an individual donation probably doesn’t make a big difference. But if you can convey to your audience what lasting impact that donation to your mission trip can make, they’ll be much more likely to give.
We love feeling like we are a part of something bigger. In fact, that may be the exact reason you’re planning your mission trip, to begin with. Talking about the lasting impact of your journey and effort helps your audience join in that feeling, contributing to the greater good as a result.
Fundraising for Your Mission Trip, the Right Way
For you, the fundraiser for your mission trip is an important part of being able to go in the first place. Many who go feel an internal drive to help others, but that drive may not radiate to the people you rely on to help you finance the trip.
That’s what makes the above tips so vital. The more clearly you can communicate your purpose, the more relatable your mission will sound – and the more people will give. Whether you sell lottery tickets or organize a yard sale, getting your message right could be the key to finding the money you need to help others around the world.