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Group Travel 101

3 Great Ways to Earn Your Ticket

By: Liz Patterson

You never have to look far in the world before you find a destination for a mission trip. There is need all over the world for helping hands, cheerful encouragement, and the hope-inspiring truth of the Gospel. Yet, though it is easy to find work for a trip, it is difficult to find finances to support that work. Especially now as things are hard in our economy, we are all tightening our belts a little. It is often a stretch to come up with that thousand or so dollars that we need for airfare, supplies, and room and board during a missions trip. And though our enthusiasm and desire to help is not lessened, our ability to do so is hindered.

Let’s not give up on mission travel simply because of expenses. Though a huge obstacle, they are a problem that can be dealt with, if you are willing to work and do some planning. There are a host of fun and profitable fundraising ideas available to you and your mission team. So check out some of these three most popular options and do not let the issue of finances discourage you from doing such important work!

Car Wash

First of all, there is the traditional, all-time favorite idea of the carwash. Carwashes are loads of fun and a great way to raise money while having a good time with your team members. Also, the supplies are easy to obtain and the planning is not that difficult for a carwash. All you need is to pick a strategic parking lot and then contact the store or business in that parking lot and ask their permission to have your car wash on a certain day. Invariably, they will be fine with the idea and will wish you good luck. After this preliminary step, you have to contact your team members and ask people to bring soap, buckets, towels, sponges, and make sure to locate a power washer you can use. Next, broadcast the date of the carwash and the cause you are supporting as widely and as far in advance as you can.

As for the profit side of a car wash, it all depends on what you decide to charge. My suggestion is that you have a “free car wash” and then have a box with a sign next to it saying “Donations”. That way, if people only have two dollars, they will still get their car washed. And if someone is generous and has a twenty in their wallet, they will have the satisfaction of donating it to a good cause, instead of just paying for a car wash. Another high-profit idea is to solicit businesses and tell them about your car wash fundraising efforts. Often instead of just donating a sum, they will offer to give you a certain amount of money for each car you wash. This makes them feel as if you are earning the money they invest in your trip.

Concert Dinner

Another fun and productive way to earn your ticket is to host a concert dinner. For this fund raising event, you will require the volunteer work of the mission team members to prepare a dinner. You can use the church or school gymnasium or fellowship room to host a dinner for the society. Friends, family members, and members of society will then purchase tickets to come to this concert dinner.

You can use many different means of communication for getting the word of the event out into the community. Flyers are easy to design on the computer and print up and are a very effective way to inform people of the date, time, and purpose of your concert dinner. You can hand out a certain number of flyers to each mission team member for them to post in churches, schools, and community buildings. Another way to spread the word is to ask that your fundraiser dinner be announced at other churches throughout the area that might be willing to support your mission endeavors in this small way.

Your team can then ask a local band, musician, or speaker to come to the event and entertain the guests. Either you can persuade someone to donate their time and energy or someone on your mission team could stand up. You would be amazed how many people have musical or speaking talent that no one knows about. It is very likely that you will be able to find a person or group willing to provide the concert within your own church or association.

The concert dinner is a popular idea because it involves the community and increases awareness for your mission travel plans, thus encouraging donations. This fund raising idea will end up being a fantastic experience not just for the guests, but for your team that hosts it as well. It is also great preparation for working together as a team when actually on your mission trip.

Both the car wash and the concert dinner are great ways to come up with the money for your ticket and supplies. Mission travel is a costly thing, but the results will be well worth the effort you put into raising funds. Mission travel is an incredible, life-changing experience you should not miss out on just because of finances. So try out one of these classic fundraising ideas and have fun with your team members!

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