While some people have sufficient money in hand to pay their way to camp, for others the most difficult issue about going to a camp is having the finances to do so. If you’re making your plans early and camp is still several months away, you have time to begin earning and saving funds-a little each month. If you’ve waited to the last minute to come up with the funds, you better get busy! Here are some fund-raising ideas; you can probably think of others:
Take on a part-time job for a few weeks or months.
Hire yourself out to neighbors and friends to do work, such as mowing their lawn, raking leaves, shoveling snow, washing their house windows, helping paint their house, babysitting, washing their cars on a regular basis, or other jobs. (But don’t neglect your regular duties to your own family).
Auction yourself off to people in your church congregation. Let them come up with jobs they need done around their house, you pick dates you’re available to do the work, and then have an auction after church and let the people bid to get your labor.
Give a talk at your church about why you want to go to the mission camp, and ask the members to sponsor you to some degree. You can place a “mission camp box” on the Info Table at your church (maybe with your picture and the dates of the camp on it) and let people put donations in there for several weeks or months. Even if people drop in only their loose change each week, it will add up over time.
Ask your friends and relatives to help sponsor you. Tell them why you want to go to camp and ask them to donate to your camp tuition. Even if they don’t have much money, maybe they could pledge to donate a little bit each week, it all adds up. (see “Sponsorship Form” below, to help you collect donations).
Make cookies, cakes, candy, bread or some other food item and sell it to your friends, neighbors and at church. Or make homemade greeting cards or other craft items to sell.
Ask your pastor to host a breakfast or dinner at church as a fundraiser for your mission trip (and maybe other missionaries as well). Charge a fee for the meal (to cover the food costs and to make some profit). You work hard to help plan, cook and serve the meal.
Do you have a talent you could teach to others? Maybe you could charge to provide lessons in music, art, sports, etc. Younger children would be a good target audience.
Have people (friends, neighbors, church members) donate items for an auction or a sale (garage sale, yard sale). The people could donate good used items they no longer need, or they could donate items they make (such as crafts or food). You help organize and run the sale or auction, and the proceeds can be used for mission work.
If you do a fundraiser involving a group (such as your church), consider sharing the proceeds. In other words, maybe designate the proceeds as being for “mission work”. Have part of the money help sponsor you to go to camp, and have the rest of the funds go to help other mission work.
Write a “request for sponsorship” letter and mail (or e-mail) it to family members and other friends. If people who know you are aware you have a passion to go to a mission camp, some of them will want to help sponsor your trip-even if they are not Christians themselves. Below is a sample letter; rewrite it in your own words.