By Lauren Hollon
Spring break and summer mission trips are coming up, and you might be wondering where the money will come from. Let our 10 fundraising suggestions get your creative juices flowing.
1. Sell seasonal blooms. Work with a local nursery to get spring flowers such as tulips, daffodils and lilies at wholesale prices. Have customers pre-order their flowers and designate a pickup day and time. Your group can offer gardening services as an add-on for customers who don’t have the time or energy to dig in.
2. Hold a funny photo art show. Take submissions of people’s funniest photos (decide in advance if Photoshop is allowed!), mat them and include a brief biography of the “artist.” Display them with a jar or box nearby where patrons can vote for their favorites with coins or bills. One dime is one vote, and the artist with the most votes wins a prize.
3. Organize a sports tournament. Choose indoor sports, like basketball or racquetball during the winter. Flag football, ultimate Frisbee and soccer are fun when the sun comes out. Choose a date, reserve the courts or fields and locate volunteers to officiate. Give out medals to the top teams, or ask local businesses to donate prizes.
4. Drum for dollars or pipe for pennies. If you’re musically gifted, arrange to play an instrument in a restaurant or mall. Set up a display with an explanation of your trip and your goals and request donations from listeners.
5. Auction off surprise suppers. This one takes ‘mystery meat’ to a new level. Tell participants in advance that they will need to bring one plate of food – it can be anything, from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to a sirloin steak. Cover each plate and keep them warm while people arrive and get seated. When guests are ready, bring out the first covered dish and start the bidding.
6. Host a yard sale. Ask members of your church to get a start on their spring cleaning and donate items they don’t want or need. Set up a $1 temporary tattoo or face painting booth to entertain shoppers’ children while they wait. List leftover items on eBay or donate them to charity.
7. Give the dishwasher a break. Talk with local restaurants about your fundraising goals and ask them to donate a dinner for two. Collect enough dinner donations for seven nights, and sell raffle tickets to win a “Dirty Dish-free Week.”
8. Hold a cardboard regatta. Each team gets a pile of cardboard, several rolls of packing or duct tape, a knife and a paddle and must build a sea-worthy vessel within the time limit. Teams race their crafts on a calm body of water and compete to win in several categories, such as fastest time, longest time afloat and most creative design. Charge an entry fee, sell concessions, have a rescue boat standing by and make sure all passengers wear life vests.
9. Whip up an all-you-can-eat potato bar. Make baked potatoes or mashed potatoes and let guests choose their own toppings. Go traditional with butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, chives and bacon, or mix it up with vegetables, meat and a variety of cheeses. Sell tickets in advance or ask for donations at the door.
10. Get into the Lenten spirit. Give up something you regularly spend money on – gourmet coffee, eating out, weekends at the movie theater or your mani-pedi. Put the money you’ve saved during your fast into your trip fund.
When you sign up for a mission trip with Buckner, you will receive a link to your personalized donation form where people can make a gift toward your trip online. To view this year’s trips, go to http://donate.bucknerfoundation.org/Page.aspx?pid=205. Call our staff at 1-877-7ORPHAN to get started planning your church’s trip today.
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