1. Work. Most of us have the ability to earn money by getting a job! This is a great way to save up the funds needed for your DTS, and an opportunity to take ownership by investing in your own future and what you believe God is calling you to do.
2. Believe that what you are doing is worth an investment. You are walking into a season of intense growth in your relationship with God, setting aside everything to learn about the purpose He has for you, the gifts and passions He’s planted inside of you, in order to become a person who is equipped to share the love of God in different cultures and contexts. It’s truly worth the investment, and you have to believe that before you can invite others to be part of it.
3. Put yourself out there. Share with your friends, family, co-workers, and church community about the exciting journey you are stepping into. Share your heart behind why you believe this is a key part of your life. Talk to the pastor and/or youth pastor at your church about sharing with the congregation. Make postcards or bookmarks that you can hand out with a little bit of information about what you are doing and how people can get behind you with their prayers and financial contributions.
4. Make it easy for donors to give. A lot of people don’t give to missions because they forget if there isn’t an easy way for them to do it immediately. If you talk to someone or speak at a church and people are interested in giving, you must have a simple, quick, and immediate way for them to give. Apps/websites like Paypal, Venmo, and Squarecash are fast and easy ways to give. Make sure to get something like this set up before you talk to any potential donors.
5. Be intentional about face-to-face conversations. The best possible situation for people to respond with a desire to give towards your mission is face-to-face conversation. This is a time where you can really share your heart and people can ask questions. The majority of raised funds comes not from newsletters or group sharing times, but from one-on-one realtime conversations. Make the effort and take the time to share with the people who want to be a part of what you are doing.
6. Take your passion and put it to action. Do you love photography? Cooking? Creating jewelry or other items? Take whatever you are passionate about and use it to raise funds! Something I did for a long time was make hairwraps and bracelets to raise funds. It’s a fun way to connect with people, give them something tangible to remember your mission, and a way to raise money. Some of my missionary friends host dinners that they’ve cooked, have bake sales, or even make journals to sell as a fundraiser.
7. Steward your resources well. Be wise with what you have. You can save a lot of money just by giving up your daily coffee or weekly meal at your favorite restaurant. What are some ways that you can cut your costs to put that money towards your DTS? The sacrifice you make now will be more than worth it in the future.
8. Communicate! Make sure to follow up with the people who have expressed interest or committed to partnering with you – whether through prayer or finances. Keep an organized list of those who have made contributions and those who have asked for updates during your DTS. They are just as much a part of this journey as you are and without them, what you’re doing wouldn’t be possible. So take the time to let them know how grateful you are for them, and celebrate your successes with them! Write blogs and letters, send thank you cards, and maybe even take them a gift when you return home.
9. Share your vision, rather than your need. There are so many needs in the world, and it’s easy for us to nothing about them when they aren’t personal. One of the keys of fundraising is sharing your vision with people so that they have an opportunity to personally connect with you and what you are doing. People want to connect with something that is meaningful to them – not just write a check to lower a number. Make sure you take the time to connect with people and really share the heart of what you are doing. You will see how encouraging it is to meet so many people with the same passion and heart as you do, who can’t necessarily go, but have a desire to be part of the mission by giving!
10. Understand Biblical finances. Jesus talks about money more than almost anything else in Scripture! Go to the Word and study what it looks like to live out the Kingdom with your finances. Look at the example of Paul, how he was supported by churches for his missionary journeys, and the way Jesus called His disciples to give up everything to follow Him. As you pursue this journey, whether your plan is to do missions short or long-term, make sure your understanding of finances is Biblical! This will make all the difference in the world as you do your part to fundraise, and you trust God to do what you can’t.
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