Signing up for a mission trip is a wonderful way to share your faith and give back to those who are less fortunate.
Unfortunately, as you start to consider the costs of a plane ticket abroad, passport/visa fees, and living expenses, you may find that the costs are rather expensive.
Here are a few ways you can use to help pay for your mission trip…
1. Fund-raise from local businesses
Try sending out letters from your parish to local businesses asking them to donate to your church’s mission. Remind the business owner that the donation is tax deductible – something that might be most appealing at the end of the year when businesses begin to think about their upcoming tax liability.
It can also be good idea to put together a small portfolio of what you hope to accomplish on your trip. Will you be building infrastructure? Will you be teaching school children? Have you been on a trip like this before? How did it go? Businesses are a lot more likely to donate to efforts when they can visualize the impact they’ll be having.
If a business is not able to donate cash to your trip, see if they can donate supplies. Or, see if they will let you put a change bucket by the cash register so that customers may donate to your efforts.
2. Ask your pastor about a mission fund
A lot of churches have a mission fund that is used to finance trips abroad. In some churches the fund can be used to pay for your entire trip, while others require that you donate a certain amount to the fund every month for a year and then they church will pay for the rest of your trip.
If you are using your church’s mission fund, please be aware that that fund is financed by fellow churchgoers. They’re obviously supportive of your efforts, but be sure to share the results of your mission upon your return. Bringing pictures, letters, and personal updates will make them more likely to support the fund in the future.
3. Save up
It’s likely that you’ll have to contribute some of the funds to finance your trip. Remember that your service is not only about helping others, it’s about self-sacrifice. Try giving up cable television for the year and adding the savings to your mission fund. You might be able to save up to $1200 over the course of a year.
Another idea is to try packing your lunch two or three days a week instead of buying lunch at work. You could easily save $15-$20 a week which adds up to more than a $1,000 over the course of a year!
4. Take out a loan
It might be the least desirable scenario out of the four, but in some situations in might be necessary to take out a loan. They are several banks that offer financing for trips like this although they may be packaged under the label “vacation loans” or “personal loans.”
Many banks will require that you have collateral or high credit rating in order to take out a personal loan, however check with your local bank to see if they offer loans with no credit. If you already a loyal account holder and you mention that the funds are being used for a mission, they might be able to make an exception.
*Photo by KidMoxie*