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We know fundraising doesn’t come easy. We know most of you might feel alone and intimidated by the total cost of your trip. You’re not alone. The entire Restoring Hope Ministries community stands ready to help. Below, we have highlighted a few key ideas to help you develop a plan. You will find more information and resources online. Be sure to check in often to ensure you have the tools you need to be successful.

Fundraising Principles

Think & Pray | Begin by focusing on the inspiration behind your commitment to conquer this challenge. What motivated your willingness to engage? Why did you decide to get involved? Participants often point to their personal testimonies as the most effective source of fundraising material. Sharing your heart and passion with family and friends often leads to the largest gifts.

Keep the Cause at the Forefront | You are venturing for a purpose that is larger than yourself. Educate yourself about Restoring Hope Ministries, as it is the ministry you are benefiting. Commit key facts to memory. Familiarize yourself with the needs of people RHM is serving. Your knowledge will make it easier to answer questions when asking for financial support.

Be Prepared | Carry fliers and information about the cause you have adopted. Be prepared to have lots of conversations about your trip. Use your friends’ curiosity as a guide to share excitement about your adventure. You never know when the next donation might arrive. Often it comes from unusual sources when you least expect.

Share, Share, Share | Advocate by telling everyone you know (and everyone you don’t know) that you are raising money. Be courteous. Say please when asking for donations, and never forget to thank your sponsors. Send a note or a photo of you. Direct them to the RHM website to learn more. Make your donors a big part of your experience – because they are.

Maximize Your Efforts | Spend your time wisely. You could spend a whole day doing something that will make $25, when you could enlist in a temp agency and earn anywhere from $50-$200 in one day.

Fundraising Ideas & Practices

Make A Plan | Take time to organize a plan for reaching your fundraising goal. Be honest and realistic about the cost of your trip. Start by breaking your total trip cost down into smaller goals and create a weekly/monthly plan to reach your goals.

Online | The internet and email have significantly affected the fundraising world. Use them to your advantage. Through email, let people know that they can make donations on your behalf by going to RestoringHopeMinistries.org and clicking on the donate button. Make sure to ask them to select your name in the drop down menu.

  • Use your Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites to post information.

  • Auction old items of significance (i.e. old cell phones, electronics, and sporting equipment) on eBay or sell them on Craigslist and donate the profits.

Write About It | A personal letter usually works the best. Tell your friends and family about your trip and why you are participating. Explain that you are physically sacrificing to inspire others to sacrifice financially. Include some facts about Restoring Hope Ministries and the people they serve. Send your letter to everyone you know. In the envelope include a flier, information on how to give, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Get The Word Out Locally | Every day you visit many local businesses: the coffee shop, the gym, the car wash, the supermarket, the dry cleaner, the doctor’s office, the deli, the bike shop, or the pizza place. These are great places to promote what you are doing. How?

  • Just ask for money (sponsorship) – businesses, too, can be donors (it’s tax-deductible).

  • Put a poster in the window, explaining what you’re doing and how to help.

  • Display a donation box and/or letters & donation forms on the counter.

  • Ask the business to donate a portion of their proceeds on a given day toward your tour/cause.

Community Fundraising | Interacting with as many people as possible will be key to your fundraising. Plan some social events to bring friends & family together for a cause.

  • Throw a party or informational dialogue about your tour’s cause. Ask everyone who attends for a minimum donation at the door. Have friends donate food & beverages.

  • Plan a dinner; set a price, proceeds will benefit your tour/cause.

  • Theme Party: hold a theme party for 10 (or more) of your friends. Donation: $50 per person. Spend no more than $20 per person on the food and you’ll have $300 (or more) in donations by the end of the night.

StudentsConnect Your School | Get your school connected with your cause.

  • Ask professors, alumni, clubs, or friends to sponsor you.

  • Create a school-wide event like an Injustice Day or a Bake Sale and invite everyone on campus.

  • Host a night on campus where you highlight your cause and talk about oppression and injustice.

  • Make sure that everyone at your school knows what you’re doing this summer and keep them updated on your progress.

EmployeesConnect at the Office | Your place of employment is a great place to get the word out. Your company might be happy to donate to your fundraising goal – perhaps a “matching” program.

Send an email to coworkers with donation information attached.

  • Ask permission to set up a small display and/or hang a poster in a prominent place.

  • Approach clients, vendors, or anyone else your company does business with (make sure it’s okay with the boss).

  • Host a lunchtime meeting and do a presentation about your tour/cause.

Use Your Creativity and Strengths | Everyone has the ability to do something well. Sell your product or skill to benefit your fundraising campaign. A few ideas: cookies, lapel pins, knit caps, poems, chili, short stories, tax preparation abilities, photographs, babysitting, car washing, drawings, language tutoring, personal training, t-shirts, designated driving, dog-walking, errand-running, or gardening.

More Ideas | Garage Sale, Bake Sale, “Change In My Pocket” Box, Office Fundraising Challenge, Answering Machine Message, Have Friends Collect Pledges, Call Local Radio Stations, Mow-a-thon, Talk with the Press, House-Sit, Neighborhood Chores, Karaoke Night, Television Show Finale Party, Game Night, Bowling Nights, Used Book Sale, Church Bulletin Announcement, Children’s Party, etc.

Sample Support Letter

(Content from American Bible Society. Used with permission.)