Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fundraising Ideas

I am so proud of you all!  From the list of accounts on Managed Missions I can see that as a team we have truly positioned ourselves to have our cups filled to overflowing by the Lord.  Many of you are fully funded, or extremely close.   Most of these have been funded by small individual donations by many friends, family members and churches supporting you.  Praise the Lord.  We also know many of you are beginning to hold garage sales and are selling products you've made and are increasing your accounts one blessing at a time.  Amazing.

For those of us (our family included) still gathering up God's blessings for this trip, here are some ideas to stir your Spirit and begin to discern the areas where God is gifting you and equipping you to gather from His harvest.

1.  If you own a home based business, set aside a certain amount of time that you are going to donate 100% of your profits to your VO account.  Pray for it, believe for it, and then watch as the Lord pours out His blessing on that time period and you see greater traffic and profit than you typically expect.

2.  If you have a friend who has a home based business, ask them to donate a particular time period of profit to you.  Help them advertise and market their products and services.  They receive new customers, a tax deductible donation receipt, and you both receive long term blessings from the Lord.

3.  Advertise the great tshirts and beads available at the Visiting Orphans store.

4.  Ask, ask, ask.  Send out donation letters, emails, and post shameless request for donations on your Facebook page.  It's God's job to prick the hearts of those who read your requests.  If God calls them and blesses them to give, they simply need to know where to answer His call.  Don't feel guilty.  If they don't want to donate, they're not the ones God has blessed to help you.  That's no problem.  Because we know He has blessed the source, and as long as you keep obediently asking and following, He will bring it to you.

5.  Do you have a special talent?  Are you a gifted musician or performer?  Hold a recital, have friends and family help you prepare a dessert buffet, or ask local bakeries for donations.  Presale tickets for the evening out and bless them with what God has gifted into you.  Hold the event at your church, or in a public park!  Ask God to show you how to host it, and He will provide all your needs.

6.  Do you have friends throwing showers, engagement parties or do you have friends with young children?  Are they having birthday parties?  Ask if you can be in charge of taking photos, cleaning up, cutting the cake, recording the presents. . . Whatever your friend needs to make her be able to focus on her guests, and in return ask her to make a donation to your VO account.

7.  Are you a a pro at planning great dates?  Have you been wowed by some amazing romantic evenings?  Help your friends!  Ask the clueless guys in your life to donate to your account and in exchange you'll plan a wonderful night out for him and his date!  It's a win win.

8.  Are you constantly running kids from one practice to another?  Do you see other moms on the sidelines or in the carpool line who are hurried too?  Can you cook an easy meal?  Ask for a sizeable donation in return for a full cooked meal delivered to practice.

9.  Are you a student?  Kids love candy.  Purchase candy in bulk and sell it in class, get your teacher's permission first.  Selling blow pops at soccer practice or after school can really add up!

And a few found online . . .

10.  Hold a Board Game Tournament
Create a fun twist on a card tournament and do something that everyone can participate in. Have a Board Game Tournament. Pick a favorite, such as Sorry, Trouble, or Monopoly. Assemble 4 person teams that will work together to accumulate points or you can allow individuals to participate. Charge an entry fee for each team, in order to earn money for your account. Give a portion of the proceeds as the winning prize or get prizes donated from local businesses. Decide if you are going to play with a time limit for each game so that everyone has the same chance and to keep things running on a schedule. Decide on any “House” rules beforehand. Set up bleachers for the audience and consider having a 50/50 raffle or raffle for door prizes. Definitely have a concession stand with coffee, soda pop, popcorn, chips, hot dogs, and bottled water to earn extra money.
11.  Fill'er Up
Full service gas stations used to be the way of life in America. Now it is rare to see them anywhere outside of New Jersey. Bring back the service, even if just for a day, to a local gas station. Find a gas station that is willing to help your group out. Have your group become gas station attendants for the day. For a donation have members of your group pump gas and clean the windows of all the cars that come into the gas station. Most people will be more than happy to let you help them. Gas stations provide the squeegees, cleaning solution and paper towels already, so you will have all the equipment you need. You could ask for a set amount, but most people will be more generous if you just tell them to feel free to give whatever they would like. Make sure you advertise locally to improve your turnout.

12.  Grown Up Spelling Bee
Use a classic childhood competition for your next fundraiser. Have a grown up spelling bee. Find volunteers that would like to participate. You can either collect an entry fee to raise money, or charge an admission fee to the audience. Give participants a copy of the “Spell It” book to study from. Use the official spelling bee rules, such as asking for a definition of a word and asking to use it in a sentence. Use easier words for the first few rounds. Later rounds should be interesting as you start using the more difficult words, such as extrapolate or neurological. Have a concession stand and sell snacks and drinks to earn extra money. It would be really cute to sell cookies cut into letter shapes and alphabet soup. Give each participant a certificate and award the winner a trophy and a dictionary.

13.  Digital Photos
Digital cameras and the Internet have made photo sharing a whole lot easier. But what about all those old photos stuck in albums, or piled in shoe boxes? Wouldn't it be great if they could be e-mailed and posted online too? They can be! All it takes is a flatbed scanner, image scanning software, and a computer.  It's best to set a per photo price, but you can offer volume discounts for those with a lot of photos. Allow participants to bring their own CDs or flash drives to store the scanned photos, or add them to the service for an extra fee. You can buy CDs and paper sleeves for minimal cost at a bulk retailer. Be sure to handle photos with care. You may want to place a limit on the age of the photos to prevent damage to very old photographs, and have photo owners remove their own photos from albums before bringing them to be scanned.

14.  Silly Sweepstakes during other Fundraiser Night Events
This is a great fundraiser to have during a dinner fundraiser. For the silly sweepstakes, give everyone a raffle ticket. Brainstorm a list of silly things for the “winners” to do. Start with things that are simple such as wear a silly hat through dinner or pass the rolls to the table farthest from you. More embarrassing ideas are sing a silly song (provide lyrics) or prepare plates at the buffet for everyone at your table after taking orders like a waiter. Provide a monetary value to each task from $1 to $10. The twist on this sweepstakes is that everyone has the opportunity to pay rather than perform the task that they have won. People with an adventurous spirit will be more than happy to participate. Others will gladly reach for their checkbook. “Winners” can be allowed to take a collection if they don’t have enough money. A silly sweepstakes will add tons of fun to your next fundraiser.

15.  Put your Feet Up
This is particularly well suited to high schools or businesses. Students purchase raffle tickets for a drawing where the winner is allowed to spend one school day with their “feet up”. The winner is allowed to use a recliner at school or work on the specified day.  You could chose one classroom or meeting room to have a recliner full-time and sell time slots to use the chair on a regular basis. 

16.  Teacher/Boss Payback
This requires a willing teacher or boss. You pick several activities that are appropriate for the setting that you would want you teacher or boss to perform as payback. You put the details of each activity on a jar or money box and put the jars out where students or co-workers can deposit money in them to “vote” for the activity they want done. At the end of a period of time, several days to a week, count the money in each jar. The jar with the most money is the winner, and the teacher or boss has to perform that task. Tasks for a teacher might be to provide a class with a pizza lunch, shave a beard or mustache, change their haircut, dye there hair, or wear a clown suit for a day. Boss tasks could be completing a task nobody wants to do, make the coffee for a week, wash their employees’ cars, take out the trash, clean the bathrooms, or wear a clown suit for a day. The key is they have to be something fun for the employees or students, but something the teacher or boss is willing to do.
Do not under price yourself!!!  These are fundraisers, money going to a non-profit!  Think of it as more of a donation than a fair market price!

Have fun, ask the Holy Spirit where the money He has already set aside for you is at, and then go after it!  Let us all know what you're doing so that we can gather ideas and more importantly pray for the success of your endeavors!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Be Confident in God's Blessing and Provision

God wants to put great resources in our hands so that we can be conduits of His blessing.

God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.  2 Corinthians 9:8

God wants us to have an abundance so that we are ready and able to do every good work.  But, having abundance is only possible when we are good stewards of the blessings God has given us.

The Lord's ability to bless us begins when we obey His word out of a heart to please Him and be used by Him.  If we're to ask God to supply every penny we need to be able to go and minister to the orphans who need to see Jesus through us, then we need to first make sure we are being good stewards of what we have so that we can be entrusted with more.

During this time of fundraising do not neglect your tithe.  The first 10% of all your income does not belong to you, it belongs to the Lord.  He has instructed us to bring our tithe to our local church.  Our tithe is a sum we return to the Lord by way of our home church, un-earmarked.  All money is under the curse, and the returning of the tithe releases the other 90% from that curse and turns it into a blessing.  Just as the earth was cursed and redeemed by the giving of the first son.  Do not steal from the Lord in the name of mission work.  With a blessed 90% the Lord can accomplish more than we can ever imagine.  With a cursed 100% you'll struggle in vain.

Fund raise under God's principle of multiplication and you'll be in awe of how quickly your trip will be provided for and how the blessings will continue! 
  1. We return to the Lord first so that our finances are blessed.
  2. We give over and above our tithe to other charitable endeavors because only that which is shared and given can be multiplied.
Give give give!  Give of your joy, give forgiveness, give your time, give your grace, give your money where God asks and He will open the floodgates of heaven to provide the resources for every good work He has called you to.  God multiplies what you give and sacrifice from what is yours.  The tithe is not yours, you do not give it, you return it.  Your above and beyond gifts are blessed like crazy by the Lord.  He will multiply them miraculously.

If you babysit and make $25.00 on Saturday night, return $2.50 to the Lord the next morning and buy the sweet old man in front of you his coffee and then take a few minutes to sit and chat with him.  God will honor your giving.  He will multiply your sacrifice and it will be returned to you in full, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and pouring into your lap.

Do not be anxious.  Mind your heart.  A heart that is broken for the Lord and for orphans in Africa is not anxious about raising $3,000.  A giving spirit gives freely when the Lord prompts, knowing with full confidence that God has plenty for all good works when we're willing to let go.

Jason and I proclaim these truths loudly because we've lived them very faithfully and received the full measure returned in unbelievable floods!  It is our desire for each of you to know the depth of God's desire to bless you.  To guide you in fundraising without teaching you how God's provision works would be putting the cart before the horse.  A whole lot of work without any benefit.

Return the tithe on the gross of what God provides, give freely with what's left that belongs to you, and prepare yourself for an unbelievable testimony of how God moved mountains and broke down walls in your life to increase your blessings.  It's going to be exciting to share how God has blown our socks off!

Portions borrowed from The Blessed Life by Robert Morris.  A book we highly recommend and give out freely.  Get a copy here, or let me know and I'll mail you one for free.

Pray and listen to God speak to you about these things and we'll begin discussing specific ways to fund raise and release God's blessings on your endeavors next time!