On May 27, 2008, I posted a mission trip fundraising letter that people could use as a template. Here is how it started:
I never write you letters.
That’s a weird way to open a mission trip letter. My youth minister/pastor gave me a form letter to follow but that felt even weirder. The truth is that I don’t write anyone letters and if I opened up this letter by pretending this is just the latest in a long chain of correspondence we’ve kept up oh these many years, that would feel as fake as when people run out of things to say and ask you questions like, “hot enough for you?”
On the downside, my letter rambled a bit, but on the plus side it did not include the “Pretend You Don’t Care about the Money Line.” You know the one, it’s what I wrapped up a dozen fundraising letters with in the seventh grade:
“Whether or not you are able to support the trip, I would greatly appreciate your prayers.”
Asking for money is awkward. It changes your intimacy level with someone. That’s why even pastors do the tithing disclaimer when they preach about money, “I never normally talk about money…except today.” And asking for money feels hard sometimes.
I wrote that post three years ago as a satirical way to say, “Is there a different way to do mission trip fundraising?” Despite the clear awesomeness of the solution I provided, after talking to Razoo about this sponsored post, I think they might have something better to offer you than I did.
Here’s a quick look at what Razoo does:
Here are what I think are the coolest things you can do with Razoo:
1. Receive donations securely from your donors.
2. Keep track of each team member’s progress.
3. Save time and headaches by eliminating all the paperwork.
4. Focus on the trip, not the fundraising of the trip.
Here’s basically how you do it:
1. You set up a page.
Your team leader sets up a team page on Razoo. Then he/she invites other team members to set up their own personalized fundraising pages. You can easily add photos and videos to your page to tell the story of the trip. (It is very difficult to add a video to a traditional paper-based fundraising letter.)
2. You launch the promotion.
We live in a social media world. You’re going to share your photos and your stories about the trip via Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Why wouldn’t we use those same tools to raise money for the trip? That’s why Razoo provides everything you need to promote your page. Each Razoo page is built to share on Facebook, Twitter, and email, making it easier for fundraisers like you to connect with your circle of family and friends.
3. You laugh at the paperwork you used to do.
That’s not technically a step, but you’ll probably still want to do it because Razoo handles all the annoying record-keeping you used to do. Razoo takes care of the tax-deductible receipts, sending a receipt to each donor’s inbox immediately after they donate. They also hook you up with an Excel spreadsheet telling you where every dollar you raised came from and what page it came through.
If you’ve got mission trips coming up later this summer or fall or whenever, give Razoo a try. My attempt to fix the mission trip fundraising letter dilemma was inelegant and prone to result in $0 raised for you. Razoo, on the other hand, is a great solution.
Have you ever gone on a mission trip?