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Are you worried about raising money for your Discipleship Training School? Traveling across the world to share the gospel is an incredible opportunity, but it does come with a monetary cost. Thousands of dollars can seem like an impossible goal. Don't be discouraged by the numbers -- YWAM Mazatlan is here to guide you, inspire you, pray with you, and cheer you on every step of the way. Time and time again, we have seen God come through with financial miracles; we know that money is no object for Him. That being said, we can't sit back and wait for God to do all the work -- we need to put in some effort ourselves! Here's 3 way to help you kick start fundraising and turn your dream of a YWAM DTS into reality.
Proverbs 12:11 (NIV)
"Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense."
One of the best ways to raise money for a DTS is to work. Humans were designed to work -- even before the fall, God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to take care of the plants and steward the animals. For those of us who have the opportunity to find a paying job (or are able to set aside money from our current job), we should take full advantage of this blessing. Don't just look at a job as a necessary evil. Earning money for yourself speaks volumes about your level of responsibility and eliminates some of the stresses of fundraising. Even if you think your true calling is to help children in the Philippines, the time you spend bussing tables or mopping floors to get there will be a lesson and experience from God in itself. Who knows -- you might just have the opportunity start missions early by sharing the gospel in your workplace.
We might be tempted to think that "fundraising" means reluctantly asking someone for money instead of joyfully offering them partnership. Raising funds and gaining supporters is partnering -- it's you and someone else working together to share the gospel. Many Christians want to be a part of missions but are unable to go overseas themselves. By supporting you financially, they can still play an important role in fulfilling the Great Commission. Once you know about outreach, be sure to share with people where you'll be going, what you'll be doing, and why it's important for them to get involved. Tell them why lecture phase will equip you to practically serve on the field.
Keep in mind that meeting people face-to-face is the most effective way to raise support. Offer to go for a walk with someone or take them out to coffee. You will be able to catch up with that person and personally share with them what God is doing in the world and in your own life. Of course, you can still send out emails and Facebook messages, but don't use them as a stand-in for meeting with people one-on-one.
It's not always possible to meet with all of your supporters individually, and sometimes you have a very small window of time to raise funds. Although we recommend the first two options, if you are crunched for time, fundraising nights can be a practical and effective way to reach a large number of people at once. Ask to use your church building to host the event, or if you have enough space, invite people to your home. Once you have an audience, share your heart with them in the same way you would share with someone one-on-one. Take the time to put together a presentation, bake desserts and make coffee, or throw a party themed after the country you will be going to. Create a Paypal, Venmo, or response cards to make it easy for people to give. Try to create a space for people to learn, have fun, and joyously support you, not feel pressured to open their wallets.
Two extra tips:
It is extremely important to make it easy for people to partner with you, whether it's through a PayPal donation button or return envelopes. Make it as quick and simple as possible. You don't want to accidentally turn away a potential donor because the process of getting money to you is difficult or complicated.
Furthermore, don't be afraid to check in with people. In the busyness of day-to-day life, even important items on someone's to-do list can accidentally slip through the cracks. If someone expressed interest in donating but didn't follow through, feel free to send them a message or give them a gentle nudge. It's possible they are still interested.
Finally, don't forget to send updates and thank you letters. It is important for donors to feel appreciated and see what their donations have accomplished. And don't wait until months after your trip has ended -- update them as soon as you have news! If you maintain good relationships and communication with your supporters, they may be willing to partner with you again the future.
At first glance, fundraising seems like a daunting task, but it's not always as challenging as people expect it to be. Take the time to work hard, reach out to others, and look for opportunities. You'll be on your way to DTS in no time!