When our Lord sent out the 70 disciples on their first ‘mission trip,’ he instructed them to rely completely on the generosity of others to accomplish the mission he set before them. Likewise, part of the missionary experience is learning the humility necessary to accept the generosity of others. During our trip we hope to serve others generously, fully aware of the fact all the blessings we have received as well as any good we might do for others comes from the hand of God.

Thus, rather than speaking of each person’s cost for this trip, we speak instead of each person’s fundraising goal. We are all working together to fundraise the cost of this trip. In soliciting donations from others, we are asking them to become part of the missionary experience. It is a shared sacrifice. It is therefore very important that each person do his part to find donations. Any donations received that exceed an individual’s goal, will be applied to the total cost of the trip. Likewise, anyone who is unable to meet his goal will be responsible for making up the difference himself.

The first thing to keep in mind when you begin asking for donations is the goal of the trip. If you are convinced of the value of this trip, then it will be less difficult to ask others to participate in it with you. If you are going on this trip to have a sort of exotic vacation, then it becomes much more difficult to ask others to make a sacrifice of their resources. To this end, you should keep in frequent contact with your benefactors and potential benefactors. You should update them on the status of your preparation for the trip, and when we return you should thank them again and share your experiences.

To reiterate, everyone participating in this trip has an obligation to make an effort to fundraise. Undoubtedly, some people will be more successful than others, but all should contribute to the cause. Fundraising should be considered a part of the mission experience. Because of the limited space on our trips, your invitation to participate likely meant that other equally qualified candidates were not chosen.  Your diligence in fundraising is therefore not only owed to your team, but equally to live up to the opportunity you have been given.

Lack of effort in fundraising is easily discernible and, should you not fulfill your fundraising responsibilities and it is evident that you did not put forth the required efforts, your space on this trip may be offered to someone else.

Remember that you may also be required to raise funds not included in the cost of the mission for personal vaccinations, passport and visas, certain personal items for the mission, and transportation to the trip’s point of departure.

Our hope is that with each participant putting forth a sincere fundraising effort, each missionary’s personal contribution to the trip’s expenses will remain minimal.

2017 Mission Trip Fundraising Goals

The Fundraising Goals for each of the Mission Trips this year are listed as the cost of the trip:

  1. Guadalajara, Mexico ~ April 7 – April 19/July 19-August 1: $950 (does not include your travel expenses to Guadalajara and return from Mexico City).
  2. Piura, Peru ~ August 5 – Aug 18/August 5-August 18: ***$2350 (this includes travel to Piura from Miami.  You are responsible for your own expenses getting to and from Miami).

*** This amount may be subject to change depending on the cost of airfare. Adult Chaperones for the Piura trip will be asked to raise $885.

Schedule of Payments

Following is the expected payment schedule by which funds should be raised and sent in for each of the mission trips this year:

  1. Guadalajara trips ~ April 7 – April 19, 2017/July 19-August 1, 2017:

The total amount of $950 will be collected in two payments, due as follows:

  • $200 initial deposit due by January 15, 2017
  • $750 or remaining balance due by March 1, 2017

(The amount of the final payment may change to reflect any adjustments to the total cost)

Additional Costs with this trip you are responsible for:

  • Transportation to Guadalajara/from Mexico City
  • Vaccinations (optional), clothing/supplies/personal spending money

 

  1. Piura, Peru trips ~ July 21-August 3/August 5 – August 18, 2017

The total amount of $2350 will be collected in four payments, due as follows:

  • $200 initial deposit due by January 15, 2017
  • $800 payment due by March 1, 2017
  • $800 payment due by April 1, 2017
  • $550 or remaining balance due by May 1, 2017

(The amount of the final payment may change to reflect any adjustments to the total cost)

Additional Costs with this trip you are responsible for:

  • Transportation from your home to/from the Miami airport
  • Vaccinations (optional), clothing/supplies/personal spending money

 

Please carefully NOTE the following:

  1. If, at any time, you must withdraw from the trip, all donations you have turned in to the Saint Francis Xavier Mission Trip are non-refundable.Your donors will not be eligible for a refund.  This policy is in effect to ensure that we can pay for the airline tickets, lodging and other non-refundable investments that were made in your name.  Additionally, because of tax laws, the donations you submit are not in your name, but in the name of the mission/trip as a whole.
  1. Your initial deposit of $200 will reserve your place on the trip, and will be applied to your total cost if you are accepted. This deposit as well as any additional payments made after the registration deadline will not be refundable. Please check the website for deadlines. If you do not meet your fundraising deadlines, you run the risk of being prevented from participating in the trip.
  1. Your fundraising goal is an estimate of the total cost for the trip.Your goal may increase or decrease based on factors such as the cost of airline tickets or room and board. We have estimated the costs in such a way so as to try to avoid having to increase participants’ contributions. Should we be forced to increase the per person cost, please understand that it is likely due to factors beyond our control.  If you do not meet your fundraising deadlines, you run the risk of being asked to withdraw from the trip. REMEMBER: If you are asked to withdraw from the trip your donors will not be refunded.
  1. Because of tax laws, we cannot legally reimburse any money that you have donated from your own personal funds.If, for some reason, you have donated some of your own money and you fundraise more than your personal fundraising goal requires, the excess funds will go toward the trip fund total.

 

 An Explanation of the Deadlines:

Please note that deadlines and fundraising goals may be subject to change.

Your completed application and an initial deposit of $200 are due by January 15, 2017. These must be received in order to reserve your place on the trip. Once we have received this deposit with your application, you will be entered into our review process to see if you will be accepted.

Please note that your place is not guaranteed until your application is complete and you’ve been accepted by the Saint Francis Xavier Mission Trip. The organizers of the trip reserve the right to reject an application if there is some reason to believe that an individual will not be a good candidate for the trip.

To maximize the time available for fundraising, you are free to begin fundraising as soon as you have submitted your initial application even before you have been officially accepted. But, please realize that your place is not guaranteed until we have received and accepted your full application and you have been notified of acceptance.

Funds received after the application deadline will be non-refundable.

After the limited number of slots are filled, additional applicants will be put on a waiting list in the event that a participant has to withdraw from the trip. Deposits of those put on the waiting list who do not end up taking part in the trip will be refunded.

Nuts And Bolts of Fundraising

Make a List:

Start by developing an initial list of potential mission partners.

No name is disqualified:

Don’t decide for an individual whether or not he/she is interested in donating. If you limit yourself to those you feel will or can give, you may be prematurely disqualifying those God wants to become mission partners. God’s ways are not always our ways! (Isaiah 55:8) Many times God reminds us that He is in control by providing in the most unexpected ways.

As you construct your name list, associate various professions, businesses, and places with any friends and acquaintances they bring to mind. To aid you, we have provided a list of categories to stimulate productive brainstorming.

After taking an hour or so of “name storming,” label each contact either ‘H’ for High priority, “M” for Medium priority, or “L” for Low priority. These designations refer to your evaluation of how likely they are to give, not how much they might give. Different people will be able to give different amounts, but those who give the most may not necessarily be the most generous. Conversely, others may be making a huge sacrifice to support you with even with a very small amount of money. This is helpful to keep in mind, especially when writing your thank you notes. Now you are ready to go!

Please remember, that just because you label someone as “high priority” does not necessarily mean they will give.  Likewise, just because you designate someone as “low priority” does not mean they won’t give.  Expect to be pleasantly surprised by some who will give more than you anticipated, and to be disappointed by others who you think would give but don’t.  God will provide for you in ways that you do not expect.

After you have come up with 100+ names, start collecting their addresses. Your mom or dad may have an address list that you may be able to use. Often addresses are also listed in the parish directory.  If you are having a hard time finding addresses of potential mission partners, try checking online at www.whitepages.com  (You might also give some of your appeal letters to your parents to give to their co-workers to save on postage later!)

The following categories may help you brainstorm:

The More Obvious: Family Members
Former Co-Workers
Friends of Parents
Homeschool Group
H.S. / College Friends
Church Directories
Church Friends
Prayer Group
Church Choir
Students
Priests
Neighbors (present / past)
Coach / Teammates
Former Teachers
College Professors
Baker
Veterinarian
Apartment Manager
Accountants
Mailman
Banker
Parents’ employees
Dentist / Orthodontist
Doctor
Nurse
Mayor
Knights of Columbus
Civic leaders
Chamber of Commerce
Referrals
Hospital Personnel
Rotary Club
Kiwanis Club
Barber
Church newspaper
Wedding list
For the Ambitious:Family Attorney
Beautician
Christmas card list
Editor of paper
Plumbers
Insurance Salesman
Realtors
Florist
Printers
Retired people
Parents’ employer
Civic clubs
Military personnel
College Alumni
Rich and famous people
Random people you’ve never met before.
Others . . . .

Appeal Letter & Telephone Strategy

Step 1: Prayer First

“Don’t be anxious for anything, but by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” – (Philippians 4:6, 7)

Remember, the goal you are asking people to support is worthwhile. Don’t be intimidated.

Step 2: Write an Appeal Letter

Now that you have “name stormed” to develop a list of potential mission partners, you need to write your appeal letters. Begin mailing your letters as soon as possible! You’ll be glad you did!

When writing your letters, the personal touch is a must.  We recommend writing a form letter requesting money, and then using mail merge to personalize the greeting.  Make sure you sign each letter personally with a handwritten P.S. (simply a personal note) at the end of each letter so the mission partner knows that you care about them and not only their gift!

Make sure you include ALL of the following items in your appeal letter:

  • Make sure the date is at the top of your letter.
  • Address them by name. Remember they are a person, not just a generic “Dear friend…”
  • Connect with the person. What do/did you have in common? Help them say, “I know who you are!”
  • Bring your reader up to date with what you’re doing.
  • Educate your reader. Tell them what your mission is all about, why you have decided to participate and what you hope to accomplish.
  • Make sure to explain exactly what your needs are (e.g., I need to raise $2,350 by May 1st).
  • Involve your reader by asking them for specific action, based on the needs you have shared. This can include challenging them to cover a specific part (or all if you have an extremely generous and well-endowed potential mission partner) of the cost of your mission trip.
  • State your deadlines for your financial needs. Specific action includes not only your request for funds, but also your commitment to follow up by telephone. (e.g., I will call soon to follow up with you.)
  • Direct them to the mission trip website sfxmission.com to see pictures and find more information, or give online.
  • Let them know that they can make a donation online at the website. Be careful, however, to explain that if they donate online, there is a charge taken out of their donation. For example, if they make a $100 donation on the website, we will get about $97 and Paypal will take $3. You must also stress that if they donate online they must include your name in the “Donation on behalf of” field, otherwise we won’t know to whom to credit the donation.
  • Acknowledge your relationship again with an emphasis on thanks, appreciation, gratitude, partnership and commitment. This ties your opening acknowledgement to your request.
  • Include your telephone number, address (school and home, with dates you’ll be at home), and your e-mail address.
  • Enclose a stamped, self-addressed return envelope for a quick and easy response. The easier you make it for them to respond to you, the more responses you will get.
  • Sign your full name to the bottom of the letter. This should be both typewritten and personally hand signed so that they can read it clearly but also know that it was personally hand signed.
  • Add a handwritten P.S. (post script) with a personal greeting written in blue ink so it stands out.
  • Hand write the mailing address on the front of the envelope. This way the person who receives it will not think it is junk mail but realize that it is a personal letter and be more likely to open it and read it.

Step 3: Call them!

For many people this is the most difficult part of the process, but it is the step most likely to increase the success of your fundraising efforts.

One week after sending out your appeal letters to your potential support team, give them a call to ask if they received it and would like to support your Mission Trip. This is also the perfect opportunity for you to ask if they have any questions for you.

Be courteous toward your mission partners. Many people will be willing to help you but won’t respond unless you call them first! Your phone call takes the burden of response off them and puts it on you.

Suggestions when you make that phone call:

  • Practice beforehand using the sample phone conversation (see below).
  • Introduce yourself and be friendly.
  • Briefly mention the letter you sent.
    • Be gracious – they may not remember or may have thrown it out. Think about how easy it is to overlook orput aside even the most important papers.
  • Briefly explain your Mission Trip plans.
  • “As I mentioned in my letter…” Share what you hope to see God do as a result of your time on the mission. Remind them of the financial needs you mentioned in your letter and specifically ask them if they had considered being a part of your support team, and, (you can do it!) for you to keep track, ask, Do you know how much that will be?It is important to know what you can count on.
  • After you get a decision, always ask them to refer you to other people who might also be inclined to join in supporting you. Have a pen ready! Sometimes they really do know people who would be even more enthusiastic than they are. Follow through!

Step 4: Thank your Donors!

  • Send a thank you note the same day you get a response. It will take you just minutes to write.
  • Mail it within 24-48 hours!
  • Your verbal thank you is important, but your thank you note is an even more important part of showing your appreciation for your new mission partner.
  • Be sure to let your benefactors know that you will follow up again after your trip. They will be anxious to hear about your experiences. It goes without saying, then, that when we return from the trip you should send another thank you note with personal stories from the mission trip.

Step 5: Verify and keep track of all payments!

Once you have received a commitment to make a contribution, make sure you give your donors specific and correct payment information and instructions:

IF THEY WANT TO WRITE A CHECK: 

  • Have the donor make their check payable to “Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary” if they want it to be tax-deductible. If they don’t care about a tax-deduction they can make it out to you personally.
  • Tell your donors to send their checks directly to you. You will then send the checks to us.
  • When you receive checks from your donors make sure to look over the check for accuracy:
    • Is the check signed?
    • Is the check payable to “Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary?”
    • If there are any errors, make sure to contact your donor any correct the error before sending us the check.
  • Send in all checks you receive within two weeks of receiving them. Send the checks to:

St. Francis Xavier Mission Trip
P.O. Box 152
Diamond Springs, CA 95619

  • Make sure when sending in checks you include a note indicating that the donation is for you!
  • Note that if you write us a check from your own personal bank account it does not qualify as a tax-deductible donation.
    • This means that any cash donations you receive or donor checks that that are made out to you personally, are NOT tax deductible.
    • Do not send us cash! Deposit any cash or checks made out to you personally into your own bank account and then write us one check for the total amount. Remember to make it payable to “Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary” Keep in mind it will NOT be a tax-deductible donation if it comes from your bank account.

Remember! Be sure when you send in checks that you include a note identifying the donation as being made for you! This way we know when we receive the donation that it goes towards your fundraising goal.

IF THEY WANT TO DONATE BY CREDIT CARD:

  • Refer them to the online donation button on the website sfxmission.com/donate The donation will be tax deductible.
  • Remember to explain that they must enter your name at the Paypal checkout in the “donation on behalf of” field. so that we know to credit the donation towards your fundraising goal.
  • If a donor is indifferent about donating by check or credit card, you may explain to them that there is an approximately 3% fee on credit card donations that Paypal takes out of the total. Online donations are available for the convenience of the donor, so no one should be discouraged from making use of it. Some people may find it helpful to know, however, that if they donate $1,000 online, about $30 of that will be taken as a fee.

KEEP A RECORD OF ALL DONATIONS!

  • Keep a written record of ALL DONATIONS you have received. This includes ALL the information about the donor, the amount received, whether it was cash or check or credit card, whether it was made to you personally or to Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary.
  • You may find it helpful to make a photocopy of every check you receive.
  • Also keep track of all checks you write personally to us so you can compare against what you have received versus what you have sent in.
  • Keeping track of all donations ensures you will not forget anyone when sending out thank-you notes.
  • Although we keep a record of all the donations made in your name, keeping your own record helps in case any discrepancies arise between your total and the Donation Statement provided to you by the St. Francis Xavier Mission Trip.

REMEMBER THAT YOU WILL HAVE ADDITIONAL EXPENSES!

  • Keep in mind that you may also need to raise additional non tax-deductible funds for yourself to cover travel and other expenses not included in the official cost of the trip!
  • All contributions made online or checks received by donors made out to “Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary” are tax deductible. Note, however, that we cannot use any funds we receive in this manner to pay for, or legally reimburse you for, your own personal travel (or other expenses such as vaccinations/ immunizations, travel meds or visa expenses) from the tax-deductible donations that you send in.Tax-deductible funds received can legally only be used towards the official trip fee.
  • This means that you will need to ask some of your donors to send you non-tax-deductible gifts with checks made out to you personally for those expenses that are your own responsibility and not included in the cost of the trip (e.g., travel to/from Miami if going to Peru, or travel to/from Guadalajara if going to Mexico). These funds should NOT be sent in to us but used by you personally for those personal expenses that are related to the mission trip.
  • Remember to explain to your benefactors that any gifts made directly to you personally via check or cash are not tax-deductible.

Sample Mission Partner Appeal Letter

 

Month, DD, YYYY

Dear (be sure to actually include their names) 

I hope this letter finds you well. I want to tell you about an exciting opportunity I have to grow in my faith and serve others.

This summer, I have a wonderful opportunity to spend 10 days in northern Peru doing mission work with The Saint Francis Xavier Mission Trip of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.  While in the town of Piura working at the Parish of Santisimo Sacramento (visit the parish website at www.santisimo.org), we will be helping with a variety of projects. These include delivering food and clothing to poor people who are sponsored by American families, helping at the orphanages and school that the parish supports, building chapels and houses, and getting to know the life of the parish. We will also be introducing the Traditional Latin Mass to the town of Piura. Additionally, this mission will afford us the opportunity to visit Lima and make a pilgrimage to the shrines of several saints who are buried there, including St. Rose of Lima and St. Martin de Porres.

Our faith calls us to continuously grow closer to God. This includes knowing Him, loving Him, and serving Him. This is a great opportunity to take part in service as we show God’s people the love they are meant to encounter every day. Through this mission trip I hope to grow closer to Jesus Christ as I serve those longing for love and help them meet their spiritual and material needs. You can learn more about our trip by visiting www.sfxmission.com

Christ has called us all to be evangelists.  Each person has a unique and critical role to play in God’s plan.  I write you today to invite you to join us on our mission in Peru.  You can join me in this mission in a couple important ways – with your prayers and financial gift.  I ask you to prayerfully consider joining me doing corporeal and spiritual works of mercy in Peru.  I need to raise $800 by  March 1st and a total of $2350 by May 1st  In order to meet this goal as quickly as possible, one-time gifts of $25, $50, $75+ are greatly needed.  There are no minimums or maximums and all gifts are greatly appreciated! Feel free also to contribute something now and to do so again in the coming months if possible.

If you would like to join my mission support team, simply mail your check, made payable to Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, in the stamped, self-addressed envelope. Checks payable to Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary  are tax-deductible gifts. I will mail it to the St. Francis Xavier Mission Trip organizers at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary.  Feel free to send your check as soon as you are able.  I will call you within the next week to see if you have any questions. Thank you for your prayerful consideration!

You can also donate online at ww.sfxmission.com. If you choose to contribute this way, please be sure to include my name in the “donation on behalf of” field at the Paypal checkout.

Sincerely in Christ,
(Make sure you sign the letter in your own handwriting and add a P.S. with blue ink)
Your full name—>
   John Smith

 “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And he will say, ‘whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25: 37-40

 

Sample Phone Conversation

“Hi Aunt Betty, this is __________ how are you doing? (Only allow a short amount of time for small talk – then quickly get to the point.) “I am glad you are doing well. I was wondering if you have received my letter this week?…You have…GREAT…I am really excited about this opportunity and am calling to see if you would like to support me on my mission trip and also to see if you have any questions for me.

If YES (I would like to give):

(Ask Aunt Betty) “My goal is to raise ($____) for my trip and I’m keeping a record of the gifts I receive. What amount did you have in mind today? …Thank You!!  If you would prefer a tax deduction, make your check payable to Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, put it in the self-addressed envelope and mail it to me and I will send your check on to the mission trip organizers at the seminary..  It is very important that you send your gift to me and not to the seminary directly. Know that I will get all the money counted toward the funds I need to raise.

If NO (I am unable to give):

Respond warmly and request their prayers for the mission (don’t end the conversation abruptly)

“Aunt Betty, I appreciate your time, I understand that you won’t be able to support the mission financially at this time, but would you please consider praying for the success of the mission?” Aunt Betty “OF COURSE I WILL!”  “Great, I look forward to seeing you at our family reunion this Summer.”

 

Sample Thank You Note

Dear (Name of Benefactor),

(Include something personal first.)

Thank you for your decision to become a member of my Mission Support Team! Your prayers and financial generosity are greatly appreciated. Your investment will have far-reaching results as I go to Peru to grow deeply in my love for Christ and His Church and to help share my faith with others.

Please join me in praying for my mission trip and for those whom I will encounter.  Your prayers are most appreciated. Thank you again for your generous support.

Sincerely in Christ,
John Smith