Going on a mission trip to Africa gives you a chance to learn about a new culture while making an impact on a community in need. Engaging in service projects can open up an individuals perspective while helping others. But your desire to help others and your financial situation don’t always align. If you feel called to volunteer and make a difference but are struggling to find the money, online fundraising can be an incredible solution. Crowdfunding is a tool that anyone can use to gather support and raise money for a mission trip to Africa. Below, find out what expenses to expect and learn how to create a stellar online fundraiser.
Cost of mission trip to Africa: a breakdown of expenses
When preparing for a mission trip to Africa, it’s important to fully understand the costs so there won’t be surprises down the road. Each trip will have its own unique costs, but here are a few items you can expect to include in your calculations.
Every organization that facilitates mission trips has a fee to help cover general expenses like food and materials. Sometimes the organization will include every extra cost within this fee—but this isn’t always the case. By making a detailed list of your organization’s program fees first, you’ll be able to better determine the scope of your mission trip costs.
As with most volunteer programs, flights are generally not included in the cost of a mission trip to Africa. You’ll need to consider paying for the flights to and from the location where you are serving. In order to secure the cheapest flights, it’s key to book your transportation at least two to three months in advance. This is why you can save a good deal of money by planning your mission trip long before you depart.
Passport or visa
Most countries in Africa require a visa—and don’t forget about your passport! According to the U.S. Department of State, a first-time passport application costs $110, with a $35 processing fee. The cost of your visa will depend on the specific African country you’re visiting. Visas can cost anywhere from $10 to $200.
When traveling abroad, it is important to take steps to lower your risk of developing a disease. Depending on where you are traveling to, you may need to receive travel immunizations. Double check to make sure your routine immunizations are up to date. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers information on what type of immunizations you’ll need as well as resources for finding a travel clinic.
Depending on the program, you may need to have some extra spending money on hand for other supplies. If you are going on a medical mission trip, for example, you may be asked to raise money for medical supplies. Or if you’ll be working closely with children, you may want to bring along some arts and crafts supplies.
You might also need extra cash for meals if they aren’t included in your program as well as a small emergency fund for anything unexpected. Make sure you check with your program to see if you need to bring funds for these types of extra expenses on your trip.
Crowdfunding your mission trip
When there are strict program fees involved and a long flight across the globe, it’s not always easy to travel on a budget. This when online fundraising can make a real difference.
Begin by creating an online fundraiser to share your vision of giving back, being sure to highlight what motivated you to embark on this journey. Your compassion may touch people, inspiring them to donate to your cause. Learn how to make an even bigger impact with international crowdfunding with the tips below:
Mission trip fundraising tips
- What is your ultimate fundraiser goal? Add up all associated costs, then list them on your fundraiser to stay transparent. This helps donors feel more comfortable donating to your cause.
- A fundraising letter is a great way to solicit donations from family members and friends. Explain why this trip means so much to you, and let them know how their contribution will make a difference.
- Social media is a key fundraising tool. With the help of sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can reach potential donors in a way that will excite them. You can even bring in more funds by making a compelling video about your journey.
- Keep your supporters in the loop with updates on your fundraiser so they can understand that you are using their donations to make a sustainable impact. You might even consider making a fundraising blog about your experience.
- Don’t forget to write a donation thank-you letter to each person who contributes.
- Need even more tips? Be sure to use these six mission trip fundraising ideas to take your fundraiser to the next level.
Fundraising success stories
Nathan and Elizabeth turned to crowdfunding when they needed the necessary funds to travel to Kenya and volunteer at a school for the hearing impaired. To raise the money they needed, they outlined their plan on their fundraiser page and wrote a detailed description of how they would spend the funds. This resonated with donors, and Nathan and Elizabeth were able to surpass their fundraising goal and make their trip a reality.
Lawrence felt called to volunteer in South Africa with his church, but he needed a way to cover the cost of the trip. He turned to crowdfunding so he could take his very first mission trip and help those impacted by infectious diseases. By creating a thorough and compelling fundraiser story, Lawrence was able to raise over $1,500.
Are you ready to make a difference?
Whether you are planning on volunteering with a group or you’re going by yourself, mission trip fundraising can empower you to reach your goals and help others. When you sign up with GoFundMe, you’ll get a seamless setup and 24/7 customer support—and all for free without platform fees. Get started with the #1 and most trusted leader in online fundraising today.