Each year, ministry units across Canada try new and unique ideas to raise funds for the Partners in Mission campaign. Fun activities can raise money, awareness and can create opportunities to celebrate the accomplishments of groups for the campaign. It also allows for a time of fellowship, recognition and a time to reflect and be thankful for all that we have. When we think about our church family, we must include our brothers and sisters world-wide. We have a responsibility to support them as much as we can.
Below are a few fun ideas you can use for this year's Partners in Mission campaign to help us reach our goal of $2.3 million.
A Pot-Luck with a Twist
Everyone brings a lunch/dinner item and a dessert. At the end of the lunch or dinner, the desserts are auctioned off. There is only dessert if you win one!
-Courtesy of Midland Community Church in Ontario.
His and Hers Jars
Label two jars "men" and "women" and place them in the foyer before and after Sunday service where contributors can place money in their respective jars to raise funds for Partners in Mission. With humorous updates given each week, there is nothing like friendly competition to get things going.
-Courtesy of Barrie Corps in Ontario.
Worth your Weight in Corn Meal
A wall displays a corn field, a truck, a mill and a place for stacking sacks of corn meal. For every $50 brought in, a sack of cornmeal was added to the pile.
-Courtesy of New World Island West Corps in Newfoundland.
A Wrapped Mystery
People are asked to bring one or two wrapped items from home. Some have value and others are hilarious. These gifts are labelled with a hint, example: a dinner for two, but inside could be two potatoes. These items are auctioned off, usually no more than $10.00 an item. A fun and interactive way to start the campaign!
-Courtesy of Flin Flon Corps in Manitoba.
This simple meal shared with fellow members of your ministry unit is a reminder that in developing countries, people have very little and often very simple meals. These soups can be homemade or from a can, served with crackers and water. For everyone who attends, a donation can be made to the campaign.
Bakers unite! Let people in your ministry unit know well in advance that you're looking for bakers to donate homemade baked goods. Have each baker package and price items before the sale to allow for a quicker set-up. Advertise the bake sale to create a buzz with everyone attending your ministry unit. This works well in conjunction with upcoming holidays.
Choose a day that best suits your ministry unit. Use posters, announcements or other creative ways to generate interest in the walk. People can ask their friends, co-workers and family members to sponsor them. Make signs for the walk letting the community know who/what they are walking for. If you would like assistance with the promotional material, please contact that World Missions department.
Organize a simple lunch or dinner and have a fully decorated cake placed as the centre piece. The cakes can be baked and decorated by kids or adults from your church, or by a local bakery who is willing to donate. At the end of the meal, auction off each cake (everyone can participate or just the people sitting at that table) and use that money for Partners in Mission.
It seems that just about everyone has a family recipe for chili. Use this to your advantage by getting people to share their homemade chili. Participants will prepare their chili in advanced. Host the event during an evening or weekend, or when it is best suited to your ministry unit, and ask people to come to judge each chili. Ask for a donation at the door prior to the taste testing.
In many countries, people need to survive on $2 a day. This year, choose a week where you will also live off $2 a day. Here's how it works: take your biweekly income and divide it by two. Take $14 from that amount and put it in your pocket. See how far you can make that go over the course of the week (without jeopardizing your physical or financial health). Consider taking as large a portion of your remaining income for that week as you can afford and set it aside for Partners in Mission. This exercise will have deeper meaning if you pray in solidarity with the millions of people who have no choice but to try to survive on $2 a day.
Rally the Troops
Challenge your corps to support the Partners in Mission Appeal. Ask your leaders what their strategy is to promote the appeal. If there is no visible champion for this, offer to help organize your church's campaign. Over the fundraising period, try to ensure that there is some connection to Partners in Mission each week. If you belong to a small group or corps section, encourage your fellow members to find ways to support the appeal as well.
As a corps or small group, set a financial target for the Partners in Mission Appeal. Rather than a small leadership team outlining what they think the target should be, decide as a congregation or a small group what you think is realistic and possible. This will foster ownership and accountability among all members. Post your target in a visible location in the corps building and track your progress. Rather than wait for one Sunday to give, encourage church members to submit their Partners in Mission offerings on a weekly basis.
Rather than relying solely on personal giving, Salvationists can organize special events to help raise funds for the Partners in Mission Appeal. Plan a walk-a-thon where people can ask their friends, co-workers and family members to sponsor them. Organize a bake sale or craft show to raise money. Youth can shovel snow or perform other chores for people in the community.
Commit to Prayer
In addition to making a financial commitment to Partners in Mission, challenge yourself and your corps to pray intentionally for other countries. The more that you learn about the world, and the more you support others in prayer, the greater the connection you will have with our brothers and sisters worldwide.
The Canada and Bermuda Territory is internationally known for its generosity. Let's continue to show our financial commitment to the Partners in Mission Appeal as we strive to make the world a better place, and together say, "The world for God!"
For more fundraising ideas, or for other Partners in Mission or Salvation Army resources you can use in your Corps, please visit our partner site www.ministryhelps.ca.