We know that for many of you, pilgrimage costs can be daunting. But, be not afraid! Here are some tips and tricks to help raise money within your own parishes to defray the cost of your travel and attendance.
- Send out personalized fundraising letters. We have template letter to start you off.
- Offer to sponsor coffee hour at your church (if there are other pilgrims going from your parish, work together). Cook a delicious meal that is a bit different from what your parish sees on any old Sunday. Egg casseroles (eggs, bread, milk, herbs, sautéed veggies covered in cheese and baked for 60S90 minutes at 350) are always a hit along with a nice green salad, bread and some sweets. Also, a good pot of soup served with bread, salad and sweets is another enticing, after church treat. Or on a hot day some good yogurt with home made granola, fruit and real maple syrup is an easy sell. Put out a sign with a bit of information on what you are raising money for and ask for a suggested minimum donation of $5 per person. Best to have this announced the Sunday before and an email reminder sent out midweek so everyone can come prepared with their checkbooks or cash.
- Have a car wash on a Saturday morning. Ask some of your friends to help. Make it fun for everyone.
- Organize a movie night at your church. Pick a good film that will appeal to a good number of people. Provide popcorn and drinks. Charge as much as you think people will pay, but make sure they know that this is a fundraiser to help send you to Bulgaria!
- Simply ask your parish to sponsor you at whatever amount they can offer that will also make your pilgrimage possible (ask your priest or the president to help). Always shoot high because the worst that can happen is that you get a lower counter offer.
- Have a bake sale.
- Sell something like homemade jewelry, something you knitted, painted etc. Ask a few church bookstores to sell these items. Always good to offer to share the proceeds with the bookstore. Just talk to whoever is the “manager” to work out the best arrangement.
- Start saving now. Rather than going out for a mediocre dinner, invite friends over for a potluck meal and put what you saved towards your trip.
- How many times a week do you buy coffee at Starbucks or a similar place? How much does you “favorite” drink cost there? Say it’s $2.50 (more like $3.50, eh?) and you buy 5 a week. Do the math, and you’ll find that between now and the pilgrimage, you will save enough to pay more a quarter of the pilgrimage cost, if instead you take a thermos of coffee or tea to work or school.
- Do the math again, this time on the difference between bringing a lunch from home verses eating out on weekdays. Who knew you had so much money?