Guide to Service: Fundraise

  • Meet with the SM finance manager.
  • Submit a fundraising letter for approval.
  • Pick up donation return envelopes.
  • Send out letters early (recommended minimum of 50).
  • Fundraise online through WWU-approved platform.
    • Solicitor’s name: your name

Dates to Remember

October - December

  • Ideal time to start the application process (especially for competitive calls).

January - March

  • Make sure your passport is valid for two or more years.
  • Talk with a variety of returned SMs to help you explore calls.
  • Get fundraising letter written and approved.
  • Register for Cross-Cultural Ministry class (online or at WWU).
  • Start sending out your fundraising letters. (Remember the Early Bird Travel Scholarship!)
  • March 31 - Deadline for Early Bird Travel Scholarship (have passed second screening and have 100 envelopes addressed and stamped*).

April - June

  • April - Finalize SM call (if not done already).
  • May 3-4 - Attend SM retreat.
  • May 12 - Attend teacher or deaning workshops.
  • May 10 - Attend/participate in SM dedication vespers.
  • May - June
    • Finish missions class (online or at WWU).
    • Make sure you have your necessary travel immunizations.

*If the location is not yet finalized, the Early Bird Travel Scholarship may still be obtained by addressing and stamping 100 envelopes so they are ready for letters later approved.

* * *

The best way to cover the costs of the SM experience is to fundraise. The financial support from others is a blessing, and so is the encouragement that comes from knowing people are thinking of and praying for you. The most successful method of fundraising is writing letters. You will need to obtain our fundraising letter template by emailing The template is meant to be personalized but not completely rewritten as some of the technical language is important for legal purposes. We recommend sending out a minimum of 50 letters, but have found that at least 100 letters goes a long way to reaching your goal. We even offer several scholarships as an incentive for this. We provide prepaid return envelopes to include in your mailing. It has been our experience that churches and their members like to support missions, and when it is someone they personally know, they are even happier to give.

Fundraising goals

Each student missionary is responsible for fundraising to cover their student missions expenses. The Student Missions office sets fundraising goals to cover the average expenses of airfare, living allowance, and other expenses based on on location, length of service, date of application, and other associated costs. The typical fundraising goals are:

Domestic calls (no airfare/expenses)


International funded calls


Pacific island funded calls


Self-funded calls

$5,500 - $7,000

Expenses covered by fundraising may include airfare, one flight change fee, limited visa expenses, insurance, and living allowance, if applicable.

Student missions fee

Included in the fundraising goal of each call is a $500 application fee. This fee covers the following costs associated with the experience: registration for experiential credit, periodic care packages, a prayer journal, retreats, and SM processing expenses. Essentially, it covers the nuts and bolts so that you can serve without worrying about what is holding it all together.

Travel scholarships

The Student Missions program has both travel scholarships and tuition scholarships. Our travel scholarship helps with fundraising. Tuition scholarships apply after a student has returned. Talk to someone in the Student Missions office for more details about scholarships and their requirements.

Early Bird Travel Scholarship ($300): Pass screening committee as well as addressing and stamping 100 envelopes by the first day of spring quarter. (You will need to send us a picture of your addressed and stamped envelopes, fanned out to show the number as proof for the second requirement). Because of the complications students may experience in finalizing their call locations, the fundraising letter does not have to be completed at this time.

100 Letter Travel Scholarship (5% of fundraising goal): Send us a picture of your completed, sealed, and stamped letters (fanned out to show the number of letters).

Month of Money Travel Scholarship ($100): Complete all your application paperwork and pass screening committee in one month.

Student missionary scholarship

Every student missionary returning to WWU is eligible for a scholarship. The maximum scholarship is for those who serve at least seven months, reach their fundraising goal, and complete all the other necessary requirements stated in the application process. We highly recommend filling out the FAFSA as it will improve your chance of receiving scholarships. Many SM scholarships are designated for students with financial need.

Student Financial Services

We recommend that each student meet with a Student Financial Services officer to walk through the financial aspects of their year of service. Every SM must pay their school bill before departure.

Personal travel

Many student missionaries enjoy time for personal travel. Please note that these expenses cannot be covered by fundraising. We can arrange travel to include personal travel in your itinerary, but you will be asked to pay for the extra expense beyond what a regular return ticket would cost. You can pay this by check to our office.

Fundraising ideas
Tip: People often give more when they know the cause is service-oriented.

Work with the Student Missions office to share your fundraiser on social media.

You may also fundraise online through the WWU-approved platform.

  • Solicitor’s name: your name

Auction off your art at an ASWWU art auction or sell independently to the community.

Most gas stations or churches will let you use their lot.

Establish a donation bucket.

Hand out fliers, exchange work for donations, or give reply envelopes.

Make a list of 50 to 100 names or more to send fundraising letters to:

  • Family (near or far)
  • Facebook friends
  • Former high school classmates
  • Former teachers
  • Parents’ friends
  • Parents of friends
  • Your and/or your parents’ Christmas card list
  • Current teachers/staff members
  • Anyone you would invite to your wedding/graduation/birthday party
  • Everyone you have EVER known
  • At your home church (you don’t have to be there).
  • At school, to friends and teachers.
  • Mail orders for cookies.

Make an appeal at your home church and supply donation envelopes. Make a display on a table or bulletin board if the pastor approves.

Ask for per plate donations.

Ask your friends to join you and donate their sales.