Resources & FAQs
Have Questions About Mission Trips?
View Resources and FAQs below.
It's SUPPORT Raising… Not Just Fundraising
When you let your friends, family, church, and community know about your upcoming mission trip, you are support raising... not just fundraising.
Sending a donation link or writing support letters means that they can not only support you financially, but that they are also getting the opportunity to travel with you, learn alongside you, as you prepare, serve on mission, and return to share your experiences with them. Open yourself up to the idea that this trip experience can, and should, move beyond yourself and the people you will be serving. Allow people here to journey with you, invest in you, and learn from you as you go.
STEP ONE: Read our Support Raising 101 Guide
STEP TWO: Use your Torch Account
How to Write a Support Letter
Letter writing is a tried-and-true way to recruit supporters for your mission trip. Follow these six easy steps to go from a blank page to an epic call to give.
Step One: Read the Support Raising 101 packet! (Yes, the whole thing!)
Step Two: Begin Gathering Your List of Supporters NOW!
Start by brainstorming and writing down a list of family, friends, church members, teachers, etc. who you think would enjoy partnering with you in this experience.
Your church directory, Christmas card list, the the people to whom you sent graduation announcements all are good places to begin.
Next, go back through this list & narrow it to: 10-20 names (if raising $200-$300) 20-30 names (if raising $400-$600), etc.
Then, make sure you have everyone’s addresses with you when you get ready to address envelopes & write your letter.
Reminder: don't expect to get all your fundraising from letter writing...this is just one of MANY ways you should be ACTIVELY seeking supporters for your trip.
Step Three: Write an awesome support letter!
There is no magical formula for writing a support letter. But there are some special touches and must-have information to make your letter a must-read this holiday season!
Awesome Letter Writers….
Keep it short & to the point (your goal should be a 1 page MAX…it’s a letter, not a novel!)
Don’t use CrAzY fonts or abbreviations. Be professional.
PROOFREAD! Ask your team leader or a Baylor Missions staff member to proof your letter before you send out 100 peaces of mail…see what I mean?
Make it personal: Write in the person’s name BY HAND rather than Dear Friends & Family. Also, handwrite a little note on the bottom to the person. Example: Dear Becky, Looking forward to seeing you during Spring Break & telling you more about my mission trip in person!
Things to Write About:
Where & when you are you going?
Who is going with you? (What team are you on)
Who is the sponsoring organization? (BU Missions)
What are you going to do there?
How can the individual’s support help you/your team?
What are some other needs, besides money, that supporters can help with? (materials, medicine, etc.)
Thank them for their support & let them know how they can stay up to date on your missions journey (ex. are you or your team keeping a trip blog? Instagram? Twitter?).
How & Where Can They Send Support to You or Your Team?
All tax-deducible team donation checks should be addressed to Baylor University and sent to the address below along with a Donor Form. Be sure to include it in your letter!
Note: If the check has your name on it anywhere, it becomes a PAYMENT, rather than a donation.
Option One: Send checks and Donor Forms to: Baylor Missions, One Bear Place #97013, Waco, TX 76798
Option Two: You can have them send money to you (personally) at your address…then YOU will be responsible for getting that money to Baylor. This money would not be tax-deductible, but rather serve as a payment
Option Three: Donate via Torch by sharing your unique team link
Step Four: Print @ Home OR on Campus
Don't forget to print a Donor Form too!
Step Five: Address & Stuff Envelopes
Personalize your letters and hand write your envelopes…special touches go along way.
Make sure that every letter includes a Donor Form that should be returned to BU Missions with the donation or payment. Be sure to write your name in the "in Honor of" line before mailing!
If you want to go ABOVE & BEYOND, include a small pre-addressed envelope in the envelope (but you have to bring those yourself).
Step Six: Seal & Send!
So you’ve written a million letters…now what? Follow up!
Next time you see the person, as them if they got your letter; write them a Facebook message; call them. Don’t let your letter get lost in a pile of bills or junk mail--remind them about it!
Along with each letter you write, MAKE SURE to include the DONOR FORM for your specific team!
This is how Baylor knows what team the money goes towards. The Donor Form should be returned to BU Missions with the donation/payment (cash, check, or credit card info) to the team.
Tip: After you print the forms, make sure you write your name in the "in Honor of" line before mailing! This way we will know you were the person who solicited the donation.
Each team has a unique form to go with letters! Find your Team's Donor Form.
If for some reason you cannot find your form, please email email@example.com.
What is a Payment?
A payment is any money that is designated for a specific individual.
A payment will have the name of the individual student written on the check or gift.
A payment is only applied to a student's individual balance, not the team's.
A payment is NOT tax-deductible.
Payments are only refundable after all unrecoverable expenses are paid & can only be refunded to the individual that made the payment. (For example, if a parent made a payment on a student's account, the refund would go to the parent, NOT the student.)
Can Students Make Payments Online?
Baylor STUDENTS (only) can use a credit card to pay through our U-Pay system.
Click on the Make a Payment link located on the Missions website. All payments must be made by 5pm on the day of the deadline.
*If a parent wants to make a credit card payment on behalf of their student, they must arrange this with the student since it goes through their BaylorID & password. BUMissions does not accept credit card payments over the phone.
What is a Donation?
A donation is any check, cash or money that is NOT designated for a particular individual.
No individual name can appear on a check given as a donation. If a name does appear on the check, it is no longer considered a donation but a payment.
Donations are designated for a team fund & are allotted to team members according to the team leader's discretion.
Donations are tax-deductible & the Baylor Gift Office will send a gift receipt.
Donations are non-refundable.
If you're still a little fuzzy on the differences, make sure that you read the Fundraising 101 packet & check in with Baylor Missions for any clarifications. It will make the fundraising process run significantly smoother if you do.
BU Missions staff will be providing your students with updates on their financial/donation statuses prior to financial deadlines.
*All monies raised through team fundraising events & turned into BU Missions are considered team funds & will be used at the team leader's discretion.*
Can Friends and Family Make Donations Online?
Yes! Direct your donors to our Baylor Missions Give Site. This site also has information about sending donation checks to Baylor.
Make sure they know the name of your student's team!
Employer Gift Matching Opportunities
We have opportunities for matching gifts from your employer. Visit Baylor's Development Gift Matching site for more information.
The BU Missions staff & team leaders spend months researching each area and working with the local contacts to prepare for each trip. We also work with Risk Management, the Center for International Education and the Office of General Counsel at Baylor to insure that proper precautions are taken. Each trip proposal goes through a rigorous risk management process before students apply for trips.
As is the case for many mission trips, participants will be cautious about their food and drink. However, safe food and clean water is readily available.
All cities and villages have their share of crime, much like here in the USA. Students will be advised to follow a few basic rules to avoid any problems. No one will be allowed to travel by themselves and areas visited will be secure. Much care is also being taken to provide safe transportation and housing for the mission teams.
Baylor University subscribes to a security agency, International SOS, who offers travel advisement as well as assistance in country should an emergency arise. You can access their online service at http://www.internationalsos.com.
Baylor pass code is 11ASGC000003.
If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email us or call 254-710-7424.
Injuries and Insurance
In the unlikely event that someone has an injury while abroad, Baylor University carries international travel insurance on each participant. Insurance covers medical care and emergency evacuation. Students may use their domestic insurance policies as secondary insurance during their time aboard if needed.
The cost of AHP insurance is included in the trip cost for each student traveling internationally. Baylor Missions will enroll them & provide them with their policy numbers in their departure travel packets.
If a student is traveling domestically, there is no additional insurance provided. Students will need to carry their insurance card from their usual domestic provider (ie. BCBS, etc.).
For more information on coverage of Baylor's AHP insurance click here.
Traveling with Medication
It is vital that medications be kept in original packaging. This includes over the counter medicine such as aspirin or anti-acids. A doctor's note must accompany prescription drugs. This letter must state that the student is under his/her medical care and required to take medication. The physician's letter should be on professional letter head with a raised seal or stamp, if available. Students are responsible for carrying and taking their own medication.
Medication and physician's letter should be packed in carry-on luggage, NOT checked luggage.
It is also recommended that students who wear contacts or prescription eye glasses should pack an extra pair for the trip.
If a student needs to purchase medication while abroad, that is a student's personal expense not covered by Baylor or AHP insurance.
Trip Proximity to Hospitals and Medical Care
Most teams will be working and staying in larger cities where adequate medical services are available. Those traveling to rural areas will have a local guide knowledgeable of available medical services.
Before arrival, the team leaders have researched the nearest medical facilities and reported these locations to Baylor.
In the case of an emergency, Baylor Missions will contact a student's emergency contacts to update them and discuss further actions needed.
You may need to update previous immunizations or receive new ones depending on where you are traveling. Some countries require certain immunizations in order to gain entry into the country.
To determine which shots you may need, search for your country on the Center for Disease (CDC) Website.
If you discover you need any of the recommended/required immunizations for your trip, you can check with the Baylor Health Center or the McLennan Co Health Department about scheduling a time to get the vaccines.
Leave yourself plenty of time before you travel before getting your vaccines! AT LEAST 8 weeks!
If you have any questions or concerns please email Missions or contact your team leader.
Should I Be Concerned About Ebola Exposure?
No need to worry! Baylor Missions does not take any teams to locations with active cases of Ebola.
You Need a Passport!
If you are traveling anywhere outside of the United States, you WILL need a passport. If you already have a passport, check the expiration date. It must be valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of travel. If you do not have a passport OR are needing to renew an old one, allow yourself plenty of time to do so (at least 8 weeks).
Below, you will find a link that may be helpful during the application or renewal process:
What to Pack
Every country and team will require different things in terms of clothes AND donated goods. For instance, if you're traveling with a business team, you probably don't want to load up your suitcase with t-shirts, shorts, and tennis shoes. It would be a bit of a situation. Conversely, if you're traveling with a sports ministry team, ankle-length skirts and dress shoes would also be a problem.
Our office has created a general packing list , BUT you will want to check with your team leader for more specifics AND things you can get donated to take with you!
Remember, modesty is always a good rule of thumb worldwide.
The cost of the trip covers all travel, lodging, and meals, plenty of clean bottled water daily. Although everything a student needs will be provided, there may be times when students will want to purchase a snack or extra bottle of water. Shopping is always a big event. Teams will have the opportunity to visit local markets to purchase a variety of custom made crafts.
Our recommendation is LESS than $200USD.
It is recommended that ATM cards be used to withdraw local currency. Make sure your local bank has been notified prior to your travel abroad so your card will be active.
Global Missions collaborates with faculty and staff from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds along with our global partners in order to implement spiritually rich and challenging experiences for our students.
It is our hope that the students who participate in our trips not only enjoy the experience (which is important), but also discover a sense of vocation and calling as they first-hand experience how they can use their discipline to serve others.
Faculty, staff, Baylor constituents and potential global partners are invited to submit this Partnership Exploration Request as the first step to open a conversation about a potential collaboration. Please allow 15+ minutes to complete the basic information needed. Thank you for your desire to help shape Baylor's faithful engagement in Waco and the world.
If you need assistance, please email Missions.