Effective Short Term Trips (Worksheets and Strategies)

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This is a set of worksheets that will guide you through the key elements in creating, recruiting, and managing Short Term Mission Trips. 

Content presented at the Global Missions Health Conference.  

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EFFECTIVE - Five Tips for Effective Short Term Trip Marketing
Friends - Ask people and alumni to share with their friends.  Give them some triggers for thinking of names.  Some examples might be family, small group members, friends, roommates, colleagues, etc. Social Media - It’s good to leverage things like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Be intentional with your messaging and create clear calls to action in each of your postings. Create links for people to follow so that they can act right then.  Drip Campaigns - There are many preparation steps that lead up to an event and often requires your team to respond back and forth with potential candidates.  Drip campaigns are a series of communications to your team to alert them of key dates, key needs, and other updates.  Organizations using ServiceReef have a basic template for drip campaigns that is automated in each event, plus the ability to use the email sender to send group emails at any time and to schedule them for specific dates.   Work Back Calendar - It’s easy to forget all the communications, reminders, meetings, and other logistics of an event.  We recommend building a work back calendar.  The event date is the starting point and then you begin capturing key communication points leading up to the event and how many days/weeks before the event that you need to send that communication.  These are extremely helpful tools to manage your communication and keep you team informed.   Integration with MedicalMissions.com - Remember that you can post your short term opportunities directly into various environments of MedicalMissions.com through an integrated tool.  We encourage you to check out the variety of tools available to administrate your short term trips; ServiceReef has partnered with MedicalMissions.com to build this specific integration for short term trips for this community.  
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Mission Trip Leaders: 8 ideas for engaging your leaders
One big mistake we often make as leaders is putting all the focus on our staff and forgetting that we have an army of extremely “bought in” trip leaders. Shift gears and instead, think of your leaders as more than great people who lead your trips but people who can carry your vision forward. To participants and field partners, here are some suggestions on how to engage your trip leaders to a higher calling:  #1 Equip them. Remember, they might be your greatest tool for mobilizing your audience to mission. Help them become better recruiters, mobilizers, and senders.  #2 Encourage and gift books. There are so many great mission books (When Helping Hurts, The Great Omission, Shadow of the Almighty, and so on.). Consider having an annual book you purchase and send out to all of your trip leaders to continue building their own personal mission philosophy and worldview.  #3 Appreciation meals. Host appreciation meals for your trip leaders to pour into them, keep them connected, share what’s new and upcoming, and to allow them to build a tighter community with each other. Spread these out throughout the year to avoid the “see you next summer” mindset that some trip participants and leaders may accidentally fall into.  #4 Provide trainings. Host at least one annual trip leader training. Whether it's by video or something else, the most successful we’ve seen is for organization to have a time where you stop thinking about everything else and focus on your larger purpose for mission trips.  #5 Brainstorm sessions. Host brainstorms sessions throughout the year (especially out of peak trip season to keep leaders engaged) and collect feedback on ways to do things better: preparation, process, communications, resources, debriefs, and more.  #6 Give note & gifts. Sure, giving gifts for a volunteer role may not be the norm, but think creatively about this. Sending a note card and a $5 gift card to Starbucks to say thanks for all they are doing goes a long way.  #7 Recognize the work. While trip leaders may be working with you on the direct details of a specific trip, they are often mentoring and connecting with their participants long after the trip. Be sure to recognize and thank them for continually pouring into the people.  #8 Invite to team meetings. Invite trip leaders to key team or staff meetings when you are working through short-term logistics, strategic changes that impact them, and/or celebrating key things.  You have a unique opportunity to equip and send so many people. We often fixate on the trip participants and forget what amazing resources we have in our trip leaders. More so, these trip leaders really can essentially be your pro bono staff members giving you an army of equipped mobilizers.  Action: Select at least one item from above that you can implement this week. Maybe it's having a zoom call over coffee with a few team leaders and asking them what they need most to be equipped well.    This is just one strategy of five (5) we have for doubling your impact. Download all five (5) strategies you can implement immediately that will double your missions impact.   This post is written by Will Rogers. Will is the Co-Founder and CEO of ServiceReef.