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Software and Services

What tools can I use to track team members, budgets, donors, and details?

By ShortTermMissions.com community

There are technology tools that can help you with just about every aspect of a mission trip. Before you start looking at options, think about your requirements. These might include:

  • Promoting the trip and sharing information about how to apply
  • Managing documents like applications, requirements, budgets, and checklists
  • Tracking incoming donations and funds for each team member
  • Tracking expenses according to budget categories
  • Providing online training materials
  • Communicating rapidly with all team members
  • Communicating with donors, family members and churches before, during, and after the trip

1. Leverage what you already have.

You may already have the tools you need. Consider:

  • Many churches and ministries already have contact management systems which you can use to track some of this information. Ask the people you are working with.
  • Someone in your group who has good technical and administrative skills may be able to take care of all your needs using database tools like Microsoft Excel, document sharing services like Google Docs, and online networking sites like Facebook.

2. Check out these free and low-cost tools.

  • Thinking about setting up your own website? That may be a good idea. Before you go that route, check out some of the web services designed to help promote and raise funds for projects and causes. YouCaring and Great Commission Stories are good examples.
  • If tracking donations and communication with supporters is your primary objective, download TntMPD. It's a free program popular with long-term missionaries. Newer alternatives include DonorElf and Karani.
  • New services designed for fundraising and communication are coming out all the time. Check out Razoo, Empowered, and YouCanSend.me.

3. Consider services especially designed for managing mission trips.

  • Missions Connex online fundraising software allows users to create custom fundraising pages to share with donors so they can give online; it provides reports on fundraising progress and helps keep track of donors.
  • Managed Missions is a more comprehensive software especially designed for mission trips. It allows you to create a budget, manage expenses, and keep track of team members and donations all in one place. It also provides tools for managing schedules and communications.
  • eFurther also provides additional project management tools, and can also be used to accept and approve mission trip applications and conduct training.
  • MissionMakr.com provides online communication and organizational tools to connect team members and those supporting and following the mission trip. It's very useful for recruiting and managing team members, raising funds, organizing tasks, hosting documents and training materials online, and posting field updates, photos, and videos.

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