Over the last year, we’ve hosted a number of incredibly successful child sponsorship weekend events. In partnership with churches and Christian leaders throughout the United States, we’ve seen congregations sponsor hundreds of Mid India children – but we want to do more.
That’s why we put together this guide to hosting your own Christian child sponsorship weekend. If your congregation wants to provide in-need Indian children with the food, shelter, and education they need to realize Christ’s plans for them, here’s how you can do it.
1. Research the Organization You Plan to Partner With
Before you partner with us or any other child sponsorship organization to host a sponsorship weekend, we recommend that you research that organization. Primarily, you’ll want to answer the following questions, before pursuing a partnership and hosting a child sponsorship event:
- How much of the money that the organization raises actually benefits children?
- Where does the organization operate?
- Does the organization have any additional affiliations or interests?
- How can you get in touch with the organization?
We’ve written more about most of these questions here. After you’ve answered the first three to your satisfaction, you should reach out to the organization you want to partner with, to see how they can assist you in hosting a child sponsorship event.
2. Reach Out to the Organization
After you’ve vetted the organization you want to partner with, you’ll want to reach out to them to see how you can host a child sponsorship event. When churches, congregations, or other groups reach out to us, we like to know:
- Where the group is located.
- What size the group is.
- Why they’re interested in hosting a child sponsorship event.
- What marketing and promotional channels they use.
- What questions they have for us.
We usually receive event inquiries through our website, and while they don’t need to include all of this information, it helps us out tremendously if they do. With this info in hand, we can start figuring out how best to create, support, and promote your child sponsorship event.
3. Rally Your Congregation’s Leadership
As you begin talking with us, you’ll also want to coordinate with your organization’s leadership – to make sure they’ve bought in to the idea of hosting a child sponsorship event. If you need help warming your leadership to the concept, we’d love to connect with your group via a video call or in person. In that meeting, we’ll lay out some of the benefits that a child sponsorship weekend offers your congregation, including:
- Encouraging your congregation to think about God’s mission not just at home, but around the world.
- Encouraging generosity and a spirit of giving. We often refer to Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” when explaining how making an impact in a child’s life lifts people’s spirits.
- Engaging your congregation in your church’s larger mission and goals. Nothing inspires a congregation like coming together to support a worthy cause.
We find that directly stating (and showing) the impact that our child sponsorship events have on the children we work with wins most people to our cause. These events make a real difference for Indian children who need support – support that your Christian congregation will likely be glad to offer. We’re glad to make our case to your leadership if needed, because we believe in our cause so much.
After your group’s leadership has approved your event, it’ll be time to start thinking about logistics – starting with selecting the date(s) that you want to host your child sponsorship event.
4. Select a Weekend to Host Your Child Sponsorship Event
This step’s all on you and your congregation’s leadership. We trust that churches and other organizations know what weekend is best for them to host a child sponsorship weekend, and we support whatever decision that church makes.
For our part, after you’ve chosen a date for your event, we’ll help you map out a promotional timeline, as well as help you figure out day-of-event logistics. To start, we’ll begin sending you the materials you’ll need for your event.
5. Receive Sponsorship and Promotional Materials from Us
As the date of your event approaches, we’ll send you a number of materials you can use to promote your event and secure sponsorships. These include promotional videos, flyers, brochures, digital marketing assets, and of course, the actual child sponsorship packets that your congregation will be able to review as they consider sponsoring a child.
While we know most organizations have their own outlets for promoting their events, we can also work with you to boost your event and reach a wider audience (if necessary). We can also help you craft your event’s message, to draw people to your event.
6. Promote Your Child Sponsorship Weekend
Typically, we recommend that organizations begin promoting their child sponsorship event roughly a month before the event takes place. This gives their congregation time to think about the event and budget for sponsoring a child.
Then, in the two weeks before the event, we recommend heavily promoting your event – using brochures, digital promotion, and in-service announcements. And finally, if you’re hosting your event directly after a Sunday service, we recommend promoting the event last thing during that service. That way, your congregation will be primed to attend your child sponsorship event and support a child.
7. Host Your Congregation’s Child Sponsorship Weekend
This is it – the day of your event! If we can, we’ll attend on-site to help your congregation learn about the joys of sponsoring a child through Mid India. And if we can’t, we’ll make sure your organization’s leaders are prepared to tell our story.
We recommend planning to run your event for at least an hour to two hours – to make sure you can attend to each person who wants to sponsor a child. Also, don’t be afraid to secure “after the fact” sponsorships and donations – and reach out to us if you need someone to follow up with those who want to give, but can’t do so until later.
If you have any other questions about how to host your own Christian child sponsorship event, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Facilitating and attending these events is one of the most fulfilling parts of our work – because we get to preach Mid India’s child sponsorship mission directly to those who can help our children the most.