We have a small church – average attendance of about 125. I’m not sure how practical it would be or how well it would work in a large church, but it was a great success for us in raising money for our summer mission trip.
You can buy mini M&M candy in colorful plastic tubes…purchase enough of these to distribute to all church members (or the typical number who worship on Sunday mornings). We were able to purchase them at cost from a local store. We billed the fund-raiser as “M&M….Money for Mission”, which isn’t exactly M&M, but close enough :).
We announced the plans ahead of time, in our newsletter, bulletin and during the worship service for several weeks. Then on the designated Sunday, we stationed the youth at all the exits following the service, and they handed out a candy tube to each person (include the children…they loved it!).
We asked everyone to take the tube home, enjoy the candy and then fill it back up with quarters (or any coins, but quarters fit just perfectly). We asked that every time they put a quarter in the tube they said a prayer for our youth and their mission trip.
We distributed the tubes well ahead of the time the money was needed, to give people time to fill the tubes slowly, if desired. We got a terrific response! Each tube will hold about $22 in quarters, and even though we had to pay a little for all the tubes initially, we still raised about $1500.
Some people put a $10 or $20 bill or a check in the tube and returned it, which was just fine with us. But most people did fill their tubes with coins, which in our eyes was even better. Not only did we get the donation, but we also knew there were lots of prayers for the kids and their efforts.