I come from a small church, and we maybe have 8-10 youth in our core youth group. This is a great fundraiser for smaller youth groups. It tends to work better with pre-teens and teenagers.
We have a gentleman in our church who is a local auctioneer. Each year, he allows our youth group to sell the concessions during some of the auctions. Ask around; chances are there are auctions locally that need your help selling concessions. A lot of the auctions we’ve done are all-day events beginning early in the morning and lasting into the evening. A couple hundred people usually attend each auction.
We are set up prior to the auction selling coffee and donuts. Shortly after, we begin selling hot dogs, chili dogs, chips, cookies, other baked goods, and drinks (water goes well, especially during hot days!) Some local businesses will even donate items if it’s for a good cause. We ask ladies of the church to donate donuts, baked goods, cookies, and chili sauce. We also hand out tracks and invitations to church with their purchase of food.
Each person is assigned tasks during the auction: one person mans the George Foreman grill and grills hot dogs, one person prepares the chili dogs, one person is the cashier and keeps track of the money, one person is in charge of drinks, and one person hands out tracks/invitations. It’s a great time to fellowship together and invite others to our church. We spend about $300 for supplies prior to the auction, but we make anywhere between $900-$1,600 selling concessions!
Get an appropriate number of volunteers to make appropriate size batches of chili. Number the pots of chili and serve \”samples\” (2oz. cups are great) with the corresponding chili pot number on the sample cup.
After the samples are eaten allow everyone to go through the line and get a bowl of the chili they liked best. Have a donation plate in front of each pot of chili and people vote with their donations – the chili whose plate has the most money in it is the winner. You hope for a couple of families to try and \”buy\” the chili champ title and watch the money roll in.
This is a lot of fun!
Caution: Please inform any serious / sensitive cooks that the best chili doesn\’t always win – it\’s a fundraiser!
About a month before the scheduled car wash, begin collecting pledges from people (in church, or door to door, neighbors, family members, friends) on how many cars you can wash during the car wash. Make up pledge sheets for the kids to fill out (name, address, phone #). Make sure the kids give some kind of ticket to the person pledging money in support of this car wash. Example: 50 cents a car Xs 200 cars (for the whole day) = $100 pledge. (this is just an example– they can pledge less money and still gain $$) If you have a large group (50+ teens) set up a couple locations around town (McDonalds, Arbys, The church, Taco Bell, etc.) to sponsor your car wash. During the car wash make sure someone is counting the number of cars that come in at each location, when the car wash is finished compare who washed the most cars and which location had the most pledges. Advertise the car was as “FREE”– but don’t deny someone the opportunity to make a donation. Have a big container to display the money collected during the car wash. To collect the pledges: total the number of cars washed at ALL locations and collect your pledges. This is a great fundraiser– raises money during the pledges and also at the carwash. Most people will give more at the car wash especially if it is sponsoring youth activities (churches, schools).
The parents or any volunteers would bring pies to a social after a church function. Each pie is then auctioned off to the highest bidder. If you have a favorite pie and there is only one of them the price gets quite high. After the pies are auctioned off, people tend to share their goodies and a great social event takes place. I did this a couple times before and we raised anywhere from $50 to $250 a pie! The youth group earned some money and people’s tummy were happy.
Steger Sebastian has a community program where it donates 10% of a week of sales to an organizations. Maybe you can talk to a local company/business to have a special day where a percentage of sales or sales on specific items goes to your group. Maybe have donation buckets at their cash registers.
Each holiday season the senior high youth group gets together at the church to sponsor babysitting. This serves many purposes. The youth have a structured environment on a Saturday night, the adults of the church get babysitting at a bargain price and the kids get together for a family-type outing on a special night of the week! The youth charge $5 per child ($3 additional children in family) and the parents get 3 hours of quality babysitting. The youth divide the children into age groups and have puppet shows, watch Veggie Tale movies, tell Bible stories and have snacks and arts and crafts. The money raised is used for a youth mission trip the group takes each spring. The younger youth (junior highs) assist by taking care of the incidentals: bathroom trips, napkin or drink trips, and clean-up. They also get to be with the senior highs (a rarity!) and be involved on a grander scale than usual. They also get also get invaluable experience! The seniors are thinking of doing it again in the summer to help finance a fall retreat they want to duplicate at their own church!
Project SAM (support a missionary)
Project SAM is a fundraiser for a youth group who are preparing for an upcoming missions trip.
The goal of project SAM is to :
-to connect older members of our congregation with our student missions projects
– secure prayer for our students as they prepare
– raise appropriate funds for the trip.
I asked people to sign up (or call the youth leader). We asked them to:
1. Commit to pray for the student as they prepared for the mission project,
2. Pray for the student each day we were on the mission. We handed out prayer cards with our schedule, what exactly that student would be doing that day: puppets, singing, sharing her testimony.
3. We had students send postcards from our mission destination-home to their supporters
4. We had a commissioning service for our students before they went away and asked the supporters to be there. We then asked all the students to stand on the stage and their supporters to stand behind them as we prayed a commissioning prayer (quite a powerful sight with over 60 ppl on stage laying hands on the students).
5. Most imporatant, we made students do a personal visit with their supporter to share pic’s and stories of the trip and how God used them.
6. We asked each supporter to contribute $25 a month for 4 months (or they could just give the $100 all at once).
We had over 30 people sign up which was an easy way to raise $3000.
How did I get people? I targeted certain people and groups.
1. I approached specific empty nesters who had disposable income.
2. I approached the missions groups in our churches,
3. I approached small groups and asked if they would like to work together on this project and sponsor a student.
4. I encouraged some students to ask their grandparents if they would support them.
This was easy to organize, and very effective way to raise funds and build excitement about student missions church-wide!
This is a great fundraiser. It’s called Chicken Q because you cook chicken. Find the cheapest place in your area where you can get alot of chicken. My youth group runs between 15 and 25. We usually order about 250 chickens. we sell Chiken Q tickets for about 3 or 4 weeks ahead of time and see if we can sell all of the chicken…if not don’t stress it. You can sell the chicken on the same day you cook it. Call everyone in your entire area if you can, including gast stations, grocery stores, mechanics, and all businesses. THEY WILL WANT SOME BBQ CHICKEN! On the tickets we sell it tells the people what they will get : A half of a chicken, baked beans, mashed patatoes, coleslaw, and a desert. Get your church to donate the deserts. Ask your local Mrs. Winners or whatever chicken place you have to donate the little cups for coleslaw and baked beans. A lot of places will donate if you just ask. We sold these plates for 5 bucks a piece.
The All Around the World Dinner is a great fundraiser that includes meals from all around the world. Everyone in the youth group (works well in pairs) picks a country e.g. China. They then decorate a room to represent that country and make foods honouring it (stir fry, wonton soup, etc.). It is a lot of fun at tickets sell really well! Some locations we did were: Hawaii, Italy, China, Thailand, Holland and Mexico.
I wish I had thought of this but someone from a nearby church shared the idea with me. A lot of people go out for lunch on Sunday after the morning service. The idea here is to bring lunch to them. You have several people volunteer to make dishes or use a caterer that will give a good price (we have one locally that give us a great deal on side dishes). Offer a buffet type lunch such as turkey, ham, dressing, potato salad, vegetables, desserts, etc… Advertise for a couple of weeks ahead of time stating the times the “youth cafe” will be open and the price of the meal. Keep your price low (we set the price at $5 for adults and $3 for kids) and then have the youth wait tables. Many people give large “tips” and you can raise a lot of money even in a small church. It’s also a great time of fellowship, and everyone has a lot of fun!