Food for Auctions!

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!

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Chili Cookoff

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!

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Free Car Wash

Set up a youth car wash at a local shopping centre or service station as you normally would. However, instead of charging people, do it for free. Make it clear that there are no strings attached. However, those who care to may make a contribution of any amount they choose. This money can then be used by the youth for a missionary project, a relief agency providing food for famine stricken countries, or other worthy projects. A sign/tickets could possibly read: Your car is being washed by the youth group from Parkview Church for free with no strings attached. It’s just one small way for us to demonstrate to you the love of Jesus Christ. Another way we are attempting to share this love is by collecting funds to help purchase food for the hungry. If you’d like to help us with this project, your contribution would be greatly appreciated. *** Keep an eye on younger youth so that they take it somewhat seriously and don’t annoy the customers.

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Valentine’s Sale / Delivery

Each January our youth group makes homemade valentines. We cut magazine pictures, use paper doilies, stickers, etc. to decorate. We use Bible verses or other quotations for the inside verse. Then we sell them for $1 to parishioners for a Sunday or 2 before Valentine’s day. We encourage parishioners to send them to seniors or shut-ins or to other church or family members nearby. On the Sunday before Valentine’s Day, the youth & I deliver them to the homes. It’s a great way for the youth to become acquainted with the older folks who love to have company. It saves parishioners money and gives them the opportunity to remember someone they may not have otherwise. It’s a wonderful project for many reasons.

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We have raised $100’s with this idea. Solicit pledges from congregation members & local residents for the total amount of trash collected (# of bags or lbs of trash). Ahead of time, contact your city street & sanitation dept & ask if they will assist (ours provides free trash bags, free pickup & crews working signs). Also, contact local media. On Trash-a-Thon day, send teams into the neighborhood to collect trash from roadsides, bag & return to pickup area to be counted or weighed in. This is a GREAT fundraiser as well as an excellent servant event!

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Start this fundraiser about 4 weeks before Valentine’s Day. In bulletins, place decorated cards in which church members may write a message to anyone in church. When they are done, have the church members give the cards and a dollar to any youth group member. The Sunday of Valentine’s Day, a print out of the names of all those who have received a Kiss-O-Gram are placed in the bulletin, overhead projector, etc. Church members are told to get their message with a Hershey Kiss on a table at the back of the church. Simple fundraiser and our church loves sending multiple messages to everyone!

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Box Maze

Get local businesses to donate boxes (big enough for large people to crawl through)and purchase box tape for around $100 dollars and build a giant maze in a donated warehouse. It takes around 3 or more days to build depending on experience. You will need box cuters, tape, box fans, tables, and knee pads to rent out. You create a giant maze people crawl through. Charge around $5-$10 and discounts for groups. We raised over $1700 dollars doing it. IT IS ALSO FUN FUN FUN!

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Bottles and Cans

To help raise money for our annual dinner, we have a drive where church members and friends and family donate their empty cans and bottles. We then take them to the grocery store and cash them in. You will be suprised on how much money you can raise.

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Ever heard of a BoxAthon? Well once your youth have tried it, they will be begging to do it again and again.

The concept is simple … You raise pledges to live in a box for 24 hours.

Have your youth gather up Fridge, Stove, Freezer, Wash / Dryer Boxes (all that you can get for free at the end of delivery days for any major retailer), have them bring box cutters, and a large roll of duck tape. We allow our girls to make “apartments” with girls and guys with guys, by joining their boxes to make large forts. They are allowed to bring items to keep them entertained (you can set any number of limits, we allow them to bring portable TV’s, Video Game Stations, and such, but we censor all material first and they are responsible to bring their own extension cords for these items as well as food). The less you have to supply as the leader the better. Give them about 1 to 2 hours to complete their structures, and then send them in their boxes. We allow 5 minutes on every hour to use the bathroom and stretch. I recommend doing this activity outside if possible, we just did one in our churchs gym (since it was January and all) and just the fragments from the cut boxes was a big enough mess, let alone all the trash teens make. Be prepared that your teens will get anxious toward the end, but overall they are going to have a great time!

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Christmas in July

We did this for an activity night at our youth group but it could easily work as a fundraiser as well.

I’m from Australia and in December it’s summer, so it’s pretty hot. As a result a lot of people don’t necessarily have ‘traditional’ Christmas meals (they have prawns on the BQQ and green salads, stuff like that). As a result people sometimes have Christmas in July meals so they can have a traditional roast dinner.

We cooked up a bunch of roasts and roast vegetable, two types of soup and a few different types of desserts. We had the youth leaders be waiters for the kids. We also had door prizes and a gift swapping game. It was a formal dinner and all the youth dressed up. We even made up menus and stuff for the dinner.

To make this a fundraiser all you have to do is advertise it at your church and sell tickets to the congregation. Have members of your youth group (and leaders) be waiters for the night. We found it useful to find volunteers who would cook a roast at home and then bring it on the night.

It was a lot of work, and there was a heap of cleaning up to do, but it was fun.

If you’re north of the equator you could do the opposite of what we did and have an ‘Aussie’ Christmas in July.

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