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!
Luncheons following Sunday morning worship are huge at our church. We pick a Sunday in the Spring/Summer months and plan a huge birthday party. We decorate our fellowship hall to look like a 5 year olds birthday party with streamers, balloons, banners, party hats and lots of party favors. I even have one parent that makes balloon sculptures as table decorations.
Then I recruit 12 great bakers in our church to make a different cake, one for each month of the year. We have one huge dessert table with all 12 cakes on it and we also serve ice cream! We also serve summer type foods – bake chicken, salad, a veggie and some sort of bread.
We announce the event in our monthly newsletter and then the week prior I send out personal invitations to everyone at church. This is a great time to celebrate everyone’s birthday in one huge party and I even have the youth go around and put “happy birthday” stickers on everyone and thank them for supporting our youth mission trip. We don’t charge for this meal but accept donations, we very rarely charge for our events because we bring in hundreds more in donations. Our suggestion for donation is $1 for every year you are born (i.e. $25 if you are 25 years old) or on the day you were born (i.e. July 19 would be $19). People get creative and have a great time. We have a small church and usually have around 80-100 each year at this dinner but we’ve raised over $2,000!
This fundraiser requires a bit of organization but on the day of the “Car Wash” can be relatively easy. Canvas local businesses, either using responsible members of the youth group, paired up with leaders, or you can do it yourself. Come prepared with an example of what you are offering as follows:
A sheet using your church computer or other available computer, prepared by someone with some desktop publishing skills, that has advertising squares, and title at the top saying “******* Church Youth Group, Free Car wash”. It gives the details such as place and time, and a clause saying that the free car wash is redeemable upon presentation of the sheet.
You then ask businesses to donate to the fundraiser, which would then entitle them to be included in one of the advertising squares on the sheet which is to be delivered to homes in the area. You could get the youth to help deliver the sheets or you can do as we did. We enlisted the services of a local direct marketing firm to deliver to 5000 homes in the area for a reduced rate. A local printer also printed the sheets in color at a reduced rate, for inclusion of his company on the sheet. Our local newspaper also included the advertisers in a free ad for the carwash. You can see that this is very appealing to a local business! For a small charge (we said $100-$200 depending on size of their ad square) they get an ad that goes to thousands of local homes, in the newspaper, and their clients see them helping a good cause. We had hardly any cars turn up to the actual car wash but as you can see this didn’t matter at all. One final touch was to issue all sponsoring businesses with a framed certificate to thank them for their support- they can then display this for their customers to see. We raised over $1000, and the youth really had it pretty easy!
There are two ways you can do this fundraiser:
1. Ask two or three prominent church members (we asked the head pastor, associate pastor, and youth pastor, but it could work very well with the head youth pastor and one or two youth sponsors) to volunteer to get a pie in the face for the youth. Get one container for each volunteer. Place these in a visible place and announce to the church that whoever has the most money in their container at the end of a time period (one month works good) will get a pie in the face.
2. Ask for volunteers to get a pie in the face for the youth. (when you do it this way, it works well to have more than two or three people volunteer) Have the youth group sell tickets to the people in the church, for a chance to throw a pie in a volunteers face. The tickets should have a place to write down the name of the person buying the ticket, and the name of the volunteer they want to throw a pie at. Have one container for each volunteer and put all of the tickets with their name on it in their container. When the time period is up, take each container of tickets and draw one ticket out of each container. The name of the person who bought the ticket gets to throw a pie at that volunteer. This can be more fun, and also more profitable. (the spouses of the volunteers usually buy a lot of tickets) When we did the fundraiser this way, we had eight volunteers. We had seven whipped cream pies, and one real pie for the person with the most tickets in their container. Of course, the youth pastor (Larry) was the one who got the most tickets.
We print up bulletin inserts for 3 weeks explaining that we want 100 sponsors willing to pledge $1 a week for one year and we will cut back on the number of fundraisers we do. They really respond well to know that we aren’t going to be hitting them up for $ every couple of months. The number of sponsors can be adjusted depending on the church size.