M&M… Money For Mission

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.

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Car Wash-a-thon

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).

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Pie Auction

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.

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10% of A Week of Sales

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.

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Holiday Babysitting

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!

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Project SAM

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!

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Chicken Q

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.

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All Around the World Dinner

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.

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Sunday Lunch

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!

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Birthday Luncheon

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!

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