Have the youth go out, and find people to sponsor them a certain amount per pin. For example, if they were sponsored a penny per pin, and they knock down 200 pins altogether, they get $2.00 from that sponsor. Kids can get as many sponsors as they want, and include information for the sponsors. (What the money is going towards, what the group is doing, and stuff like that).
If everyone could get 10 sponsors for a nickel a pin, and got 200 pins, they could bring in a $100 minus the $5 it takes to play the game. Kids get to benefit from fellowship, as well as raise money for activities.


Have anyone, any age, who wishes to bowl sign up. Have a date set up where you rent a bowling alley for an afternoon so you have use of all the lanes. Hand out manila envelopes with Sponsor Sheets attached. Encourage parents to let their grade schoolers to get sponsors and then set it up so they can “Bumper Bowl” on a lane or two. Have participants get people to sponsor each pin they get down (we bowl 3 games). Have prizes for best scores, worst scores, youngest bowler, oldest bowler, most improved score from game 1 to 3, etc.

Throw in pizza and pop and you have a great party besides. Any age from 5-105 can bowl and get sponsors! Easy way to raise money for your church if you have a small youth group.

To spice it up if you have less than 10 or 15 bowlers, set up a tournament bracket. I set it up to have everyone bowl 2 games for Round 1, and then each Round after that you bowl 1 game per Round. Most people get tired of bowling after 3 games.(People knocked out after Round 1 could still bowl, they just wouldn’t be competing). Have prizes to make it competitive. Great way to raise money that includes little preparation (like meals and other fundraisers do) and involves the young and old! Great way to fellowship with the entire church.

Bowling For Missions

To raise money for missions, here is a neat concept. Have the youth plan a night of bowling at a local bowling alley. Tell the youth to challenge the adults in a bowling contest. The catch is for everyone who bowls they must give a certain pledge for every pin they knock over that night! The more pins are knocked down the more money you raise. The pledge could be as low as a penny per pin or higher, anyway everyone will have a great time and funds will be raised.

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!


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!

Calendar Sale

Our youth group holds an annual calendar sale in September and October. Each year the sales increase because people know we will be selling them. We have individual sales (family, friends, etc) and group sale (before and after church services, in front of a local department store). The first group profits go into the youth fund while the individual profits go toward our annual trips and events.

Car Wash Challenge

If you have a large group (15 or more) who are raising funds, do a car wash challenge by dividing the group in two and having car washes at two different locations. Make sure that you have adults to help at both locations, enough equipment for both locations, and make sure that the locations are far enough away that you really have the possibility of receiving the most donations. This helps to maximize your message (people always want to know who you are and why you are raising money) and it doubles your car wash earnings. You can also check with some local businesses to see if they will match your funds.

Car Wash With A Difference

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!

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).

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.

Chili Auction

My mother-in-law thought of this one. Tell your church body that the pastor (or youth pastor) makes amazing chili. Encourage everyone find out where their chili stands by entering a chili cook off. We didn’t charge any fees to enter the chili in the contest, just the chili itself was the fee. Here is where the fund raising comes in: invite the whole church body to be the judges and taste each contestant’s chili for $3.00 (or whatever you want to charge), they fill out a ballot naming their 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Give a blue ribbon to the winner. You can have parents make chili just to sell if people want to buy dinner while they are there. This is really fun, the whole church had fun together with this one.

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!

Christmas Card Delivery

Encourage church members to drop off cards for other church members at the church building. For a nickel or dime per card, sort the cards and deliver them to staff members’ mail slots, church members’ after Sunday services or by car to shut-ins. Set up a table in your church foyer for church members to drop off more cards or stop by to pick up any mail. Advertise this activity in November and encourage church members to mail their cards early. Charge an extra nickel for each card “mailed” after December 20th. *** I think it might be a good idea to offer Christmas cards to be purchased at the table as well to help make extra money.

Christmas Cookie Auction

Each year we hold a Christmas Cookie Auction to help raise money for the youth. Each youth brings in a couple dozen Christmas Cookies, and they are auctioned off. The trick is clever packaging. We have had people use tool boxes and other such items to pack the cookies in. The auction is held just after church, on a Sunday close to Christmas. It is highly publicized in the church newsletter and bulletin. Then they are auctioned off, in a regular auction, where the highest bidder wins. We always have a terrific turnout, and we have had cookies go for as much as $20!

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.

Cinco De Mayo

As a kick-off for our fun raising campaign for our mission trip to Mexico, we help a Cinco De Mayo celebration at our church building. The teens cooked tacos and other Mexican dishes and invited the church to eat after Sunday evening services. We designed a wishing well and asked folks to donate what they can and we raised almost $1000 dollars.

Club 52

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.

Coffee & Dessert Night

Invite the Youth and/or other people in your church congregation to make and donate desserts for your evening. Invite the Youth (or others in the church if whole church event)to come up with short acts, musical pieces, poetry reading, video presentation etc. make sure you censor them. Schedule the performances throughout your evening and in between each act allow quiet music to facilitate conversation. Have junior members act as waitresses and waiters. remember to organise some kitchen staff. Invite your church fellowship, friends, family and/or your local community and advertise it as a drop in coffee and dessert night with either a donation for the dessert and coffee of their choice or a cost per dessert. Remember to put on your menu Mystery Dessert for the more adventurous and serve them whatever you have heaps of or something arranged earlier that isn’t on the menu as a surprise. This activity brings the generations together whilst raising funds for your Youth Ministry.

Community Auction & Social

To prepare, the youth group needs to go to people and businesses collecting donations that may be auctioned off, making it clear what the money collected will be used for. Perhaps there are some businesspeople in the congregation that can donate items or services such as haircuts, daycare, art, etc. The number of different items are endless. Youth may also volunteer items to be auctioned such as 4 hours of babysitting. A group of 3 or 4 boys may volunteer 8 hours of labour to be auctioned. The larger the variety of the items auctioned off, the better.
Designate a night for the social. When I have been involved, it has been held as a valentine event. Charge admission to cover the cost of hors d’ourves or desserts. Arrange for there to be some type of entertainment for the evening, either from the youth and the church or from a college ministry team if you have access to one.
When the people arrive on the night of the auction, have the different items to be auctioned off arranged on tables around the room with a piece of paper accompanying each item for people to write their name and bid on. The bid on each item will rise as people try and outbid each other for the things they want. Set a time for the bidding to end, and at that time, collect all sheets.
Have people take their seats, serve the food/desserts, and announce the winning bidders for each item, interrupting the periods of announcement with whatever entertainment you have planned.
At a church of 200 people with a youth group of 20-30, this event regularly raised between $1,000 and $1,300! If anyone donates a big-ticket item, it may add a nice touch to auction that off at the end. Planning is everything.

Country & Western Night

We once had a country and western dinner night at our church. We dressed the fireside room up in total country garb. In the middle we had a chuck-wagon salad bar, including salad and all the fixins, and a big huge block of cheese. We had several artistic set ups including: old lanterns, saddles, reigns and the like. We used these to make small displays containing country and western flavour. On the floor we laid down poly (plastic) and on top of that we laid 2 by 6 boards covering the whole floor. Ask a local lumberyard if they would donate the wood, you can usually take it back after. On top of the wood we through straw to make it seem as though we were in a bar setting. We had lots of straw bails every where which added to the setting. The tables were small with checkered table cloths, and old chairs. The menu consisted of beef and chicken, only a few different things, which all came with a baked potatoe and salad. Serve whatever drinks are poplular… no beer!!! Have whatever We asked those who came to pay by donation, but we also gave a suggested cost for each meal. The youth set up, served, some cooked, and we all took down. It was a great time and we made major bucks. Make sure its well publicized in country and western looking paper for example.