By Nicholas Finley
There are two reasons that youth raise funds: one, to donate funds to a certain cause (charity donation etc.), and two, to offset expenses of youth activities. As important as these two reasons may be, it is more important that fund raising not be the most common activity. When at all possible youth activities should be paid for based upon a set budget (hopefully established by the youth in coordination with the entire parish or district) and fundraising should be reserved for specific projects. So when called for, making necessary funds might be done in one of the following “fun” ways. Consider seeking opportunities to hold fundraising events in areas that will attract notice of people other than your parish family in order to draw in funds: contact local fair organizers to see about having youth booth at next fair; hold car wash at large parking lot that is in moderate traffic area (obtaining permission of owner of lot); for sales – contact area malls; on list of clients for services rendered (cleaning, lawn mowing) seek new clients among people in the community near the parish who are not members.
1. Have the group plan and hold a Car Wash. Make a list of three or more sights where fundraiser could be held. Call owners of lots in question to obtain permission to hold fundraiser. Designate one member to be in charge of acquiring supplies. Have another member in charge of making signs to attract customers. Gather group at church to travel together to the place where you are holding the car wash. Before leaving Church, have “prayer for beginning of every good work.” Wash cars. Take necessary breaks and have members bring lunches. Upon return to Church for departure, give thanks in prayer to God for blessing the day’s efforts.
2. Have a Youth Auction where groups of youth group members are auctioned to perform chores and services for parishioners. Designate day and place fundraiser is to be held. Pair off kids in groups of twos or threes to be auctioned to parishioners for whatever service they are able to perform: clean garages; mow lawns; paint houses; shovel snow; plant flowers; clean yards; trim foliage. Groups meet to travel to place of work together. Have groups say a prayer before beginning work. If home where they are working has an icon corner, ask the homeowner if it is okay to have prayer before working there. Once work is finished, thank God for blessing the work. church youth fundraisers
3. Bake Sales are always delicious ways to raise money. Generate ideas of baked goods that could be sold and designate members to bake these items. Also, determine before hand place where sale is to be held. Consider having it in a place other than the Church Hall. Publicize the event by contacting local papers to put it on the calendar, generate flyers, and make signs to post on the day of the event at the place where the sale is being held.
4. Selling greeting cards, candy, wrapping paper, bulbs, wreathes, handmade jewelry: Crafts like these may not sell for much, but if time is put into generating nice things they can be sold for small amounts. Have meeting to set dates and times for holding the workshops to produce items for sale, and also discuss where and when items are to be sold. They could be sold: at a Church Bazaar, area fair or school picnic, youth group flea market.
5. Offer a gift wrapping service or take advantage of similar programs at Barnes and Nobles during Christmas Shopping Season.
6. Pizza or Submarine Sandwich sales.
7. Walk-a-thon: Pocket change is acceptable as a donation. Designate departure place and time and destination together with total mileage of the walk. Have people donate money per the mile and walk from Church building to local landmark of choice.
8. Flee market/Rummage sale: Sell all your items you no longer need or that are donated for sale.
9. Used book sales: One mans useless book is another mans next read. Have parishioners donate old books they no longer want for sale.
10. Monopoly or board game tournament: See who can outdo who at favorite board game; small donation for entry into tournament.
11. Nintendo/home entertainment tournament: See board game idea above and apply it to an entertainment system game in which people might want to compete. Have people of all ages as participants.
12. Organize raffles with tickets to sporting events, free passes to movies, or gift certificates to local eateries as prizes.
13. Youth Group Weekend Maid Service: May not be initially appealing to youth members but could prove quite resourceful in generating funds; I mean everybody wants their house cleaned! Have group generate client list and schedule of jobs. Gather on day of job and travel together. Upon arrival say a prayer before beginning work.
14. (Where available) Recycle collection for exchange for cash: Earn a little financial support for youth group while protecting the environment.
15. Have a Youth Choir concert with a free will offering. Pick a date plenty in advance to publicize and hold rehearsals. Hold concert and offer a light snack or meal after performance.
16. (To add to crafts for sale) contact local office for Department of Conservation to get ideas for top three things that would promote good ecology in your area and design a refrigerator magnet with these top three on it to sell at craft sale.
17. Have a Lip Sync contest. Have performers pay small fee for entry. Offer prizes for most original performance, best lip sync, and best costume.
18. Prepare and sell tickets for a Spaghetti dinner.
19. Hold a theme party: 50’s dance, Luau, Asian, Russian, Latin, or maybe black and white as the theme where all things are black and white including the costumes.
20. Perform a Play.
21. Guess the number of jelly beans in a jar. 10 cents per guess – The person who has the closest guess wins a prize.