Bake Sale: have youth (or any parishioner) contribute items. Decorate with special tags and ribbons. Sell during coffee hour — when no other treats/snacks are provided.
- Some groups have taken special orders around the holidays to help families with desserts or breads for their family gatherings.
- Some groups have had special “baking days” at church where youth can come and learn how to make something from an adult parishioner (great intergenerational involvement!) and then sell the results.
- Some groups have a “cookie by the pound” sale. They ask for donations from ALL parishioners, then folks can come and pick out an assortment of cookies and pay by the pound.
Parents Night Out or Parents Shopping Day Out: Youth provide babysitting, arts and crafts, games, snacks, etc. while parents can have a date night or a Christmas shopping day free of children. If it’s a Christmas shopping day, have a ‘wrapping station’ available for when they return so they can wrap gifts while you continue to watch their kids! For more information, see this PNO Write Up.
Send an arm to camp: Some folks might not be able to provide money for an entire camp scholarship, but they might be able donate a partial scholarship…thus, send an arm to camp! send a leg to camp!
Service Board (aka Rent-a-Youth): Church members post on a bulletin board odd jobs or service projects for around their home and a price they would pay for the service. Youth take the postings and sign up to do the task for the donation. Sean – Cochranton, PA
Kohl’s Cares Volunteer program: You can request volunteers from Kohl’s, if you’re able to get 5 volunteers from the same Kohl’s location (for at least 3 hours of work), you get a $500 grant from Kohl’s! Read more about how to register for the program here: https://corporate.kohls.com/corporate-responsibility/associates-in-action
Talent Show: We do a talent show each year called “Immanuel’s Got Talent” where our students and other adults from the church showcase their talents for the community. The families of our students provide desserts, and we take a freewill offering during the night. For all of our fundraisers throughout the year, we try to do something that not only raises money but also promotes community within our church. Bret – Ripon, CA
144 Envelopes: Put 144 envelopes in the narthex numbered from 1–144 with $ in front. (So $1, $2, etc.) Ask church members to make a donation with that amount of money in it. If every envelope got filled, it equals $10,800. Janet – West Covina, CA
Change Sunday: “The change in your pocket can support a big change for the young people of our diocese.” Take up a special collection on the day of the spring or autumn time change asking people for the change in their wallets or pockets.
Mothers Day Corsages: get some greenery and white and red carnations to hand-make corsages. Sell them on Mother’s Day at church. A white flower honors a deceased mother, red or pink flowers honor living mothers. Traditionally, carnations are used because they were the favorite flower of Mother’s Day founder Anna Jarvis’ mother.
Youth Servers: Does your church host all-parish dinners? Have the youth be waiters and waitresses for the evening. Have them all wear black pants, white shirts, and black aprons or black bow-ties. Put out baskets to collect tips.
Silent Auction: Ask parishioners to donate themed baskets or services from the businesses where they work or week/weekends at timeshares or vacation homes they may own. Also ask area businesses if they will donate items. This could be combined with other activities or dinners on this list.
Trivia night: During a trivia night, a master of ceremonies reads trivia questions split up into different categories or rounds. The questions are then answered by different groups of people in an audience. These groups, also known as “teams” or “tables,” typically consist of six to 12 people who have paid an admission fee to participate. At the end of each round, a representative from each team turns in its answers to a panel of judges who then calculate the scores for each team. The teams compete against one another with the top two or three teams receiving prizes. You could also offer food and a silent auction to increase revenue.
Shrove Tuesday pancake supper: have youth team up with a parent to provide a unique pancake option. Make a bunch of plain pancake batter, set-up tables with electric skillets, then each table can have unique fillings, toppings, or other decor to add to the pancakes! Charge admission and accept donations.
A Night of Camp Wood: have a fork-less spaghetti lunch or dinner at church! Sing a camp grace, do mealtime mockeries, distribute “mail” and have people “kiss the fish,” sing the Whiffle song when it’s time to clean up, and make sure there are announcements at the end! It’s a great way to get the word out about Camp and also raise a little bit for scholarships!
Car Wash: take people’s keys when they go in to church, wash and vacuum their car during the service, they come out to a clean car!
Letter-Writing Campaign: Get people involved outside the parish by asking the youth to write letters to 10 people (grandparents, aunts & uncles, coaches, former teachers, etc.) and ask for assistance paying for their mission trip or camp experience. See this web site for ideas on what to put in the letters.
Movie night with Concessions: Due to copyright laws, we can’t charge for movies, but you can sell popcorn, hotdogs, candy, or homemade baked goods! Plus, your parishioners get a great night of fellowship.
Protection Money: Offer protection from an item, such as a purple toilet or flock of flamingos. If members of your church don’t buy protection, then the toilet gets delivered to their front lawn, and the only way to have it removed is to pay the toilet removal fee. Fun Stuff! Jeff – Escondido, CA
Duct-Tape Wallets: Have a youth night where you make Duct-Tape wallets. Be sure to make popular color combinations. Then, have each student sell them for $3–$5 after school, before school, at events, etc. AJ – Galt, CA
Noodles & Doodles: (Pasta Dinner & Art Auction): We have students create their own original artwork (painting, sculptures, poems, anything) around their favorite Bible verse or story. The more the better. Students sell tickets in advance ($10). At the event, display the art and serve a pasta dinner. Students act as servers and are dressed in black and white. Do a silent auction or live auction (or combination) to sell the artwork. To increase your profits, have parents or adults donate pasta, sauce and tableware. Donations from Italian restaurants can help, too. Nathan – Lemon Grove, CA
Chocolate Dessert Competition: We had people at church sign up and make their best chocolate-infused treat. We also sent a letter out and had a couple adult leaders follow up with community businesses on prize donations for the winners. We charged people at the door ($5) for the privilege of tasting all the cocoa-inspired goodness while they listened to a local jazz band play. Lastly, we ran a 50/50 raffle at the same event and gave away a few of the free prizes as door prizes. Scott – Minden, NV
The Sledgehammer: Get an old broken down car and have students and adults pay to get a swing at the car with a sledgehammer. Grady – Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Dodge Ball Tourney: $10 or so per person. You can sell snacks and stuff on the side. We took a bowling trophy and cut and reapplied the arm so it looked like it was throwing a dodge ball for a low-cost prize. Brandon – Bricelyn, MN
Got a great fundraising idea to share? Send it to the Youth Missioner, Karen Schlabach, firstname.lastname@example.org.