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A while back, I did a blog with an idea to team with Faith Alive to sell books as a fundraiser for youth groups. Some folks thought it was a decent idea. Other’s doubted that it would work well.  But it did spark some good discussion about fundraising and maybe even about a number of strategic goals around fundraising.

Most youth groups get involved in fundraising to earn money for projects or events. I’ve come to realize that raising money is fine, but often the teamwork and relationships that are formed in the fundraising projects o outweigh the financial gains.

Albert Huizing IV often weighs in on this blog. I’ve never met him, but I appreciate his input and have learned to value his experience. He suggested that fundraising should fuel relationships and build excitement within the youth. He encouraged youth groups to experiment with lots of things that are simple and easy in order to identify what works best for your church and your circumstance. This is great advice.

So have others out there discovered that fundraising can be a very positive factor in building community within your youth group? What kinds of fundraising events have most blessed your group — both from a financial perspective and from the relational perspective?

I would love to hear others weigh in on this. And thanks, Albert, for allowing me to share your words of wisdom. It’s always a pleasure to read your feedback and learn from you.



Thanks for the kind words, Paul; Like most things I continue to learn more about the ever-changing dynamics of youth ministry. The key if you haven't done fund-raising before or are even scared of the thought of it is start with something simple, enjoy the relationships/fellowship that is created from the effort and make it fun. 

For example, I always have a future fund-raising agenda/plan geared for specific events (eg. short term missions trips) but the kids from time-to-time surprise me with their enthusiasm. Recently, because our Youth Rallys in the Maritimes are comparitively small the cost seem to go higher and higher each time we hold one (2x per year) . In an effort to reduce some of these costs, the kids requested a fund-raiser, to help with the costs. Because of a our late decision to do this and the Rally was only 3 weeks away, we decided to have a Movie Madness evening, at the church. In the Sanctuary we showed the movie Couragious and in the Fellowship Hall, another part of the Church, we showed numerous Veggie Tales movies. We advertised it with posters in Churches, Schools and Women's Ministries and stated what it was for, a suggested Donation and the kids sold, baked goodies, drinks, & popcorn during the movies. Why Women's Minitries? Do you how many young moms would kill for a night out with their husbands.....babysitting for $20.....either movie or dinner....So, the kids movies (30 some kids) fueled the adults to attend the other movie (not the other wat around) the added $ for goodies during the movie. easy, simple, fun and great fellowship with kids and moms/dads.

I was involved for many years in Christian School Fund-Raising and although fund-raisinfg seems scary, when you have those 3 elements, the possibilities are limitless. And like everything else, the more you do it, the easier it gets and the elaborate ideas you can try. Don't take on more than you can handle and only try 1 complex fund-raiser a year. Continue to use the ones that work. and don't give up on a good idea until you've tried it 3 times. Don't get discouraged with ones that don't work out, concentrate on the ones that do. Through persistance in our experiences we always set high goals and there were a few years that we almost reached $100,000 in our fund-raising efforts.....that goes a long way when you have creative minds working together!

Some other fund-raising ideas that have really worked well...Apple pie selling, Sat. morning Pancake breakfasts, Talent Show/Mystery Dinner, (Auctions, Banquets, Family Fun Carnival Day,  surviver Day, Volleyball Tournament -these are more elaborate), hosting soup lunches for an area touring company; the sky is the limit, but start simple. And, remember, move out of the way and let the Lord take control. Things will never happen as you expected, but they will always happen the way the Lord planned them. Be ready for the unexpected, because that is the Lord's hand in it all. Look forward to those unexpected rumble-bumps as welcome challenges that the Lord is inserting. For whatever reason: Growth, awareness/empathy or touching a new life. Have fun with this.....

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