The formative teenage years provide incredible opportunities to grow in relationship to the Lord. Most of these are surrounded by trips away from home either on mission trips or summer camps. These trips with a youth group from a church can be quite costly for families as there is usually travel involved, but they are something most parents don’t want their learning children to miss. So how does today’s student pastor offer great trips while at the same time keeping the cost down for families? The simple answer – Church Fundraising.
Fundraising teaches the students so many things. The tools gained from working hard for support and even thanking those who helped them be able to go on the trip are great life lessons. Fundraising teaches students about the accomplishment of working for what you want, the joy it brings people on the other end, and how strong of a community you belong to.
Here are several ideas (realistic and a few more far-fetched) for a student ministry to fund raise for the activities they want to do.
1) Work-a-thon: Classic fundraiser allowing teenagers to help those in your church with simple chores. This is especially popular among senior adults needing assistance with odd jobs at their home.
2) Movie night: Have the students host an indoor or outdoor (weather permitting) movie night for your church family. Charge admission and sell popcorn, sodas, and candy.
3) Coupon books: One of the best fundraisers done at the right time of the year can yield your students a lot of money. Everybody likes to eat out and save money.
4) Donut sale: This is another goldie oldie. Talk to your local businesses in your town such as banks and have students sell boxes of a dozen donuts. You would be surprised how much money can be made in one day of doing this.
5) Flamingo Insurance: This is a fun one for your entire church to participate in. You get a bunch of plastic flamingo yard decorations and cover a member’s lawn with them. In order to get them removed, you have to pay a removal fee for the students to haul them away. You can also sell flamingo insurance in advance or they can pay to have someone else’s house flamingo-d.
6) Bake Sale or BBQ dinner: People love to eat and many folks in your church and community will support a dinner fundraiser for students. Let the kids take a lead role and even offer delivery to insure a great amount will be raised.
As you set out to reach your fundraising goals make sure you have proper promotion for any fundraisers you decide to do. When it comes to your teenagers, the promotion should be easy. Use Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. This is their wheelhouse so you should have no doubt that your teenagers aren’t on these social channels spreading the word.
In addition, send out messages to your congregation with your church management system and put them on your public calendars as well. The money in fundraisers generally doesn’t come from other teenagers, but from their friends’ parents, grandparents or other self-reliant church members who want to watch the church grow.
Also, be in prayer that God will move in all of the student’s lives who attend these trips. Great planning and execution for your church fundraising will support and help grow a great student ministry in your church.