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Church youth groups may need money for an upcoming mission trip, supplies for their classrooms or funds to pay for a field trip to hear a speaker. Whatever the reason, you have a ready group of contributors among your church congregation and in the community who may respond to your requests and fundraisers, especially when the fundraiser is tied in to an existing event or gives donors something in return.
Tie Into Existing Events
Your group can offer to tie into an existing event by creating and selling items such as T-shirts bearing the dates of a Summer Bible Program or to celebrate the church’s anniversary. Tie into church holidays and sell items that churchgoers can give as Christmas or Easter gifts. Bake cookies to sell during church events or after services. Make and sell lunches before special speaker events.
Parents usually will support your efforts when you present them with a letter telling them why you need funds and what you will do with them. But your friends, other family members, community leaders and local business owners could respond as well. Highlight the reasons for the request in the letter. Offer to mention donors in a newsletter or on your website. Provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the letter if you do a mass mailing. Create a link for making donations on your website using online services such as PayPal or Google Wallet that offer easy ways for people to donate electronically. Personally hand out letters requesting donations to strengthen your appeal.
Auction Your Services
T-shirts, food and other items you offer for sale require an investment that you may not have or want to spend. Instead, auction services from members of your youth group during church socials or other events. Offer your services in the church bulletin or run an online auction. Services always in demand that won’t cost you any upfront investment include lawn care, babysitting, car washing and dog-walking. Rely on one of your more entertaining youth group members to run the auction live at a church event.
Sponsor an Event
Instead of waiting for a scheduled church event, get your group on the calendar and request space in the church to hold your own event. Hold a run for which runners pay entry fees and prizes are awarded at the finish line. Create a car wash day in the church parking lot on a warm weekend. Put on a banquet and get parishioners to donate dishes that you serve to guests. Develop a golf tournament in partnership with your local municipal golf course in exchange for publicity. Invite local bands to play for your cause at a rally or show you put on.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."