Fundraising ideas

After you determine the cost for each person to participate in the trip, the next step is to discuss fundraising options/ideas with your team. Depending on your situation, you might choose to have individuals raise all of their own support, and/or plan team fundraisers, dividing the support raised among the team members.

If you will be planning team fundraising events, consider asking one of the team members or another volunteer from your congregation to assist you in organizing these events. As a team, brainstorm some creative ideas, prioritize them, and set dates for the top fundraising activities.

Creative ideas for fundraising
  • Loose change collection. Place jars in businesses or in the church that you and your parents frequent with a cute saying like “if you fear change, leave it here.”
  • Bagels and coffee sale. If there is a fresh hot bagel shop near you, there is a major chance that they will donate bagels for you to sell. Call them up and ask if you can have the bagels left over at the end of the day. You can make arrangements to stand outside a business with bagels and coffee for sale. It's a quick breakfast and plenty of people drink coffee. If you have a way to toast the bagels, that's a major plus. Don't forget the cream cheese and butter.
  • Candy in a container. Buy a couple variety bags of wrapped candy. Put all the candy in a large, clear container. Get permission from an elementary school to hold a lunch-time raffle for two weeks. Charge a dollar per guess at how many pieces of candy are in the container. Make sure you advertise, and let them put in as many guesses as they want. Whoever guesses the closest to the actual amount of candy without going over gets to keep the candy.
  • Refreshing springs. Buy 24 packs of bottled water on sale or at a store that sells things in bulk. Set up a cooler at an athletics park or sports practice that doesn't already have water. Sell the water cold for $1 per bottle. The more people around and the hotter the day the better.
  • Holiday banquets. You can do this on Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Memorial Day, or whatever holiday suits you. Serve breakfast, lunch, or dinner to a special group of people (you decide who is special). Advertise it in your town, school, or other public places (with permission of course). Charge a reasonable fee per person for a reservation at the meal. Cook a simple but decent meal as a group, and wait on the attendees. You can also offer entertainment, or just play nice music that is appropriate for the holiday.
  • Game night competition. Have a game night party with all kinds of board games and video games. Charge $2 per person to enter. The winner of the competition is the person who won the most games. They must win more than one game and at least attempt all the games of the night. Offer a good prize. 
  • Auction and talent show. Hold a talent show and charge an admission to see the show. Have special, choice, baked goods showcased in the lobby or the back of the room. Have bid cards at each displayed specialty dessert. Anyone can write a bid down at any time during the show. Whoever bids the highest for the dessert gets to purchase it and enjoy. The goodies up for bid should be gourmet quality or at least new and different. Set the minimum bid at the price it cost to make it (or buy it).
  • Tickets to stay home. This is basically a fundraising event that doesn't occur. Send a pretty invitation to as many people as you want for a wonderful and creative event that you would hold if you could. Use your imagination. Describe an interesting event that the person would be invited to if you were holding it. Outline your cause and the need for a donation, and invite them to stay home in honor of the cause. If they send you a donation, send them a nice thank you card for not attending your fundraising event that never happened.
  • Blind auction. Have an event in which people bring wrapped gifts to the auction. Each gift can contain a nice usable gift to be auctioned off. People can weigh or examine the boxes to guess what the item might be before bidding. Big boxes may contain small presents and light gifts can be weighed down to make it harder to guess. Final bids are given and the items are sold before they are opened. Then everyone opens what they won.
  • DVD night. Show a DVD on a big screen television or a projector screen. There can be a theme to the night, a speaker, and perhaps a discussion after the movie. Charge an admission for seating, popcorn (or a small bag of chips) and a drink (maybe about $5 or $6 per person for the show with a snack included). It's just a fun night, and depending on the subject, people really get into the discussion, too.
  • Bakeless bake sale. Invite people not to bake. Explain your cause and what donations would be used for. Tell them how much time they would save by not baking and just helping out with some funds. You can visit to ask or mail an invitation.
A note on auctions 
Many churches require certain procedures for benefit auctions. Consult with your church treasurer on what steps you need to take for hosting an auction. Also, review benefit auction guidelines for further information.