Fund Raising Ideas & Donations
If your children's ministry budget is anything like mine (broke) then maybe these ideas can help you!
Here are some ideas to help you raise money for kids.
- Car Wash - kids workers, kids, and any other people you can recruit can have a fun filled day washing cars. Use mascot characters and big heads to stand near the road side & attract attention. Make sure you have a large sign saying "Car Wash". If you charge $3.00, it will add up. Also, sell hot dogs and ice cold pop to people while they wait. ($1.00 each will make you a profit) Be sure to have at least 2 stations where cars can get washed to help keep line ups down. Organize people to be washers, rinsers, and dryers. Make sure you wash cars quickly, but do it well! Have fun!
- Valentine Carnations or Roses Delivery - a few weeks before Valentines, set up a table where people can buy a rose, or carnation. (Roses cost more) Get the person's address where you will be delivering it. Have computer made cards that the person can sign to go with the flowers. Charge a 3, 4, or 5 dollars for each flower, and it includes delivery. Order the required number of flowers from your local flower shop. On Valentines day, have different teams go out & deliver the flowers.
- Birthday Singing Telegram - Have an on-going fund raiser for birthdays. Display a poster on your church bulletin board, or put reminders in the bulleting from time to time. Make use of your mascot type characters, and if you don't have any, make some! Clowns make good characters too! Charge a fee of $10.00 for each birthday. Gather a group of people to go to the person's house, and sing happy birthday, and deliver a small cake. Have as many people dressed up as possible to make it even more special!
- Maid Service - Choose responible, and hard working volunteers to do this one. Youth can be great, or moms or dads from your church that want to help out in the kids department! Some people feel they aren't able to work with the children directly, but they want to be a part of the ministry. Well, this might be just the thing! They probably are capable of cleaning! Charge an hourly rate to clean people's houses. Have the employer make a list of "priorities" that they would like to have cleaned, e.g. vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the oven, etc. Then gather your cleaners and go clean!
- Yard Work - especially good in fall, and spring. Leaves and dead grass can be raked, gardens dug, and lawns mowed. Charge an hourly rate and gather up some hard working teens or adults.
- Snow Shovelling - Many seniors will appreciate this service in the northern parts of the country! Set up a contract that every time it snows, a teen, or adult will come to their house to shovel their driveway, and/or walkway. Charge a flat rate for each shovelling job.
- Pizza Delivery - Pizza Sauce, pepperoni, cheese, and other pizza supplies can be purchased from a wholesalers for much cheaper, and in larger quantities than a regular grocery store. Designate one day to be Pizza Making & Delivery Day. Two or Three weeks prior to pizza day, have a sign up sheet, and have kids take orders from their friends' and neighbours' families. On pizza making day, start early. The pizza dough needs to be mixed, and placed on cardboard sheets (also can be purchased in wholesale places). After the dough has risen, it goes through the rest of the assembly line to have pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, and whatever else added. It's a good idea to have 3 different kinds of pizza to choose from. Once the pizza is made, Do NoT cook it! Wrap it in plastic wrap, and place in in the fridge with a delivery form attached to it. (The address of where it is to be delivered, and instructions on how long it is to be baked, and at what temperature.) Then, when all the pizzas are made, have different teams go deliver them. It seems like a lot of work, but if done correctly, a LOT of money can be made. I know one youth group that does this every year and they always make at least $2000.00!
- Bake Sale - Ask ladies and men in your church to volunteer to make items for the bake sale. The sale can be done on a Saturday. Be sure to Advertise it Well!!! Put up posters in every possible location! A Bake Sale can be combined with a craft sale or yard sale for even better results!
- Craft Sale - Charge a fee to rent a table at your craft sale. Charge admission to the craft sale, and there's your profit! All the money the craft vendors make selling their crafts is theirs to keep! At the end of the day, everyone has a little extra money and everyone's happy! Be sure to advertise the craft sale well! Two or Three months before the craft show, put up lots of posters to advertise for venders. The venders don't have to go to your church to rent a table! Then, 3 or 4 weeks before the craft sale, put up lots more posters to advertise for the sale! Be sure to include the time, date, location, and admission price on the poster. November/December, or just before any other holiday are great times for craft sales. People can sell stuff for Christmas, Easter, or other occasions.
- Yard Sale - Ask people in your church to do some "spring cleaning". Get them to donate items to sell in a yard sale. When pricing the stuff, be sure to keep the prices low. Yard salers are looking for a bargain! You will make more money by selling stuff cheap, than not selling it at all because the price was too high! Be sure to advertise well with posters, and have a LARGE poster at the site of the yard sale, on the day of the yard sale. Large signs usually attract more people!
- Slave for a Day - Have people in your church hire a teen, or an adult for a day, or afternoon. They can do odd jobs, or just keep them company. Leaders and workers, or even the pastor make great slaves!
- Dinner For Two - Have all the girls in a youth group, or a young couples group make a picnic basket lunch with enough food for 2 people in it. Have them bring their picnic lunches to church on a designated date. That evening, have all the guys have the opportunity to bid on each of the baskets. They do not know who the baskets belong to. The highest bidder on the basket gets to share the contents with the girl who made the basket. Usually a lot of money can be made when the pastor or youth pastor is bidding on his wife's basket. (They usually know which basket their wife made, because if they don't bid high enough, they won't get to eat with her, and she will get very upset!!) Other people can try to bid on their basket too, and make him bid higher and higher for the basket. Just keep in mind, all the money is going to a great cause, the kids program!
- Spagetti Dinner - Advertise a romantic evening in the church hall. Set the atmostphere by decorating, and having the lights dimmed. If your church lights don't dim, then put up lots of little white Christmas lights everywhere, and have candles on the table. Organize a team of adults to work in the kitchen, and make a Spagetti dinner. You can include ceasar salad, and garlic bread, and some gingerale to drink. Have the youth, and/or kids workers serve at the banquet. Charge admission to the dinner.
- Variety Night - Organize several teams of youth and adults to put on a talent night. This could include skits, music, drama, and anything else talented! Charge admission to the show, and provide refreshments afterward.
- T-shirts - Hire a t-shirt printing company to make t-shirts with your kid's program logo on it. Be sure to order the t-shirts in adult sizes and kids sizes. People can buy t-shirts for themselves. They can become the "uniform" for your kids workers at each kids program. (This also helps new kids recognize which adults are workers at the kids program.) Then, advertise for people to buy kids size t-shirts, only instead of keeping them, they can be given out as prizes in the kids program. Some kids could never afford to buy their own t-shirt, but sure would be blessed if an adult bought one for them, and it was given to them as a "prize". Be sure to mark up the price of the t-shirts, in order to make a profit.
- Make a Tape - If you have a band or worship team, have them work on making a tape. It doesn't have to be professionaly taped. Practice 10 songs until they are really good. Then, record them using your churches' sound system. Some possible themes could be Praise & Worship Songs, Hymns, or Kids Music. Make copies of the tapes, and sell them to people in your church.
Set up a filing system with 4 different files.
Use your local telephone book to call companies to get their mailing address or fax number. You also need to find out who the donations coordinator is. Call companies that sell things like toys, art and craft supplies, building supplies, and food. You can also contact distributors and factories. Keep a record of this information in your "Donation Company Addresses" file.
- Donation Company Addresses
- Donation Letters Sent
- "Yes" Donations - Thank you letters sent
- "No" Donations
Once you have a mailing address, write the company, explain a little about your program, what you do in it, and what you are asking for. I have included a sample letter below to help you. Make a copy of each letter you send for future reference. Be sure to include a brochure of your kids programs that is made using clip art! Make this look good! Not too much information, but give details on how you are impacting kids! Put a copy of the letters in a file labelled "Donation Letters Sent".
Once you receive a response from the company, you need to file it. If the answer is "yes", then send them a Very Nice Thank You Letter!!! Make a copy of this letter and file it in the 3rd file! You can usually write to companies once a year and they will continue to give things to you. If you keep a file of who sent you stuff, this will be the first place to start next year!
If you do not get a response from the company within 6 months, or they send you a letter to let you know they are not able to give anything, keep this information in the file marked "No Donations". This way, you will not bother the company again, and not waste your time and stamps!
Sample Letter - Type it on Letter head from your church or kids organization. Be sure it has your return address and phone number on it.
November 10, 1997
City, State or Province
Postal Code or Zip
Dear Donations Coordinator (put the person's name in if possible.)
My name is Carolyn Burge and I am the children's program supervisor at Christian Centre Church. Christian Centre is an inner-city organization located in the Jane and Finch Corridor of Metro Toronto. We are a community-oriented church assessing the needs of the community and responding appropriately to them. Many of the children in our community are deprived of the advantages of a loving, and/or a financially secure family. They benefit greatly form the structured fun and learning we offer them here at the Christian Centre.
Our initiatives include free after school programs, free weekend programs, and free field trips. We feed the children a snack at every event. We also give prizes to the children, such as toys and food, those things which they may not otherwise be able to purchase. We are quickly approaching the busy summer season, and are in great need of more resources to facilitate the functions.
It would benefit our programs tremendously if you were able to help us in any way possible. We are on a very limited budget and would greatly appreciate any donation. We are specifically looking for toys for the kids.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I have enclosed more information about the children's programs. If you have any questions about our centre, please feel free to contact me at (000) 000-0000. Thank you again.
Children's Program Supervisor
Once you have received a donation, it is Very Important that you send a Thank you note to the company. Here is a sample letter of a Thank you note.
January 30, 1998
City, Provice or State
Postal or Zip Code
Dear Person you received the letter from,
Thank you so much for the generous donation of so many tickets to the Garden Bros. Circus. I know that many, many children will have a great time at the SkyDome once again!
We realize that you assist many organizations with sponsorship and we really appreciate the opportunities you give to the children in the Jane and Finch area. They sure do love going to the SkyDome!
Once again, thank you for your generous gift. Without the help of organizations like yours, we could not run our programs. You are greatly appreciated!
Children's Program Supervisor
Please note my new email address!