Keep a running file on each of the young people who are helping to raise funds and add the money they “earned” after each fundraising event. Keep these out in a place where the youth can come and examine the files to see where they are and how much more they need to raise to get to their goal level.
Successful Fundraising Ideas for Youth Groups
Stock Certificates: This is an excellent program that youth can do by themselves to raise their share of the costs. Copy and give them sets of the stock certificates made by youth. As they collect “stock” from family, relatives and friends, tell them that they will receive a “stock report” after the event (in the form of a summary letter) from the person they are sponsoring.
Global Re-Source Funding (formerly Rethink, Ink): In one easy program your school, church, business, store or organization can become involved in helping our environment, saving natural resources and earning much needed funding to support its activities. Put a collection box in the parish for ink cartridges, cell phones, laptops, iPods, GPS systems, etc. Visit http://globalre-sourcefunding.com for more information.
Advent Supplies Sale: Order from Autom (candle sets, Advent wreaths, Christmas cards and Advent calendars) and from Creative Communications .. devotional booklets and "Seek and Find" type books for children. Then two weekends in November usually the two before Thanksgiving sell the items after all the Masses.
Promote the sale through the parish religious formation department, intergenerational gatherings, etc., that occur in November as a way to prepare for the Advent season with families.
Cross Ornaments: Do a "cross" ornament program. Paper cross ornaments are cut out and the name, age and school of a student going to NCYC is printed on a label, which is attached to the front of the cross (Hi! My name is Joe Smith, I am a sophomore at Norwin High School. The GNAC Youth Ministry is going to Indianapolis, Ind., November 2011. Please pray for us)! Attached to the back of the cross is a small envelope that has a label that reads, "You're invited to ... ."
When you open the envelope inside is a Scripture verse about praying for the young people as well as the importance of prayer from others. Write a brief description of what NCYC is and even include a quote from a past participant about how NCYC changed their life. Next, include a brief Scripture quote about sharing "treasure" and finish the note saying, "If you'd like to contribute financially just drop the envelope in the collection basket."
If they want to simply be reminded to pray for us regularly suggest the individual place the cross in a prominent place. Any support whether it be financial or spiritual is greatly appreciated. Place the tree with the ornaments in the back of the church and announce its placement a few weeks prior in the bulletin as an invitation to pray for the youth attending NCYC!
Pancake Breakfast/Spaghetti Dinners: Hold these once a month on the same Sunday and have a supplementary bake sale and raffle of some donated or handmade prize going on at the same time. Many grocery stores will usually donate the supplies if asked (provide the store with a request on parish letterhead beforehand).
In addition, consider asking each youth to get five business sponsors to place their ad on a placemat to be used for the meal. Each contribution can count toward that person’s fund raising total and insures that the meal event will be a success whether or not hundreds of people show up.
Donut Sales: Hold after Mass every Sunday. NOTE: If you are doing Krispy Kreme sales, be sure to call them ASAP – they are limited in the number of donuts they can make for each Sunday for church sales.
Holy Bears: Wonderful personalized “beanie baby” style bears with hundreds of personalized logo’s and words on them. Parish gets 50 percent of profits from the sales. Especially good around sacraments, Mother’s Day and graduations. Call 713-849-1980 or go to www.holybears.com.
WalMart/Sam’s Club: These stores allow fundraisers outside their doors and will allow car washings (they provide the supplies) on site. If you contact them 6 weeks prior to the event in writing, they may be able to match all funds you raise during your fund-raiser. See store manager for details.
Candy Sales: Sell the $1 Sarris candy bars or talk to the local candy maker and see if they will work with you. Have the students sell to family, at school, leave one in the church office, etc.
Rummage Sales: These can be done by individuals at their home or, better yet, at the parish hall or in a gym. Invite parishioners to drop off all items beginning the weekend before (starting with Masses). Hold the sale Friday and Saturday so all is done by the next weekend’s Masses. Hold a “bag” sale the last two hours where everyone pays $5 for a paper bag and anything they can fit in it they get. This helps to get rid of the extra stuff you have left over. Contact the local thrift stores to come in afterwards and take anything that’s left over.
Direct Appeals (second collections and personal sponsors): Have youth speak to the parishioners at every Mass before the second collection or after holy Communion to request for interested parishioners to sponsor some or all of the young people attending this event. Be sure the youth share what they hope to get out of the event and how this will benefit the parish community. Another option is to station youth at the exits with cans or buckets collecting money using a theme such as “a dollar and a dream” or “we need your drop in the bucket."
Fall Lawn Decorating/Cleaning: This works great in October. Create a simple lawn decoration of corn stalks (get them donated), pumpkins and gourds and display it, along with the price after Masses with a sign up table nearby that invites people to pay to have this display set up in their yards during the fall prior to Halloween. Have “additional options” people could sign up and pay extra for items, such as having leaves raked or the decorations taken down the week after Thanksgiving.
Car Window Wash: During the warmer months, have a group of youth wash all of the car windows while people are at Mass. After Communion, have a few of the now “very dirty” youth get up and explain what they did while everyone was at Mass. Tell them that youth will be available at each of the exits to take donations that will help send them to NCYC. Be sure to have plenty of cleaning supplies and people on hand to accomplish this feat in an hour.
Flower Sales: These work great, especially on Easter and Mother’s Day. Have youth sell carnations (and stick pins) before and after each of the Masses. Contact local greenhouses for reduced or bulk rates.
Flamingo Raids: Get a flock of plastic pink flamingoes from Oriental Trading Company (800-228-2269 or www.orientaltrading.com) and announce that parishioners can have anyone’s yard “Flamingoed” for a $50 donation. The youth group sneaks into their yard at night and places two to three dozen flamingoes all over it with a sign saying they’ve been “Flamingoed” with a note from the person who paid for it and that, for a donation, the youth group will come and take them away. You can also sell “insurance” for $50 that keeps flamingoes out of a person’s yard (recommended for parish staff and pastoral council leaders!). This is a great community builder for the group.
Cat’s Meow Sale: Visit www.catsmeow.com and create a wooden cutout replica (approximate size 4x6) of your church. Truly a one-of-a-kind creation created from a photo of your church. A history of the chruch can be placed on the back of the replica. Sell after each Mass or do pre-orders. They also offer Christmas ornament creations from pictures.
Christian Jewelry Fundraising: Visit Total Catholic Fundraising www.sanctusfundraising.com to learn about selling religious jewelry. Displays can be set up at the church and all jewelry is sent on consignment.
Pie Shoppe: Sell homemade pies for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or Memorial Day. Find out more about this local company at www.pieshoppe.com.
If you have other fundraisers to share, please e-mail your ideas to the Office for Evangelization and Faith Formation.