Youth groups are often sponsored by community centers and provide activities for young people such as foosball, table tennis, video gaming, or simply a warm, fun place to relax and socialize.
Various fundraising ideas lend themselves well to a youth group environment. Although almost any fundraiser can do well, having young people with lots of energy and a penchant for having fun offers great opportunities to plan an exciting fundraiser that will turn heads, grab attention, and inspire kids as well as impressing parents.
As a result, these groups often provide both a large number of young people with lots of energy willing to help out and a decent space for them to do so. Since the group is often already located in a community center it can be easier to work with the community and town council to use space and resources for maximum fundraising.
Setting up yard sales, candy sales, and bake sales
Sales are easy to set up and easy to run. Popular favorites include bake sales, however it’s also possible to try rummage sales, yard sales, or even selling goodies you can get at wholesale prices for fundraisers such as candy or chocolate bars.
While selling lollipops or mints can really pay off, it will require an initial investment for the stock. Your town council may be willing to help, or you can try checking out local businesses for sponsors.
Oftentimes companies are looking for good causes within the community so they can get their name out there while helping you out.
By talking with members in your youth group and their parents you may find those who will be excited to get rid of some stuff from the garage. With a big group you can easily come up with a pile of things to sell.
Check out your local newspapers and see if one will help you out with advertising for a reduced or sponsored rate – again, companies often like to help and only need to be asked.
Baked goodies are always a favorite, if you can convince folks to make up some cookies or muffins. The bonus is if you plan a party for the group afterward you’ll be able to make good of any leftovers that haven’t sold.
It’s easy to use the tables and area already offered by your community center, and if you set it up for a regular youth group night you won’t even have to worry about renting extra hours. Parents can browse when they drop kids off, and everybody will be happy to see youth who can master recipes and oven settings (as with everything, they make those dials adult-proof don’t they?).
Let's go to the town fair!
Fairs can be organized, and tailored to the season or holiday – for example a summer fair or Halloween scare-fest. Although this fundraising will take a larger investment, it can turn into a real community event which can, again, really grab the attention of local businesses who will want to sponsor.
A dunk tank is always a favorite, and other games can be devised to match your theme – whether it’s apple bobbing or throwing bean bags at a decorated target, fairs are always in style and always fun.
Compete head-to-head for fundraising
Competitions are another year-round option, and can use existing materials at the community center. Host a game of 21, a video game competition, or a skipping face-off, and ask parents and family members to sponsor their kids.
Then add a charity challenge – find someone who will shave their head or swallow something gross once sponsorship money hits a certain point. Whether it’s you or another organizer at your youth group who takes one for the team, this is always a crowd-pleaser.
Run some errands
Errands can easily be run by kids and run the gamut from picking up groceries and washing cars to yard clean-ups. The success of this fundraiser will depend on how willing youth are to help out, but again this is another good time to offer to shave your head if sponsorships match a certain level. Canvas parents, businesses, and other community groups and you’ll easily find sponsors for town clean-up, car washes, and the like.
Car washes and yard clean-ups are also easy to manage with minimal start-up investment. You can set car washes at $5 a pop or auction youth off to businesses or parents to help out with errand-running. And again there is a big bonus in that parents will realize how youth groups are inspiring kids to help out, learn about the environment, and take the initiative to make a difference.
Showing off your talent for fundraising success
Talent shows are always a blast. Silly stunts and skateboarding tricks can find a place here. Hopefully you’ll find youth willing to play violin or put on a puppet show for kids along with those who want to make armpit music or burp the alphabet.
Make up some posters, sell tickets, and give your youth the time of their life while raising some money for the group.
Time to do something different
Avoid selling things youth already have to sell through school fundraisers. Options like selling cookie dough or wrapping paper are already done during the year, and often bore kids and parents alike.
Take the opportunity to do something that is different, fun, and will let the kids take more responsibility for helping out. Kookier options like a photo opportunity using a painted board or gross challenges such as “The Best of Survivor” up the fun factor, and will encourage those kids to participate.