Keeping Church Fundraising Efforts Fun and Creative

A fun, family event will always encourage support from your congregation and raise substantial funds. However, what about the youth portion of your church? It seems that many churches are experiencing lagging interest from the younger generation when it comes to involvement in church events and fundraisers. So how can you remedy this situation?


Take any group of teens or young adults and you can bet they are looking for the same thing…a fun and creative way to spend their time. So it makes sense that if the church offers fun ways to be social via their fundraising events, that the kids will come.

There is no reason why your fundraising event can’t bring a big crowd together, and possibly be a way to add to your membership as well. Take the small but mighty United Century Church in Arimo, Idaho, whose annual fundraiser is an “Auction Labor of Love”.

This attracts the teen population in their community because it allows each teen to pick a job that they enjoy—it can be anything from moving furniture, mowing lawns, washing clothes, painting houses, house cleaning, baby sitting, ironing, chopping wood, washing cars, or baking. Every year, the youth group leader acts as auctioneer, reading the services offered by members of the youth group, and members of the congregation bid on them.

“This is not only a great way to introduce new members of the community”, says Minister David Hendrick, “but it also helps kids gain satisfaction from helping members of the elderly congregation.”

How’s that for a fun and inventive way to get young adults involved in their community? Here are a few more inventive ways that will have participation in your youth group soaring to the heavens…

‘Holy that’s Clean’ Car Wash

Set up a car wash in your church parking lot. Arm your youth group members with hoses, sponges, soap, wax and shammies and watch the vehicles roll in. You can either set a minimum donation per car or accept anything the drivers are willing to donate. This is also a great way to help out elderly church members who can no longer wash their own cars.

Heavenly Beauty Pageant

The beauty pageant is not the funny part, the humor is in the contestants—all men! Host your hilarious beauty pageant and let the congregation judge (this may be too much for elderly members). The winner should get a crown and flowers, and be sure to ask a funny host to take on MC duties. Money is made through audience admission fees.

Clean Ol’ Rummage Sale

This is especially great for students and young families who are moving into their own apartments and need economical furniture and house wares. Host at the end of the summer, just before students go back to school and ask youth group members to contribute efforts by donating items and manning stands. All proceeds go to the youth group.

Celestial Church Carnival

This can be a family-oriented event, held right in the church parking lot. You can contract carnival rides or simply rent one standout ride—inflatable enclosed jumping gyms for tots are always a hit. Surround that with face painting, carnival games, clowns, hay rides and other fun activities—all sold for donations.

Golf for the Gods

Host a mini put game for charity. Each participant pays an entrance fee. You can put all players in teams or let them play individually.

Holy Rollin’ Raffle

Collect a number of auction items from local sponsors. They can range from gift certificates to spa treatments and from car washes to snow shoveling services. Sell raffle tickets for each prize and draw the winning tickets on a designated date. You will make plenty to cover your costs and fund your future youth events.

Blessed Bake Sale

Although the sales of these sweets are ever so tempting, church bake sales always draw hungry buyers. It’s best to arrange these near a busy holiday—Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day—and sell various baked goods with seasonal themes. Ask the congregation to donate baked delights, and arrange a youth group baking evening where teens can gather and contribute to the bake sale. All goods sold at the event go to the funding of future youth group events.

Glorious Games Night

This can be a fun family night or one devoted to youth. Ask members to bring in board games, or even video games, and charge players an entry fee (we suggest a dollar or $2 per game). You can run the game’s night round robin style. Assign each game a time limit and keep track of winners via a score board. You can even make added charity funds through snack and beverage sales—after all, gaming works up a serious hunger!

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