Home Youth Leaders Youth Leaders Blogs 3 Fundraising Ideas That Don’t Feel Like Fundraisers

3 Fundraising Ideas That Don’t Feel Like Fundraisers

I have a confession to make: I loathe fundraisers.  I’m pretty sure it goes back to my first junior high ministry that I served in during the late 80′s. At that church we only did one fundraiser per year, but it was a doozey.  We sold Christmas trees for an entire month…from the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas eve. For almost 30 days straight I was either working at the tree lot all day long, then staying up late to do my normal workload OR I would have a normal day, but show up to the tree lot at closing time for my overnight/security detail.  It’s been over 20 years and just thinking about the annual experience makes my left eye start to twitch!

So from a guy who hates fundraisers, here are three simple ways to earn a little extra money for your ministry without a ton of effort:

1) “Send a Student to Camp!” tip jars.  If your church sells coffee or donuts or books or sermon tapes, ask the powers that be if they would allow you to put a tip jar at each location with a little sign that says “Send a Student to Camp!” and use the donations to bless a single mom or out of work dad by paying for their child’s upcoming camp or retreat.

2) “Recycle Shed”.  Build or purchase a little shed that is placed someplace on campus (ideally in the corner of the parking lot).  Let the church know that they can be environmentally conscious and help the youth ministry at the same time by saving their plastic bottles and aluminum cans and bringing them to church  a couple times a month. Simply unlock the shed before and after services and allow folks to toss in their bags!

3) “Ebay Extravaganza!” A buddy of mine makes a couple hundred bucks each month for his youth ministry by purchasing items on sale at retail stores, then re-selling them for a profit on Ebay. He chooses to focus on only a couple categories (books and sporting goods) to keep things simple, but the sky’s the limit!

Do you have an easy “non fundraiser” fundraiser?  Share it!

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Kurt Johnston has been involved in junior high ministry since 1988 and is currently the junior high pastor at Saddleback Church in Southern California. He's the author of Controlled Chaos: Making Sense of Junior High Ministry and Go Team! He loves providing resources for junior high ministry almost as much as he loves junior highers themselves.