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Fundraising Ideas

Whether you are raising money for a youth conference, mission trip, or other youth activity, here are a few fun fundraising ideas. I try to stick to the community event type fundraisers vs. the sales type. They might be more work, but they are a lot more fun and build community.


Some things to consider: Make sure you clear all fundraising ideas with your pastor or designated parish staff to make sure another group in your parish isn't already doing the same thing. See if your state requires you to charge tax on your fundraising items. Always have at least 2 adults to supervise, keep the youth safe, and handle the money.  

Don't forget to ADVERTISE! Use the free resources to advertise like your church bulletin, other local church bulletins, school newsletters, local paper "Event" section, local radio "Upcoming Events", Facebook local groups (make sure it's allowed in that group), email family and friends.

Easy Fundraising

You've Been Flocked: The basic fundraising idea involves deploying a flock of pink plastic flamingos in someone’s yard or outside a business entrance. A note is left explaining that the person or business has been selected by someone to be “flocked” for a good cause. And, it then goes on to explain that they will have to pay to have them relocated. You can purchase flamingos and the sign on Oriental Trading Company or another party supply store. Here are the instructions for this fundraiser.

Envelope Wall: Need some help with a quick, no fuss fundraiser? With a large wall, some envelopes and a few other supplies you can try this easy fundraiser. Here's how it goes.

Car Wash: This is probably one of the most common and easiest fundraiser ever. All you need is a parking lot with a nearby water source, buckets, sponges, car soap, hoses, lots of old towels, and signs. This is best done in a highly trafficked area. We do always do ours as "Free Will Donation". We found that people give more than you would ask for otherwise. Be sure to have a responsible adult with a fannypack, or other means of keeping the donations on them to avoid theft.

Partner with a Local Business: Some businesses will donate a portion of their sales for a day if you advertise for it. Some places, especially restaurants, may require your group to work during that day. Call around to some of your favorite businesses to see if they will sponsor your group.

Bake sale: Fun, easy, and YUMMY! Have your group commit to baking cookies, brownies, pies, cupcakes, candy, etc. Find a location that will allow you to sell your baked goods. Sometimes smaller grocery stores or general stores will allow this. Check with your pastor, maybe he will allow your group to set up outside of the church after Mass. If your Mass times are early, consider breakfast foods like coffee cake, donuts, muffins and breads. Some groups will do bake sales as "Free Will Offering" with a lot of luck.


Sales Fundraising

Sock Religious: They have Catholic themed socks!! If you have not seen this, you should check it out!

T-Shirt Fundraiser: Find a local t-shirt printing shop and find out if they can do fundraisers. The other alternative is to place an order in advance and sell the stock. You may end up getting stuck with certain sizes this way. This fundraiser allows you to create your own design or your group's logo to sell.

Totally Catholic Fundraising: Sell Catholic items to your parishioners and make 50% profit.

Handmade Items: Making your own items to sell teaches the youth to work for what you want. You can make your own greeting cards (especially good around Christmas time), Rosaries, candles, soaps, etc. Stick with items that are useful to generate more sales. People will be more likely to spend a little more for something they will use then to purchase something that will sit around. 

Plants: Partner with a local florist or greenhouse to see if you can purchase plants in bulk. Some may already have a fundraising program set up. Find out if you can take orders, then place an order for only what you need so you do not end up with unsold items. You can sell poinsettias around Christmas time, Lilies around Ester, etc. 

Advent Wreaths: Make your own or find a bulk supplier.

Gift Cards: You can partner with local business or find an online gift card fundraising site. If you check with local businesses, they may be more willing to give your group a better deal and you will be helping small businesses in your own community.


Community Event Fundraising

Breakfast or Meal: These will take a lot more work to plan out. If you have an attached hall or school with a kitchen, this can be a great fundraiser. You can do a "Free Will Offering" or set prices. A breakfast is probably the easiest, but spaghetti or chili dinners seem to work well. You know your community best and what they will like. Plan out your supplies and how much you may need. Ask your families to donate the supplies to help cut costs. If you do not have a kitchen available or enough knowledge to get this started, check with your local fire department, Knights of Columbus, or other organization that has successfully run a meal fundraiser to see if they will partner with you. Our local KofC will put on chicken dinners or fish fries for local organizations and split the proceeds. 

Dinner Show: Put on a show and serve dinner. This is fun for everyone! You can do a murder mystery dinner theater, a show choir style dinner, a play, or a variety show. Let you teens showcase their hidden talents! Partner with a local caterer that will cater the dinner for a reasonable price. Sell tickets for double the cost of the food so your group can make 50% profit. If you have some parents willing to cater, you can make even more profit.

Game Show Night: These can be a lot of fun! There are several game shows that you can work into a fundraiser. Here are a few.

Movie Night: Partner with a local movie theater to show a movie for your guests. Our local theater will do this for the cost of getting the movie rights and let us keep the admission costs. They sell concessions during the movie to help the cost of operating the theater. Depending on your theater and affiliations, you may be able to work out a deal.

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