Whether you are raising funds for your general fund or for your next mission trip, fundraising is an important part of faith communities. You know what annual fundraising efforts work in your community and your community is always there to support, but what about those other events like summer camps or retreats that arise outside of your annual fundraising goals?
Summertime gives us all that itch to explore the beautiful outdoors and meet new friends. However, reaching those camps or retreats can be costly and for most these expenses are not in your annual fundraising goals. To help your community raise funds this summer, Stewardship Technology has created our list of fundraising ideas to help your members raise those funds to be able to afford those summer camps and retreats.
So, sit back, grab a glass of cold lemonade, and take in the possibilities this summer with our 8 Tips to Funding your Summer Camps and Retreats.
1. International Food Day
For an international food day fundraiser, each member of your youth group or Sunday school class will bring in a dish from a different culture of where they intend to travel to for their mission trip. Other church members will pay a small entrance fee to come and try all the tasty treats from around the world.
International food days are an excellent way to teach youth and adults about diversity and beauty to prepare them for camps and mission trips around the world.
Active mission teams are a perfect fit for a bike-a-thon fundraiser. Much like a marathon, bike-a-thons are pledge based. Donors pledge per mile that the youth group bikes during the fundraising event.
This church fundraising idea allows your mission team members to bike as long or short as they would like. The point is to have fun, raise money, and stay active.
3. Letter Writing Campaign
A classic mission trip fundraiser: the old-fashioned letter-writing campaign. It probably goes without saying, but the real key to a successful letter-writing campaign is a well-written letter.
A strong, meaningful message is sure to take your letters to the next level and help your church’s mission team meet its goal in no time.
Always remember to say “thank you” in the letter. Regardless of whether or not they donate, the recipients of your letter have taken time out of their day to read your letter.
4. Charity Car Wash
Much like yard sales, car washes take little to no effort to plan and set up. This fundraiser’s always best to do during the summer, but if you’re having an unseasonably warm fall, you probably won’t find quite as much competition. Also, a lot of time if you hold the car wash at a local supermarket or business, the business will match the donations that come in from the fundraiser.
You really only need a few members of the church to volunteer to wash the cars, a couple to advertise by the side of the road, and some basic car-cleaning supplies.
5. Balloon Count
Much like a jar guessing game, a balloon count involves participants paying to guess how many balloons are stuffed into a car. The person who comes the closest to guessing the number of balloons in the car will win a prize of the pastor’s choosing.
Choose a time and location for the fundraiser and blow up as many balloons as you possibly can. Then, charge $1 per guess as to how many are in a car. For extra fun, try to cram as many balloons as possible into your pastor’s car.
6. Create A Cookbook
Your congregation is full of some of the most talented cooks in town! Let them share their favorite recipes with the rest of the church. Have your church members compile recipes they’ve created or been passed down into a unique church cookbook.
Once you have enough recipes to fill up a book, you can pretty easily get it bound with pictures and neat type. Its that simple. Sell them all summer long and even into the holiday months to help fund your mission trips and camps.
7. Smoothie Stand
A twist on the traditional lemonade stand, a smoothie stand is a fabulous idea for your church’s next mission trip or camp fundraiser. Who doesn’t love a fresh fruit smoothie on a hot summer day?
You can make the smoothies beforehand, or you can make them fresh-to-order by bringing an extension cord and a portable power source to your smoothie stand location. Set up on a warm, sunny day when everyone’s out and about on the street or set up the stand as a booth at your local summer festival.
8. Pink Flamingo
Pink flamingo fundraisers are an easy way to get your neighborhood involved with your church’s fundraising. All it takes is an obnoxious pink flamingo lawn ornament and note with contact information attached.
The younger members of your congregation will have a blast planting the flamingo in other church members’ yards and forcing them to donate a given amount of “ransom” money to have the flamingo removed from their yards. Add some fun to it too, add your youth members donation page to share what their camp mission is this summer.
Here are some tips for youth members to manage on their own.
1. Classic Lemonade Stand
It’s a hot summer day. Nothing is quite as refreshing as an ice-cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade. This may seem like an old-fashioned fundraiser, but it’s one that’s withstood the test of time. And for good reason!
Find a recipe for lemonade and whip up as much as you can ahead of time. When you’re setting up your stand, be sure to enlist the help of your most artistic Sunday school student to make some signs. Pick a busy area and start selling.
2. Pie In The Face
This fundraiser is super simple (some might even say, it’s as easy as pie!)–if your pastor is on board with being pied in the face.
At the beginning of the event, sell as many tickets as church members and Sunday schoolers are willing to buy. Those tickets will then go into a drawing bucket. A ticket is drawn and the lucky ticket holder gets to run up on stage and throw a whipped cream pie right in the pastor’s face.
3. Kickball League
You don’t have to be particularly skilled to play kickball, but it sure is fun for all ages! Divide your church up into teams and have your members pay a small entrance fee to be a part of your “league” and to play in your “tournament.”
You can have a set of trophies made up for the winners of your tournament. Other than these trophies, kickball is a very inexpensive fundraiser. You can play almost anywhere as long as there is enough space.
Questions setting up your fundraiser?
Reach out anytime – we’re ready to help.