6 Free Fundraising Ideas for Church Youth Groups

5 Free Fundraising Ideas for Church Youth Groups

Are you leading a youth group mission trip and looking for some fun, creative, and free fundraising ideas? Here are five fundraising ideas for church youth groups that will entertain your teens, help raise the funds you need, and cost you nothing.

1. Viral Challenge

You’ve heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge and the hot pepper challenge. Why not start your own challenge?

Each viral challenge has four key elements:

a. The challenge is simple. – Anyone can bite a chunk of hot pepper.

b. You ask for a donation. – An amount can be specified or left up to the participant.

c. The cause is clear. – Participants need to understand who they’re supporting and the reason why.

d. You dare someone else to take the challenge. – Passing it along through word-of-mouth is the easiest way to spread the challenge.

Get your teens brainstorming ideas for the viral challenge. They know internet trends and the latest memes better than most people. With a splash of creativity, your youth group could start the next Ice Bucket Challenge!

2. Partner with a Restaurant

Several restaurants, including Panera and Applebees, partner with local nonprofits to host fundraising nights. All you need to do is three, easy steps.

a. Find a restaurant.Search for a restaurant near you to host your fundraiser.

b. Choose your dates. – Pick times that work for your youth and the restaurant.

c. Promote the event. – Share the fundraiser in your church announcements, and make sure to share the event on your church’s social media pages.

If you can’t find any participating locations near your church, you can ask a local restaurant to donate food to host a meal at your church. Attendees pay for their meals, and the youth group serves the food. You can even provide entertainment or use the meal as a platform to share about the upcoming mission trip.

Many ministries discover that fundraising ideas for church youth groups involving a restaurant partnership produce incredible turnouts!

3. Community Service Sign-up

Do you want your teens to get their elbows a little greasy? Set up a weekend or a series of weekends where teens can volunteer as babysitters or lawnmowers to help with various tasks in and around the church community.

a. Create a sign-up sheet and share it with the congregation.SignUpGenius provides a free, innovative platform!

b. Block times for different service projects. – Allot reasonable times for each activity.

c. Assign appropriate teams. – Make sure an adult leads each group.

d. Request a donation in exchange for service. – You might raise more by not setting a donation amount.

Anyone can coordinate a community service outreach; it’s that easy!

4. Sponsor Something Wacky

Youth groups are always game for doing something crazy–crazy fun, that is! Use this adventurous spirit to create unique mission trip fundraising ideas. Here are some ideas to get you started.

a. The youth group crafts a house from cardboard and sleeps in it for the night. – Keep it indoors if it’s cold outside.

b. The teens rock in rocking chairs for an entire night. – Call it a Rock-a-Thon and bring lots of board games and movies.

Get as creative as you can! If the teens find individual sponsors, all you need to do is supervise the event.

5. Online Giving

Online giving is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to raise money for any cause. Here are a few ways you can use technology to your fundraising advantage.

a. Crowdfunding. – Here’s what makes a successful crowdfunding campaign.

b. Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers. – Think of using platforms like GoFundMe and Facebook Charity donations.

c. Text-to-Tithe Tools. – Check out these services for churches and other nonprofits.

After you set up your first online giving campaign and realize just how easy they are to manage, you’ll never fundraise for another mission trip without an option of online giving!

What have you tried for fundraising ideas for church youth groups and found successful? Share in the comments below!

Want to make sure your mission trip fundraising ideas turn into a hit? Check out 4 Tips for Successful Fundraising.

Skylar loves to write. She's cruised the Caribbean, sailed the Mediterranean, and toured the United States. Disney inspires her, and she dreams of living in the mountains.

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