These fundraising ideas were shared by fellow adult leaders across the country through the Gathering Adult Leader Facebook group. Join the conversation and share your own ideas at

For years now, we’ve been mowing the church lawn. Figured the church could hire the youth with their families’ help instead of outside serves. It really puts some money into the account for each year. After 3 years, it really adds up and teaches the kids pride and accomplishment.

In the past, the fundraisers haven’t even started until about 9 months before the Gathering and it was just a lot to try to do. We have kids involved in a lot of activities outside the church, and I want to make sure they all have the opportunity to be involved in the fundraising events so they each have the chance to raise the same amount. We have already been OK’d to start some bake sales between our two services. We will start that in August.

Mom2Mom Sales! We do two a year, fall and spring. We charge $15.00 for table rental or 2 for $25.00, $1.00 admission at the door and concession stand. We really cater to the moms by unloading them at their cars and taking everything into their tables. We also help load them up and take it all back to their car for them. This alone is a great hit. I had about 107 tables at our last sale.

Burrito breakfasts every other month…huge money maker. We also did 3 car washes that were huge profits and very little cost to purchase supplies.

Our biggest money maker was flamingo “flocking”. We bought 25 pink flamingo yard ornaments ($125). We would leave the flock in members’ yards. For $15 we would come and get them. For $20 we would come and get them and you could identify the next recipient. For $25 you could purchase “Flocking Insurance” and we would not come to your house. Super fun fundraiser. A car wash was our largest one day fund raiser.

We sell stock in our youth, and Thrivent matched us, so our stock sale made $3,500 for our trip. We sell stock in our youth because there is no better investment. We make stock certificates in Word and sell them for whatever investment the individual wants to make. Some invested $5 and some invested $100. When we get back from the gathering, we hold a brunch after Sunday service for our stock holders to thank them for their support. The kids tell about their experiences and we put together a video montage of their time at the gathering. The congregation loves it!

We just sent in the application to Thrivent. I really think it helped that we had two community servant events to go along with it. This is the first time they matched us, but our church tends to get quite a bit of support from Thrivent.
We sell our shares for $5 each. People can donate to an individual or general fund. We send a postcard to every person who donates and also have a post-Gathering dinner where we invite the contributors and families and share the experience. We encourage kids to send the ‘brochure’ to friends and relatives who are out of state.

Food is always good. But our best money maker year round is house sitting, pet sitting, getting mail, lawn work, etc. We started w/ our members & they recommended us to their friends. Families serve together. A check is made out to the church. No rates; customers are always more than generous! Kids love getting to know the pets of our congregation.

Annual all-church yard sale. Everyone in church brings in their “junk” and we organize and sell it on one Saturday in May. It’s HUGE!

Our church is good at cooking, and eating, delicious food. We scheduled periodic lunch fundraisers, about 8 in all, before the NYG, and started them almost two years in advance. You have a captive and hungry audience after the late service, and if you can smell the food when you’re in church, it makes the lunch that much more successful.

Since the young generation pays in plastic, it might be worthwhile to look into the options of an iPhone/iPad credit card reader (or some other type of credit/debit card reader). These devices usually charge a small percentage fee, but if it means more people can contribute to the fundraiser, you reach your goal that much faster.

We come from a small church but had a fairly large amount of youth going to the NYG, so we couldn’t rely just on our congregation for support. We held a community garage sale and a fish fry take-out dinner that made about 1/3 of our earnings. Other good fundraisers were craft sales and flamingo flocking.

Our best fundraiser was our rummage sale….Pastor got the storage unit that he personally uses to donate a storage locker to the youth we put in our bulletin and put flier up around town and checked craigslist to collect items….before it was over…we had 3 storage lockers packed as full as we could get them…plus overflow items in my office….all donated….no cost

The easiest fundraiser for us was putting up a Christmas tree at Christmas time with envelopes hanging on the tree in different amount of dollars written on them…..had a present box at the bottom to drop them in….didn’t cost more than a box of envelopes

Our biggest fundraising came from offering help to members. Many of our members have plenty of land here in Montana so we helped with picking up tree branches, cleaning out garden beds, burning some grass (many adults were happy to help) and much more. We never set a price, people are so excited about our youth that they give very generously!

We sell re-loadable grocery gift cards. They give us 5% of what people load onto the cards. Members can load them at the grocery store. The grocery gift cards covered around 50% of our NYG expenses.

We sold spaces for local businesses to put their logo on the back of our gathering shirts. Made about $2,000!

Easter Breakfast, Youth work days, car washes, Lent and Advent suppers, Christmas time babysitting, Adopt-A-Mile (to Gathering city), Restaurant Nights, Garage Sales

We did a hair-dye fundraiser. If we raised enough so that everyone’s trip was covered (aside from the initial deposit), he dyed his hair and got it cut into a mohawk. This time leading a group, we had the same conditions (if we raised all the money we needed pastor would dye his hair) but people voted on which color they wanted Pastor Terry to dye his hair. They voted by donating money towards the color of their choice. Of course, for this your pastor has to be a fairly good sport about it.

One year our DCE and Pastor both agreed to shave their heads if “X” amount was raised. Needless to say, they both had to shave their heads that year!!

We do an Italian dinner night with reservations, candlelight tables, and a choice of items preordered of Lasagna, chicken fettuccini, or other than spaghetti. Youth waited the tables with the stress on service and quality. We did this every spring and did very well.

We do a similar thing for Valentines day complete with babysitting. Earn around $1000.

We do an annual Valentine’s dinner and turn the church into an Italian bistro. We are Trinity so we call the bistro “Trinitino’s”. We assign different jobs to the parents such as the live auction, raffle baskets and auction of the kids to do service projects for the congregation. The kids do the serving and really get into it. We make about $3,500 each year. We’re limited on hire many fundraisers we can do so we make this the big one!

We do a quarterly casserole sale. We give the youth families a foil pan and lid, they make a casserole (oven-ready) and bring it back next Sunday. We sell them between services for $15. I love it because it’s not a lot of work on the leader’s part, it puts more responsibility on the families, and the congregation loves it! We sell out within 10 minutes. Then during the year before the gathering, we bump it up to monthly. It’s great easy fundraiser in our church.

We did the 144 envelope fundraiser. Mark each envelope 1-144 (144 coordinates with a Bible verse) and the amount on the envelope is what the donor contributes. You can raise over $10,000!

Chili cook-off and chili feed – $10/ticket, $12 at the door. First prize winner = $100. Judged by blindfolded, experienced chili judges. Additional prize awarded for people’s choice.

Our church’s youth group has a Yankee Candle fundraiser, where the kids can let their friends and family order online.

We do Christmas Carol Grams where you buy a carol-gram for $10 each and the youth and whoever else want to go, deliver them on a given date. We sing about 3-4 songs (first verse only). Sometimes the receiver also gives us money as well. It’s our biggest fundraiser.

My group does one we call Money-to-Miles where we figure out how many miles it is from our church to the Gathering. Then we put up a map and have a little plane or bus that moves along. $1 equals one mile and for each bracket of amounts of people give, they receive different prizes, like a postcard while we’re at the Gathering or a gift from the Gathering city.

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