Whether you’re preparing to go on a mission trip, pursuing adoption, or heading up an event committee at your church, fundraising is something we’ve nearly all had to do at some point. While friends and family often give simply because they want to support you, it’s helpful to employ some unique and interesting fundraising ideas to provide incentive for others to donate. Here are a few creative ways to go about raising money in your community, whether it’s a team effort or for an individual:
1. Car Wash/Detail Check-In. This is a fun twist on a traditional car wash and would work particularly well for youth raising funds for a mission trip. Choose a Sunday (or a few Sundays) to hold the event, then have church members buy tickets or donate what they’d like, then check their car keys in before the service. Students can then wash or detail the cars during the service and return the cars to members clean and ready to go after the service. This could also work as an adoption fundraiser if the family brings in friends and family to help, or a project committee if the whole team pitches in. The more people willing to volunteer their time, the more money you will raise.
2. Yard Sale with Pickup. Yard Sales are always a great way to raise funds. People are often looking to get rid of items in their house but don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of a yard sale or sorting through it for donation. If you ask church members or the community for donations to sell in a yard sale, you can also offer to pick up the items or sort through them so you remove any work on the donor’s part. Then, you’re doing them a favor, not asking them to take the time to do it for you.
3. Soccer/Ultimate Frisbee Prom. This a fun (and often hilarious) event to hold as a fundraiser. Invite families to participate together in a soccer game (or ultimate frisbee, flag football — most sports will work!), but with the added variable of having to wear old prom outfits while doing it. The wackier, the better. Bridesmaid dresses or any type of formalwear also works. Charge participants a donation to participate and consider charging spectators a small fee to attend (or ask for donations at the entrance). Having a professional photographer on-site to provide photos to participants is also a great touch, if you know someone willing to donate their time. You can also provide food afterwards or during the event. It’s a fun way to spend a Saturday and you’ll raise money for your cause.
4. Beard or No Beard (or any type of bet). One family used a marital dispute over the husband’s beard for an adoption fundraiser in which people used their donations to vote for which option was best. This would also be great to do with a pastor or someone in the public eye who is willing to participate for the cause. (Perhaps they temporarily dye their hair one color vs. another? Do something outrageous? Wear a specific team’s gear and sing the fight song? Be creative!)
5. Fantasy Football or March Madness. Use these fun competitions to support your cause by having a buy-in asking participants to donate their fee to the cause. Friends will have a blast participating in the competition, and the fees will help you raise funds. The more people participating, the merrier!
6. Parents’ Night Out. Gather some of the most responsible teens and babysitters you know — and/or volunteer your own time — to babysit a slew of kids together, then charge a certain amount per kid. If you can find a central location large enough, like the church fellowship hall, and host a fun night with several activities for kids to participate in or even a movie night, you’ll be able to host a lot of kids with only a handful of volunteers. This would work great for teens raising money for a mission trip (provided there are a couple of adults present as well), but could also be used for an adoption fundraiser or project fund.