No-Cost or Low-Cost Fundraising Ideas for Church Youth Groups

Church Fundraising Ideas

No church youth group really likes to raise money, but let’s face it, there are times when it’s a necessity. The group might be planning a big mission trip or a weekend retreat at a local camp, or even just need money for supplies.

Whatever the reason, sometimes you have to come up with a good fundraiser, and that is not always easy. Some churches are small and not able to give too much, others may have donor fatigue.

Luckily, teens seem to have some success when raising cash. Congregations usually like to give to them, and the easier you can make it for a donor, the better.

One thing you’ll notice on this list is that many of the ideas don’t require high up-front costs. The types of fundraisers that make people buy items to resell, or take a large percentage of the funds raised, like candy or t-shirt sales, don’t make a lot of money. They aren’t always worth the effort, especially if your church is on the smaller side. They do make more sense in a larger church and can be quite fruitful.

So here they are, the best no or low-cost fundraisers for church youth groups. church youth fundraisers

Walls O’ Money

Hands down, this is always a success and yields a nice amount of money for a small amount of effort.

You’ll need the following:

  • A bulletin board prominently placed in the church. You can also use space on a board if there isn’t an empty one available.
  • Blank envelopes
  • Fun and colorful signs and pictures

Basically, the Wall O’ Money is envelopes with a dollar amount written on them and displayed on the bulletin board. Our church uses $1 through $50, but if you have a bigger church, why not put up $1 through $100 envelopes? Once done, there will be an envelope for every dollar amount. For example, the first envelope will have $1 written on it, the second one $2, the third one $3, and so on until you reach a $50 envelope. There’s a sign at the top saying “Wall O’ Money” and a note on one side saying what project(s) the group is raising funds for. You can also put pictures of the members up for more visual interest.

Once the board is up, have the youth leader, or better yet, a couple of members of the group who are brave enough to get up and speak, tell the congregation what it is about. If you have a church email list, send the information that way as well.

You may want to have someone print out a little note for each envelope giving instructions for the donation. For example, “Please put the cash or check made out to . . . in the envelope and place it in the offering plate. You may also give it to the church office. Thank you for supporting our youth!” Decorate the envelopes to make them more visually appealing too.

This is a nice fundraiser for a few reasons; the smaller amount of envelopes is ideal for children or those that are unable to give larger sums. People can also combine envelopes if they want to give a little bit more.

You’ll find that those envelopes will be gone in no time, and the best part is that it’s pretty good money. 50 envelopes will earn $1,275 and 100 envelopes will earn $5,050! Your group might even be surprised with more money since some people like to throw in a little bit extra in their envelope.

Bake Sales

Tried and true, bakes sales are an easy option for a low-cost fundraiser. Unfortunately, unless you have a big congregation, or are holding it at a large event, they don’t bring in tons of money. They are still worth it though.

To organize the bake sale, contact all of the youth group members and get them and/or their family members to donate baked goods. You may even want to have one of your meetings be for baking goodies for the sale. You’ll find that most folks will donate a couple of items. Also, ask the congregation for some treats.

It’s good to have a large selection of both individual and larger treats for sale. There are a couple of ways to price the goodies. Either ask for a donation or have them priced already. The nice thing about asking for a donation is that people will usually throw in a nice amount for the treats.

Make sure to advertise and remind the congregation about the sale. If the sale is at another location, like a festival, get the word out on social media too. Youths are really good at spreading messages.

Yard Work

Many congregation members need yard work done, but can’t do it for themselves, Make it known at church that the youth group is available to help out for a donation.

This is a good fundraiser in that the group can earn a fair amount of money, but it can be difficult to organize since it’s hard to find a time that everyone is available. Also, the kids might not like doing a certain job.

Choose a month and ask the group what Saturdays or early evenings they are free. Figure out a schedule and let church members know when the service is available.

We had our garden mulched and what normally takes me and my husband a long day or two, only took about three hours. We gave a nice donation, ordered pizza for the whole gang, and enjoyed the fellowship.

Church Carnivals

Throw a carnival at the church. Younger kids love going to things like this, and it’s even more appealing when teenagers are doing the work.

Working with the church office, find a good date. Decide how long it will be and what events you’ll be having. Then it’s time to get volunteers. You’ll need one or two youths per booth. If there aren’t enough youth members, ask them to bring a friend or two. You’ll be wanting those extra hands when the carnival is in full swing. You’re going to need some extra adults on hand too.

As far as attractions go, make them child-centered, and have little prizes. Nothing too extravagant or expensive, just some little toys and candy.

Have the youth ask for monetary donations to help offset the cost of the prizes and supplies. Sell tickets for the various games and decide on prices.

A carnival is a good time to set up a bake sale table and sell some other food as well. Parents standing around waiting for their children to play games get hungry. Good foods to sell are things like hot dogs, chips, and drinks.

The most important thing with a carnival is to get the word out. Let everyone in the church know about it. Tell the youth to let all of their friends about it. Let other churches know about it too. Put signs up. The more people that know about it, the better.