It’s 9AM on a sunny Saturday morning. Buckets are full of soapy water. Sponges are ready to go. Students are getting dropped off by their mom and dad. You’re all waiting for those dirty cars to start rolling into the local gas station. It’s your annual summer camp car wash fundraiser.
We’ve all been there - and at the end of the day we’re sunburnt, tired, and a little hangry. With everything added up, minus the expenses, we walk-away with a whopping $600 to split between 30 students.
There has to be a better way to fundraise for camp. Don’t worry - there is! Here are my top FIVE(5) fundraising ideas, including the annual car wash.
5. Car Wash
The idea behind this car wash is to have each student pre-sell $10 tickets to the car wash. If every kid sells 20 tickets, that’s $200 per kid for a pre-sale car wash.
You wanna set up time slots for each person that purchases a ticket, good for one car wash, so that your time is much more efficient and giving you the option to set up multiple wash stations. Having lots of youth leaders and parents helping will keep things running smoothly. With selling tickets and setting up time slots, you will be able to run this car wash in the church parking lot instead of trying to use the local gas station or tire shop.
4. Fasting Fundraiser
Similar to a walkathon or a jogathon, each student finds people to sponsor them for every hour that he or she goes without food.
Each student finds 10-15 people to sponsor them for $1 per hour that they go without food during a 24 hour time period. 10 people + 24hr = $240. This is one of those fundraisers you can start after school on Friday and run it through Saturday at your church. The thing I really love about this fundraiser is the opportunity to teach on fasting, prayer, temptation and endurance. Make sure you have plenty of water and/or juice during the fast along with a pizza party or bbq to close the fast.
3. Duck Race
This is a complicated, yet very profitable fundraiser! Each students sells 30 large rubber duckies at $10 each to float down a river to a finish line/ buoy.
You will need 3,000 large size rubber ducks (different color ducks to break the race up into 3-5 heats), a river, permits to float rubber ducks down the river (may be tough in California to get permits), several boats, finish line/buoy down river to catch all the ducks, and a bridge for people to stand on and watch. Like I said, you can earn tons of money doing a duck race, but it’s pretty complicated. Potential profit, if you line up sponsors and have all your ducks in a row, some pun intended, is $30 - $50K. For more info go to www.duckrace.com (yep, that is a real website that will help you do this fundraiser!)
2. Talent Show/Raffle
Similar to America’s Got Talent, Your Church has GOT TALENT. The lady that sings in the choir, the guy that spends Saturday nights at the karaoke bar, that surprise amateur magician that’s actually pretty good, your Youth Group’s Boy Band, and the cute little girl singing her favorite Shirley Temple number, all want a platform to show off their talent. This is your chance to be their hero and give it to them!
Do an off the chart, hi-level production TALENT SHOW. Bring a celebrity host (Youth Pastor impersonating a celebrity is welcomed), have a camera feed to show the talent on the big screen, have a panel of judges (the senior pastor, worship leader and an elder) with a camera feed on them. Sell entry/raffle tickets for $10 each with every ticket going into a bucket for a drawing at the end of the show. Also, sell raffle tickets to people that won’t come to the show, but would love to support a kid going to camp. Make sure the prizes are off the hook, such as: cruise for two, Disney passes, 4K TV’s, game systems, etc... Also, the production level needs to be HOLLYWOOD style. NOT typical church-cheesy-style, but off the chain, TELEVISION production level. You won’t be able to control the talent itself, but sometimes bad acts are actually good for the show... If you know what I mean :-). If each student sells 30-40 entry/raffle tickets and you sell a total of 3000-4000 tickets, you can earn upwards of $30k - 40k.
1. Ask Your Church
It’s amazing how many people in our churches made decisions for Christ at summer camp when they were teenagers. Those very people are extremely generous when it comes to supporting students wanting to go to camp. Sometimes all we need to do is ask...
Show a camp highlight video with student testimonials from the prior year. Share the total $ amount for the number of students you want to take to camp, the amount per student, the amount per youth leader and simply ask the church to step up and help out.
I believe fundraising is a vital part of camp ministry and truly helps relieve some of the financial pressure that many parents experience. If you have any questions or want more details, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
God Bless and happy fundraising.