30 Simple Fundraising Ideas for Youth Leaders

Fundraising is an important part of mission trip preparation. Some youth leaders get overwhelmed and stressed out trying to figure how to raise funds and what to do. While fundraising is another thing to the already long mission trip prep to-do list, there are great benefits to fundraising. Simple ideas can be executed easily and the generosity of your community might surprise you. When successful, fundraising rallies the community around your mission trip and eases trip expenses. 

With all that said, we understand what you’re feeling and we got your back! Previously, we asked 101 youth leaders for their best fundraising ideas. As you can imagine, we got a hodgepodge of events, auctions, creative asks and even pranks! The list was long of course so we  cut the list down to 30 simple fundraising ideas that are easy for you to pull off. Without further ado…

  1. Protection Money: offer protection from an item being placed on a lawn or front door step.
  2. Noodles & Doodles: Youth put on a pasta dinner and display original art to be auctioned to dinner attendees.
  3. Golf Tournament
  4. Pancake Supper
  5. Dodge Ball Tournament
  6. Desserts Competition: Church members sign up to make their best dessert and charge people a small fee to taste test and vote.
  7. Soup Cookout
  8. Talent Show
  9. Church-Wide Dinner
  10. Free BBQ at Church with Freewill Donation
  11. Sunday Afternoon at the Movies: Offer a Sunday afternoon matinee with suggested donation.
  12. Chili Cook-Off
  13. Pair Up: Pair youth up with members of the church who need chores or work done.
  14. Sandwiches: Pre-sell sandwiches for Super Bowl Sunday have kids make them.
  15. Babysitting Day
  16. Service Board: Church members post on bulletin board odd jobs or service projects for around their home and price they would pay for service.
  17. Free Car Wash: Students have people pledge donation amount per car, then students wash others’ cars for free.
  18. 144 Envelopes: Put 144 envelopes in the church, numbered from $1 to $144, and ask church members to make a donation with for that amount of money.
  19. Shareholders: Sell shares in the mission project for $25-$30 per share. Each share provides the shareholder with one ticket to the shareholders’ banquet, which is held 2 weeks after completion of project.
  20. Adopt-A-Mile: Figure out the mileage for the mission trip and how much each mile should cost, then have donors pay for the trip by mile.
  21. Black Tie Un-Fundraiser: People buy a ticket for $50 to stay home. Put it on a busy night and let them simply make a donation without having to actually ‘do’ anything.
  22. Coin Change Bottles: Get cheap reusable plastic water bottles and have congregation fill them up and drop off their change throughout the year.
  23. Raffle Tickets: Get a hot button item and sell raffle tickets for someone to win it.
  24. Coins for Youth: Fill M&M mini tubes with quarters to raise money.
  25. Trivia Table Night: People can purchase individual admission or whole tables. There may also be an opportunity to donate at the end.
  26. Cinnamon Rolls: Teens and volunteers make cinnamon rolls, pre-ordered by members of the congregation and sold by the dozen.
  27. Rent-A-Student: Rent a student per hour to members of the church. Students conduct a job and raise funds based on the hourly rate they are ‘paid.’
  28. Baked Goods Auction: Youth bake homemade goods and sell at a live auction.
  29. Comedy Night: Host a comedy night with adults from the church. Serve dinner during the comedy portion, with dessert after.
  30. Basket Auction: Get different products from businesses in the area such as paint, makeup, gift cards, Y membership, etc. Put a mixture of things in baskets and then auction each basket mixture.

    Ok, and one more that isn’t necessarily easy but sounds like a ton of fun!
  31. Paintball: Students and volunteers become targets in a makeshift paintball course, 50 feet to 100 feet away from a table where people can pay $5 for 50 shots from a paintball gun. All volunteers wear protective masks and taunt the shooters.

Need more inspiration? View our full list of 101 Fundraising Ideas

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