Article by Samantha Hassell
I have a love-hate relationship with fundraisers. They’re necessary. And they can be fun times, but they’re a lot of work. And I feel like I’ve run the gamut on trying to come up with creative and fruitful ideas.
There’s the Parent’s Night Out – I promise even if you think you have enough activities planned for 4 hours you do not.
There’s the classic: spaghetti dinner. You will always have more noodles than sauce; those things multiply in the pot, I swear!
Or the car wash. At the busy intersection. While three other groups have one on the other three corners.
There are a ton of great ideas out there full of their own pros and cons.
But I’m gonna tell you a secret – I have found the easiest fundraiser ever – when you try this one you’re gonna want to offer me a cut of the profit – thanks, but you keep it. We call it “Chili to Go” or “Soup to Go.”
Here’s how it works: ask parents and youth volunteers to make a huge pot of soup/chili and bring it to the church on Sunday morning. Put it in jars. Sell it right after worship – people go nuts over it! A jar of homemade goodness, jarred up and ready to eat as soon as they get home. Minimal clean up. No expense because parents and volunteers have all donated what you’re selling.
Here are a few tips:
-ask any ladies in the church if they have old canning jars to donate OR check your local for sale adds – I bought a huge box full from a lady who was cleaning out her basement
-ask folks to return the jars the following week – that way you’ll have them for next time
-don’t forget a wide-mouth funnel for transferring soup to jars
Here are the cons:
-since it’s soup and chili it only works during Fall/Winter months
-I have done this several times and have NEVER had lunch when we’re done. We sell it all! 😉
But you know what the best part is about this particular fundraiser (and others for that matter)? It is seeing the looks on the faces of my young people when someone drops $20, $50 or even $100 in for a jar or two of soup. It is seeing them feel supported and loved through the giving of generous church family. It is watching their eyes get huge as we total up donations; their humility, gratitude, and amazement is a gift to see. Plus, it’s fun to watch teenage boys with plastic spoons scraping soup pots for one little bite.
Got a great fundraising idea? Wanna share it with the world? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org