The Easiest Fundraiser. Ever. Seriously.

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 nwheeler@cumberland.org

Please like & share:

The Greatest Influence

The No. 1 Reason Teens Keeps The Faith As Young Adults

Story Found on Huffington Post

This is just one of  many examples that show the greatest influence on the faith life of most teenagers are their parents.

This article says that, other factors such as youth ministry or clergy or service projects or religious schools pale in comparison.

One way I tried as a youth pastor to help parents is to begin a parent blog. This blog contained articles, ideas, information on parenting youth. Most of the information I used came from a website called parentministry.net

This site costs money but it was well worth it. I noticed a healthy upswing in interaction and participation among the parents who read my parent emails and checked out the blog.

How do you minister to parents?

Leave a comment and if you are interested in writing for the blog send me an email nwheeler@cumberland.org

Please like & share:

Playing The Numbers Game

How many youth do you have?

How many were at youth group Sunday night?  Wednesday night?

How many youth went to camp? retreat?

How many youth came to the last event?

If you’re involved leading youth at a church you have probably asked or been asked to play the numbers game.

I’ve been on both sides of the numbers game.

And if we are honest we all struggle with the numbers game. Most of us, at one time or another, have allowed numbers to play a significant role in our ministry with and to youth.

In our mind, numbers can validate or discredit our youth ministries.

To our church it could be the difference in a full-time, part-time, or volunteer youth minister or how large or small your youth budget number will be.

It’s not just a youth ministry problem.

I had someone tell me that when their youth group went on a trip or retreat that their church would count them in attendance on Sunday mornings. The rationale was that these youth would be there if they weren’t off on a trip.

We have to be realistic.

Numbers matter. Whether you have 100 youth or 4 youth showing up to your meetings and events.

But which numbers matter? Recently, I’ve read a few articles that deal with numbers that I hope you will find encouraging as you play the numbers game. Maybe they will help you seek validation in a different way or help you to stop discrediting your ministry and find new ways to view numbers.

Numbers That Count

7 Youth Ministry Numbers You Should Really Know

Let me know what you think by commenting below.

Like to write for the blog send me an email nwheeler@cumberland.org

Please like & share: