If you aren't careful, though, your student ministry can quickly become consumed with fundraising to the point that ministry may even occasionally be put on a back burner.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning for fundraising:
- Create a special designated account that all fundraising support will go into and then allocate money from that account for specific needs during the year.
- Plan the entire year's worth of fundraisers before the year begins. Make estimates as to how much money you will generate so that you can adequately plan your year. Planning and communication are key in good fundraising.
- Less is more. 3 solid fundraisers each year will be more effective than a dozen nickel and dime fundraisers. Stick with fundraisers that will generate a good amount of income, and stay away from individual sale items (calendars, jewelry, candy, etc.). They usually have a pretty pitiful margin of income and will be a ton of work for little profit.
- Give people in your church a legitimate benefit from giving toward your cause. Try to make your fundraisers something that people walk away with something (auction, huge yard sale, car washes, dinner theatre, childcare, yard work, and other things like that).
- Keep good records. As tedious as it sounds, keep records of every dime that someone donates, even if it's just attending a hotdog dinner. Do this so that students who attended the specific event, mission trip, or camp that you're raising money for can write a personal thank you card to each donor telling them how the trip was and thanking them for helping them attend. This will do wonders for your future fundraisers. Show the people who give money to your ministry that it really does impact the Kingdom.
- Maintain integrity when dealing with money. Always have another person with you when money is collected, counted, and deposited. It's just a good idea. Even the most faithful, moral person in the world, in the wrong circumstances, and without accountability, can make bad choices.
In the quest for funds, never forget that it doesn't cost a dime to share the Gospel. Plan your calendar to effectively use the resources you have available to you.
More expensive is not always better.
Also, help your students see that personal sacrifice (like working their tails off to go to a mission trip instead of asking others to pay their way) will have a much greater effect on their spiritual life.