Tuesday, June 6, 2006

YW Idea: Fundraisers

Summer is here and our Youth group is gearing up for several activities. Besides the usual girl's camp and Scout Camp, we have a ward Youth River Rafting trip and a Tri-Stake Youth Conference planned. Unfortunately, it all costs money. Not wanting to burden families with the costs or spend a lot of time and effort on fundraising, we have tried to come up with one good, easy fundraiser each year.

Years ago, when I was serving in a youth group elsewhere, we made a cookbook of submitted recipes from the members of our church congregation. It turned out to be a great cookbook (I love that kind of cookbook, anyways) and was well received. Unfortunately, it was also a lot of work as we did all of the publishing and assembling ourselves. It did almost entirely pay for the girl's camp fees.

In that same area, the scouts had a great annual fundraiser going. They rented an areator and aerated people's lawns. They charged a very reasonable price and would take orders for a specific Saturday. They tooled it around the neighborhood, using marker flags to mark and avoid hitting sprinkler heads. They usually got quite a few more orders by asking the neighbors as they went along. Aeration is an important thing to do living in low water areas, but a pain to remember to schedule, so I think everyone really appreciated it. Fortunately, low water is not an issue where we are living now. So, this fundraiser wouldn't be as productive here, I'm afraid.

Last fall, we did a chicken roast. A local gentleman has the equipment to roast chickens, and he is willing to lend it to any youth group looking to raise funds. He even hooks you up with a wholesale chicken supplier and teaches you how to do it. You just have to purchase his secret recipe chicken rub to put on them. (At a reasonable price.) A local shopping center lets you set up and sell on a highly visible spot on their property. Since groups regularly take this great opportunity, the chickens have gotten quite a following in the community and are an easy sell. We made a few hundred dollars, but it was a great deal of work. Working the pits was a hot, miserable job, and everyone in contact with the chickens had to get food handler permits in advance. Plus the stress of wondering if we were going to really sell all those chickens we upfronted cash for wasn't fun.

This last Saturday, I think we found the perfect fundraiser. A Burger King, on one of the busiest roads in town, let us do a car wash. They had two water faucets that, with the addition of two "T's", let us hook up 4 hoses. We made assignments of who would bring buckets, hoses and rags, and then picked up some appropriate soap. For our mutal night, we made about 6 signs out of poster board. That was all the prep we had to do. We ran it from 10 to 3 as a "Free car Wash, donations appreciated." We made over $450! It worked out to about 5 dollars an hour for every youth that was there. And I'm sure we would have made more if it hadn't been threatening rain all day. Further, the kids had a great time doing it. I think this is a fundraiser definitely worth repeating for next year.

Edited later: Go check out TXMommy's garden stone fundraiser. Very cute idea that'd be a great activity, even if you didn't sell them!


  1. Car washes are very popular here too!
    You see one on nearly every corner. How great to be able to raise a nice sum for your group.
    (I'd never heard of a chicken roast fundraiser, that sounded challenging!)

  2. owww... my sunburn from that still hurts... lol

  3. Sounds like you had great success. Our local High School does car washes for their fund raiser and they always get alot of support from the community. Hope all goes well with your future fund raisers.

  4. A lot of car washes like that are done every weekend here. So, it really is all about location.

    I remember making pizzas, doing car washes and loads of babysitting to pay for girl's camp.

    The YW did a spaghetti dinner a couple of months back for this years fund raiser. Took preorders to know just how much food to make. Then they had a bake sale by donation set up as the people would drive up to pick up their food.

    All great ideas.

  5. We were amazed at our cub scout cake auction this year. It worked out becuase people were so generous. My boy's cakes sold for $80.00 and $100.00! And we had so much fun making them.

  6. great idea, our girls made garden stones out of beads and cut glass set in cement. It turned out great. I'll post a pic.

  7. Car washes seem to be a fun team project for teens. Glad it went well!

  8. Nettie, that looks like a lot of fun. The lessons that you are teaching the youth in your ward is priceless. I would have loved to have you as one of my leaders. Lucky kids!

  9. My highschool track team did a carwash once, it was really fun! Glad you made so much.