Two or three times a year I hear the question. Does anyone have any good fundraisers?
This comes from overworked youth ministers who don’t want to spend their time and energy doing car washes that raise a few $100. Volunteer Sunday School teachers who never knew they signed up to be fundraisers for youth. Parents who don’t want to have to do a monthly fundraiser each month where they have to move flamingos, bake brownies, and send their youth to rake leaves somewhere once again.
These are all good fundraisers and in some places can work. I know because I have led all of these plus a massive Christmas tree lot, silent auctions, chili sales, child drop and shop, dog-walking, serve-athon, walk-a thon, recycling program, and finally dance-a-thon. So after doing all of those and taking into account the amount of work I had to do vs. the level of success I had. This is my favorite.
During the stock sale youth sell a certain amount of stocks to family, friends and parishioners. These “stock certificates” entitle the stockholder to attend the stockholder’s dinner or luncheon. Afterwards a “stockholder’s report” is given to each youth who is in charge of making sure all their stockholder’s receive it. The youth are encouraged to write their own handwritten thank you on the report or to add it in when they send it.
The luncheon was always a very light inexpensive luncheon that typically the parents and youth provided. This made sure that the proceeds from the stock sale went directly to the youth’s trip. At the luncheon the “stockholder’s report” is given. This is usually a video as well as a few testimonials by the youth about what they did.
This is also where the stockholder’s who are present receive their paper report. Make this look as official as possible. This report is also mailed to every stockholder not in attendance by the youth seller. This report and the luncheon is where the stockholder’s can see their return on the investment.
The great thing about this fundraiser is that you can decide how much you need to raise per youth and then encourage them to sell that many stocks. Do you need to raise $250 per youth? Have them sell 10 stocks at $250. The youth can then sell these stocks easily to not only local people, but family and friends farther away.
The even greater thing about this is that it requires only that the youth minister make up the stocks, pass out the stocks and make sure the meal happens. I typically worked with great parents who even took this from me and enjoyed it as it gave us a theme for our fundraiser.
This all allowed me to spend more time doing ministry with youth and planning and working on the big event we were fundraising for. Often, this was the only fundraiser I would do in a year.