Ideas For Youth Group Fundraisers church youth fundraisers

Ideas For Youth Group Fundraisers

The article below is filled with ideas that are tried and true methods I have personally used in my previous youth groups. I will share with you which fundraisers you should use and which ones you shouldn’t use and why. Plus I have a secret ingredient for you to utilize to make every fundraiser I suggest a success!

Reasons To Do Youth Group Fundraisers

The first one is the most obvious:

Because you need money!

Unfortunately, a lot of churches do not have the funds to allocate to the youth budget. So in order to do everything that you want in the youth ministry, you need to raise money.

To bring ownership and responsibility

There is something to say about youth working for their objective. If youth just sit back and allow all the adults to take care of the funds for their trip or whatever they are raising money for, then they have no accountability or responsibility in raising their own support. Since we are trying to build character and Christ-like virtues within our youth, working towards their goals is a noble pursuit that helps youth develop further.


Youth Group fundraisers are so much fun and they bring an opportunity to team build. Almost every fundraiser I have ever ran had the youth fully immersed in the project. This helped bring cohesion and teamwork within the group. I only fundraise for retreats or mission trips, so it was a way for the youth going on those trips to bond even more beforehand. church youth fundraisers


Have you ever heard of youth groups described as “A One-Ear Mickey Mouse?” In that description, the church is the big circle and the youth group is a small circle that is part of the church, but really is out on its own. Well, fundraisers can build help build or reinforce a bridge between the congregation and the youth group.

As you will see later in the article, there are ways youth group fundraisers can incorporate the congregation and make connection points to the church at large. This is just one of the crazy valuable results of effective youth group fundraisers that go beyond gaining more money for the ministry!

Reasons Not To Do Youth Group Fundraisers

To raise support for fun trips without any Christian edification

Look, the reason why we are a youth group is because of Jesus. Youth groups are not a social club. While youth groups do have a social piece, youth groups are a part of a church. They are under the wing of Christian education and exist to form discipleship. While we can and should have fun elements involved, the goal of whatever we are raising money for should be to help them grow in their faith.

Now, I do say this with the awareness that some of you out there are doing ministry with kids that are in extreme poverty and have no fun opportunities in their lives. In these scenarios, I completely understand that maybe the money raised is simply to go out to eat or go have a fun night of mini-golf. If the mission of your youth group is to reach underprivileged kids and you want to raise funds so they can do other things that their peers do, then by all means! However, there is still an opportunity to bring faith into any trip or event. There are always opportunities to have a discussion about God while you all are eating or use it to build bonds with the kids so that you can go deeper with them when the time is right.

Types of Youth Group Fundraisers To Avoid

Selling items – kits, donuts, wrapping paper, etc.

The profit margin on these types of fundraisers is rather small. So in order to get a lot of money raised, you will need to sell A LOT. That’s why when these fundraisers happen in schools for fundraisers, there are incentives for the kids who sell the most, it’s a volume game. And a school usually has many, many more kids than your youth group involved in selling.

If you find a fundraising product that has a great profit margin then by all means pursue it. But more likely than not, the profit margin is relatively small and there isn’t a lot of incentive for the youth to sell these products even if it’s for funds for their trip or whatever you are planning to use the raised money for.

Car Washes (or any potentially problematic scenario)

Honestly, this is up to your discretion, but car washes can raise some concerns, especially if you do not closely control how the youth participate in them and what they wear. I’ve even seen youth washing cars in their swimsuits (not any of the groups I’ve led!) and more than once. If you want to do a car wash, be sure to lay down strong rules about conduct and clothing.

In general, think through closely if a fundraiser will put youth in a vulnerable or morally questionable situation and avoid at all cost.