Comparing church fundraisers

It’s always interesting to me to see which fundraisers raise the most money for the least amount of work. Sometimes, the simple easy fundraisers raise more money than the complex difficult fundraisers. For example:

The youth group here at the Palo Alto church is raising money to go to New Orleans for a service project. The ice cream social (ice cream donated by a local merchant) grossed $775 for two hours of work. The New Orleans theme dinner grossed $750, with much higher expenses, and three or four times as much work.

5 thoughts on “Comparing church fundraisers

  1. CC

    True, but putting together the dinner might well be more of a bonding experience that has other benefits.

  2. Dan

    CC @ 1 — Absolutely true. Also true: we raised more awareness in the congregation about the purpose of the trip with the dinner.

    I was surprised, though, that we didn’t raise more money with the dinner.

  3. David Markham

    Excellent point Dan.

    I think Ice Cream socials can be fun and a great way to raise money.

    We did a pancake breakfast on our opening Sunday in September, 2009 which was fun and farily easy.

    What other fund raising observations have you made?

    All the best,

    David Markham
    Chairperson, Steering Committee
    Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

  4. dindc

    Dinners and special events are more suitable for branding and visibility and as such they often lose money overall.

    Have the kids considered a car wash? that’s relatively low-cost (they can use Facebook to spread the word), and it can be a great bonding experience.

  5. Dan

    David Markham @ 3 — You write: “What other fund raising observations have you made?”

    The best way to raise money today is to ask for donations. Seriously. The youth group mentioned in the post expects to raise 80% of the money for their trip through donations. Fundraising activities serve as a way to educate people about their cause, to generate excitement and interest, and to invite further contributions (significant amounts of the gross take in the above fundraising efforts came because the youth group asked for voluntary donations, prompting some people to contribute well above what the actual service should cost).

    dindc @ 4 — The youth group’s carwash yesterday grossed $1862. Yes, you read that number right: close to two thousand dollars. They included vacuuming and other “detailing” for those who wanted it. They offered to wash people’s cars while they were in one of the two worship services, or at the lunch after the second service.

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