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Low-Cost Ideas

The fundraiser ideas on this page require a low initial financial investment. That means that supplies required to make the event happen require a modest "leap of faith."

Each idea lists several items:

  1. Materials needed to do the fundraiser
  2. The level of difficulty in running this fundraising event
  3. Who the intended audience would primarily be (Where most of the fundraised money would come from)
  4. The approximate profit margin
  5. Any likely "dangers" or "tips" to help assure you of success

M&M Minis Tubes

Materials Needed:

M&M tubes - 1 case has 24 tubes

 

Description:

Buy a box or case of M&M Minis that come in a plastic tube, from Sam's Club or Costco and give them out to friends, relatives, church members etcetera. Once they have enjoyed the M&M's ask them to fill the empty M&M tubes with quarters and give it back to you. 

Another option is they give you $10 for the tube of M&Ms.

 

Level of Difficulty:

Easy

 

Approximate Profit Margin:

1 case sells for round $15.00 + tax and contains 24 tubes. If you get $10.00 per tube from people, that's $240. Your profit is around $223.


All Night Bake Sale:

Here's a bake sale with a different twist: an all-night baking party!

Materials Needed:
1. Ingredients for baked goods
2. Baking supplies (bowls, spoons, etc...)
3. Church or other large kitchen

Description:
Bring your pathfinders and staff to the church for a Saturday night bake-off. Collect orders beforehand (chocolate chip, peanut butter, sugar cookie, gingerbread and other "favorites" will sell well). Provide each pathfinder group with the ingredients necessary to mix up cookies. Be sure to stagger the cookie prep so that there's room in the oven. Provide games, drinks, snacks and music to give a party atmosphere. Bake all night long, making some extras for the crowd. By the end of the night, no one may ever want to see another cookie again! Offer the cookies for pickup Sunday morning! Great for any size Pathfinder club!

Level of Difficulty:
Easy. The 12-hour all night commitment from Pathfinders and leaders is the biggest and most essential part!

Approximate Profit Margin:
40-60% The initial cost is the ingredients for the cookies.

Tips:
1. Be sure you set prices for a dozen cookies that allow the club to make a profit.
2. The grocery store may give you a discount on the quantity supplies if you plan ahead and talk to a manager! Warehouse stores such as Sam's Club or Costco also offer ingredients in bulk, often cheaper!


Parents' Day Off:
Materials Needed:
1. Soup & Sandwiches
2. Kids Games
3. Teen Pathfinders & Pathfinder Leaders

Description 
First, plan a strategy: games, soccer,softball, bike riding, coloring and craft projects, etc., all based at the church / Pathfinder building. Soup and sandwiches are the perfect lunch(especially with lots of peanut butter & jelly). Then publicize your services and establish a fee for each category: one child, all day (9 to 5),lunch included; one child, half day (9 to 5), lunch included; two or three children, all day, lunch included; two or three children, half day, lunch included; four or five children, all day, lunch included; and four or five children, half day, lunch included. Parents drop off their kids at 9 a.m. and pay when they pick them up. They love this service! Some parents clean the house, go on day trips,visit special friends, or just spend some time alone.

Level of Difficulty:
Hard

Primary Audience:
Church members

Approximate Profit Margin:
30-60%

Tips:
1. Be sure there is plenty of adult staff supervision!
2. Plan the games well and with plenty of options.


Holiday Greetings Sale:
Materials Needed:
Holiday supplies depending on activity selected

Description:
Create a group of special holiday activities to invite donations to your camporee fund. Here are a few examples: At the beginning of the new year, put together family resolutions boxes (devotional books, healthy recipes and mixes, exercise wear,etc.). Sell the boxes at a price that will return a good profit to you. Let people know that they're not only starting their year off right, but they're also helping the Pathfinders go to the International Pathfinder Camporee. Bake Valentine's cookies, muffins and cakes, purchase gourmet hot drink mixes, fruit and small boxes of chocolates, and arrange them in baskets, finished with colorful wrapping and bows. Sell them to your church members as ready-made Valentine's Day celebrations. Plan other activities for other holiday or seasonal celebrations, including Mother's Day and Father's Day, the end of the school year, Thanksgiving, etc. --from The ABZs of Adventist Youth Ministry

Level of Difficulty:
Medium-Difficult

Primary Audience:
Friends & family

Approximate Profit Margin:
20-50%

Tips:
1. Plan ahead
2. Take a poll from your Church / Friends to gage their level of interest inpurchasing your Pathfinders' work.


After School Tutoring
Materials Needed:
1. Pathfinders who do well in school and enjoy kids
2. Willing staff to supervise
3. Survey to determine neighborhood interest
4. Room at the church / school / facility to hold tutoring

Description:
Organize a tutoring program for elementary students,especially ones who go home every day to empty houses. Hold the tutoring sessions at school or at the church. Have members of you Pathfinder club help the kids with their homework. Invite church members to donate money on behalf of the tutoring program. --from The ABZs of Adventist Youth Ministry

Level of Difficulty:
Large time commitment

Primary Audience:
Neighborhood; Children

Approximate Profit Margin:
80%

Tips:
Follow state / local guidelines to ensure you're following any applicable laws concerning tutoring.


Flea Market:
Materials Needed:
1. Donated Flea Market items from members, friends
2. Organized Coordinator
3. Space to store items until the Flea Market
4. Advertisement for Bulletin
5. Advertisement in local Classifieds
6. Signs to lead drivers to the Flea Market
7. Donation Center (Goodwill) to give unsold items to at the end of the sale.  
8. Tables & chairs to display goods
9. Stickers / tags to denote price of each item. Be sure this sticker will not stain / destroy the item you're sticking it on.
10. Someone able to assign "values" to the items

Description:  This is an event where you will have church members save items throughout the year that they will bring to the Pathfinder club for the purpose of the flea market fundraiser. On the day of the flea market, all the items are placed on tables and prices are set or left to be bargained. Advertising in the bulletin and local newspapers have proven to work well for this type of fundraiser. Left over items can be taken Goodwill, Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul or other local thrift stores that supports the homeless and needy.

Level of Difficulty:
Medium

Primary Audience:
Community

Approximate Profit Margin
70%+

Tips:
1. Advertise WELL
2. If your church isn't on a main road, BE SURE that you have signs leading from main thoroughfares to your church. Simple "Yard Sale" signs work best.
3. There are a whole "tribe" of people who love to visit Yard Sales whereever they are. They are often buying for their own Flea Market booths for resale. They will often try to get you to come down in price (so that they can have a larger profit margin). Don't get desperate and sell low! Remember you are trying to raise money for your Pathfinder Club to attend the Camporee.


Pecan Sale
Materials Needed:
Pecan Order Forms
Pecans
Kids / staff who like "door-to-door" sales

Description:
A good fundraiser is an Annual Pecan Sale, selling roasted/salted pecans, cashews, chocolate covered pecans, almonds, raw almonds and English walnuts. This fundraiser can be advertised and restricted solely to church members, or can also be opened up to the public by going door to door. Some Pathfinder groups have made about $3000 from this sale.

Mountain Pecan Co. (near Marietta, GA)
Phone (888) 280--7073
(770) 207-6486

Level of Difficulty:
Medium

Primary Audience:
Parents / Church Members / Community

Approximate Profit Margin:
Pre-sale your Pecans! 90-100%

Tips:
1. Pre-sale your Pecans so that there are no unsold leftovers
2. Be fully informed of the costs and shipping requirements
3. Careful book-keeping leads to "sales" success


Chocolate that Works
Materials Needed:
1. Mini M & M Tubes
2. Record keeping booklet
3. Phone for making calls for "pick up".

Description:
Purchase a large quantity (a case or more) of mini M&M's candies in tubes.  On a Sabbath morning, hand out the tubes of M&M's to church members as they exit after the service. Tell everyone that instead of selling candy, your group is giving it away. As you hand out the candy, encourage people to take the tubes home, eat the candy, and then fill the empty tubes with quarters (a tube will hold about $14 worth of quarters). Tell church members that M&M's stands for "missions money," and ask them to pray for your mission
trip every time they add quarters to the tubes. When a tube is filled, a church member can return it to your group. Your group's time and effort will be minimal with this fundraiser; plus, you'll have church members praying for your mission trip every time they see or eat M&M's.

--Group Magazine July/August 2002

Level of Difficulty:
Medium

Primary Audience:
Parents / Church Members / Friends

Approximate Profit Margin:
$10 / tube maximum (some won't return their tubes)

Tips:
1. This was originally developed as a fundraiser for missions. However, Camporee can have a very similar affect on kids lives, especially if you plan ahead to do service activities as part of the experience at Forever Faithful Camporee.
2. Keep a record of who received tubes. Make a phone call in 2 weeks informing them of a "pick-up" Sabbath in the near future. Be specific.


Scrips
Materials Needed:
1. Computer & Internet Connection
2. Email addresses of family & friends
3. Eager Internet savvy Pathfinders & Staff

Description: A scrip is a gift certificate that non-profit groups can purchase at a discount any where from 2-20% off. This way no extra money is spent by any of the families as the club raises money. It does require a little planning ahead as you shop. But most of us know that we spend X amount on groceries per month so that is a great place to start. Then every month a percentage of what you spent anyway will go to the club. Also grandparents, friends, relatives can help because they don't have to live in your area for participate. It is relatively easy to manage and is a great way to get the parents involved in the fundraising instead of just the kids.

Level of Difficulty:
Medium

Primary Audience:
Family / Friends

Approximate Profit Margin:
2-20%

Tips:
Be careful to plan ahead! This involves some "initial investment" that you want to be sure to get back!


Free Gift Wrapping:
Materials Needed:
1. Christmas Paper
2. Ribbons
3. Bows
4. Scissors
5. Tape

You can either get these items donated or purchase them at a discount club such as Sam's or Costco where you can buy in bulk.

Description
Provide free gift wrapping to parents and church members. Set up shop in your school gym and provide a gift wrapping service the first Sunday in December or some other day when people will be out Christmas shopping. Provide a box or jar to collect donations and tips. 

Primary Audience 
Church members and parents

Approximate Profit Margin
50-65%

Level of Difficulty
Medium


*These ideas and tips are given to assist clubs in fundraising and in no way guarantee success for your fundraising event. The Center for Youth Evangelism takes no responsibility for the success or failure of your fundraising events & results, or endorses any product or organization, but we always love to hear about what is working for you!

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