Raising money for church camp can be a challenge. Whatever you do has to be equal parts fun and effective to really work!
We want every student to go, even the ones that can't afford to on their own. So we reached out to other church leaders to compile all their best church camp fundraiser ideas.
Go ahead and hang a fundraising thermometer up in the foyer, because you're about to raise some serious cash! In this post, we will share 11 knockout youth camp fundraising ideas that are sure to get you to your fundraising targets and beyond!
Themed dinner nights can be a fun and effective way to raise funds and a perfect opportunity to create memories for your members to cherish. Choose an exciting theme and encourage everyone to dress up and participate.
Selling tickets is the primary way these events raise money, but you can combine this idea with other ideas in the list together to make this event a very effective way to raise the funds you need. Incorporate a silent auction, raffle, or other ideas to reach your fundraising goals.
Below are some fun themes I've gathered from other church leaders:
Silent auctions are popular fundraising events that offer excellent opportunities for collaboration with your church and community. Contact local business owners and ask for donations of items or services for the auction. Promote your auction well in advance and ensure a well-organized event.
Gift certificates, gift baskets, and unique experiences are always winners. Here are some items I have seen sold at a silent auction that raised a lot of money:
Does your church have members talented in singing, dancing, painting, or anything else that would be fun to show off? Gather them together to discuss putting together a show!
Sell tickets to the event, and consider offering concessions. Print out flyers, post about it on social media, and throw a fun and unique church summer camp fundraiser that the whole community can enjoy.
Go even further by asking theatre groups, ballet teachers, art schools, and other similar groups to donate a showcase of their talents. Some teachers may love giving their students the opportunity to put their learned skills on display.
Youth camp fundraisers are an opportunity for your church to invest in the discipleship of the next generation. Perhaps the most effective way to raise funds to take more kids to church camp is to do so directly.
Consider asking older couples at your church who no longer have kids in the youth ministry to donate the admission cost of one child to the program, then give that donation to a family with children who cannot afford to send their kid to camp.
With peer fundraising or personal fundraising, you bind your church family together by not just taking in sales from tickets to fun events, but encouraging members to pour resources directly into the life of a child who really needs it.
It's a requirement that every youth group must have one experience in common: A car wash!
This is a fun, affordable, and easy student camp fundraising idea for any church. Grab a couple hoses, a few 5-gallon buckets, sponges, and a jug of car wash soap, and you're ready to bring in some serious funds. Don't forget to make flyers to advertise around town. It's the perfect event for hot summer days!
For a truly inexpensive fundraising idea, yard sales are tough to beat. Also, they're a classic!
Gather a few parents together as a fundraising team and have them coordinate with the rest of the church to make this event as big as possible. Throw a church-wide yard sale open to the whole community.
You may even consider making it a "themed" yard sale. In other words, ask members for a specific type of item and promote the event around that. Here are some examples:
Design unique camp-themed shirts and offer them for sale to your congregation. One year, my youth group made tie-dye shirts to wear at camp but raised funds by offering to make similar tie-dye shirts for any church member for a small fee.
Pre-orders can help gauge interest. The biggest benefit of this youth fundraising idea is that these shirts can be sold at almost any church event. T-shirts can also serve as a great marketing tool for your camp and the youth program in general.
You can use Canva to not only create great-looking t-shirts, but place orders once you nail down a fun design. They have t-shirt design templates to get you started!
Pro tip: Camp-themed shirts are unique, but won't get worn much after youth camp is over. Consider making shirts for your youth group that are more generic and advertise the youth program in general. That way, you get a little more bang for your buck.
Host a game night at your church, featuring bingo night, trivia night, card games, or other popular board games. Sell tickets to participate, and offer refreshments or snacks for sale. Game nights can be a great way to give your congregation a fun evening while raising summer camp funds.
Was "Clue" not your favorite board game (if you don't get the reference, read the themed dinners section above)? No problem! Borrow every board game your members can part with for a few days, then host a family game night! You can either charge admission for the event or charge a per-game rate.
This one is my favorite student camp fundraising idea. It gets the kids outside, serves the community, and raises money for church summer camp all at once!
Choose an impactful project that benefits your local community. Some great ideas:
Raise money by gathering pledges from church members or other community residents to support your work.For example: If your youth group cleans up a park, your members can pledge to donate a certain amount for each trash bag a student fills up.
Is there a better-tasting staple of church fundraisers than a bake sale?
A bake sale is a tried and true fundraising campaign. However, have you combined them with a Coffee Morning fundraiser? They're a match made in heaven!
Create a coffee social event for your members to drink fresh java, eat tasty pastries, then buy or bid on delicious home-baked goods. Invite everyone in town to not just raise funds, but also make meaningful connections and bring people into your church.
An easy and quick fundraising idea for youth camp is to host a movie night at your church. Pick a faith-based movie, invite the town, sell concessions, and enjoy the easiest church camp fundraising idea possible.
If weather and space allow, host the event outside! Provide hot chocolate and blankets and enjoy a fun movie as the stars come out.
Bonus idea: Combine a silent auction with the movie night. Members can donate picnic baskets filled with delicious food. Attendees can bid on them for their dinner as they watch the film. Double your fundraising efforts in one event!
Fundraising is best when it's fun and makes a difference in someone's life at the same time. A youth camp fundraiser is an excellent opportunity to give the kids in youth ministry the chance to give back to their community. It's also a chance for your members to invest in the discipleship journey of your kids. We call that a fundraising win-win.
These 11 high-impact church camp fundraising ideas will have you well on your way to blessing more kids in your youth ministry this year.