Youth Group Fundraising Ideas: 7 Flawless Ways To Raise More

From mission trips to summer camps to church concerts, your youth group ministry probably has a whole list of projects and activities you want to raise money for. 

Let’s face it: fundraising can be difficult for youth groups without the right ideas to grab the attention of the entire congregation and express your need. But it’s possible!

With help from your church and these awesome fundraising ideas, you can raise more money for your youth group:

  1. Utilize your church’s giving kiosk
  2. Create a text-to-tithe campaign
  3. Host a youth charity auction
  4. Launch a crowdfunding campaign
  5. Plan a noisy Sunday fundraiser
  6. Start a make the grade fundraiser
  7. Host a parents party


In this article, we’ll cover seven popular and effective ways to raise money and provide you with tips and tricks to make your fundraiser a success. What are your waiting for? Let’s dive right into youth group fundraising ideas!

Youth Group Fundraising Idea #1: Utilize Your Church’s Giving Kiosk

What is it?

A growing trend in church tithing is the giving kiosk. To give you a basic rundown of this device, kiosks give churches the opportunity to accept credit card gifts from congregants. 

In other words: think of giving kiosks as a portable donation form that your congregation can use during sermons and church events.

Since many people rarely carry cash or checks, this device gives congregants the option to tithe with their credit card so your church can accept even more gifts.

The advantages don’t end there; churches can utilize giving kiosks to accept gifts outside tithing for when they need to raise money for mission trips, renovations, or even youth group activities.

How do you to get started?

Your church may already use giving kiosks, and that’s great! With a kiosk already in place and congregants comfortable with the giving process, your youth group can use it to raise money for your project or event.

If your church doesn’t have a giving kiosk, you can petition your church leaders to purchase one as a beneficial tool for the entire church.

With that said, be sure to choose a giving kiosk that is flexible enough to work for multiple situations, including during sermons and your youth group fundraising initiatives. For more information about what to look for in a giving kiosk, read our list of 7 must-have features.

Once you’ve gotten permission to use your church’s giving kiosk, try putting it to use for planning a giving day. Here’s how it works: organize with your church so that on a particular Sunday all gifts made using the giving kiosk will go toward your youth group’s project.  

To organize your giving day, you’ll need:

  • To promote your event in advance — Post flyers around your church and ask your pastor to make announcements during Sunday sermons.
  • Place your giving kiosk in a prominent location — When your kiosk is in a visible location, congregants can see others using the device, which acts as a great motivator to give. 
  • Use messaging to give congregants more information — Have a sign beside your giving kiosk to show people how to give and explain how you’ll use the funds. 

The bottom line: Giving kiosks can be beneficial tools for churches and youth groups to quickly and easily accept credit card gifts. Employ your church’s giving kiosk for a giving day fundraiser as well as other fundraising events.

Youth Group Fundraising Idea #2: Create a Text-to-Tithe Campaign

What is it?

Church fundraising ideas like text-to-tithe have been around for many years—and are here to stay! Text tithing is so effective because congregants can give whenever and wherever they want.

For instance, if a congregant can’t make it to next Sunday’s sermon, she can give via her phone without having to be present when they pass the tithing plate around.

Youth groups can use this powerful tool to raise money as well. Teenagers and adults are comfortable using their phones to communicate on a regular basis, so giving via text message will be familiar to them.

Thanks to an easy-to-use platform, congregants and youth group members alike can give to your cause via mobile phones.

This giving method is also beneficial for fundraisers because they can receive funds in just a couple of days and can pair text-to-tithe with other ideas to maximize their fundraising potential.

How do you get started?

It’s likely that your church already uses a text-to-tithe or mobile giving platform. Ask your church leaders to create a mobile donation form dedicated to youth group fundraising.

Or you can organize it so that all gifts on certain days of the week or month are used to fund youth group activities and projects.

If you’re going to launch a text-to-tithe campaign, the most important part is to promote your fundraiser. Congregants may know they can give via text message, but they may not know those gifts will go toward supporting their church’s youth group.

You can use the following tactics to spread the word about your campaign:

  • Social media — Use your church’s social media accounts to let parishioners know about your campaign. Post information about the text-to-tithe process and details surrounding your fundraiser. 
  • Church e-newsletter — If your church writes a newsletter to communicate with congregants, include a section about your campaign. Provide them with the number or shortcode they need to text.
  • Announcements at sermons — Have your pastor make an announcement at the end of each sermon to encourage people to give. Better yet, ask if a few youth group members can say a few words during sermons about why this fundraiser is important.

The bottom line: Make use of the tools your church already has in place. Create a dedicated mobile donation page or launch a text-to-give campaign and promote it across multiple channels.

Youth Group Fundraising Idea #3: Host a Youth Charity Auction

What is it?

Charity auctions are tried-and-true fundraising ideas for nonprofits, schools, and churches because guests can bid on interesting items and experiences.

Auctions involve your youth group acquiring items and services from local businesses and individuals. At the event, congregants can bid on their favorite items and the highest bidder receives the item.

Of the many types of charity auctions—live, silent, and online—silent auctions work the best because congregants don’t have to publicly announce their bids.

Since your church is built around a strong community, some guests might feel uncomfortable placing bids at a live auction or competing with friends and family for items.

In addition, online auctions can also work well for churches. However, for an event of this type, you’ll need to use auction software to host your event and allow congregants to place bids.

How do you get started?

While charity auctions require extensive planning to run properly, your youth group has the potential to raise a lot of funds for your cause.

Additionally, there are plenty of strategies you can use to help keep your event within budget.

For your auction, you’ll need to determine:

  • What items or experiences you want to auction off — Your youth group can always ask local businesses to donate items or you can auction off different services (think: yard service, grocery shopping, etc.) that youth group members can complete. 
  • Where to host your event — If your church has enough space, you can save a lot of money by hosting your auction in-house. Alternatively, you can rent a venue like your community center.
  • How to encourage additional gifts — Unfortunately, not every guest can leave with an item or experience, but some will still want to give to your cause. Make sure to have a table where attendees can learn more about why you’re fundraising and give.

If you’re looking for more ways to raise money, you can always use your church’s giving kiosk to accept credit card gifts or host a raffle to keep guests engaged throughout the event.

The bottom line: Charity auctions can be a fun way to encourage congregants to give to your cause and learn more about why you’re fundraising.


Youth Group Fundraising Idea #4: Launch a Crowdfunding Campaign

What is it?

Online fundraising, especially crowdfunding, is a growing trend that is used by virtually every type of organization. Crowdfunding campaigns are inexpensive to run, making them a great option for youth groups fundraising on a budget.

Essentially, crowdfunding uses the power of social media to help spread the word about your campaign to existing and new supporters. By collecting smaller gifts from many congregants, your youth group can quickly raise money and build your supporter base.

Moreover, crowdfunding campaigns can be combined with other fundraising ideas (check out Double the Donation's full list) to boost engagement and funds.

How do you get started?

Before you can launch your crowdfunding campaign, you need to find a platform to host your fundraiser.

You may have heard of the online fundraising website GoFundMe, but there are plenty of other crowdfunding platforms that might be better suited for your needs.

A few features to look for when choosing the right crowdfunding platform, include:

  • Mobile-optimized fundraising pages — You want to give your congregants as many ways as possible to access your page. With mobile-friendly pages, they can give using practically any device.
  • Social media integrations — While most crowdfunding websites have social sharing capabilities, look for a platform that takes it one step further and connects with your accounts. This way, online updates automatically post to your social media.
  • Room for images and videos — Sharing your story is critical; congregants will want to know why you're fundraising and, more importantly, why it matters. Visuals can help them connect to your cause or project.

A strong crowdfunding website is important, but it isn’t the only thing you need to launch a successful campaign.

In addition, you’ll need to write a crowdfunding description, post images and visuals, share your campaign across multiple outlets, and encourage your supporters to raise awareness.

The bottom line: Crowdfunding is a simple and cost-effective way to raise money for your youth group. Just make sure to craft a killer story and pick the perfect platform.


Youth Group Fundraising Idea #5: Plan a Noisy Sunday Fundraiser

What is it?

Noisy Sunday is a fun, low-cost youth group fundraising idea that you can use multiple times a year. Plus, children of all ages can participate to raise money for their group.

Here’s how it works: Sunday school students and youth group members will run up and the down the church aisles with half empty cans and jars of change (making as much noise as possible).

If congregants want the noise to stop, they must fill up every jar with coins and dollars!

How do you get started?

You’ll only need a few materials to realize this fundraiser including:

  • Jars and cans — Round up containers of all different sizes. The larger the containers, the more money you can raise!  
  • Spare change — To make noise, you’ll need to fill your jars with a little bit of change (preferably coins). Don’t fill them up too much; leave that to the congregation on the big day!
  • Youth group members — Ask as many youth group members as you can to participate in the event. With more people making noise, congregants will be motivated to fill up every jar.

Before you schedule your noisy Sunday, get permission from the pastor to perform your event. He or she might even suggest a specific time for you to come and perform your fundraiser.

Let your congregation know about your event so that they come prepared with coins to fill up your containers.

At the end of the day, the point is to encourage everyone to give as much as they can to fill up the cans and jars. Have fun with this fundraiser so that you can get everyone involved in supporting your cause.

The bottom line: Your youth group doesn’t have to spend a lot of money to organize an effective fundraiser. Hosting a noisy Sunday is a fun way to promote giving, and you can use this idea multiple times to reach your goal.

Youth Group Fundraising Idea #6: Start a Make the Grade Fundraiser

What is it?

In a make the grade fundraiser, your young contegants can have their friends, family, and teachers sponsor them during each academic semester.

Supporters will pledge different dollar amounts "betting" that their student will reach certain academic achievements that period.

At the end of the semester, if the student has reached their academic goals, then your church can collect the pledges and apply them to your next big youth group project.

How do you get started?

Make the grade fundraisers are really easy to get off the ground:

  • Start by signing students up — Before the fundraiser begins, call on your young congregants to volunteer for the fundraiser. 
  • Encourage older congregants to get in on the action — During or after services, encourage older members of your congregation to pledge in support of a student in their life.
  • Identify scholastic goals — Suggest different academic benchmarks for students, such as getting straight A's, having perfect attendance, or raising their GPA.

What's special about a make the grade fundraiser is that it can be scaled to the academic strangths of each student.

Not all of your young congregants have the same scholastic goals, but because their pledge benchmarks are tailored to their personal achievements, every student can aim high for benchmarks that mean a lot to them.

This means that everyone has the chance to grow and make strides during the fundraiser!

Even better? Your church can send out text-to-tithe reminders to congrgants at different points during the fundraiser using church giving software to remind pledges to make their gifts.

The bottom line: Make the grade fundraisers are a low-cost and positive way to uplift your young congregants while also showing them the benefits of positive goal-setting. 

Youth Group Fundraising Idea #7: Host a Parents Party

What is it?

A parents party is a catch-all term for a fun social just for grown-ups hosted by your church.

You can sell tickets to parents parties as a way to raise money fo youth group projects. 

It's a win-win for both your young congregants and their parents: the parents get a night "off" and the kids benefit from money raised for their programs. 

How do you get started?

You don't need a lot to get a parents party fundraiser off the ground:

  • Tickets — Pick out the right church ticketing software to manage the sale of tickets for your parents parties.
  • Party planning committee — Set aside a team of party planners to handle the finer aspects of putting on these gatherings.
  • Babysitters — For parents with smaller childern, your church can offer the services of teens in your youth group program to babysit for the evening free of charge.

Parents will be happy to contribute to a fundraiser that both benefits their kids and offers them a fun night out.

Additionally, parents parties are a great seasonal fundraiser. You can theme each event to a differnt holiday, such as Valentine's Day,  Labor Day, Christmas, or New Year's Eve and promote the events in your church's newsletter.

This way, your church can start counting on these events as a steady stream of fundraising revenue year-round!

The bottom line: Sometimes, parents just need the night off. Holding a parents party is a great way to foster socilization among your more mature conregants while raising money for a good cause.

Youth group fundraising ideas don’t have to be boring or difficult events to plan. Use these seven ideas to raise money for your projects and events and get the whole congregation involved.

For more fundraising resources, check out these additional articles:

  • Donation Jar Ideas. Even if you’re not planning a fundraising event, your youth group can always collect gifts with donation jars. Learn about ways you can collect cash and credit card gifts.
  • Why You Shouldn’t Use Square. If your church wants to learn more about your giving kiosk options, check out this guide on why you shouldn’t use Square for nonprofits.
  • Fundly’s Church Fundraising Ideas. Couldn’t find what you were looking for? There are plenty more inexpensive and simple fundraising ideas that your youth group can use. Find more ways to fundraise with Fundly’s list of ideas.

If you have more questions about nonprofit strategy you can always reach out to the DipJar fundraising experts for help. It's what we love to do!