Best Fundraising Ideas

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
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Best Fundraising Ideas


Post by mhearne »

I started this post with the intent of starting conversation to find some ideas and examples of annual one-time camp cost and/or camp equipment fundraising activities that are appropriate (i.e. meet Church policy outlined in Church Hand Book 2, Section 13.6.8) and effective (i.e. activity is able to generate the necessary funds). I hope this thread can stay “on topic” by restricting comments to what your Ward experience is in regards to fundraising activities. What has worked and was has not worked well and why.

Note, I have read a number of Posts and comment threads that discuss various opinions about fundraising activities and ask before you comment to refer to HB 2 Section 13.2.8 Funding for Activities. Based on Church Hand Book (Church policy) it seems clear (at least to me) there are explicit and intended exceptions to the general policy that all activities must be paid from Ward Budget funds. The exception is for one annual Scout Camp, or YW Camp, or Cub Scout Day Camp fundraising activity if a) Ward Budget does not have sufficient funds, b) funds from participants are not sufficient then c) Bishop may authorize one group fund-raising activity annually that complies with the guidelines in HB 2 13.6.8. This is a clear objective standard that allows fundraising activities in those specific circumstances. Thus, I don’t see any merit in observations/comments that fundraising activities are against Church policy. There are also subjective issues such as a determination of when Ward Budget is not sufficient for the above activities, when funds from participants are not sufficient, what is considered “excessive” expenses (i.e. what might be excessive cost in Utah might be considered normal in California).

These subjective issues ultimately are decided at the discretion of the Stake President and/or Bishop in their authority and often with input from Ward Council (includes Ward Clerks). Thus, each Ward may deal with these subjective issues differently which does not mean that one is correct and the other is not.

Thus, comments/discussions that imply fundraising that meets the above described policy is NOT appropriate is, in my view, clearly personal opinion and not stated Church policy. Any discussion about when or how much Ward Budget or participants should pay before fundraising in my view is a comment on subjective issues and should be discussed with your own Bishop. I hope the “subjective” part of issues does not become the focus of this Post.

Based on what I have seen in various Stakes/Wards, and based on various comments in these Forums, it seems that most Wards try some fundraising activity as the Bishops believes there is not enough funds in Ward Budget Allocations or funds from Participants to fund the entire cost of annual Scout Camp and/or YW Girls Camp and to smaller scale Cub Scout Day Camp. Hopefully, the comments posted here will be of benefit to these Wards needing to use fundraising for this purpose.

Also some background what is appropriate (as provided in HB 13.6.8)
1) In almost all cases limit fundraising directed only to Ward members because under 13.6.8
a) Fundraising activities should not solicit beyond Ward boundaries (Stake Boundary if Stake fundraiser) and b) products or services should not be sold door to door.
2) Fundraising activity should provide meaningful value or service. To me this means that cost for service or something else should not be artificially inflated.

Ok, with that background, here are some ideas/examples/thoughts on Fundraising activities that I have heard of that seem to be appropriate and effective:

Activities that could be considered Participant funding, not general fundraising thus might be done at different times/levels during year and might not prohibit a separate annual general fundraising activity
1) Youth Services – Example youth in Ward provide a summary of services they can offer and the price (reasonable) for that service. For example, babysitting for night, yard work, music lesson, wash your car, etc. which can vary to that Youth’s talents and abilities. I have seen Tennis Lessons, Golf Lessons, Swimming Lessons, cooking a dinner and clean up, cooking lesson, walking your dog. Each youth usually can find skill or talent that is worth something. Our Youth are very talented. This could be done in silent auction during Ward dinner/activity or youth fundraising dinner (see below) where the youth, the service, and the price is listed on various sheets that are presented on tables. At say at $10/hour a youth providing 2-4 hours a month could raise $80-$160 in four months. The payment for service should be reasonable – i.e. $50 for an hour of babysitting likely is not a meaningful value. However, a youth who is on H.S. Golf or Tennis team might reasonably be able to charge $50/hour for lesson depending on area and skill. In my view, it is probably ok to value services on high-end of typical value for service but not be egregious. Note this is not an “auction”. It is just offer for service at set price by youth.

General Fundraising Activity Ideas:
Annual Dinner/Such as Pizza Sales/Spaghetti Dinner – Youth will make and deliver dinner (e.g. pizza, spaghetti dinner) for say $20-$30. If youth get 50-100 dinners then could raise $2-3K less cost of food. Note, my feeling is that dinner ingredients items could be “contributed” by members if it does not place an undue burden, which allows full proceeds to go Camps.

Annual Barbecue Park Activity – similar to Dinner above except held at public park where dinner (hamburgers, hot-dogs, salad, chips, drinks, desserts etc.) is provided again for fee $25 family or $10 individual. Games could also be set up. This was done for Cub Scout Day Camp in a previous Ward and would raise around $1,000-$1,500. This could also be done as a Pancake Breakfast for 4th of July or Memorial Day (it can’t be a Ward Activity…it is a youth fundraising activity). Again, much of food was contributed by members; maybe meat is paid from funds raised.

Christmas Trees – deliver and/or dispose (in many cases Scouts get orders to size of tree wanted and actually go and cut trees). Depending on area and market trees could sell from $40-$100 so 50 orders could be anywhere from $2K-$5k less cost of trees.

Flag Posting – Scouts post flags in yard on Memorial Day and/or July 4th/or Veteran’s Day. My current Ward has done this for several years at $40 (put up and take down flag on three above holidays). For 50 houses could raise $2K. Note this requires meaningful commitment from Scout Troop and there are start-up costs to buy flags and poles. Also, going door-to-door soliciting is often done, but actually is not appropriate as discussed above. Also this is usually a Troop activity as all are involved together to provide service.

Youth Talent Show – Youth provide an annual talent show (skits, singing, dancing, play an instrument, etc.) and charge an entrance fee $10-$20 person for show (assumes Ward has a gym/stage). Could be a dinner and show combined with silent youth service auction all in one-event.

Auctions – my previous Ward used to have an annual fundraising dinner with auction of baked goods at end. However, auctions (live or silent bids) tend to end-up having bids that are not in-line with value of goods (i.e. cakes selling for $100 each). Because of this I think Stake told Ward to disband the auction. They could have youth make the bake goods and sell them at reasonable value (i.e. cake for $15 or so). This still could raise funds but would have to sell a lot of cakes, cookies, etc. and if only have one fund raising activity probably would not be one to rely on. I feel it depends on size of Ward.

So these are some ideas that I am familiar with. If anyone has other fundraising ideas, or ways to expand or make the above ideas more effective, I am sure many would love to see you comment.
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Re: Best Fundraising Ideas


Post by aebrown »

The old Best Fundraising Ideas topic unfortunately spent far more time on policy discussions than actual ideas.

But there were some good ideas in that discussion, which I have extracted here: Some of those ideas sparked policy discussions, but please resist the temptation to continue those here. Let's focus on the ideas. If you feel you need to discuss general fundraising policy issues, please start a new topic.
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Re: Best Fundraising Ideas


Post by russellhltn »

With regards to food, one would have to check local laws. You may have to have the food prepared in a commercial kitchen inspected by the health department. Such laws can vary from state to state.

Likewise, one needs to check on charging for things taking place in a public park.
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Re: Best Fundraising Ideas


Post by silus99 »

Our ward tries not to do group fundraisers, but her are some of the ideas that have been successful for individual youth raising money on their own:

1. Cinnamon Rolls - A young woman contacted members to offer trays of uncooked homemade cinnamon rolls that would be delivered the Friday before conference weekend, and a preview Friday before that. Some people signed up for the first Friday, and then word got around and the conference Friday orders started pouring in. She made enough money for two years of girls camp. (They were really good!)

2. Weekly Dessert - Some young women sold four weeks of a weekly dessert they would deliver on Saturday. You did not know what the dessert may be, but it was always delicious. The three sisters made enough for their camp.

3. Backyard Broadway - Two young women (sisters) offered a camp for kids at their house called Backyard Broadway. It was a half-day camp on a Monday thru Friday in the summer where kids would go and practice a fun play that they would perform for their parents on the Friday night. They had simple costumes, some pretty large sets and would have about 20 kids in a camp. They soon had to expand to more than 2 weeks of the camp to accommodate the demand. They have been doing it for six years now and as the families next daughter gets old enough they take over for the one too old for camp. I believe they charge $25 per kid for the week and the youngest age is 7.
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Re: Best Fundraising Ideas


Post by daveywest »

Flag fundraisers, on the surface appear to be an easy money maker. However, undue burdern usually falls on one or two scout leaders who give up every holiday. Unless the youth and their parents are willing to contribute, I do not recomend this fundraiser.
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Re: Best Fundraising Ideas


Post by rwood90 »

On things to stay away from: auctions
once had auction that auctioned off 4 hours of work (typically babysitting) but it was by youth.
The Bishop placed upper limit of cost of the camp but it was very disappointing when some youth did not get bought for full price of the camp and others did.

Cake auctions can also be bummers.
well to do ward has auction and grandma comes with her five dollars to buy cupcakes but nothing goes for less then $100 and on some items the well to do bid it up to get the camp funded.
next auction all those who can not bid it up, don't come....

neither tend to build

The best ones are where youth work together, such as gathering items for garage sale and then manning the garage sale together and working together.
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Re: Best Fundraising Ideas


Post by toonetown »

Our Boy Scouts just had a very successful fundraiser where the boys went around and cleaned the city garbage cans. They charged $20 for one can, or $30 for two. It seemed to be very successful - we had many people (even non-members) participate.
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Re: Best Fundraising Ideas


Post by utahwilkinsons »

Our girls did window washing. We had just over 20 girls and we broke them up into 4 or 5 groups (I can't remember exactly) and we divided and conquered! It took us one Saturday morning, minimal supplies, and lots of work. We charged $30 a house for the first couple years and then increased it to $35. We did ask members to remove their own screens (and we would wash them). The ward members loved it!! They no longer do this fundraiser and members still ask about it.
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Re: Best Fundraising Ideas


Post by martytag »

Our Venture Crew and Varsity Team have had the oppertunity for the last 3 years of working a concession booth at our local universities men`s basketball home games. I was getting discouraged trying to find a fundraiser that met the church guildlines and would not be a drain on the ward members. We have done 9 games a season and have earned aroung 3K-4K each year. This has allowed our older scouts the oppertunity to attend the High Adventure Camps. Working the games has helped the young men learn to work towards a goal and has allowed many of them the experience to land actual jobs after school. We set the understanding that the money earned by the boys goes to the camp fund. If they earn in excess of the target amount then they can get a check for the remainder. Only hitch with this fund raiser is that you have to continue to staff the stand and the boys seeem to come up with excuesses as to why they cant work the game.
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Re: Best Fundraising Ideas


Post by jdlessley »

martytag wrote:We set the understanding that the money earned by the boys goes to the camp fund. If they earn in excess of the target amount then they can get a check for the remainder.
This is not a fund-raiser but rather an opportunity for the young men to earn funds for the camp. If it were a fund-raiser it would be inappropriate to return any of the funds to the young men. They are not the donors but rather are earning the money.
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