I often hear tails of horror and grief from other youth leaders about their fundraising trials. I am very blessed to say that I have tails filled with wonder and amazement. Not so long ago, I even had a kid rename it “Funrasing”.
What I feel makes the difference sometimes, and leads me to a place of gratitude, thankfulness and success is our attitude. Long ago, I decided that fundraising was going to be a part of my job no matter what, and I put the grief away. I then looked high and low, and worked hard to give my fundraisers boundaries and guidelines I could live with and respect.
First of all, I had to be upbeat about it and find ways to make myself upbeat about it. Complaining was going to get me nowhere, and it would set a bad example for my youth.
Second, we had to try our hardest to do things that the whole congregation could be a part of, and things that would enhance our congregational life. We strive to make fundraisers things that encourage fellowship and bring us closer together. This one principle alone makes a huge difference for us. Almost every year we have a combination dinner/talent show/dessert auction. We vary the theme each year to keep life interesting. The Sunday mornings after the event are always filled with can you believe so and so got up on stage and did that? How was that cheesecake you won? Wasn’t that chicken out of this world? Needless to say, we have a great time.
Lastly, we don’t really set prices. We let people give what their hearts tell them too. We let them give what they think the evening is worth. We value their contribution no matter what size it is. By doing this, we also exclude no one. If someone wants to be a part of it, but really has nothing to give, they are welcome too just come and have a good time with us.
We have a great time every time we look to raise some funds. I wish you the same!