VBS can be expensive. The craft supplies, the snacks, the prizes, and the decorations. It all adds up even when shopping at the dollar tree. So how can you help keep your budget from going over? I'm not gonna make you rich but I'll see if I can't give you some ideas to save you a little!
Let's talk fundraisers first. One of our best fundraisers was selling hotdogs and hamburgers outside of walmart while the youth held a donation bucket by the doors for people to just donate. Make sure you use the small ones here! Of course I'm sure you know all about bbq's, car washes, and rummage sales. But I just had to let you know what our most successful one has been.
Now most success does not mean easiest. All that cooking and buying the supplies and getting church members together to help can be very difficult and time consuming, not to mention the upfront cost. Have you heard of Krispy Kreame fundraising? If you have but not been to sure about it, let me tell you that it's great! We hand out forms to church members and they go and ask co-workers, friends and family, to buy some doughnuts. You can do different flavors but we always do just the original. It always does great for us! You can also sell BOGO cards with the doughnuts. They sell you BOGO cards for a price depending on how many you want but we sold enough doughnuts last time to earn some for free to sell! So you take the orders and make a deadline. You want to be paid before you order the doughnuts. You order an exact amount (unless you want yo buy extra to sell outside a store) you pick them up and deliver them. The cost to you will be $4 a dozen and you sell them for and price you want but it is suggested to sell at $8. So you only need to sell 100 doughnuts to earn $400! That should help your VBS out! Oh you can sell their coffee now too!
I know VBS takes a lot of time and some extra costs may have come up last minute and you just don't have time for fund raisers at. Well let me give you the best chance I've got for you.
So each evening, before the kids take off to their different classes you announce a competition! Boys vs girls! Some churches call it penny wars. I don't have a name for it and I don't want the kids thinking only pennies count. So you have two buckets, one for each team, and the kids put their change in the buckets, at the end of the day you weigh the bucket to see who is in the lead. Do this every evening and watch the excitement build! Kids start digging change from couches and parents car cup holders to try and fill their buckets up!
We use to do the most money amount but then we was worried about offending someone that may not have much and we didn't want anyone to feel un-welcomed. But everyone has pockets change! We even had penny rolls that the kids could exchange their dollar bills for. They had so much fun pulling their heavy baggies of coins in each night. We had a little girl dragging a small backpack in! Then to finish, on your family day have all the kids get up and go around to their family and friends to gather what's left of their change in a final attempt to win!
What do they win? Well the losers could get silly stringed? Or to save more money they you could pie the pastor if the girls win and the pastor's wife if the boys win! Make it exciting! It doesn't have to be something that cost you to much or anything at all. I can not give you an exact amount but I'm sure if you have 30+ kids, you will make $300
That''s all that I have for you today to help you raise money quickly for VBS but I feel I should help spread the word that you can buy stuff from dollar tree online! Yes I may be crazy for not knowing this soon but I'm just so excited! Usually we have to drive to 3 different dollar trees to get enough of anything we're needing but now we know we can just go online and have it shipped to a store for free shipping! Okay, you can call me crazy now but hopefully I helped someone else like me that wasn't smart enough to see if they had a website.
Be sure to check out my other posts for some VBS inspiration and tips. Also sign up for my free newsletter to receive bonus weekly VBS tips! Feel free to share how you raise money for VBS in the comments below! God bless you all!
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Need a little help figuring out what your VBS theme is? It can get a little crazy seeing all kinds of themes online. So many choices, but which one is right for you? Worried about choosing a theme that just so happens to be the theme every other church in town is using? It actually happens a lot. Let me help you come up with some themes along with some inspiring ideas to get you going.
One year all the churches did a spy theme, another year they all did a shipwrecked theme. So I like trying to think of an idea that no other churches will do. I like to look at the church youth and see what they maybe could use a little extra studding on. I think of stories from the Bible that they don't seem to know to well and I look for similarities in the stories to see what kind of theme I could make with those stories and lessons. So keep your youth in mind as you read through this list of themes and hopefully you find something that will work.
If this list doesn't give you the inspiration I hope it does then please sign up below to receive a free list of 20 theme ideas! I may not have as many ideas to go with all 20 as I do in this post (cause that would be a long email!) But I will leave a little help with each theme!
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1. Books of the bible/adventure through the bible
Who can name all the books of the Bible? I actually remember learning a song for the old testament books when I was 6, and I still have to sing it when I'm looking up a book! Kids can memorize anything that is put in a song. So the main goal for this VBS is to get the kids to learn all the books of the Bible. Maybe just do the old testament if you think both testaments will be to much, then you can do a continuation next year with the new testament! If you're brave then go for all the book. Or you could just have you're alder class memorize both but the stories they learn will still have to come from the old testament so they're learning the same stories as the younger ones.
Yes, speaking of stories, what lessons are you going to teach for this? Obviously you can't do a story from each book. But this is a great time to focus on some lessons from the old testament (or new if your doing both or splitting it in two parts for next year). I think it would be best to choose a story from Genesis even though those stories are pretty popular. I know you're church youth probably can tell you all about Adam and Eve but hopefully you have been able to bring in some children from the community that have not been as blessed to hear the stories of Genesis as your own youth has.
I would suggest choosing the story of creation, Noah's ark, or the tower of Babel. All great stories that explain how we came to be and there are parts of the stories that you could go into depth with for your preteen/teen class that you may have skipped over when they were to young to understand everything.
Other stories I would suggest for your "Adventure through the Bible" would be Joshua and the battle of Jericho, Ruth, Ester, and the firey furnace.
But what if you want the New Testament stories? If you're only doing the New Testament then your theme name is "The Life of Jesus" and that's just what you do. Start with when He was twelve, move to Him being baptized, then the women with the issue of blood, Peter walking on the water, and then the last super. Of course this is just examples for you to do and you could change to another story you may think of.
Last thing for this theme is you're probably wandering about props and decoration that would go with this. Well you're taking a journey through the Bible so you could do a "quest" as explorers. You could decorate a room like the Garden of Eden, have wall with foam blocks that you march around before knocking them over, turn a hallway into the firey furnace! The decorations can make you feel like you're journeying through time. Ooooh be time travelers!