On last Thursday’s post that gave some session ideas to prepare for Christmas, we mentioned that today we’d be giving an idea for a Christmas themed youth group fundraiser.
The idea is to sell pre-prepared Christmas stockings to raise money. Here are some tips on how to do this:
First of all, identify what age range the Christmas stockings will need to be aimed at. For example, if you’re fundraising for a church youth group, you should have quite a good idea of the age range of young people in the church. With a local community youth group, your fundraiser would probably be aimed at the ages of the young people in that community.
Try to identify whether there will be an equal number of boys and girls you’d be buying for – if you work with girl scouts, you may choose to focus your efforts more on stockings for girls (although not necessarily).
This is important to bear in mind, as it will affect what types of stocking stuffers you buy.
Decide how much you want to spend on stockings and the contents. Don’t just guess how much it will cost as this can result in underestimating the cost of items, resulting in you not actually raising money after all.
Make a list of items you want to include, then research how much they all cost – including the cost of stockings. Total this up and then divide by the number of stockings you’ll be able to make – this will give the net cost.
Next, you’ll need to work out how much extra you want to charge in order to fundraise. For example, it may cost $15 to put together each stocking. You may then choose to charge $20 or $25, thereby making a profit of $5-$10 on each one.
It might be worth putting together one stocking first before you buy everything in bulk. This will give you a better idea as to whether the stockings are too empty, too full or just right, as this too will affect how much you budget for.
As you’ll be putting together many pre-prepared Christmas stockings, you could probably save quite a lot of money by buying these in bulk from a wholesaler or possibly somewhere like Walmart.
Alternatively, you could get some decent enough stockings from a dollar store.
Like we mentioned in the demographics section, the stocking stuffers that you buy will be affected by the age range that you’re buying for. It’s therefore hard to advise what you should fill the stockings with, but here are a few suggestions:
- Toy cars
- Bouncy balls
- Travel-sized games
- Stuff from somewhere like Claire’s Accessories
- Small stuffed animals / plush toys
- Glitter make-up
Again, these are things that you might be able to save money on by buying in bulk or from a dollar store.
If possible, try to get at least one large item per stocking so long as they’re not too expensive. Having items sticking out the top of the stocking will make it look far more impressive when trying to sell them.
Try to make your youth group fundraiser as widely known as possible in order to maximize the amount you raise. Produce some flyers and ask local businesses if they’d be willing to carry them.
If your youth group is part of a church, announce the fundraiser during a church service so that you can reach the entire congregation. Put up a sign on a community noticeboard or have your young people put flyers in letterboxes in their neighborhood.
When promoting, be specific as to what you’re fundraising for. People are far more likely to support something where you say “We’re fundraising to build a basketball court for the local community” rather than “We’re fundraising for our youth group”. This gives people something tangible that they can support.
Selling / Ordering
There are a couple of options as to how you can sell the pre-packaged Christmas stockings. One would be to find a location that has high foot traffic in the run-up to Christmas (e.g. outside a grocery store or mall). You’ll most likely need a permit or some kind of permission in order to do this, so contact the store well in advance to arrange this.
If the store is worried that this could impact on their own sales of stocking-related items, discuss with them the possibility of buying the items from their store in order to put the stockings together. That way they don’t miss out on sales, while you get a prime location spot for selling.
Alternatively, you could have people place orders for the stockings in advance, rather than buying them on the day. This can be beneficial as it’ll give you a good idea of how many stockings and stocking stuffers you’ll need, thereby helping you to budget correctly. You’ll also know whether you should be buying items suitable for boys, girls, or both.
Otherwise, you could do both options to maximize the number of stockings you sell for your fundraiser.
Buy One, Give One
Perhaps your youth group doesn’t need a fundraiser for themselves, but still wants to do something for the local community this Christmas.
If that’s the case, you could price this so that when people buy a stocking, a second stocking is given away. These second stockings could be given to children’s hospitals, homeless shelters, low-income housing developments or anywhere else there could be young people who wouldn’t receive a Christmas stocking otherwise.
Alternatively, these could be sent overseas if your youth group supports a charity elsewhere. Make sure you factor in the cost of shipping, unless there’s a missions trip or something similar planned whereby people could take the stockings with them.
All you’d need to do is charge double for a stocking, so if each stocking and its contents cost $12.50, you’d charge $25 in order to produce the second stocking to give away.
This fundraiser is perfect for getting your young people to take a lead through youth participation. They can:
- Help research the demographics
- Come up with stocking stuffer ideas
- Go with you to buy everything
- Promote the fundraiser
- Put the stockings together
- Sell the stockings
Question: What other ideas do you have for how to organize a Christmas stocking youth group fundraiser? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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