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Young Women Camp Fundraising Ideas

As the summer Young Women Camp season approaches, I am thrown back into my days as the ward/stake/universe camp director. (Better than scouting. But not by much.)

While I served in Young Women the church policy changed to allow only one fundraiser per year for the youth. (And, yes, the “scout” fundraisers didn’t count in the tally. And, yes, that bugged me. But that’s another post.) The counsel has also been to first look to the ward budget and, second, to the girls raising their own money. Then you can look to approved fundraising. In some units, funding won’t pay for a camp and having the girls try to raise it is really unfeasible.

So, I thought I’d gather up a great list of fundraising ideas for the archives. I’ll list those I’ve seen and please add your own in the archives!

Garden Annual Sales

Arrange with a local nursery or plant wholesaler to provide you with a discounted bulk plant buy. Take orders and payment in advance for annuals (we did both flowers and veggies). Deliver to families upon arrival.

Service Auction

Girls volunteer services. Ware members bid on the services offered. Our girls offered things such as: babysitting; ironing; cleaning; summer sports camp; gymnastics lessons; art lessons; tutoring; etc. (Make sure they follow through and provide the services or the ward won’t be so keen to bid next year!)

Catered Dinner

Find a restaurant or caterer who will donate or discount a meal. Then have a big dinner night in the cultural hall where everyone pays a set fee. Allow extra donations, too. Provide great service and entertainment while everyone eats. Our dinner fundraisers ranged from homemade spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread, all the way up to serious gourmet fare from a country club

Cake Sales

For a couple of years we made special Father’s Day cakes (that looked like a shirt with a tie). We charged $10 per cake and the girls made them. They were quite a hit.

Prepared Foods

Many companies offer prepared food product for sale. One year the scouts in my ward sold popcorn. I’ve also seen cookie dough fundraising and candy bar fundraisers. There are lots to chose from.

Product Sales

There are all sorts of companies with fundraising ideas and offerings. I’ve seen or been involved in sales of candles, magazines, wrapping paper, greeting cards, etc. I currently have some discount cards for local establishments that I bought from a neighbor. The actually provided a good deal to us, so I was happy to purchase from her.

Years ago in an email list, someone suggested that the U.S. Department of Education might give learning grants for summer camps. That’s probably not going to fly for Young Women camp, but lets hear your most creative and tested Young Women Camp fundraiser ideas!

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Alison Moore Smith May 8, 2010, 3:54 pm

    Got a couple of emails about this. Here is what they said:

    Teri wrote:

    our ward did lunches for general conference. it was great! they sold sandwiches, chips, cookies and soda either for individuals or for a family.
    too late for this summer but…

    Emma wrote:

    We did a group garage sale with donated stuff from ward members.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 9, 2010, 1:11 pm

    Denise wrote:

    Our ward has had a few fundraisers.

    The big one is every few years we have a free dinner. Then at the dinner we auction off all sorts of things that have been donated. Some people have a condo in st George so they donated a weekend there. Violin lessons, cookies once a week for a month delivered to your house, dog walking, babysitting, hand made items – quilts, jewelry, paintings……. This usually brings in several thousand dollars so we only hve to do it every 3 yrs or so.

    The other thing we do is the flag service project. The scouts usually put flags out in specific holidays. Then ward members can make a donation to the scouts. This yr the young women helped place the flags and so the scouts shared the donatiions.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 11, 2010, 11:36 am

    Jennifer Ford wrote:

    Our ward has been really successful at hosting Fiesta Dinner or Spaghetti Dinner and then having a DESSERT AUCTION! The dessert auction is the successful part! The dinner is usually $20 for a family (immediate family only) and $6 for an individual ticket. The YW pre-sell the tickets to know about how much food to get and make. They then decorate the gym, serve the food, clean up etc. The dinner usually includes a small dessert.

    The fun part and the big money maker is the dessert auction. The YW and other bakers is the ward donate their best desserts to be auctioned off at the end of the evening. (The desserts are labled with a name, perhaps a description, and the cook) We get someone that is really a good salesman and definetly funny to be the auctioneer (a microphone is a must). We have desserts from a plate of cookies or brownies to Creme Brulee and a Pastry Chef made White & Dark Chocolate cake, etc. The bidding usually starts at $3 or $5 and usually goes up by $1 or $5 increments from there. Sometimes the bidding jumps $10 at a time. The auctioner’s role is really important to play on the competitve nature of the audience. It helps if they know the ward members:) There are always last second bids (that drive up the price) when the auctioneer calls “going once, going twice………..SOLD! The YW accept cash or checks for the desserts.

    Our ward is not affluent, starter homes priced in the $150-$180s, about 1300-2000 SF homes. But this has raised $1000 for the YW before. The highest price fetched for a dessert has been $55. Make sure there is more than enough dessert donated so that everyone can have something to bid on. After all some families will bid on several items and take 3 or 4 home. The auction is a very fun activity. Always much better than the dinner itself.

  • agardner May 12, 2010, 5:21 pm

    We were just talking about this last night at mutual. Apparently our ward did the spaghetti dinner/auction thing a few years ago (before I lived in the ward) and made $8000!! It was combined scouts/YW fundraiser with a spaghetti dinner and auction. I don’t think it was just desserts – but included other donated items and service auction as well. Apparently it was enough money that our ward has covered all the camps for both scouts and YW for the last 3 years and is just now starting to run low and we are starting to think of doing another fundraiser this winter.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 15, 2010, 1:41 pm

    $8,000? That is a successful fundraiser!

  • Shannon Jensen January 24, 2012, 7:12 pm

    For years our ward has been making boutonniers and corsages for Mother’s/Father’s Day ( I believe we sell them for around 10-12 $). It’s like getting two fundraisers in one. We send a sign up around for both and collect the money. We buy the supplies where we can get a discounted price ( Sam’s or Costco ect). The Saturday before we make, package and deliver them. We also make a couple extra for the singles, divorced or widowed in the ward. We have always had some people not want a flower but donated money or a flower to someone else.
    We have also had a service/homemade treats or gifts/talents to share or teach, auction and dinner. It was a GREAT success! We made well above our goal for all the youth committees for the year.

  • Jill September 14, 2016, 4:26 pm

    sorry, but a lot of these ideas go against the handbook policies of fundraising

  • Alison Moore Smith September 14, 2016, 5:00 pm

    Jill, this post was written over six years ago. The post specifies what the policy was at the time with regard to fundraising.
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  • Don March 5, 2018, 12:58 pm

    I came here to get some ideas, but I must say you need to review the handbook of instructions. Sales or auctions of goods are taxable making them counter to the handbook of instructions as well as breaking the law if you don’t pay the tax.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 5, 2018, 2:50 pm

    I must say you need to review the date of the post. 😂 It was written nearly eight years ago when the official instruction was far different than today.
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