Fund-Raising Idea #1

Taco Salad Bar Lunch Fund-Raiser

Bethany Baptist Church is blessed with an industrial kitchen, which is attached to a full-sized gym. On several designated Sunday's throughout the school year, the youth will hold a lunch after the Sunday Service. We set up tables and chairs, cook the food, serve it, and clean up. The entire congregation is invited to stay after the service and enjoy a build-your-own taco salad lunch by donation. It is cheaper than eating out and goes to a good cause. It also helps build community as people get a chance to stick around and visit leisurely after church. The beauty of the taco salad bar is that it is a gluten-free meal that serves everyone.

Anticipated Income - We have a congregation of about 330. Of course, not everyone stays for lunch, but the last time we held this lunch we made $2300 after paying for the groceries. Over the course of last year's fundraising efforts for a missions trip, we did 3 of these lunch fundraisers and they brought in a third of our monetary goal. They beauty of advertising these and sharing at them what the fundraising is for is that the event provides exposure and information about the ministry opportunities and discipleship of the youth at the church. That also spurs individual donations through church, which actually has provided another third of our monetary goal.

Level of Participant Involvement - Bethany Student Ministries has a yearly budget as part of the overall church budget. I am blessed to be part of a church that see the value of supporting the youth ministry. The fundraising goes towards missions trips or travel for conference events that are far away. So that makes it easy to determine participant involvement. Everyone registered for the trip is involved in fundraising. The dates for the event are given long in advance and if there are conflicts such as sports, school plays, etc., they need to tell me in advance so they can find other ways to help towards the event.

  • Two days before - set up 30 tables with 10 chairs per table in the gym. Usually done after our Friday night program.
  • One day before - shopping for ingredients with a leader - 2 people - this is something we reserve for those who might not be able to be there on the Sunday.
  • Day of - Meet early in the church kitchen to prep the food and set out a beverage station. Baskets with church offering envelopes go on the tables for donations, and a station for The Square is set up for payment by credit or debit.
  • At Lunchtime, the students serve the food.
  • During lunch - usually there is some kind of presentation or program that includes the purpose of the fundraiser to help raise prayer and monetary support.
  • After Lunch - Dishes need to be done, tables and chairs put away and other miscellaneous cleanup - part of ministry and teamwork is learning that everyone stays until everything is done.

This fundraiser is very simple in concept. We make smart use of our facilities. Little advertising is needed other than previous Sunday announcements, and the crowd is already present and receptive. Also, the groceries can be kept to a minimal cost. The event earns a good chunck of change and provides good exposure and positive community engagement.