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Church Youth Group Raises Money with Oil Changes

A Successful story about a church in Norfolk, Virginia who created a history in the fundraising field by raising money for a youth group project -

The pastor decided that it was time to do something a little different and creative rather than always being asked to donate for various endeavors. The group was in need of about $500. The pastor thought about different ways of raising money for his church then decided to talk to some of the young boys in the group who were keen learning car maintenance. He asked them to come up with different creative ideas and one of the boys came up with the idea of holding an oil changing fundraiser. Since the boys had learned how to change oil, they would be able to provide all of the labor.

The pastor agreed to let the group do the oil change in the parking lot of the church. They started writing out the project plan, checked with the local bylaws to be sure this wouldn't violate any city ordinance. Then the group got busy. Some of them were busy advertising and the rest of the team busy preparing for the event. They hung flyers around town, advertised in the church bulletin and met some local mechanics.

Give your customers the option of bringing their own oil filter and oil and paying a flat fee of $15.00 or, alternatively, ask them to pay $30.00 inclusive of all materials. Ask your group to divide into four groups of two, so that you can manage upto 4 cars at a time.

Appoint one older boy with a license to buy, once customer pays he would purchase the materials from the local shop instead of buying unwanted materials. This assured that not one dollar was wasted on materials that weren’t needed.

The event was well managed and planned, the show ran all day long, at the end of the day it was obvious that there had been a steady stream of cars. The boys changed the oil in almost 30 cars that day. They raised $621 (which included some tips!).

Tips which helped our group, which pulled off a successful fundraiser -

  • Refreshments were free; they asked the ladies group to make desserts, coffee and soda to serve to their customers while they waited.
  • Plan the event for a Saturday, which is typically a very busy day for mechanics, usually mechanics are unable to cater to every customer due to weekend heavy traffic. So they will direct those they can't cope with to your group.
  • Advertisement is the key - hang colorful flyers all over town. This group requested the pastor to mention the event from the pulpit several times. Ask younger team members to stand on the corner with large signs, directing people to the event.

By this event the church was introduced to so many people who otherwise may never have known about the church. They were able to interact with members as they enjoyed free refreshments while waiting for their cars to be oil changed.

The event was organized so well and from start to finish the young community boys arranged everything. In fact, it was so successful that it became an annual fundraiser. The event earns more money each year, and they have added car washing and raffles for gas cards to the event.

With money raising the boys experienced team work and they learnt being in group strategizing, planning and working hard they can accomplish their dreams.

Recommended Resources

Youth group fundraising – A Guide to fundraising activities like car washes to sponsored games, sleep-ins & activities for your Christian ministries