Youth Group Raises Its Own Funds with Gusto

Parish

Church of St. Michael
St. Michael
Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
United States

More Info

For more information, email John O'Sullivan.

Parishioners launch youth missionaries by purchasing "Stock In Youth"

"Buying Stock in Youth" is one of the easiest fund-raisers I do, and it has the best results. It also involves the whole parish and brings the parish behind our youth ministry. I would highly recommend this fund-raiser to every parish.

John O'Sullivan, Youth Minister

The need it meets

  • Effective and enjoyable method to raise funds for youth ministry activities
  • Interactive and motivational way to bring together youth group members and other parishioners

Where it came from

John O'Sullivan started this fund-raiser at his current parish, after having experience with it at two other parishes.

How it works

Participating youth launch "Buying Stock in Youth" in March.

  • During one weekend, before and after all the Masses, they hold signs in the parking lot and the vestibule, where they set up a table for selling "stock".
  • During the Mass announcements, two young people offer testimonies on how buying stock aids their missionary efforts. They also encourage participation in parish youth activities.
  • Bulletin announcements explain the sale and ask for support.
  • Anyone can purchase stock for any dollar amount.
  • Over several weeks the young people also sell it to family and friends outside Church.
  • All stockholders are invited to a thank-you dinner put on by the youth group at the end of the summer to hear how the investment has paid off. The young people organize presentations explaining all their summer missionary and faith-building activities, which were made possible thanks to stockholders' support.

The results

In 2006, 24 youth group members participated in the kick-off weekend. From this weekend alone, each member received $142 to put towards summer mission trips and conferences. Over the next few weeks, individuals sold more stock to family and friends. Some raised $175, $295 or $425 more. One member raised a total of $1500 to put towards a mission trip to the Dominican Republic.

  • $7,070 was raised in 2006 from March to June.
  • 300 stockholders participated
  • 50 stockholders attended the appreciation dinner in August 2006

Key elements

  1. Most important: youth at Mass wave their signs and give testimonials of their missionary experiences.
  2. The support of the parishioners.
  3. Youth attend missions conferences and participate in evangelization activities.
  4. A team responsible for the dinner at the end of the summer with all the youth participating.

How to implement it

  • Choose dates for the kickoff date and the summer stockholders' dinner.
  • Have youth group members design and print stockholder "shares" (receipts).
  • Have youth group members prepare to display signs and sell stock before and after Masses on kickoff weekend.
  • All participating youth group members must be present.
  • Place announcements in bulletin.
  • Two youth group members give personal testimonials at the end of Mass discussing ways they use the money raised.
  • Priest's homily expresses the importance of supporting parish youth as an investment in the Church and Christ's Kingdom.
  • Keep track of the money raised.
  • Plan the dinner. Send reminder postcards to all the stockholders and asking them to RSVP.
  • Have the youth group prepare testimonials and a lively presentation for the stockholders.

Fr. Michael Becker is pastor of Church of St. Michael.

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