Here are six ideas for the next time your 4-H club does a fundraiser. Whether your club is located in a rural or urban location, they can all be modified to fit your needs. The first four ideas work best in conjunction with a community event, so you will need to do more coordination with the event organizers and the dates won’t be flexible. You will have the benefit of publicity for the main event and have a whole crowd of people as potential supporters. The the last two ideas can be done as stand alone fundraisers.
Dessert Stand: Many communities have some annual fundraising event involving a meal such as the local beef producers’ cookout or a spaghetti dinner to raise funds for a new community playground. Check with organizers to see about letting your club put up a dessert stand selling either a variety of homemade desserts, pies and cakes or just one main dessert, such as strawberry shortcake or ice cream sundaes.
Concessions at Community Events: Some minor league and community sports groups as well as county fairs allow organizations to sign up to work the concessions stand on set days or for longer periods of time. This is quite an easy fundraiser to do since it only involves a bit of labor and time on your part. Supplies are provided for you and then a portion of the profit made during your shift is given to your 4-H club. Several youth and parents can team up to take the shifts and serve customers.
Petting Zoo: This is great for holding at a Fourth of July festival. Get members to bring in some of their smaller animals such as calves, goats, sheep, dogs, cats, piglets, and rabbits to create a petting zoo. Ask members to provide snacks for their animals and then charge a dollar for festival attendees to come in, pet and feed the animals. Make sure to have plenty of water for the animals and keep them in the shade.
Face Painting: This is a very profitable fundraiser as the start up cost is very minimal. All you need are face paints, paint brushes, cups, water, wipes to clean faces, and towels. Give members a short training session to practice and then set up shop at a community event, with permission of course, and start earning cash for your 4-H club.
Rummage Sale: Chances are that if you have plenty of things around your house that you don’t need, others do too. Set a date and find a location to have a rummage sale with the proceeds going back to your club. Help the youth set up a lemonade stand too!
Cookbooks: This can be a time consuming fundraiser but many 4-H clubs have found success with this. Ask members to submit their favorite recipes and then either self-publish it or use a printing company. Make sure to just order a reasonable number of cookbooks to start off with; you could expect each member to sell five and print just that many. You can always order more or do a second edition.