Some of the following information was moved here from 'Help I'm just getting started..' and condensed to pertinent information helpful to others, as well, I’ve also added information I thought would be beneficial. Hopefully these ideas will help others to get the materials or items they need to create a great ministry. Thanks to Kathy Davis, Jaymie Derden, Marsha, Dana, Tanja Rouintree, Autumn for their questions & answers incorporated below.

Question - Help I have no budget, I need ideas for getting donations and fundraising ideas?!?!

It is good to know how much you want to "do it right" and be true to the model. Please don't confuse "doing it right" with a big budget!



We have used a "Gifts & Talents Inventory Form" which is part of a Start-Up Handbook I downloaded from Zion UCC's website. WEBLINK???

Send out a mailing to the congregation - a "survey" of sorts, to try to learn more about THEM and what "talents and treasures" THEY may have to contribute.

  • Would you be willing/able to
  • sew...costumes, curtains?
  • Would you be willing/able to wash and iron costumes when necessary?
  • Do you have any talents in Arts/Crafts and be willing teach a rotation for 3,4 or 5 weeks?
  • Do you know anyone who works at Wal-Mart/Home Depot and can get us a good deal on "stuff"?
    ...well, maybe not that blunt, but you get the idea.



    Put together a wish list and see what comes in. If you have an idea of what rooms you want to create, make a list of odds and ends that people might have in their garages, attics etc. that they would love to donate.
  • Old drapes
  • Bed sheets
  • plastic plants
  • baskets
  • pottery pitchers and bowls
  • posters
  • "oriental" rugs\
  • tents that are no longer good for outdoor use can be transformed for creating fun rooms



    2 months before we began using the rotation model, our CE committee put out a "CE Wish List" to our congregation.

    We gave individuals different index cards with items that were needed. We had them arranged by the different costs. When a person asked for a card, we asked what range they would like to help with.

    Some took the $10 range, others went for $20, and some went for $50-100. They came through on everything we asked for.

    The only thing that our church bought for us was a video projector for our movie room ($2500).

    Save your budgeted funds for things that are harder to get donated.



    Absolutely ask your congregation! When we decided to do rotation, we had NO budget!

    We went to adult Sunday school classes and did little mini-presentations to them asking them to "adopt" a room to design and decorate (with our wish list and suggestions of course!).



    We also did an overall presentation to the entire congregation (during both worship services!).

    Put a project board in the entry way to the church.

    Put wish lists on bulletin boards and in the newsletter.

    Then about a month before we began rotating, I even dressed up in a hard hat with tool belt and went back to the congregation -- describing all the activity that was happening and asking them for specifics that were on our wish list.

    (I phrased it kind of tongue in cheek -- as stuff they probably had lying around their garage -- old artificial plants, old costume jewelry, old crocks and pots, costumes, boots, art smocks, a big sceen TV and VCR, 6 multi-media computers! -- that definitely got a laugh!).

    I also referred them to a new updated wish list in the bulletin for that Sunday.

    I'd use whatever means you have available to contact as many in your congregation as possible, especially those who don't have children this age! They are a goldmine!

    Pictures are always good. As you progress, take lots of pictures and post them so folks can see what's happening. We had an "Under Construction" theme with that yellow construction tape all around on bulletin boards and pictures. (Standard VBS 2005 - theme is Under Construction and they have construction tape you can purchase- remember it will only be available 2005).

    We got several responses to our general requests -- but the more specific we were, the better the response was. I learned to not be afraid to ask for what we wanted -- even if they said no, they often were willing to do something else and sometimes even led me to someone who gave what we needed.



    The week before we started we had a church wide spirit festival and to get folks up in the children's wing we had a "progressive dinner." We put a different part of the meal in each of our newly decorated rooms. People had to travel through the rooms to get their food and they were amazed at the transformation. Some said they hadn't been in the children's wing in 20 years! Many said, "I sure wish Sunday school had been like this when I was coming up. . . " AMEN!



    Below replier states months - in our case we started with the Bible Skills/Games Room & Art Room the first year, the following year we added computers, the following year we did a movie room, and just last year we redid our nursery. Nothing wrong with doing it in steps short or long.

    You don't have to have it all perfect to start out. We didn't have computers until we'd been rotating for 4 months. Our theatre seats took about 2 months. Our stage lighting and makeup mirror didn't happen for a year. As people begin to see how wonderful rotation is they will begin volunteering -- time, money and "stuff." We just were gifted with 6 brand new state-of-the-art computers and a convection oven! The stage lighting and makeup mirror that our building and grounds people told us we absolutely could NOT have are now in place!

    I'd encourage you to get a couple of people together to form a team so you don't do all the work yourself. Two heads you know, and this can definitely burn you out quick if you don't have help. Make sure your pastor is on board and ask him to talk it up! Decide on the rooms you will use and what you need and then divide up the workload.

    One other thing I do is to post our wish list on our church website and update it as needed. Check it out -- -- click on G.R.E.A.T. Adventure.



    Notice in Bulletin:
    Fundraiser for the nursery “Nursery Shower” - during coffee time we will have on display newly purchased items for our newly decorated nursery - choose any item(s) and make a donation ($) for the cost of same. This way you get to see exactly were your money is spent!

    We purchased Board Books on stories we were going to be covering in the regular rotation. Toys - Wooden Blocks - build a church, temple, etc. Stacking cups - Tower of Babel, Wooden Peg Puzzles of Animals - Creation (Cook Ministry has a few toys related to the bible). We also purchased a playpen with an attached change table and a wall book rack (because our room is so small). We got ¾ of what we spent back! All items were pre-priced (our cost). Card (Price) is taken to cashier who notes your name and amount, which will go towards your donation for the year. Items purchased can be labeled with donator’s name or you can do up a plaque outside the room. Also purchasing the items in advance is a way to get all new things and most importantly things that are specifically bible related. This could be done for any room. You could have a computer shower - drama shower - puppet shower - movie shower.



    Jan FPC Napa - posted August 30, 2001
    I think it depends on what workshops you have and how you want them decorated. We made a list of EVERYTHING we would love to have, no holding back! We included the obvious items, as you mentioned and noted "gently used ok" by the things we didn't mind if they were donated from people's homes.

    But we also included on our wish list: A life-size camel made from wood, a researcher for a video projector, a puppet stage builder, a window shade maker, and someone to build a game wheel! And we got them all! Don't limit yourself to thinking your church members will only donate used items from around the house ... you may be pleasantly suprised if you ask different groups/individuals in your church to "sponsor" purchasing and/or creating big ticket items. One of our families made our camel as a family project over Christmas vacation. An older couple in our church donated all the supplies and made our game wheel.

    Exchange Volunteer removed a broken link.
  • Original Post

    Add Reply

    Likes and Bookmarks (0)
    Post Your Question, Comment, Idea, or Resource Inc. is a volunteer-run, 100% member supported, 501(c)3 non-profit Sunday School lesson ministry. All content here is the copyrighted property of its listed author. You are welcome to borrow and adapt content here for non-commercial teaching purposes --as long as both the site and author is referenced. Posting here implies permission for others to use your content for non-commercial purposes. Inc reserves the right to manage, move, condense, delete, and otherwise improve all content posted to the site. Read our Terms of Service. Google Ad Note: Serving the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa, and more! is rated 5 stars on Google based on 55 reviews.