World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
30 Hour Famine. Students loving God and fighting hunger.
World Vision, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax-deductible in full or in part.
Host a 30-hour long game tournament — think basketball, dodgeball, kickball, or go with multiple rounds of every board game you can think of (Monopoly, Risk, Settlers of Catan, etc.)
Charge $30 per team to enter and see which team can win the 30-hour challenge.
Designate members of your group to help organize the event, advertise beforehand, draw up a bracket, and obtain all the materials you need. Make sure you have plenty of water on hand for participants!
This simple, powerful, and sometimes painful activity will highlight the difficulties faced by over three-quarters of a billion people who don’t have access to clean water—a building block to healthy food.
Take your group on a two-mile walk (more or less depending on your situation) in a populated area carrying backpacks full of water containers and cardboard signs advertising your 30 Hour Famine. Students can swap the water and signs as they tire. When people ask what they’re doing, they can respond by asking for donations. Don’t forget to bring a tip jar!
During your Famine Weekend, go for your goal and beyond with this time-tested method. Have students call everyone on their cellphone contact lists to ask for donations, directing donors to their individual online fundraising pages. Use butcher paper to make a giant fundraising thermometer. Divide students into teams and turn it into a competition.
Hit your goal? Keep dialing! There’s no limit to the number of hungry children you can help.
Ask a local restaurant if they would be willing to sponsor your event or match your fundraising efforts. For example: A local establishment donates 20% of their sales to the 30 Hour Famine on a designated day. In return, your group promotes the restaurant’s generosity with fliers and Facebook posts that tell everyone to visit that restaurant on that particular day.
Have students get permission to host a “mini-Famine” at their school. At lunchtime, get other students to donate $5, or whatever they would’ve spent on lunch that day. Make it a competition between grade levels and announce the winning class at a school rally.
Create posters advertising the event in advance so other students know to bring money instead of their normal lunch. Try slogans like, “Donate $5! What you don’t eat today can help five kids for a day!”
Host a dinner banquet for your congregation. Sell tickets for $30, and on each table place fliers explaining that each $30 donation can feed and care for one child for a month. Consider buying plates at a local dollar store and decorating them with verses. Serve dinner on these plates and let guests know they can take them home as a reminder of the help they’re providing for children around the world.
See if a local restaurant would be willing to donate food for this project so that you can put the full $30 ticket price toward your 30 Hour Famine fundraising goal.
Everyone loves a good yard sale. Everyone loves dressing up like pirates. Combine the two for a golden opportunity to raise some funds by selling your old treasures. Sounds like solid cheese, but your interesting garb will nab passerby’s attentions enough that they will stop and check out your stuff. Trust us, this is way cooler than offering donuts and coffee. Although that also works.
So start by asking your friends, neighbors, peers, and congregation to donate their gently used clothing, books, furniture, home decor, household goods, and sports equipment. After the sale, take anything that’s left to your local homeless shelter or secondhand store.
Try offering a “fill a bag for $30” deal: Hand out trash bags or paper grocery sacks and explain that each bag filled and paid for will help feed a child for a month!
Leaders in West Des Moines, Iowa agreed to let their students choose whatever fundraiser they wanted, promising to support them all the way. (You can see where this is going, can’t you?) That’s how “Terrible Caroling” was born. The students went to church members’ homes, where they played instruments raucously loud and belted out songs at the top of their lungs. The unfortunate audience could only end the impromptu concert with payment, pledges, or prayers.
Have your students and leaders take to a busy street corner, waving “Honk for Hunger” signs and handing out information sheets. Be ready to take donations from those passing by. (Just be sure to double-check that your area doesn’t have laws against panhandling.)
Rally your group and either bring buckets for donation collection on the streets or get people to sponsor the number of honks you get in a set amount of time. Either way, remember to have fun and be enthusiastic — you’re raising money to help save children’s lives!
Fun twist: Get someone generous to sponsor donate 50 cents for every honk you hear! This will really get your students to go nuts.
Time to bust out the electric razors and pink Mohawks. Letting teens dye your hair or shave your head as a fundraising prize always works. “It was the most successful event we had out of all our fundraisers,” says Gretchen Adikes, who made it a competition and let her top fundraisers pick her new hair color.
Then she raised the stakes: “If we met our goal as a group, all the leaders would get strange haircuts.” With that kind of incentive, Gretchen’s group exceeded their fundraising goal in record time.
Get a junkyard to donate a car with all the glass removed. Spray-paint “hunger” all over it and set it up at a Famine event. Invite adults and students alike, and charge them to swing away with a sledgehammer.
Some people will be excited to fight hunger. Others will simply get a kick out of wrecking a car without involving the police. That’s called a win-win!
Divide your group into teams. Give each team a quarter or a paper clip to barter with and send them into different neighborhoods. The rules? Each group has to knock on doors and explain that they need something bigger and better than whatever they have, trading up as they go. Set a time limit of an hour or so. Best item at the end wins!
“Last year, we got several items to either sell and give the proceeds to World Vision or donate,” says Dustin Perkins from California. “New rollerblades, a fully functioning printer, a boombox, and an electric keyboard. I’ve heard of groups who have gotten cars, washing machines, and other large useful objects!”
Grab an old toilet and paint it purple. At least one week before your Famine, announce to your church that there’s a purple potty flushing out hunger all over town. $5 sends the toilet to the yard of your choosing. $10 gets it removed from your yard — and you get to pick the next destination. $15 buys potty “insurance.” Make it a competition and award the prestigious “Golden Plunger” to the student who sells the most potty insurance policies.
Paper lunch bags Sandwich makings Other lunch items such as granola bars, apples, cookies, etc.
Create a youth group calendar to sell to friends and family (this one’s almost unfair when it comes to selling it to student’s moms).
Each month feature students dressed in clothes pertaining to that particular month . . . or some kind of fun theme.
Use it to help promote your youth group and raise funds for the 30 Hour Famine. The calendar should include youth event dates and information about World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine and how the money raised gets put to use.
This one’s pretty simple and will get a lot of guys off the hook for Valentine’s Day. Just host a pancake breakfast on the 14th. The youth cook and serve, acting as chef, host/hostess, server, cashier, etc.
Start a bill- and coin-collection contest between the junior and senior high groups, promising the winning team a good prize. But there’s a twist: paper money counts for positive points, while coins count for negative points. Each team puts bills in their own jar while dumping coins in their opponents’ jar.
Get the grownups in on the act, too. Tell them what you’re doing, and have the jars set up each Sunday.
Separate into groups and head into different neighborhoods. Knock on doors and tell the people who you are and that you're raising money for the 30 Hour Famine and then ask if they’d like to pay a dollar to smash an egg on your head to help the cause. It’s fun and kind of messy. Two hours could bring in a couple hundred dollars!
Twist: Set up an “Egg Me!” booth in your church or school parking lot.
• As many eggs as you want to have smashed on your head!
• Towels and old clothes
It’s time to get your bowl-a-thon on! Grandma might actually dig this one, because nothing beats the sheer joy of yelling “turkey!” and “four-bagger!” (three and four strikes in a row). Plus, what teen years are complete without a bowl-a-thon?
Have students get people to sponsor them per pin knocked down or frames played. Be a sport and don’t use gutterbumpers (or you might never get sponsors again with all the points you’ll score).
Are there tech- and social-media-savvy students in your group who would be willing to teach others? Plenty of grandparents in your church and community would love to learn how to use Facebook and Skype to keep in touch with their grandkids. Announce this fundraiser at church and in your community and “sell” techno lessons by the half-hour, with all proceeds going to the Famine.
At night, sneak-attack the yard of a good sport with a dozen or more pink plastic flamingos. Leave your group’s calling card with instructions: “You have contracted pink flamingo flu. A donation is the only ‘cure,’ and will move the birds to a lawn of your choice.” Suggest that people buy “flock” insurance for $10 to stay flamingo-free.
Gather adult leaders with teens to provide childcare for a set length of time on a Friday or Saturday night at your church (say, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.). Set a suggested donation per child but have an “extra donation” basket too. Parents are spending money on babysitting anyway, so snag it for your Famine. Everyone wins!
Nominate (willing) church leaders to run in the “Kiss-a-Cow Election.” Have church members vote over the following two weeks by dropping donations into individual containers bearing each candidate’s name. The winner gets to give a live cow a big smooch. Hint: your biggest donation may come from a candidate who most wants their opponent to “win”!
No cow? Go with an ugly but friendly dog, pig, or other “unkissable” animal.
Turn the classic bake sale on its head to help your church identify with the children they’re helping. Whip up a few of the foods that hungry people must often resort to eating and sell them between Sunday services. It’s half fundraiser, half teachable moment.
World Vision emergency feeding centers use therapeutic super-foods like corn-soy blend (CSB) or Plumpy’Nut™ to treat severely malnourished kids. Plumpy’Nut™ is especially valuable in drought-prone areas because it doesn’t require any water.
• 2 cups cornmeal
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup flour
• 4 cups water
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
Combine cornmeal, flour, vegetable oil, and salt. Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, then add water and stir well. Bring to a boil and cook for 3-5 more minutes.
Collect colored paper from paper recycling bins and cut them into 8.5-inch long strips about an inch wide. Get your group together to make them into a giant paper chain.
How many links should you make? Get an idea for your number by checking out the hunger facts section of 30hourfamine.org. Or do a symbolic number — 5,000 — to represent Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000.
Sell the links in your community for a dollar a piece and you’ll be simultaneously raising money and awareness. When people buy links, rip them off and give them away, showing the problem of hunger shrinking in proportion to funds raised.
Have students and their friends over for a movie night. Attendees donate the “cost” of a regular movie ticket to the 30 Hour Famine. Go all out and make it a themed-movie party where people can dress up in their favorite genres or as their favorite characters.
Hold a silent auction to raise funds. Ask both students and church members to donate something (or some service) of value (photo session, afternoon of yardwork, babysitting, fancy dinners, gift baskets, etc.). Keep bidding open for several weeks before and after church services.
Cap off the bidding with a live auction gala. Have a theme, serve dinner, and charge an entry fee of $5. Have the silent auction end just prior to live auction to ensure prices are driven up as high as they can go.
Get everyone involved and settle all those old grudges! Set rates at $10 to pie the senior pastor and $5 to pie other various church staff/leaders. Have your pie are in the parking lot or in a carnival-like setting.
Have your students collect funds and help make the pies. Adjust your pie-ing prices accordingly to how bad people want to pie people.
Host a video game competition a month before your Famine. Think sports, music, or dance game categories (anything non-violent). Invite anyone who wants to play as long as they pay the “entry fee.”
Depending on the size of the crowd, divide contestants into casual, amateur, and professional brackets. Two players go head-to-head, with the winner moving on. At the end, award the winner in each bracket with a certificate or trophy.
Don’t limit this event to teenagers! There are plenty of 30-year-old dads just waiting to show up some students with their video game skills.