Budgeting and Fundraising for VBS Like a Pro

Creating a budget may not be the most fun part of planning for VBS, but it’s one of the most important.

Quick Budgeting Tips

  1. Estimate the number of kids you’re expecting
  2. Estimate how many volunteers you will need
  3. Make a list of must-have items to purchase (check out the quick order forms for each course)
  4. Make a list of items that can be diy’ed, donated or shared (check out these Pinterest boards)
  5. Make a list of additional items to add if the budget allows
  6. Review with your finance committee or pastor

Super-fun Fundraising Ideas

Church Yard Sale

Host a yard sale on your church campus. Ask members of your congregation to donate any unwanted items, making it clear that all proceeds will go toward VBS. Gather volunteers and kids to help with the sale, and even wear VBS shirts to help get the word out. Use the opportunity to invite more kids from your community to join VBS, by having flyers and invitations ready.

Church Bake Sale

Skip the donuts on Sunday and have Children’s Ministry host a bake sale before or after service. Bake treats that coordinate with your theme; check out all the yummy ideas on our Pinterest boards.

Special Offering

Request a special offering to be taken to help with VBS. Be sure to clearly communicate where the money will be going, and what the opportunity means to the community. Consider having a child give his or her testimony, or a volunteer share their experience to help the congregation understand the impact of VBS.

Mascot Photo Booth

Raise funds and publicize your VBS by having an energetic volunteer dress up in a costume that fits your theme, and set up a photo area for kids to take pictures with the mascot. The more outrageous the costume, the more attention you’ll grab. Use the opportunity to include a donation station, with clear signage for what the money will be used for. Then, use a quick printing system, make the photos available the next week, or share them on social media.


Invite members of your congregation to sponsor a child for VBS. Set a specific cost for each child to attend (ie: $10). Set a goal, and keep the congregation updated on your progress. Then, after VBS, share some of the stories of kids who were able to attend.