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Financing your Bible Quiz Ministry

Wed, 13 May 2009 - 4:38 PM CST

Financing your Bible Quiz Ministry ...

Our biggest fundraiser of the year is our quote-a-thon. We've done this for 3 years now and have raised right around $2000 each time. The kids get people to sponsor them financially for quoting for a solid hour on a Sunday afternoon. Our church allows the quizzers to set up at tables by the main entrances for 3 Sundays in a row prior to the quote-a-thon day. We supply the kids with a sign-up sheet on a clipboard and put up signs and trophies to attract attention to our table. These 3 weeks coincide with the days that we have them quote their chapters in the sanctuary to earn their National Memorization Award, and our youth pastor announces it when he introduces the quizzer. Most people sponsor a flat dollar amount - we're still looking for that brave soul who will commit to $1 per verse !!! Some of our biggest sponsors come from email contacts - we have supportive grandparents who let their friends know what their grandchildren are doing and it's fun to check the mailbox to see where checks are coming in from !! The kids also ask at work and school, they don't limit it to our church family - it is especially amazing to watch them get other teens from the youth group to sponsor them - that makes a huge statement to me !!! It's easiest when the money is given right up front, but we collect for 2 weeks after we quote. We give the kids incentives too -this really seems to make a difference in their level of motivation for getting sponsors. We generally offer them a $5 gift card to a fast food restaurant once they've turned in $100, a $15 i-tunes card or a youth group sweatshirt at the $250 level, and a $50 gift card to the store of their choice if they hit the $500 mark. We usually have folks who provide these prizes for us so that the money doesn't have to come from our quiz fund.

We hold the quote-a-thon on a Sunday afternoon, so we stay after church, eat lunch together and then quote for an hour. It takes one adult or teen per quizzer to pull this off. We set up tables in a square shape, with the "listeners" sitting on the outside of the square and the quizzers on the inside. Each adult has a pencil and each quizzer has their scripture portion. Time is called every 5 minutes and the kids rotate to the next listener - this really keeps things interesting so no one gets bored. The quizzers are to quote all of the material that they know before they start over. Some of the kids may have only learned a handful of verses in the season - that's okay !!! They just do those over and over. We check off the verses as they're quoted, so at the end of the hour each quizzer counts up the number of verses they quoted. It is really fun to report that back to the congregation.

We've held this at several different points during a quiz season and have found that it works best for the quizzers when we hold it as close to the deadline for quoting as we can since that allows the quizzers to quote all of the material in our given time slot. This winds up being my favorite hour of the year - it is truly awesome to be in a room of teenagers quoting God's Word non-stop for an hour !!!

Vicky Albrecht, Coach, Dayspring A/G, Bowling Green, Ohio

The congregation finances our BQ ministry. We have presented the need to them and a number of people give on a regular basis. Every month, we bring the quizzers in front of the congregation and take a couple of minutes to tell them about their achievements at that month's competition. We then remind the congregation that we appreciate their support in prayer and encouragement and finances.

Doug Black, Dayspring A/G, Rome, Georgia

Great Lakes Scrip (glscrip.com). Church families buy gift cards from major retail stores at full price ($25.00 for a $25.00 card) and BQ pays a discounted price (anywhere from 2% - 18%) and retains the profit. Many restaurants, clothing stores, gas stations, grocery stores, hardware, pharmacy, etc. are members (Old Navy, JC Penney, Max & Erma’s, Exxon, Bennigans etc.) For a complete detailed list and how the program works go to the web site. We participate in Meijer Community Rewards and receive money for church members qualified purchases. We are allotted a budget from our church. Special fundraisers such as providing luncheon for PeeWee Bible Quiz tournaments, car washes, pizza kits in the past. We are considering holding bake sales. We held a quote-a-thon once and raised around $1,000.00.

Maureen Harr, Greater Lansing, Michigan

Although we are blessed to have church funds to help pay for Regional and National competition, we also have a church car wash on a Sunday morning in June. During the service we place a flyer on the parked cars, giving them information if they wish to stop and have their car washed as they leave the services. This is also announced during the service. We have two services, so we have two car washes, one after each morning service. People swing by and have their car washed and give a donation, and many simply drop off a donation without having their car washed. We're very blessed that even in a large church, our Senior Pastor highlights our BQ ministry as one of his favorites and gives us huge public praise & support in our efforts.

Kent Kloefkorn, Cedar Park A/G, Bothell, WA

Our church generally pays for our registration, some of the materials, and gas to meets. For national finals last year, the church paid for the registration and $200.00 toward each persons air fare. Unfortunately they do not allow us to fund raise within the church, so everything else comes out of the parent's pocket. We did approach the pastor about possibly doing a quote-a-thon this year. They told us we knew their policy on fund raising, but said they would be willing to discuss it with us. We are trusting God for a change in the policy! If we make it to nationals this year, we will approach them again and ask about a quote-a-thon or if they would consider letting the quizzers go into the Sunday School classes and share what they have done this year, and then ask if anyone feels led to give a donation toward the trip. Our youth group does a huge missions trip every summer, and fund raises through a "Run for the Glory." where each participants (+2 additional sponsors each) collects pledges for running 20 laps. This fund raiser was "grandfathered in" and is HUGE within our church. Because most everyone has already been asked to support numerous youth for that, I think asking anyone who feels led to make a donation would work better because they won't feel the pressure to either give or say NO. Before the church implemented the "no fund raising" policy, our JBQ team did a bake sale for Mother's Day and Memorial Day. The team members and other people in the church donated cakes, cookies, "Tea for Two" (small cake and two bags packaged nicely), the desserts flew off the table at very generous prices! It was such a blessing seeing the children buying dessert for their mothers on Mothers Day. We also did candy bar/snack/soda sales on Wednesday evenings, KK donut sales on Sunday mornings, lunches at TBQ meets, and a concession stand for TBQ Regionals the year it was held at MAG. If you have the people to help with all the aspects of fund raising it can be very beneficial, but I caution people that you can wear yourself out fund raising and it can get in the way of studying.

Darlene Brower, Manassas, VA

We have some supporters who will occasionally give money to our ministry. We also have had some spaghetti suppers that have been really top fundraisers for us. We had different levels of giving at the supper. We had gold, silver and bronze. We had mugs for those who gave at these 3 levels. Others just paid $10.00 a ticket to come. We raised $6000 at this supper.

Mark Gilmer, Evangel Community Church, Snellville, Georgia

Our church has been supportive over the years. We have had fundraiser dinners. We quote in front of the church. Many people have donated (especially older people) when they see the quizzers quote. We have quoted entire books in front of the church. To often many of our older saints only see or hear about the negative aspects of youth ministry. Bible Quiz is one of the few youth ministries that really speaks to their hearts. All our quiz boxes have been bought by individuals wanting to support the ministry. I along with the Everett's have personally invested in the BQ ministry.

Pastor Scott McGillis, Harvest Time A/G, Brunswick, Ohio

1) ask your church board for a Bible Quiz budget. This is the easiest way to raise money. Even if you do not get all of the money, it will be blessing. Even most small churches will give a ministry like quizzing a few hundred dollars. That will cover registration costs and materials. Things like tournaments and trophies can be budgeted other ways. NOTE: it is a bad idea to have your church budget all of your costs! Teams that have to come up with some of the money are more appreciative of the money that the church gives them. Having everything paid for can lead to an attitude that quizzers are entitled to a blessing or take it for granted. (I have seen this happen in my church and several other churches.)
2) Fund raisers at church. There is no substitute for having quizzers raise their own funds. It can be collecting and recycling soda cans, selling donuts after church services, etc.
3) Fund raisers outside of church. (ie selling candy, etc)
4) Quote-a-thons. These are great. You have a quizzer quote a chapter in a morning service and have people pledge in advance to how many verses you can rattle off. It is good PR and you could raise most of the money that you are looking for.
5) Parents and people in your church. If there is a financial need (like Susie does not have enough money to go to a tournament), people in your church would be happy to contribute to a cost if they know that there is a need.
6) Coaches. Many coaches put their own money into this ministry!
7) Church offering. Ask your pastor and board if they are willing to have a Sunday night service which is run completely by people in the quiz ministry. Take an offering stating that 100% of the money will go to quizzing.

A quizzing ministry does not really need to cost that much money. Assuming that a first year team is going to one local tournament and not make it to nationals, you could run a tight budget and spend less that $500. That is really not a hard task when considering what churches spend (both big and small) on other ministries in the church. Tighten your belt and decide that quizzing is important. The money will take care of itself with the proper attitude.

Dave Pizzolo, NY District Coordinator

At Orange County Worship Center our main fund-raiser is our fireworks stands and contributions. We also do various secondary things like Quote-a- thons and miscellaneous sales.

Irv Kuroshi, Orange County First A/G, CA

Our BQ supplies, registration for leagues, districts, Regionals and National Finals, as well as the cost of the event themselves, are funded directly from the church (the only expense for the quizzers is their food). For tournaments where we take all teams, most of the cost is paid by each of the quizzers. We do not do fund raising but put dollars back into the budget from dollars raised by the River Classic tournament. We are blessed at JRA to have the funds necessary from a budget perspective to do what we need to run the quiz ministry.

John Porter, James River A/G, Ozark, MO

For the past few years my teams have largely been underwritten with donations from parents and the coach. One thing to stress to new coaches is that money not spent is money that doesn't have to raised. When going on a trip to a tournament, ask the sponsoring church if you can bunk down with sleeping bags in their classrooms. Also, there are often quiz families in the sponsoring church who will open their homes and host quizzers. A quote a thon works. Get each quizzer to ask for so many cents per verse that they can quote in a given period of time. This serves two purposes, raising funds and motivating memorization. Keeping quiz before all the church helps. This can be done by news items in the weekly bulletin, posts on the bulletin board, information on the church website, and pastoral announcements. Ask for a line item for Bible Quiz in the annual budget. Let people know they can donate at anytime to underwrite the ministry to their youth.

Pastor George Edgerly, Ottumwa, Iowa

Excerpts from some former National Finals teams:

Church has decided to take a special offering

We sell coffee and donuts every Sunday AM


Spaghetti dinner

Donations for parking lot

Community days food booth


Spirit night at Chick Fil-A

Car hop at Sonic

Sell Memorial Day flowers

Candy sales


Garage sale

Car wash

Church yard sale

Dessert auction

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