VBS is a big event at any church. It takes a commitment of people, time, and financial resources to offer a quality program. Start by listing all sources of income. Then determine the cost per child. Flip through the 2016 VBS Reference and Ordering Guide and write items you need and want on your Needs and Wishes List, even if you think you can’t afford them right now. Then transfer the income and costs to the VBS Budget Worksheet (also on your Director CD). This will calculate costs automatically for you. Remember to includes expenses for copies, craft supplies, snacks, postage, publicity, volunteer appreciation, and other incidentals.
How will you meet your financial challenges? Here are some ideas:
- Church budgets. Many churches cover some or all VBS expenses in their congregational budget. Others offset costs with donation, registration fees, sponsorships or fundraising.
- Registration Fees. Some congregations have strong feelings about not charging for outreach or educational programs such as VBS. Others find that parents are accustomed to paying fees for their children’s activities and don’t find it limiting. Asking staff and key leaders for their perspectives will help you decide which options to choose.
- Sponsor a child. Many churches give members an opportunity to sponsor a child’s week. After you’ve done your budget, figure out a cost per child and give church members the opportunity to contribute that amount to send a child to VBS. Use the Sponsor Letter and Sponsor Certificate to recruit and thank your benefactors (on Director CD).
- Sponsor a site. Ask church members to sponsor their favorite VBS site. Figure out the costs of leader and student resources for each site to set a sponsorship price. Thank site sponsors in the same ways you recognize those who sponsor children.
- Seek donations. Take a special VBS offering at church, or ask church groups, such as Bible classes or the men’s or women’s groups, to donate for VBS. Visit the groups to share your VBS purpose and goals so they understand how VBS fits into your church’s mission.
- Fund-raisers for VBS are growing in popularity. Old standards like car washes, bake sales, ice cream socials, and silent auctions do work! Use the fund-raiser event to promote the theme and dates of your VBS. Encourage people to preregister at your event.
- Give thanks. Publicly thank donors and sponsors by listing names in bulletins and newsletters. Post pictures of your VBS on a bulletin board during and after VBS and add a thank-you note for all.