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It's time to raise money! An adult and youth team from our church is heading to Alaska Christian College to help finish the building of a new dormitory. The group will be dry-walling, painting, moving furniture, etc. etc. They need funds to get there and to give to the school's projects.  Take a look how we were able to raise over $12,000 at our church's silent auction!

Budget Friendly Fundraising Ideas

The date was set, tickets were sold and Alaskan salmon was donated and shipped in for dinner.  Volunteers cooked the meal, silent auction donations were procured by the team and I was in charge of the set up.
Decorating for a fundraiser

Let's start with the table favorite.
Budget?  Spend as little as possible and make it look festive.  Yes, I've done a few of these types of events before.
First choose a color theme-- we went with blue and yellow (the school's colors) and yellow stars because they're on the Alaskan flag.

To get the most bang for your buck, always use balloons!  They fill a space up and set the tone for a party.

Balloons--best bang for your buck when decorating

(This post contains affiliate links to help you locate products.) It's much cheaper to go for ordinary balloons instead of helium filled ones.  I used plastic sticks from here. The balloons tie onto the sticks easily.
Blue and yellow curling ribbon added color to the sticks.

Simple centerpiece for a fundraising event.

Glass cylinder vases were found at the Dollar Store.
Instead of spending money on flowers, I filled the vases with tissue paper.  Two sheets of tissue paper per vase.  One squished in, the other flowing on top.  Brochures from the college were displayed on the tables as well.

Paper stars and painted skewers

Yellow stars were punched out on the church's die cut machine and then glued to wooden skewers that I spray painted blue.  Two each were stuck into each finished vase.  Leftover stars were sprinkled on the tables.

budget friendly centerpiece for a party

Our youth pastor was able to get these Glassybaby candle votives donated.  We set them on each table with a set price and instructions if any guest was interested in buying them.

The entire team came to help with set up, which made my job so much easier.
I completely set up one table just the way I wanted, and then asked the volunteers to make each table look exactly like mine.

Setting up for a fundraising event.

and in no time, the room was pulled together!

Decorating tables for a church event on a budget.

For the silent auction set up, we used long tables along the perimeter of the room, with a few round tables in the center.  We wanted to make sure there was plenty of room to walk and see everything. 

Silent auction tips and tricks.

The trick to make the tables more elegant and interesting, is to add height.  Boxes placed under the large tablecloths added height and interest to each silent auction item. Shoe boxes, plastic storage bins, packing boxes, even paint cans--all work well hidden under the tablecloths.

Silent auction tips and tricks.

Descriptions of each item were printed out and displayed by each bid sheet.  All the team members were required to donate items. Many were experiences and services.

Silent auction ideas

Childcare and babysitting are always popular items at our church fundraisers.
Other creative service ideas:
-free trip to the airport--pick up and drop off
-specialty desserts made throughout the year delivered
-party planning with favors and decor
-home organizing services
-weeding and yard work
-computer repair
-homemade meals
-garden/landscaping advice
-fresh flowers from the garden all summer long

Displaying items at a silent auction.

We divided the silent auction items into three colored sections. Blue, Yellow and White.  Each section closed at a different time. This allowed our team to get a head start on entering the winning bids into the computer for an easier check out at the end of the evening.

Displaying items at a silent auction.

To mark the colored tables, I used crepe paper and color-coded balloons.

Silent auction set up.

(This post contains affiliate links to help you locate products.)
All the baskets were wrapped up in cellophane...and you do know the trick for doing that, right?  No?  Cellophane bags...yes, they're genius!  

Tips for wrapping cellophane baskets.

Slide basket into the cellophane bag, tie with ribbon and trim the top if needed.  So painless. (Tape down bottom corners under the basket, if bag is too wide.) 

Tips for wrapping cellophane baskets.

The best place to find baskets is at second-hand stores.  Wash and air dry before using.  When packing the baskets with items, always use paper fillers or tissue paper to prop up the items high in the basket for easy viewing.  It also makes a basket look 'stuffed' and full.
cellophane wrapped baskets done easily

Our Ladies Bible Study Group put together two baskets.  I selected a dark chocolate/coffee theme and asked everyone to bring in a item for the baskets.  It was a hit!  Each basket went for over $150!

Silent auction set up.

A good silent auction has a variety of items--something for everyone..  Here you can see we had plants, boating trip, office supplies (all wrapped up in the canvas bin) and even framed photography.

Silent auction set up.

Other items included an herb garden in a pot, babysitting, professional sports tickets and even fresh handmade berry pies to be made in berry season and delivered.
Dessert dash at a silent auction.

Each team member was required to make something sweet for the Dessert Dash.  All items were displayed for everyone to view during the silent auction. During the dinner, each table pooled their money together for a dessert.  Each table's donations were tallied up and called off from highest to lowest.
Dessert dash at a silent auction.

The table with the most money, was allowed to run and choose their dessert first, closely followed by the next highest table and so on, and so on.  It was quite fun to watch the desserts being snatched up!

Alaska Fundraiser emcee costumes.

The program consisted of AH (Awesome Husband) sharing about about Alaska Christian College, the trip and telling lots of Alaskan jokes and stories...did I mention costume changes, too?  Everyone had a laugh!

Near the end of the evening, the entire team came on stage and introduced themselves.  They're going to have a great trip!

Want to see some more budget-friendly church events?
Click on these.

Pastor Retirement Party

Themed Decorating for a Fundraiser Dinner

Fundraiser Dinner

Pastor Appreciation

Celebration of Life

Tie Themed Goodbye Party

Linking up to TT&J's BFFParty
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Fan puns for mom.

You know I love a party with a theme...and even more so when puns are included.  Well, wait until you see the puns on this one! They're FAN-tastic!  It's my mom's birthday and Mother's Day combined into one week-end of celebrations.

Fantastic Party for mom- full of fan puns!

Why fans, you ask?  My mom (a retired school teacher, current foster care provider and organizer of her church's nursery) loves to carry those folded up Chinese fans in her purse.  Most of her time is spent holding a child on her lap.  Whether it's at church, at an event, a restaurant or just waiting in a line...the child gets squirmy and out comes a fan from my mom's purse. Every single child is fascinated to watch my mom unfold the fan and have a breeze flow on their face.  Within minutes the child has completely relaxed and is dozing off to sleep.  It's true...and don't fans make some great puns for mom?  Take a look.

Printable fan puns

I started off by printing out my fan pun cards on white cardstock. Click here to print your own.  I had originally thought I wanted them black and white, but after printing them, I decided to add some watercolors to them.  Quick, easy and colorful.

 Printable fan puns
Trim the cards and glue onto black cardstock for a frame.  I used these cards all throughout the decorations.

These big decorative fans were found at Ikea.  They made a perfect backdrop for the desert table...
Fan party for Mother's Day.

and a fun backdrop for a party photo shoot. (This little cutie joined our party--my parent's newest foster child.)

The fan cards were placed everywhere, on paper fans, real fans, in the flowers and on my mom's gifts.  Bright colored, shiny foil wrap can be found at the Dollar Store.

Fantastic birthday ideas with fan puns.

'From a fan' is one of my favorite puns!
Doesn't that make you smile?  I didn't get a picture of the know, mom's birthday cards.

Fan puns and gifts.

The dessert table was filled with more fan puns.

A FAN party!  FAN puns, gifts and treats.

I found this pink fan at Home Goods and knew it had to be a part of my decor. 

We're your #1 FAN!  FAN puns and printables.

Homemade sugar cookies are my mom's favorite!  This year they were fan-shaped color-coordinated with the party, of course.

Fan shaped cookies for a FAN party.
Fan shaped cookies for a FAN party.

And the cake had to be FANcy, right?
Quick and easy fancy cake!  For a FAN party.

Actually, the cake only looked fancy.  It was a triple layer dark chocolate and yellow cake with buttercream frosting.  The frosting pattern was super easy and only took a few minutes to accomplish.
Quick and easy fancy cake!  For a FAN party.

It involves piping a row of thick dots and then using the back of a spoon to smush each dot.  Repeat over and over.  It was super fun to do!
Quick and easy fancy cake!  For a FAN party.

Of course, mom thought it was FANcy!

The table was FAN-filled as well.

A FAN party for mom.  FAN puns.

 Each place setting had a fold up fan and name card.
A FAN party for mom.  FAN puns.

A white tablecloth covered the table with chalkboard chargers and glass plates. Sheer Pink fabric (curtain panels) were used as table runners.
 Table decor for a FAN party.
 Table decor for a FAN party.

Pink vases held flowers and more pun cards.  I taped black stirring straws on the back of the tags to stick them in with the flowers.

A FANfare for mom.  Party ideas for mom using fans.

Also on the table for the kids were some hand held foam fans and light up fans.
Everyone loved staying 'cool'.

Have a fantastic day!  Free printables, attach to a fan.
You are FANtabulous!  Fan printables to attach to a fan.

We kept celebrating mom all week-end long--she loved it!
A party for my mom.  Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Birthday, Mom!  Happy Mother's Day!
I'll always be your #1 FAN!

***You could always take this fan party idea and adapt it for a child. Play games using fans and objects. Make and decorate accordion paper fans.  Be sure the drink of the party is Fanta!

Want to see more of my mom's birthday parties?  Click here. 
Want to see more of our Mother's Day parties? Click here.

Linking up to TT&J's BFFParty
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