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Budgeting for VBS

Along with the fun of planning comes the responsibility of determining how your VBS program expenses will be met. Here are some questions you need to ask:

  • Has your church administration included funds within the budget, either as a separate line item or as part of your education budget?

  • Is the budgeted amount sufficient to cover expenses?

  • If not, or if there are no budgeted funds, how will you meet expenses?

VBS Budgeting Guide

Publicity (postage, advertisement, family emphasis, follow-up) $_____________

Curriculum $_____________

Classroom supplies (basic supplies, activity-specific items) $_____________

Decorations $_____________

Craft supplies $_____________

Music needs (including tech) $_____________

Snacks $_____________

Other $_____________

Total $_____________

Budgeted Amount $_____________

Cost-Saving Tips

  • Keep the congregation informed about the value of the program, and ask for contributions.

  • Make a list of supply needs (crafts and snacks).

    • Look for low-cost or free alternatives.

    • Contact local retailers for possible donated craft and/or discounted supplies.

    • Ask for donations from the congregation.

  • Restaurants or supermarkets may provide snacks and paper goods.

  • Have a registration fee (along with the opportunity for scholarships for those who may need it).

  • Inform families of the expected cost of the program per child, and encourage their support.

Fundraising Ideas

  • Host a soup or chili cook-off event. Charge a fee to enter chili or soup recipes in the contest. Judges can taste the entries and declare winners in special prize categories. Afterward, have a chili dinner at the church with proceeds going to the VBS fund.

  • Have a bake sale or casserole sale on Sunday mornings. Ask church members to donate baked goods or casseroles to sell, with all proceeds going to your VBS fund.

  • Hold a meal immediately before or following VBS sessions and charge or request donations for the meal. If you can identify church groups or local eateries who will donate food for each meal, the funds raised can offset VBS expenses.