by Holly Crawshaw
VBS may be months away, but you’ve probably got Pinterest boards jammed with ideas and To-Do list tasks piling up. Before your plans get too far along, see if you can incorporate any of these money-saving tips into your VBS this year!
1. KEEP IT SIMPLE – It’s super easy to convince yourself that a great VBS is driven by an over-the-top stage set and hallway décor, but the things that really make a lasting impression with kids are strong relationships. And strong relationships are formed by lots of fun and meaningful memories. Take the opportunity during VBS to strengthen the bonds between small group leaders and kids, and THAT is what will be remembered long after the decorations are taken down.
2. ASK FOR DISCOUNTS – It can really be surprising to see how generous companies can be just because you ask them for help. When making purchases, remember to ask if there are any discounts available for non-profit organizations or churches. And always remember to bring your tax-exempt paperwork along if applicable (it’s a good idea to mention that your purchase is tax-exempt BEFORE the cashier begins ringing you up).
3. MAKE SMALL ASKS – It can be a lot to ask one or two businesses for lots of donations. Instead, try asking several businesses for smaller donations. For example, if your program is five days long, why not ask five restaurants each to donate one meal for your leaders? Or, if you’re giving away prizes, asking several individuals or businesses to contribute one prize each is much easier than trying to get them all in a single donation.
4. MOVE FROM PRINTED TO DIGITAL – Instead of creating printed pieces with information for your parents and leaders, try creating as much content online as possible. Create online registration forms, share planning information via Facebook or Dropbox, and give daily updates through social media. It’s less expensive and much faster!
5. PLAN AHEAD – Most VBS kits are discounted during their pre-order season (before Christmas for most publishers), so this is a great time to purchase. Be proactive about researching the various options and you’ll keep some money in your budget to spend on the fun stuff!
Check out the BRAND NEW VBS offering from Orange for 2016 – WALK THIS WAY! Your kids will take a journey with Paul and ask the same questions he asked – making some incredible discoveries along the way!
Holly’s passion for ministry began while attending college when she helped found a ministry for middle and high school students. After graduation, Holly worked as a high school English teacher for a period of time before joining the staff of North Point Ministries to work with middle school students. Another transition moved her into the role of Director of Waumba Land (preschool) at Browns Bridge Community Church. Currently, Holly is the editor of the VBS products at The reThink Group. Holly lives in Cumming, Georgia, with her husband, Ben, and their daughters, Lilah and Esmae.