Youth Group Fundraiser – The JAIL!


This youth group fundraiser has been the most profitable and most consistent fundraiser that we did at our parish.  It is also a great fundraiser that involves both youth and adults.  Some of the elders in the parish were not necessarily to fond of it, but that never stopped us from doing it.

The concept is very simple.  During your annual church bazaar or large fundraiser, set up a spot that can be called the jail.  We actually had a large dog kennel donated each year and just put a thank you sign on the outside to the donor.  The cage was about 6 feet high and approximately 8ft x 8ft.

The basic idea is that people can pay to have their friends and/or family arrested by buying a warrant.  When the person is arrested they can either serve time in jail, pay to be let out, or they can counter arrest.

We had one booth where people could buy warrants and then had a bailor that kept a log at the jail.  Then we had 2-3 teams of two people running around arresting people.  Besides a slow start at the beginning of the bazaar, people were buying warrants almost non-stop.

Have plenty of advertisements around the building.  Also, know that the first year it may take a little while for people to figure out how everything works.  The second time is much more quicker to take off.

The only problem we had was that kids would run from the cops.  The adults did not appreciate that too much, so just be sure to let the cops know not to chase after anyone.

I put together all of our files to help you do this much more easily and am making it available here.  You can get them free simply by signing up for our Email Newsletter!

This download includes:

  • The pricing we used
  • Logs for the bailer and for accounting purposes
  • Warrants, ready to be used.
  • A bonus way to make even more money!
  • Also a list of a few more tips that make the fundraiser even better!

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Eric Gallagher (@ericjgallagher) has over 12 years of experience in full-time youth ministry in the Diocese of Sioux Falls where he currently serves as the Director of Youth Discipleship & Evangelization for the Diocese. Eric is a husband and father of four. He primarily blogs over at
  • Randi Hom

    I facebooked it and I don’t know how to get my package. 

    • Randi, I just need to verify that you did it using the button?  If you do, it should provide you with the .zip through the process.

      If you did that and it still didn’t work, please contact me at and I can get you set up with it.

  • I would like to get my package but i don’t get it

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