If you're looking for a way to raise money for your church, photo fundraising is one option that you may want to consider.
About Photography Fundraisers
A photography fundraiser can be a great option for churches looking for creative ways to raise funds while providing services that will be of value to the members of their congregations. This type of fundraiser involves working out an arrangement with a professional photographer to take photos of church members at pre-determined times. The church typically provides a place for the photographer to set up and markets the photo opportunities to congregants. The photographer generally agrees to charge a fair price for photo packages and to pay the church a commission on all photos sold as a result of the fundraiser.
Benefits of Church Photo Fundraising
A photography fundraiser can be a win-win situation for the church and the photographer. It provides the church with an opportunity to earn a commission based on member participation allows the church to offer a family activity that congregants are likely to enjoy and want to participate in. For the photographer, this type of fundraiser provides a way for him or her to build his or her business by selling photo packages to new customers. By gaining exposure among church members, the photographer is often able to gain additional bookings for weddings, christenings, and other events, resulting in even more new business in the future.
This type of church fundraising event also benefits those who choose to have pictures taken during the event. A photography fundraiser can provide a convenient way for families to get together for individual and family group portraits in an environment where they are comfortable and are already likely to be dressed in their most attractive attire. Since many families have portraits taken annually, those who choose to do so via a fundraising event are able to provide financial assistance to their church without incurring additional expenses beyond what they would have spent anyway.
Organizing a Photo Fundraiser for Your Church
Choosing and Booking a Photographer
If you're interested in holding a photo fundraiser at your church, the first thing you'll need to do is find a local professional photographer who is willing to work with you. If you have church members who are professional photographers, you may want to ask them about participating. It's also a good idea to look for relatively new photographers in your community. They are often more willing to offer a generous commission structure to nonprofit organizations seeking fundraising opportunities than those who are more established. You may want to speak with several photographers so that you can make an informed decision that provides the best balance of value, package choices, and fundraising potential.It's also important to verify the quality of work performed by any photographer you are considering working with before entering into any kind of agreement. Make sure that the person you work with has experience doing professional portrait photography so that your members are likely to be pleased with the results. If they are not satisfied with the quality of photos taken, it's not likely that you'll be able to gain support for similar fundraisers in the future.
Encouraging Congregation Participation
Once you have decided which photographer you will work with, the next thing you will want to do is set a date for the church photo fundraising event. It's generally best to set times for pictures to be taken immediately before and after regularly scheduled church services and other events so that people can choose to have their pictures taken during times they will already be at the church. For maximum participation, you may want to schedule times on more than one day, so that people who are out of town or otherwise indisposed on one particular week will still have an opportunity to participate if they choose to do so. You'll want to promote the photography fundraiser to church members for several weeks before the sitting dates. You can do this by including the fundraiser in church announcements and the bulletin, hanging posters in high traffic areas, listing the event on the website, and in other ways. Whatever you can do to spread the word in advance will likely have a positive impact on the level of participation.
On the day of the event, set the photographer up in a room that is easily accessible and where people who are arriving to attend church activities are likely to see what is going on. Hang signs that are very visible and assign church volunteers to hand out flyers about the available photo packages to people as they are arriving and leaving the facility. You may find that even people who had not intended to participate in the fundraiser decide to have pictures taken of their children or of their entire families when they see how easy and convenient it will be to do so.
Schedule Your Fundraiser
If you think that a photography fundraiser is a good choice for your church, it's time to get started making your plans now. To begin looking for a photographer, you may want to check out the membership directories for your local Chamber of Commerce or Business Network International Chapter. Photographers who belong to these types of groups are often looking for creative ways to build their businesses, and so may be very open to partnering with you for a church photo fundraising event.