Church fund raising can be a lot of effort but is generally well worth it when you're able to give money to ministries that are in turn able to help other people. Whether you hold a bake sale or do something more elaborate, there are ways to make sure that you can make as much money as possible without utterly exhausting yourself or your willing volunteers.
Common Ideas for Church Fund Raising
Here are some tried and true favorites for fundraising. If this is your first time coordinating a fundraising event, considering doing something that has been done before is great route to take.
- Spaghetti dinner
- Giant tag sale
- Bake sale
- Cookbook collection
- Buy a brick (which is engraved with the individual's name or choice of message)
- Hosted event like a concert or entertainment show
- Sales of Christian merchandise
- Buy something specific for another person
- Donations of non-perishable groceries, etc.
- Benefit walk or run
- Gift in-kind (which is a donation where the donor gives their own services or goods in lieu of money)
Fundraising That's Off the Beaten Path
Here is a list of creative ideas for fundraising. Some of these are old themes with a new twist. For instance, if you are blessed with aspiring thespians or talented you that are willing to share those talents, mystery dinners are always popular.
A True Mystery Dinner
Have someone put together a talent show for the entertainment portion of the dinner. It doesn't have to be a mystery show. The "mystery" is actually the meal. Participants get a menu with strangely named items. So for example, straws covered in a thatched roof with rain could be spaghetti and meatballs. Make sure that you have also on the menu a fork, knife, napkin etc. They're allowed to order only a certain number of things. Guests don't know what they are ordering and so they have to guess. It's hilarious to see people trading a meatball for a fork or a plate for a slice of bread so that they can eat their meal. It brings people together, and it is great fun and is entertaining all at the same time. If you serve a pasta dish with garlic bread and salad, you can charge $10 per ticket. As a bonus, you may even be able to get a catering service to donate food in exchange for free advertising, so your organization gets to keep the major portion of the proceeds.
Drive a Nail
Do you have a building project coming up or are you sending a missions team on a work project trip? These projects can be excellent venues for fundraising ventures. For this type of fundraiser, tape a nail to a postcard. For several Sundays before you go, have a table set up after church services where people can purchase the postcard and the nail. (Make sure that when they purchase the postcard, they fill it out with their address.)
While you are on your trip, or after your building project, the team members write thank you notes on the postcards. Encourage them to share a personal testimony of what God is doing. If you've done a trip before, you can put a photo from last year's trip on this year's postcard. Donors love receiving these personalized reminders of how their donation was used.
Buy a Piece of the Puzzle
Many times, organizations have a financial need that is much bigger than can be covered by one simple fundraiser. For these larger fundraising efforts, make a poster that illustrates what you're trying to achieve, whether it is a new addition to the church building, raising funds for a shelter, or sending Bibles to a church overseas. Take the poster and cut it into puzzle pieces. Assign a price to the puzzle pieces according to the total cost of your project, but don't price them so high as to discourage people from participating. Every time someone purchases a puzzle piece, you place it on the board and as more and more funds are raised, the picture becomes clearer.
Planning for Fundraising
There is a saying that if you aim for nothing you will get there every time. The best church fundraisers are well thought out and planned. People are more likely to give generously of their time and offerings when there is a clear and concise plan of what will be done with the money. For example, as opposed to a fundraiser for youth missions, make it a fundraiser for the youth group to take a trip to Honduras this spring. Specific projects always get better turn out than more vague ideas.
Exhausting as it may be, all the effort and time pays off when you see your financial goal realized. Remember to keep these tips in mind to get the best results with your church fund raising:
- Seek to not only raise funds but to educate the congregation about projects. They are more likely to support your efforts in other ways if they know what's going on.
- Don't plan fundraisers too close together even if they are for different things.
- Enlist plenty of volunteers because successful fundraisers are run by several people all with different and specific jobs and talents.
- Communicate with the congregation after the event to let them know how their support blessed other people.
Fundraising projects are vital ways to help churches raise the additional funds for community outreach or missions, and the fundraisers who donate their time and talents perform an important service. It's important to let the congregations know that these fundraisers are necessary because they will be used for projects that are not funded by weekly offerings. Most individuals are willing to donate a little extra for a project that they know will help someone else or improve the church.
Check out these fun slideshows for more terrific fundraising ideas: