In the past, a church would take up offerings on a Sunday morning by passing around collection plates. Members would toss in their cash contributions or write out a check and place it in the plate as it went by.
But if you want your congregation to stay committed to supporting your organization, then you’ll need to supplement your collection plates this year.
The traditional collection plate method should by no means be abandoned; older congregants and members who prefer cash or check still appreciate it.
Luckily, there is no shortage of fundraising ideas out there. While many are geared toward general nonprofit organizations, we’ll be talking about fundraisers that churches can easily implement and can offer high returns.
Let’s look at five great church fundraising ideas.
1. Online and Mobile Giving
Gone are the days when churches could rely solely on the generosity of parishioners during the morning offering.
The problem isn’t that churchgoers are any less philanthropic; they just don’t carry cash and checks like they used to. People are far more accustomed to paying with technology these days, whether it’s at home on the computer or in person with a card.
Why would they not expect the same convenience while they’re sitting in a pew?
What’s the solution, then?
Online and mobile giving are crucial to connecting with your younger crowd. Nearly 40% of practicing Christian millennials donate to a church or faith organization at least once a month. Many of those young people are donating with their phones or tablets during a service.
If your church isn’t offering them ways to give that appeal to them, how can you expect them to stay engaged and give on a regular basis?
By setting up an online donation form and encouraging mobile giving during and after church services, you’ll be able to engage your members that don’t carry cash or checks. You’ll also be able to receive more contributions from churchgoers that may not be weekly attendees.
Your regular members will also enjoy knowing that they can give whenever and wherever they’d like. They no longer have to wait for a Sunday collection plate; they can give on a Thursday morning or a Tuesday night with the help of online and mobile giving.
For some ideas on how to get started, check out this list of examples put together by Qgiv.
2. Daily Indulgence Drop
We all have a vice or two that we spend too much money on. Maybe you’re a latte fanatic or can’t resist a candy bar every time you stop at the grocery store. Whatever it is, those small indulgences add up to real money every month.
Why not kick a habit, save some money, and give some money back to the church with a daily indulgence drop fundraiser?
A daily indulgence drop takes place over the course of a month. During those 30 days, church members agree to give up whatever their daily vice or indulgence is. Whether it’s a venti caramel macchiato or a double cheeseburger with a side of fries, the indulgence in question usually comes with a monetary price.
Instead of spending money on those indulgences, church members put the money away in an indulgence fund. Once the month is over, the money that would have been spent on coffee, candy bars, or cheeseburgers goes to the church.
If everyone gets on board, your church could stand to raise a considerable amount of money.
Even if one person gives up a three-dollar coffee every day for a month, that’s nearly $100!
The great part about this fundraiser is that most people don’t even notice that the money is going toward something else. A couple dollars here, a few cents there, and you’ve suddenly raised a substantial amount just by cutting an indulgence out of your life for a month. It makes it seem like less of a sacrifice and more of a game!
3. Buy a Brick
Hosting a Buy a Brick sale is a great way to encourage parishioners to get in on the ground floor (literally!) of a new building, sidewalk, or entryway.
It’s also a good fundraiser for church members who want to leave their own special mark on your church.
Before you start breaking ground on your new construction project, ask your congregation if they’d like to support the initiative by buying a brick. They can choose to have their name or a short message engraved on the brick as well.
Your major gift donors might even want to buy several bricks to show their support of your church!
Once the project is completed, your congregation will be able to see the fruits of their labor every time they walk through the doors of the sanctuary or on the sidewalk.
If you have a new chapel to construct, a vestibule to renovate, or a sidewalk to put in, try a Buy a Brick fundraiser to show your church members the tangible effects of their donations.
4. Youth Auction
If your church’s youth group is trying to raise money for a particular cause or an upcoming mission trip, you can try hosting a youth auction to help them reach their financial goals.
A youth auction matches the talents and services of your church’s youngest members with the needs of the rest of your congregation.
Maybe an older member needs her gutters cleaned, or maybe a family needs a babysitter for a night or two.
Whatever the case may be, your youth group can be the answer to their prayers!
Host the auction one Sunday after church, and sell your youth group members’ services to the highest bidder.
Remind auction attendees of what their money is going to support, and they’ll be more than willing to start a few friendly bidding wars. Soon, your youth group will have the funds it needs for that mission trip!
5. Product-Based Fundraisers
Nearly everyone likes a batch of freshly made cookies or the smell of a premium candle.
Your church members might be willing to spend a few extra dollars to purchase these and other items if you’re selling them for a good cause!
There are many companies that offer discounts to organizations trying to raise money by selling products.
You can try selling:
- Fair trade coffee or chocolate.
- Delicious-smelling candles.
- Gourmet popcorn.
- Cookie dough.
- And more!
Alternatively, your church members could sell their own products to help fundraise for a particular cause or mission.
Many of your members probably have a talent for handmade goods; ask if they will offer up their products to be sold or auctioned.
Of course, there are a whole host of other church fundraising ideas out there. These five are simply suggestions for churches who want to give their fundraising initiatives a little boost. Pair them up with the traditional collection plate method to appeal to all parishioners!
Looking for Church Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Church Management software solutions.