Church Fundraising Ideas (that Actually Work)
The Lord works in mysterious ways, but setting up a church fundraiser doesn’t have to be a mystifying experience. No matter how grand your fundraising goals are, the process all starts with an engaging idea. Not sure where to start? Not a problem. Below are some of the best church fundraising ideas to kickstart your fundraising efforts!
Keep the Following in Mind
Don’t forget to lay the foundation for a strong church fundraising event. Keeping the following in mind early in the planning process is key to minimizing issues down the road.
- What are your fundraising goals? The very first step in planning any fundraiser is to establish clear goals and objectives. Ask yourself: How much money do you want to raise? Are there other objectives that you’d like to accomplish? What are those objectives? Be as specific as possible when outlining your goals, as they are the cornerstone of your entire fundraising project!
- How will the money be handled? Since this is a fundraiser, you can’t avoid monetary logistics. Be sure to establish not just how money will be collected, but also who will be responsible for collecting and handling these funds.
- What resources are available to you? Planning a massive fundraiser is ambitious; be sure that you actually have everything you need to execute the fundraising campaign well. For example, if your planned fundraiser requires a large space, but the only location you have available to host the event is smaller, you may want to reconsider how you style your fundraiser.
- How will people hear about your event? Don’t forget that you need to spread the word among members of your congregation that you have an upcoming event. Ways to let members of your church know about upcoming fundraisers include posting to social media, having a lector announce the event on Sunday morning, announcing it in a weekly bulletin, or adding a fundraising page to your parish’s website.
- Will the event be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s important to keep your events safe for all church community members. If you’re going to host an event indoors, be sure to set up tables and chairs at least six feet apart and have everyone wear masks. You could also consider hosting your fundraiser outside, such as in the church parking lot. You might also try online giving by setting up an online fundraising page that requires no physical contact to work.
Ideas for Church Fundraising
Fundraisers take time and resources to be effective. Making sure your event is engaging and well-planned can increase the odds that you reach your fundraising goals. The following are some great ideas that you can use to craft the perfect event.
1. Chili Cook-off
Do you know someone in your church community who can make a mean pot of chili? Do you know several? Have them put their skills to the test with a chili cook-off. Sell tickets for a small fee and have the tastiest fundraiser in your parish’s history.
A walkathon is an excellent way to get your congregation up and moving while still collecting funds for your church. Simply have the participants pledge a certain sum of money for the distance they walk. You can hold these events outdoors and have them be socially distanced as well, meaning they are a safer fundraising option during a pandemic. If you have crafty parishioners, you may be able to ask them to create t-shirts to sell that promote the event even further.
3. Bake Sale
The classic bake sale is a classic fundraiser for a reason; with plenty of opportunities for congregant engagement, money raising, and delicious desserts, what’s not to love? To keep events safer during the pandemic, you can try hosting your bake sale outside, such as in the church’s parking lot.
4. Movie Night
Movie nights are a fun way to raise funds while engaging parishioners of all ages. Find a venue, grab a projector, and start selling tickets and snacks to meet your fundraising goals. What’s great about movie nights is that they are relatively easy to set up and they can be hosted either indoors or outdoors, depending on what’s available.
5. Silent Auction
Silent auctions are great opportunities to raise funds while working with community members. Reach out to local businesses and see if they are willing to offer discounts, gift certificates, or gift baskets to a good cause. These events are simple to set up and can be socially distanced, making them fantastic fundraisers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
6. Scavenger Hunt
By charging participants a small fee, you can engage both the adults and the children of the church alike, and everyone goes home with not only something tasty but with a great feeling of doing something good. This event works particularly well around holidays, as you could easily style this fundraiser as an Easter egg hunt. It can even be held for children after Sunday school.
7. Church Raffle
A 50/50 raffle is a great way to raise money during a pandemic since it can be socially distanced or even held completely online. The concept of this event is simple. People buy raffle tickets and the owner of the winning ticket gets half of the money raised for the event. This method is low cost for the church while still opening the door for a higher return.
8. Youth Groups & Choir Groups
Not only is this method a key way to engage younger members of the flock, especially with a church youth group, but it’s also a classic way to raise funds for any church. Ask for a small donation, which can go towards heating and lighting the church during the hours the groups are meeting. Additionally, you can also enlist the help of the congregation to find a viable youth group fundraising idea, which can also add funds to your good cause.
A small church may need to cast a wider net to meet their fundraising goals. A more modern take on fundraising, crowdfunding enables non-church members to donate as well as churchgoers. Best of all, since it’s an online fundraising campaign, it’s perfect for staying safe during these times.
The trickiest aspect of crowdfunding is ensuring the security of your donor’s financial information. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to set up a secure donation page by using any number of free or affordable fundraising software for nonprofit organizations (like a church).
10. Yard Sale
There really is some truth to the saying that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Now you can use this concept to raise funds for your church! A yard sale is an informal, low-cost way of raising funds a church may need. Have your parishioners donate items for the sale and have the proceeds go toward your fundraising goals. Alternatively, parishioners can keep money earned from their sales; the church can raise funds by renting out a space where the yard sale occurs.
11. Trivia Night
Trivia nights are a fun way to raise money for the whole family. Have your congregation’s trivia buff create your list of questions and sell tickets for the chance to participate. You can give away small prizes to the winner(s) while still making a sizeable profit from the ticket sales to go towards your church’s needs. The entry fee can be adjusted as you see fit, making trivia nights flexible options for raising money.
12. Car Wash
A car wash is great for raising money while offering a valuable service to your parish; you can even get your local youth group involved so parishioners of all ages can participate.
Who knew raising money could be so tasty? Hosting a potluck is a low-cost way to raise funds by having parishioners provide the goods for the event. You can charge a small fee at the door or simply ask for donations from your churchgoers.
14. Brick Fundraising
Tired of the same old fundraisers year in and year out? Spice things up with a brick fundraising event. A brick fundraiser raises money by having participants purchase bricks that are then engraved with the donor’s name; these bricks can then be worked into a new sidewalk or side of a renovated building. This type of event is perfect for when your church community needs remodeling, and it directly involves your parishioners in the process in a lasting way.
You can learn more about these events by visiting our page on brick fundraising ideas for church events.
When all is said and done, a successful fundraiser not only reaches your goals but does so in creative ways. Any of the 14 church fundraising ideas above can be a fun way to engage your church community while hitting all of your fundraising goals!