If you’ve served in ministry for even a short time, you likely understand the importance of fundraising in achieving your church’s goals. To properly steward your resources and expand your impact in the world, you must take advantage of every fundraising opportunity.
But this can be a daunting task – where should you begin? In this post we will discuss creative church fundraising ideas, the technical setup needed to make online giving possible, and some key ways to promote your efforts.
Fundraising Campaign Ideas
While churches have traditionally executed fundraising campaigns face-to-face, many have found considerable benefits from incorporating virtual events and online giving into their strategy. The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has proven that there are significant opportunities for churches to include a virtual component to their ministry and fundraising efforts. In light of this, note that many of the following ideas can fit both in-person and remote contexts.
Nearly any in-person event can also be accomplished remotely. Even by simply hosting your events in-person and livestreaming them, you allow interested parties who cannot attend to still participate. When livestreaming, be sure to include calls-to-action throughout the event. Position CTAs at the bottom of your viewers’ screens or on your webpage for a timely reminder of the greater purpose that the event serves.
Any event you currently host that is popular within your congregation is a viable choice for livestreaming. However, if you’re looking for some new church fundraiser ideas, take a look at the following:
Ministry Video Compilation
Create a compilation of videos displaying a mission trip or service opportunity that your members recently participated in. Highlight the impact of the work they did, their testimonies, and the stories of those they served. Then, host a church-wide virtual movie night, showcasing the kinds of opportunities your members’ donations can support.
If you have a stage and a worship team, you already have the bulk of what you need to put on a concert. And if you have access to a camera and an internet connection, you have what you need to livestream it! Also, consider setting up a (virtual) merch table, at which concert-goers can purchase small tokens or t-shirts online. This gives attendees the chance to further support your ministry and to leave with a lasting reminder of the experience they had.
Ask your high school and college students to consider preparing five- or ten-minute devotionals on a topic of your choosing. They can present these via livestream or can record and edit them ahead of time. Your audience will undoubtedly be moved by witnessing the impact God is having in the lives of the next generation. This opens a door to invite them to partner in this work by contributing to your student ministry funds.
Consider inviting speakers to host lessons or discussions on various spiritually-relevant topics. For example, one speaker may administer a spiritual gifts quiz, helping attendees recognize and cultivate their God-given abilities to serve. Another may host a discussion on the Church’s role in racial reconciliation. Pick the topics that will be most impactful for your congregation’s specific interests and needs. This is an excellent way to raise funds while also providing resources to enhance the spiritual lives of your members.
If you’d like your attendees to be involved in a more hands-on way, a Do-It-Yourself event is a viable option. Attendees pay a fee that covers the costs of supplies along with a small donation towards your church’s fundraising goals. Two ideas follow:
Make-Your-Own Ice Cream Sundaes
This is the perfect summer event! Provide your guests with sundae bowls, waffle cones, ice cream in every flavor, and countless toppings.
Sites like Baudville.com offer affordable potted plant kits packaged up with sweet encouraging messages. What better way to be reminded of the beautiful results of spiritual growth than by growing your own flowers?
Another option involves creating meaningful products specifically for those in your church – products that unite them under a common purpose. By offering something that holds extra value for your congregation, you increase their desire to contribute to your goals. Below are two fundraising ideas using church-centered products.
Ask your members to help you create a Scripture or testimony calendar. Have them submit their favorite Bible verse or a brief story of what God has done in their lives. Then, compile these entries into calendars or booklets to sell to your congregation, using the profits to support your fundraising efforts. In purchasing, members benefit from the daily encouragement of their community and the knowledge that they’ve contributed to its growth.
Supported Ministries Booklet
If you support a variety of ministries, consider putting together a small book featuring photos and stories of these ministries. Include a link to a GoFundMe or Venmo at which readers can donate to support these causes. Alternatively, include your internal ministries! These booklets can serve as a tangible reminder of the kingdom impact that your church has.
Don’t be afraid to tap into your community’s competitive spirit! Divide your congregation into groups – perhaps by ministry team, by Sunday school group, or by age. Then ask each team to compete against one another in donation amount, hours volunteered, or cans of food collected. Every Sunday, provide a running tally to keep spirits high and teams motivated.
If you’d like to get more creative, consider hosting a scavenger hunt, relay race, or a Give-It-Up Challenge. Try to tie in themes related to your fundraising campaign. For example, if your focus is on combating hunger in your community, encourage members to give up treats like fast food and to put that money towards your efforts instead.
Competitions don’t need to be limited to your church members. Ask one of your partner organizations if they’d like to participate – see who’ll raise the most in the allotted time! Your partners may be able to share some unique fundraising ideas as well.
If you’re wondering where to start when developing a fundraising idea for your church, take a look at a holiday calendar for relevant days, such as the National Day of Prayer. Some seasons have higher giving rates as well; be aware of these timeframes in order to grasp additional opportunities.
Giving Tuesday is an excellent time to promote fundraising on social media; the hashtag #givingtuesday receives billions of impressions annually. Make the holidays and seasonal trends work for you. Find ways to tie national and local celebrations into your goals, and take advantage of the momentum these days bring.
Over half of respondents in this study preferred donating via an organization’s website to using cash, bank transfer, or PayPal. Thus, when developing your church fundraising campaign it’s vital that you create a positive giving experience on your website. To do so, follow these best practices:
- Ensure your site is secure, using SSL.
- Create a specific landing page for your campaigns and donation forms.
- Use effective calls-to-action. Explicitly ask your viewers to get involved and partner with you in the work you do. Include linked CTAs (when relevant) on other pages of your site, directing increased traffic to your donation page.
- Consider offering users the ability to choose which specific ministry their donation will benefit. This way, they can opt to support the cause most meaningful to them.
- Trigger a thank-you page after donations have been made. Sincerely thanking donors for their contributions can have a lasting impact on donor retention.
- Include socially shareable links on your campaign pages. This gives users – especially those on mobile – the option to share your campaign in the moment, maximizing your reach.
In order to make the most of your church’s fundraising efforts, you must be proactive about promoting your goals. You can do this by utilizing the Google Ad Grant, your current social media presence, and your church blog.
Google Ad Grant
Google provides a $10,000 monthly grant to eligible churches. This grant allows churches to run ads on Google Search and drive traffic to their website. That’s what we at Click Nonprofit are all about: helping churches acquire and maximize this grant. If you’re interested in promoting your church’s fundraising campaigns on Google Search, reach out to us for a free consultation. We’d love to hear from you!
If you have an existing social media presence, or if you’re just getting one started, this is a great place to maximize your fundraising efforts. Posting regularly about the impact that your ministry is having, in addition to your financial needs, keeps users informed.
If your church website has a dedicated blog page, that can be an excellent tool in driving traffic to your fundraising campaigns. Publish a post outlining your campaign and your desired impact, and include a link to your donation page. Chances are, the readers of your blog would be happy to further support your goals. They need only to be directed to a place where they can do so.
Although developing ideas for a church fundraising campaign and all its moving parts can be intimidating, know that you are well-equipped for the job! You understand the importance of your ministry and the needs of your congregation, and you know the promise that is found in 2 Corinthians 9:8,10:
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed…Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;”
Now is the time to brainstorm the church fundraising ideas that merge your ministry’s needs with your congregation’s interests, desires, and capabilities. Set up a campaign page on your website, and follow best practices to utilize it well. Remember that your ministry is valuable and promote it as such! Potential donors cannot contribute if they’re unaware of your needs; communicate them well and you will have done your job.