In an era dominated by social media noise, it can be difficult to raise funds for the various needs of your Christian organization with traditional methods alone. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of seventeen creative and fund ideas to re-engage your audience!
*Tithing statistic source: Balancing Everything.
1. Movies That Matter!
Few things get people to pay attention as a compelling story told via the big screen. Invite people to watch a movie relevant to your cause at your church. You may charge a small cover charge and then make another ask after the movie.
Fundraising ideas like this do extremely well with the community members and encourage people to engage and have more fun. This can also be a great church fundraiser your members would love.
Turn this event into a virtual one by having everyone watch the movie online at the same time and open a chat room for interaction while also asking for donations. However, the best way to implement this fundraising idea is to make it a hybrid event. It will be convenient for all kinds of attendees – those who want to be present in person and also those who love to watch a movie from the comfort of their homes.
You can set up multiple ticket levels online for the experiences you’ll be providing. Having an online event page and ticket levels ensure your event is easier to market online, your tickets and purchasers can all be managed in one place, and you can automatically send out receipts to all purchasers.
Donorbox Events lets you achieve all this and more – you can easily input the fair market value of tickets and the tax rate to determine their tax-deductibility while also accepting donations from the event page.
You can take inspiration from this simple but intriguing event page for a dinner theatre night by Servant Harts.
2. Celebrate Your Organization
Everyone loves a party. Why not throw one honoring your church, community, or organization’s birthday? And how do we celebrate birthdays? Giving gifts! Invite your church members and community donors to be a part of this church fundraiser.
Have a churchwide lunch or dinner for church members and request people donate to a certain cause. This can be a fundraising idea where the gifts all go to the local women’s shelter. Maybe the gifts go to the youth group for an upcoming mission trip. Tying donating to celebrating gets people more excited to give. Looking for more fun ways to celebrate this day? What about adding a fun Christian speed dating event to it or maybe an envelope fundraiser? This will only increase the fun quotient.
Religious organizations can also tie this celebration with a crowdfunding campaign. Introduce your congregation members to the ease of online giving. Ask your members and volunteers to spread the word about this crowdfunding campaign. Add stories, images, and videos to it to entice more attention. These campaigns are the best way to reach a fundraising goal within a limited period of time. Your community members would love to donate and share the fundraising campaign on social media to encourage others to give too.
3. Competitive Game Nights
If you want to ensure passion in your fundraising event, make it competitive. A golf tournament, kickball match, or a Bible trivia challenge. You might consider taking it online with a virtual trivia night. When people have the chance to be competitive as they give, they feel more invested.
A great way to raise more funds with these fundraising ideas is to partner with local food trucks, snack stores, and restaurants. You can ask them to set up food stalls at the event and they can donate a percentage of their profit to your organization. These partnership opportunities do great with local businesses as they are marketed to a wider range of people within the community.
For virtual game nights, have people buy tickets for the night and include meal options. Have your volunteers and staff deliver the food to their doorsteps before the games begin. Hire a host (or select a volunteer with a similar experience) for the night to make the event more fun and engaging throughout. Leverage online giving to raise money for your church during the event.
4. Reach the Kids (and Adults) with Video Games
Some adults will roll their eyes on this one, but creating a Christian fundraiser around video games will be a big draw for the younger crowd. This is also an easy church fundraising idea if you’re doing it for the first time.
Host a video game tournament, charging participants to join. When done right, this can be a great event. Discuss with church members, parents, and other supporters to understand which games would be the most popular among the kids and the adults.
You never know, since the kids will remain busy for a couple of hours, this might turn out to be one of the favorite church fundraising ideas for parents in the community.
Pro tip: Be sure the video game you choose is appropriate for all ages! Violent games are best left for older teens and adults. For younger kids through early teens, sports games tend to work best.
5. Education Pays
This can be an ideal church fundraiser which will surely attract a lot of attention from all age groups.
Maybe you’re the type that has always wanted to learn how to cook a great lasagna or how to sew or maybe more relevant life skills like creating a personal budget. And if you are that type of person who enjoys learning new things, you can safely assume others in your community do as well.
Ask your church members if they’d be willing to volunteer an hour to teach a certain skill. Charge a small fee or simply ask for donations. This would also work for classes on various topics and books of the Bible.
The below fundraising campaign is based on a virtual cooking lesson that helps raise money for the refugees. They charge an admission fee for the cooking class and keep a “custom amount” field open as an option in case donors would want to give extra.
6. Let Supporters Partake
Online fundraising can be fun for your supporters as well. Choose some of your best supporters, volunteers, board members, and friends to turn them into active participants. Let them create their own fundraising campaigns and raise funds for your cause from their friends and family. This peer-to-peer method of fundraising helps increase your reach and acquire new donors. Plus, it will keep your supporters engaged and bring them closer to the organization and the cause. You gain a lot and lose nothing; anyway, you’ll be raising more funds than you’d have without them.
The peer-to-peer church fundraiser can very effectively (in a simple way) give a boost to your donor acquisition and fundraising efforts. Church members and your community will feel more involved in the good work you do. But as they raise money for you, you need to remember to reward their fundraising efforts.
For example, this peer campaign shown below is being run by a supporter to help raise funds for Embraced International, an organization she supports. Such campaigns have great potential for success without much hassle from your end. All you have to do is choose the right peer-to-peer platform for your nonprofit and that’s all – most of the process will be automated!
Pro tip: Choose supporters who have good social media followings and a wide reach within and outside of the church community. That will help you widen your boundaries and have more people know about your good work. Remember to recognize their efforts, however big or small, during the campaigns and once they are over.
7. Cheap Car Wash
Fun ideas for church or Christian fundraising must always include something fun and engaging as a car wash. Why? Because this will be a favorite of your youth group. We know how difficult it is to target this youth group to become volunteers and to help raise money. Not anymore!
If it’s warm outside, why not invite people to come by the church for a car wash? Charge ten bucks a car and watch people willingly donate more since it’s going to a good cause!
Go the extra mile by offering snacks and drinks while people wait. This can be the simplest and a fun way to engage the youth group and raise money for religious organizations.
8. Bake a Cake…Auction it off
Get your church’s best (and worst) bakers to enter their best cakes or pies or other desserts to be auctioned off. Or use the desserts and have a contest. Best tasting wins! Have different categories to choose from such as age, gender, best fruity dessert, etc. Doesn’t it sound like a fun way to raise money?
You will also have ample opportunities to boost engagement with this fundraising idea for churches. Remember to add other entertainment elements like a movie night, bake sales, shoe drive fundraiser, a cook-off, Easter egg hunt, gift wrapping, etc. to liven up the event.
9. Church-wide Yard Sale
Everyone loves getting rid of their junk! Have people donate any unneeded items and host a big sale at the church. Any items leftover get donated to a local thrift shop. You’ll be amazed at what your church members will donate to the sell-off. This church fundraising idea can get the community together and inspire people to make extra donations. Do talk to them about ways to give from time to time.
Add fun add-ons to the event – games for the kids and challenges like cooking contests and trivia for the adults. Invite a local band to sing on the day. Include food options and sell tickets to make it an event the community would love to look forward to while also ensuring that you raise money the organization needs.
10. Football Tailgate
Football is a hugely popular sport for spectators, and a big part of that is tailgating. Your church can host a tailgate party as a church fundraising idea for local high school or college teams.
Have fans and church members pay a certain amount for a plate of food and to hang out. If your home team is playing on the road, consider having a large TV set up for people to watch the game.
This is one of the easy church fundraising ideas your church leaders can pull off without much effort and hassle.
11. Virtual Fantasy Football Games
Millions of sports fans spend money to play fantasy football each year. Why not invite them to spend that money toward a good cause? Host a fantasy football league and charge participants a certain amount of money to enter. Have a nice prize (trophy, t-shirt, etc.) for the winner at the end of the season.
This is another great youth group fundraising idea for churches and Christian communities. Your younger members would jump at this event invitation and may even manage to get you new players from outside of the community.
Church fundraising ideas that involve the younger members of your congregation are likely to improve their engagement in other church activities. This will only help spread God’s word and your mission further.
You can also sell branded t-shirts to the participants. Use a site like Bonfire, design your t-shirts there, and encourage your donors to buy from there. Any sort of branding associated with your fundraisers will only boost your outreach and help with marketing.
12. Parents Night Out
It’s Friday, and the moms and dads of your church family are exhausted. They want nothing more than a night out together for dinner and a movie. Or maybe just to get a nap! Good thing you’ve got a Parents Night Out set up! Have the church facilities open for 3-4 hours on a Friday evening where parents can pay a set amount and drop off their kids for a bit.
This church fundraising idea can prove to be effective and popular among younger parents in the community.
While parents enjoy their night out, have the kids play games and keep them engaged. You can include options like gift wrapping, treasure hunt, etc. to help them enjoy the evening.
Pro tip: Not only is it wise to run a background check on all children’s volunteers, but it also provides peace of mind for the parents as well!
13. Summer Picnic
Church picnics are always a good time for delicious food and laughter. Charge a small fee to come and eat. You can also have side games for participants to pay and enter such as a cornhole tournament or watermelon seed-spitting contest.
A picnic is a day-long event, so make sure you have enough fun, food, and entertainment planned for the families. But also, these events usually take a lot of prior arrangements. The best way you can ensure you have a headcount and nothing you plan would get wasted is to create an online event page and sell tickets. People who are interested will buy these tickets and it will help your team track the details and make arrangements accordingly. The better your planning, the more enjoyable this church fundraiser will be, for you and the attendees.
Do you know what’s a great way to liven up this event and also help the community? Having an adopt a mile add-on tied with it! Encourage people to adopt a stretch of the community roadway and help create a cleaner environment.
14. Arrange a Meetup with a Local Celebrity
If there’s a local celebrity that really moves the needle with your congregation, consider having them make an appearance and speak at your church fundraising event. It could be a well-known coach, news anchor, or other local celebrity. It could be an expert in a certain field brought in to give a talk. Charge a reasonable amount to attendees.
You should market this event well. Your church website must flash this event details and the celebrity’s name on the homepage to attract more attendees. Reach out to local media to ensure more participation.
15. Let Donors Match Donations
This church fundraising idea is the simplest of all but requires little homework.
If you really want to motivate donors to give, let them know whatever amount they give will be matched by another donor. You may have to research and get in touch with major donors or companies in the community, who have the ability to match the donations. It is advisable to build and maintain a relationship with them and not just ask for donations when the needs arise.
Matching donations can also be achieved with online donation forms with an embedded widget that lets you double/triple the donation amounts with matching amounts from donors’ employers. Donorbox integrates with Double the Donation to offer nonprofits the feature at utmost ease.
A donation form like the one in the below image can help you double your donations with a widget that encourages donors to find out if their employers will match their donations. This process is highly automated on Donorbox and you can very easily raise money for your church without much hassle.
16. How Much is There?
Fill up some jars with different fun things (marbles, candy, etc.) and have people pay money to make a guess as to how many items are in a jar. The correct or the closest guess gets to keep the jar. It’s a great way to give away fun prizes and raise money for your church at the same time.
17. Liven up Your Sunday Sermon
There are a lot of different ways you can raise funds for your specific mission or campaign. But few will drive home the passion of your campaign like a clearly delivered message during your regular church service. Especially, when you liven up your Sunday sermons, this can be a very simple yet straightforward way to raise money for your church.
In the weeks before, tell your congregation you have an important message in a few weeks they need to be there for. Talk about the urgency of the subject matter. Then on that Sunday, detail the cause and why it’s important church members take part in giving to the campaign.
Along with passing the donation plate, let your congregation donate with a text message. Also, this can be a preferable option for your youth group.
Text-to-Give is convenient and simple. All you have to do is share with them your campaign ID and a texting number. They will text that ID to the number and receive a mobile-friendly online donation link to make the donation. Repeating the donation is even easier with Donorbox – no need for filling out forms or inputting more details (shown below)!
Donorbox also lets you choose a shortcode plan to make Text-to-Give simpler for you and your congregation. With this plan, you get to use a shorter texting number and a custom keyword – easier to remember and use for your donors.
Make Christian Fundraising Fun – Over to You!
Raising money for your Christian community doesn’t have to be frustrating and difficult. Hopefully, these Christian and church fundraisers will help spark some creativity among your staff on how to go about raising money for an upcoming building project, mission trip, or another special project. It’s essential that you take advantage of technology and offer online giving to your supporters, regardless of your fundraising event or method.
Also, check out this blog on fundraising ideas for churches to inspire more creativity in your team.
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