Long gone are the days of churches relying solely on tithes and offerings. With fewer members bringing cash to church on Sundays and difficulties finding and keeping church members involved, churches have started holding events to raise money and promote their church within the community and online.
Some of these events focus on families or children. Others use missionaries or leadership teams to share their expertise with other churches and their members. Whichever direction your church decides to go with these events, online event-ticketing-cum-fundraising tools are an excellent way to sell tickets online and raise funds with peer-to-peer campaigns, text-to-give, auctions, and raffles.
This article shares how easy it is for churches to run an in-person or virtual event and raise revenue through them.
Most churches still hold weekly in-person services on Sundays. These services enable them to connect with church members, offer entertainment, and accept donations. But since the Covid pandemic, virtual events have become extremely popular. Many churches have also changed their annual fundraisers to virtual or hybrid events. These events let churches reach a larger audience and raise more funds online.
Churches have several options for in-person and virtual events. Some churches will hold bible readings and prayer meetings online. Some also hold an annual fundraising fair or other outside events and then turn them into hybrid events. These events allow churches to introduce themselves to a vast online audience as well as keep the in-person attendees engaged at the venue.
But if you’re thinking of holding an all-virtual event, you will have to make some changes to your fundraising strategy. Costs for virtual events are much lower, but most people won’t be interested in buying tickets to an all-virtual event. You should try to liven it up by inviting some of your best supporters, volunteers, and members to fundraise for your church before the event day. Let them raise funds from their peers.
On the day of the online event, reward them for their dedication and good work. You’ll have raised a lot of extra funds that way, at the same time, made the event more interesting to your supporters. Needless to say, you will have found some new donors too.
Pro tip: Whether your next church event is virtual or in-person or a hybrid one, you’ll need to find the right fundraising tool. Choose one that not only lets you raise funds online through donations pages/forms but also lets you create an event page and sell tickets to your potential attendees. That way, you’ll have everything in one place.
Managing donations and tickets will become more convenient for your church staff. Additionally, check for peer-to-peer fundraising and text-to-give features to have options to charge up your events whenever you want. Donorbox helps churches out with all these features and much more. Here’s a quick 1-minute promo video to help you learn more –
Events give churches an excellent opportunity to raise funds for their general funding needs or even a capital building campaign. The following ways are how churches can raise funds through online, in-person, or hybrid events. All of them are focused on raising revenue for your church and building stronger connections within the community.
Event tickets are the first and most obvious ways churches can raise event funds. Your church may have had success selling tickets in person. But online event ticketing tools give churches more opportunities to sell tickets and raise funds online.
When choosing the right tool for you, there are a few things you must look for:
The event ticketing tool you choose should be easy to use for you and your staff members. It means the steps involved in creating an even ticketing form should be less. Definitely not something that involves a lot of changes and technical knowledge. It should also let you easily create unlimited ticket levels as per your pricing strategy and gather information from your attendees. You should be able to let your attendees add their preferences while they buy the tickets. It makes the process a lot easier for your staff and volunteers and reduces manual effort.
After purchasing a ticket to your church event, people want their tickets right away. Attendees that purchase tickets online expect to receive their tickets and receipt by email. When deciding on your event ticketing solution, ensure you have this option and that it is automated.
While creating the ticket levels, you’d want to determine the fair market and tax-deductible values for each. You need to choose an online tool that automatically calculates the tax-deductibility of the tickets based on the tax rate and fair market value you provide. That not only helps you create a better pricing strategy but also lets your purchasers know the tax deductibility of their tickets. This transparency also educates event attendees and helps strengthen your relationships with donors.
In the past, your church may have had trouble collecting any information from event attendees. If most of your tickets are purchased with cash, you have no chance of learning more about those attendees or forming a long-term relationship. Also, if you aren’t collecting basic contact information, you are missing out on vital opportunities.
Your online event ticketing tool should collect contact information like the purchaser’s name, phone number, email, and address. This also saves you a lot of manual time and effort. Plus, when done manually, there’s always a chance of missing out on asking these questions to some of your attendees.
When you sell tickets with an online ticketing solution, you should be able to manage the sold tickets and your purchasers’ information at the backend. This helps you keep track of all the important details in one place, host a better event, and collect data that helps you analyze the effectiveness of your event.
Ticket sales are great but if you can encourage and provide a way for your purchasers to also make a donation, there’s nothing like it. Your event ticketing platform should give you an option to ask for donations right from the event page. You should also educate your potential purchasers about this option beforehand. And you never know, they might just donate some extra amount while they buy tickets to your event.
With Donorbox Events, your church can create an event page in minutes. It will also allow you to create unlimited ticket types and include the event date, time, and other significant details. You can also add the fair market value and tax rate for each ticket type and provide supporters with the exact tax-deductible value for their purchase. Your church will collect contact information for all event attendees, manage ticket details at the backend, and start long-term relationships that grow with your church. This blog will help you understand the feature better and learn the 3 simple steps to create an event ticketing form on Donorbox.
Another creative and unique way to raise revenue with a church event is by using text-to-give. Since most of your church members attend services on Sunday or online, you can introduce text to give to your members and congregants in advance. Share a campaign ID and a texting number. Most people have a smartphone and probably bring it to church. This will look easy and convenient to them as well.
Donorbox makes text-to-give even simpler for you and your church members with a short code plan. You can choose a custom keyword specific to your event campaign and let your event attendees text it to a shorter number. It’s easier to remember for them and type in. Once the text is sent, they will receive a mobile-friendly donation page link to make the donation. Plus, you can encourage them to repeat the donation anytime during the event or at your future events. Repeat donations are even easier – no need for going to a donation page again. They can do it simply through a text. Here’s how it looks –
Ticket sales or donations are not the only way to make money from an event. One of the best ways to raise significant amounts is through corporate sponsorships. Your church can add sponsorship options to your event campaign page or create a separate sponsorship page.
You can share how your church benefits the community and why businesses should sponsor your event on this page. Don’t forget to share marketing opportunities companies can get by sponsoring your event. If you are holding an event for children or families, connect with companies hoping to reach the same people. You can also share the number of families who’ll attend and how each company will be marketed during the event on your sponsorship page.
The Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County is promoting sponsorship opportunities for their upcoming Cornhole Tournament. They have added sponsorship levels to their event page with details of benefits under each.
Your church can encourage businesses to call or email your church office. You can also create a campaign page with a separate section for each sponsorship level. Companies can quickly sign up as sponsors, and your church can collect their sponsorship online. For example, the below donation form with suggested sponsorship amounts and descriptions can be really effective for your next church event. You can refer to this for inspiration.
If your church chooses to hold a virtual fundraising event, you may have trouble selling tickets. Instead, you can get church members involved in fundraising for your church by asking them to create their own peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. Church members are some of your most passionate supporters, and given the chance, many would love to help.
The best way to start is by finding a few members with strong online connections. Find people who are comfortable online. Your church can support their campaigns with updates on how you’re helping people and making a difference. These people can then reach out to their network and raise more funds for your church. Here, your church benefits in more than one way – 1) your event outreach is boosted, 2) you acquire new donors and can invite them to attend the event, 3) your church revenue increases significantly through each campaign, and 4) your existing supporters feel more involved and included in the church mission.
In the below screenshot, you can see a fundraiser successfully helping raise funds for Korean American church leaders through a simple and branded fundraising page on Donorbox. Donorbox lets you invite your supporters and create such simple and effective pages online to support your mission.
Silent auction events and raffles can be great additions to your virtual and hybrid events. Your church can collect in-kind donations, set up a separate campaign for auctions or raffles, and promote these fundraisers with social media and email marketing. If your church is holding a hybrid event, you can also live-stream the auction or hold an online raffle to entice more participation.
Here’s how Spirit of Prophecy Church made it happen. With the below campaign page, they accepted donations for their hybrid event and requested items for a silent auction and raffle. Their campaign description clearly explains what to expect from the event, why it is being held, the venue, and other details of the event.
Event campaigns are time-consuming and costly, but churches have another tool at their fingertips that most other nonprofits don’t. Many churches own beautiful buildings used only a few days a week but those other days can be a fantastic opportunity to raise funds. Your church can rent out the space. You don’t need to decorate or promote the event; just cover your church’s security needs and enjoy the benefit of opening your space to the rest of the community.
You get to increase your church revenue with it, at the same time, widen your network by establishing new relationships with businesses and people in the community.
Pro tip: Before adding event rentals to your website, your church’s board of directors must create a contract and come up with rules that follow your church’s mission.
The Unity of Boulder church has created an easy-to-access page to help people do just that. Church members or anyone else can rent out the auditorium, assembly rooms, or other small rooms for weddings, music concerts, or other neighborhood events. They have also mentioned charges/hour, the amenities included, and other important details on the page.
Church events and event rentals can be financially and spiritually beneficial for your church. But you mustn’t overspend on costly event marketing tools when they’re not needed. Hopefully, the ideas mentioned above have given you some inspiration to boost your church revenue with upcoming events.
Donorbox allows churches to create event ticketing forms and unlimited ticket levels at an affordable price. You can sell tickets, manage sold tickets on the tool, collect your purchasers’ information, and much more with our easy-to-use event ticketing feature. Learn more about Donorbox’s features on our website here.
If you’re looking for more ideas to fundraise for your church and other tips and resources, we have several articles on our blog.