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…
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.
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 can liven up these events with virtual alternatives of some popular fundraisers such as trivia night, raffles, auction, and more. We have listed 20 powerful virtual fundraising ideas in a blog to help your strategy!
Also, while live streaming your event, you should add your donation form to your live streaming session to encourage donations during the virtual event. Donorbox integrates with Airmeet, a virtual events hosting platform, to make this possible for you.
Finally, whatever your choice – virtual, in-person, or hybrid – make sure you’re using an event ticketing platform to sell tickets and manage event data. Donorbox Events lets you create beautiful event pages and ticketing forms. You can add unlimited ticket tiers, set tax-deductible value of those tiers, add ticket-buying deadline, ticket quantity, and more. Our ticketing forms are embeddable on your website – and you can accept donations through them as well!
The 6 Best Ways to Raise Revenue with Church Events
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. For example, Donorbox Events brings you the most powerful features to sell tickets online and manage your event data effectively. Take just half a minute to learn about this tool –
When choosing the right tool for you, there are a few things you must look for. We have listed the must-have functionalities of your ideal even ticketing platform.
1.1 Ease of use
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.
With Donorbox Events, you can easily create an event page and a ticketing form. Just add a name and description of the event, add ticket tiers, set a deadline for ticket purchase, and you’re done! Go live in a few minutes! It requires no training, no technical knowledge, and no extra effort on your team’s end.
1.2 Automated payment receipt and emailed tickets
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.
Donorbox automatically sends a purchase receipt including the digital copy of the ticket to your ticket buyers. These receipts will be especially handy for people while they file for tax returns if your tickets are tax-deductible.
1.3 Tax-deductible values
While creating the ticket levels, you’d want to determine the 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 helps strengthen the transparency between your organization and the ticket buyers.
Donorbox makes this calculation easy on your team. Just add the tax rate and the fair market value of your tickets and it will automatically calculate the tax-deductibility, as shown below.
1.4 Collecting and managing data
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. 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.
With Donorbox, your ticketing forms will securely collect all these details from your buyers as they fill out the form to buy tickets.
You’ll have access to all this data as and when you need it for working on these precious relationships! Your ticket purchasers’ information are securely stored in the supporter database. The event transaction details including tickets and additional donations are available inside the event dashboard.
1.5 Setting ticket quantity and a deadline
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, communicate with your ticket purchasers, and analyze the data for other important activities.
On Donorbox, you can set ticket quantity for each ticket tier and add a deadline for purchasing tickets. This creates a sense of urgency around your ticket sales and encourages more people to buy tickets. Of course, you must market this information via email or social media messages for better effectiveness.
1.6 Raising donations
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.
Look at this example below to learn how Donorbox does it – your ticket purchasers will have the option to make a donation right from the ticketing form. You’ll be able to enable this option while creating the event.
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 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 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. It can be done easily through text – no going to the donation page again! 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.
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.
4. Peer-to-Peer fundraising
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.
Donorbox Peer-to-Peer helps you make the most of this fundraising method. You can easily create a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign and invite your supporters from the tool. You also have the option to add a button to your campaign page saying “I want to fundraise for this” to allow anyone to opt to fundraise. Your supporters will receive an invitation to sign up and create their own fundraising pages on Donorbox. That’s it – just a few simple steps to boost your outreach and donations through the power of your supporters’ networks!
Look at how Christ Life Church enabled peer-to-peer fundraising for their crowdfunding campaign on Donorbox.
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.
6. Event rentals – a simple way to raise extra funds
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. Hopefully, the ideas mentioned above have given you some inspiration to boost your church revenue with upcoming events.
And as you leverage these ideas, Donorbox Events is there to make selling tickets and managing your events easier for your church! We have an array of other fundraising products and features to help raise money at your events and accept donations on a regular basis. Check them out on our website here.
For more ideas and tips on fundraising for your church, explore the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a curated list of the best Donorbox resources in your inbox every month.
Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development.