Churches often hold fundraising events to pay for large capital expenditures, such as a replacement boiler or church organ repairs, or to subsidize a mission trip for the church youth group. Don’t let negative thinking prevent you from developing successful fundraising campaigns for your church, and never assume people won’t want to give to your cause; let them decide for themselves. Show your enthusiasm for your parish fundraising cause and get people interested in it with fun and creative ideas.
Pancake breakfasts are popular fundraisers requiring little more in the way of supplies than flour, eggs, milk, baking powder, sugar, butter, maple syrup and volunteers to produce a delicious meal. Pancake molds in various shapes and a toppings bar for an additional charge make breakfast fun and profitable. Community potlucks let your parishioners showcase their culinary talents while donating to a good cause. Spaghetti dinners customized with different types of spaghetti noodles and sauces -- think angel hair, rotini and shells with marinara, pesto and cream sauces -- and a variety of sides such as breadsticks, garlic bread and garden salad satisfy appetites for a taste of Italian food. Offer lasagna for a premium price, or set up a spaghetti bar with delicious options.
Although they require more planning and organizing than some other types of fundraisers, live music performances can draw big crowds and raise large amounts of money. Bigger upfront costs may be associated with benefit performances, such as sound and lighting equipment rental, insurance and contracting for security. This type of fundraiser has a longer lead-time, up to a year for big-name talent and several months for local talent, but producing a memorable live performance event brings in the money for your church.
Celebrities Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Leno and Oprah Winfrey have used eBay for charitable auctions, and so can you. The online auction section eBay Giving Works makes it easy for your donors and a wider charitable audience to contribute to your church online from the comfort of their homes or the convenience of their mobile phones. Online fundraising allows you to reach a larger, tech-savvy donor audience, and eBay isn’t the only place on the Internet for church fundraising. NetworkforGood.org and JustGive.org are just two online places where you can set up online fundraising campaigns, spread the word and support your church.
Fundraising by Blogging
Blogging is part of new media and is a fun way to raise money and promote your church. A number of free blogging platforms make it easy to put your church’s fundraising needs and goals in a blog. Have one or two good communicators in the church write the blog, or schedule guest bloggers, including the head pastor, visiting pastors and program directors. A paid blogger may be an option if funds are available, or there may be a writer in your parish willing to donate blogging services. Put payment options in your blog, link it to your church’s website and connect with your church’s audience with new media.
- People Raising: A Practical Guide to Raising Funds; William P. Dillon
- The Volunteer’s Guide to Fundraising; Ilona M. Bray
- Fundraising with eBay; Greg Holden and Jill K. Finlayson
- 199 Fun and Effective Fundraising Events for Nonprofit Organizations; Richard Helweg and Ellen Figure Sandlin
Heidi Cardenas specializes in human resources, business and personal finance, small-business advice, home and garden and home improvement. Her professional background includes human resources and business administration, technical writing and corporate communications. She has studied horticulture and business administration, and enjoys guest blogging for publications including Herb Companion Magazine, Natural Home Living Magazine, and Mother Earth Living.