Best Church & Youth Group Fundraising Ideas
The best church fundraising ideas make for successful fundraising campaigns and are a great way to support your faith and ministry. Whether you are raising funds for a special mission trip, important youth group work, or resources for new church programs, we have compiled a number of creative church fundraising events and ideas to help organize a successful church fundraising campaign.
Choosing a Church Fundraiser
Church fundraising is an increasingly important part of a church’s calendar and something that many churches are good at implementing. Selecting the right fundraising event can add to your congregation’s passion for an event, and inspire those around you to support the needs of your church. As you paint a picture of how the money will be used whether it is for equipment and supplies, missionary or community activities, bills, maintenance, staff costs, or facilities – consider the church fundraising ideas that will inspire a donation and best support the mission of your church.
DoJiggy Supports Fundraising Campaigns that Work for Churches
Our Top Church Fundraising Events and Ideas
Churches have many fundraising options to choose from. So, what type of church fundraiser is right for your church or group? It’s important to get a small planning group together who are involved in choosing the event type. The time frame plays a part in your event type choices when considering the season, weather, holidays, and regular community events. It’s also a good idea to try and evenly space the different fundraising activities throughout the year, and choose a few different event types to keep things interesting. Here are our top fundraising ideas for churches and church youth groups.
Crowdfunding & Peer to Peer Church Fundraising Events
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or initiative by raising money from a large number of people. Nonprofit P2P crowdfunding allows individuals to reach out to their network to raise funds while acting on behalf of an organization they feel passionate about. Crowdfunding may also be referred to as peer-to-peer fundraising because of the way in which people ask their peers for financial support for a mission. This type of fundraising can help to foster a deeper understanding of the church’s mission and helps to build important new relationships among its local residents.
Peer-to-peer church fundraising ideas can take many forms. Walk-a-thons and Fun Runs are the quintessential peer-to-peer event, but these events can be customized to further enable the church’s mission and ministry. What about a pray-a-thon, write-a-thon or meditation sit-a-thon? Many organizations are now using peer to peer with virtual fundraising campaigns.
Another interesting church fundraising idea to consider is creating a variation of the peer-to-peer theme with a community serve-a-thon event. A serve-a-thon not only provides a fundraising opportunity but also makes a positive impact on the community. The church youth group decides on a serve-a-thon day where youth group members volunteer their time serving various organizations in the community.
Youth groups raise money by reaching out to family and friends and asking for donations in support of their service. In turn, participants provide the community with a type of service – whether it be a park or road clean up, painting of the church or local community center, or helping the church’s elderly at home. People interested in contributing go online to make donations and read about the type of service participants will provide once their fundraising goals are met. Common projects include helping homeless and crisis shelters, assisting the elderly, caring for less fortunate children, and participating in environmental conservation programs.
One of the biggest benefits of a youth fundraising program like this is that children learn to become servant leaders while helping their church or youth group meet their financial needs. Consider adding awards for top fundraisers. This can provide additional incentive for children to fundraiser through competition, and learn about setting goals and striving to achieve them.
Religious Items & Apparel Sales
Product sales are always a great way to get church youth groups involved in raising funds for your church and can work especially well at Catholic churches. Be sure to choose products that are in line with the vision of your church such as rosaries, bibles, and candles. All of these items can make for a successful fundraising sales campaign. Consider implementing a fundraising sales contest during seasons where certain items are in high demand. Why not sell nativity sets, advent calendars, angel tree-toppers, or religious-themed wrapping paper, to celebrate Christmas? Or what about items to fill Easter baskets and teach kids about the reason for the season? A candle fundraiser can be incorporated into either of these holidays.
Church groups can also sell branded merchandise online or at church services and events. Create beautiful, unique designs on a platform such as Printful, for church t-shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, hats, or blankets. A table can be set up to sell these items every Sunday, or you can set up an eCommerce store and sell them online. Add a blog to the website, to boost sales and report about your mission trip fundraising goals and progress.
If you want to sell branded merchandise for your church without paying for any of the inventory costs, you can use a platform like Bonfire. Their t-shirt fundraising platform is an easy, risk-free way to raise money for your church.
Christmas Fundraising Campaigns
Many churches run fundraising campaigns around Christmas. The holiday giving season is kicked off just after Thanksgiving, with #GivingTuesday, and runs through the end of the year. Year-end giving campaigns cannot be ignored by churches, since many organizations receive 30% or more of their fundraising dollars for the entire year during this period. This is the time of year when people want to give back and share.
Community-Based Fundraising Events
Community-based fundraising events are a great option for church fundraisers. Plan for community fundraising events and activities that require cooperation and encourage involvement for families and your congregation. For most events, you’ll raise funds by selling treats or handicrafts, by charging admission or a ticket price, or by collecting donations at the event. We have collected a list of community-based fundraising ideas that work for churches.
Organizing a breakfast fundraiser after church can be a relatively simple event that builds community. Let the congregants of your church join in after the mass to enjoy bagels, coffee, and other baked breakfast goods. Sometimes these breakfasts are also offered to the homeless community to add a service component to your campaign. Offering more gourmet and brunch options for the breakfast fundraiser will allow you to charge more for admission and draw a larger audience. Include a bake sale at the door, so supporters can take home some treats for later. Of course, you’ll need the chefs and cooks to make this happen.
Church Talent Shows
If you have a large congregation, ask children to share their special talents in a fun event for the congregation. You will likely be surprised by the results. Between singing, dancing, playing instruments, or surprising crowds with other fun talents and tricks, you could come up with an interactive show to put on for your congregation and community. Charge an entrance fee for your fundraising talent show and sell food and beverages at the event for additional revenue. Your entire community will enjoy spending time together while watching the talents of youth who will someday be the leaders of your congregation. Children will also feel satisfaction for performing a job well done and receiving applause and praise for sharing their talents while raising money for the church.
Add a fundraising raffle as part of the talent show. Reach out to the local community businesses to get items donated. Allow people to purchase raffle tickets when they enter the event and at the close of the show raffle the items off. This can be a fun way to raise additional dollars for your church.
Church Fundraising Auctions
A charitable church auction can be a great way to raise money for your church or church group. Not only have auctions proven to have tremendous fundraising potential, but they are also a great community builder involving congregants in a meaningful way. Your congregation can donate items from local businesses where they work, which also highlights the donating businesses. A silent auction can be added to virtually any fundraising event or run a solo online auction around Christmas. Auctions generally work best with at least one major auction item, which you may need to purchase.
Tithing & Donations Programs
Probably the easiest of all church fundraising ideas is a secure, online donation page with year-round constituent management. Donors can make one-time donations or set up a user profile for recurring giving by month, quarter, or another term. This software also includes gift management options for gifts made ‘on behalf of’ or ‘in memory of’ another person.
Online giving is growing rapidly, and churches cannot be left out if they want to continue to grow and thrive. A decade ago most folks donated by writing and mailing checks, yet today they have transitioned their giving and their trust to online fundraising. If your church hasn’t implemented donations software, contact us to find out more about your church’s options. We have helped many churches make the transition to taking online donations or tithing, and we can help you too.
Our online donations and tithing services also support free text to donate. Many churches successfully utilize text to donate for quick, easy donations and tithing. Text to donate is a more affordable option than giving kiosks. A giving kiosk can also be used to take donations during or just after church services.
Major gifts are significant monetary donations made by donors or sponsors to your church or church organization. Though major gifts are relatively rare, they are a very important aspect of any development plan, due to their large size. Churches are beloved by their congregants and as such, receive major gifts relatively often. But major gifts don’t just happen – a major gifts strategic plan is needed if your church hopes to receive major gifts with any regularity. The stewardship, outreach and cultivation processes are all crucial parts of a major gifts program.
Read more on developing a major gifts program here.
Your church fundraising plan should also include planned giving, such as bequests. Bequests are cash, property, stocks, and bonds left behind to an organization in a supporter’s will. If a church member wishes to leave a legacy, work with them to consider planned giving options such as a bequest. Since the population of many churches is aging, planned giving is something to explore with members of your church community.
Considerations in Church Fundraising Campaigns
The good news is, there is not only one way to run a church fundraiser, and most church fundraising activities can be adapted to work for many kinds of situations. We’ve created a church fundraising overview with guidelines to help you identify the type of fundraiser that might work best for your church. These decisions may all play a part in choosing your best church fundraising event. Things you’ll want to consider include:
- How much money do you have to spend on up-front costs?
- What are your financial goals?
- How much time do you have to plan and execute an event?
- What volunteers and resources do you have to work with?
You will also want to keep foremost in mind the kind of message you intend to communicate to members of your congregation through your fundraising efforts. If you are looking for a fun activity that brings members of the church community closer together, you may want to consider a community fundraising event. If you are raising money for school programs, then get the children involved with youth group fundraisers. Or if you are looking for a program that encourages a deepening of faith, perhaps a spiritual mission trip or pray-a-thon event is more appropriate. Keep these things in mind, along with your overall goals and objectives, and you’ll have no problem finding the right fundraising activity for your church.
Whatever you decide on for your church fundraising initiative, be sure to promote it throughout the local community. Add your event to community calendars, post announcements on bulletin boards, include an announcement on your church’s website and newsletter. Make announcements at your weekly church service and groups. Remember that hosting any event requires the assistance of volunteers, and various details to manage including event set-up, organizing collection of donated goods, promoting the event, and managing money.
Fundraising for Church Groups
There are many different groups within a church that may wish to conduct fundraising campaigns. Here we outline some of the groups and needs for special church fundraising campaigns.
Mission Trip Fundraising
Mission trips play a crucial role in the lives of countless people in the developing world each year. For this reason, many churches in the United States have mission teams made up of church members and church youth who travel to serve the less fortunate while spreading the word of the Lord. These mission trip fundraising ideas will help your church or youth group to make a mission a reality.
Youth Group Fundraising
Whether for religious school and pre-K programs, Sunday school, or church youth group programs, church youth fundraisers are popular. The good news is that church fundraising for youth groups may be simpler than you know – think food. From lasagna fundraising dinners to gourmet and pancake breakfasts, food draws kids as well as adults. Start with a beautiful event website to advertise the event, sell tickets and sponsorships online, and accept secure donations. Include an auction or arts and crafts show where the budding young artists of the community donate their art to support their church youth group.
Keep in mind that with every youth group fundraising campaign, you are teaching children about community service and being a part of something larger than themselves. Not only will this help your church financially, but it can also give children a sense of purpose and strengthen their faith.
Confirmation fundraisers are often held to fund group retreats or events where young adults can learn about the responsibilities to support their faith as they mature. These activities may include fun activities and games where adolescents learn the value of love, friendship, giving, and working together. Groups often engage in discussions about the Bible, lessons learned and applied to real life, and how to keep faith abundant without the constant supervision of parents.
When planning a fundraising event for confirmation, why not let members of your youth group do the planning? What a great way for young adults to work together as a team, help them learn organizational and management skills, set goals, and make plans to accomplish them. These are all valuable lessons that they can take with them to college, in their professional careers, and into the homes of their future families. Support and encourage their abilities to plan the church fundraising idea they select, and make organizing the fundraising event part of the fun.
Church Fundraising Resource Center
DoJiggy is dedicated to helping churches better execute fundraising events. With our Church Fundraising Resource Center, we strive to provide the best collection of resources to make church events more successful. Our goal is that these fundraising resources along with our affordable software services will save your church or church group valuable staff and volunteer time and allow you to raise more money for your church and mission.