Community based fundraising events are a great option for school and 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, and by collecting donations at the event.
What is Community Based Fundraising?
Community fundraising is about mobilizing your community to support your cause. Generally the fundraising is done by volunteers – a school’s parents or your church’s congregation members are great prospects. While these events are not generally the most lucrative fundraisers, they can certainly raise needed funds and generally do not require a huge effort or amount of time to plan. They also bring your community together and build relationships and support for your organization.
As an alternative for raising more via community fundraising efforts, consider peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns.
Community Based Fundraising Ideas for Churches & Schools
Community fundraising is a great opportunity for small groups to grow the organization and build relationships with other community groups. Here are a few suggestions of types of community based fundraising events to get your organization started:
Community Picnics and Bake Sales
Have volunteers prepare food and sell items to raise funds for your church or school. Tie the event in with food that’s in season. For instance in the summer offer strawberry shortcake, jams and fresh vegetables. In Fall have pumpkin bread and apple pies. This is a great way to utilize resources and talents and offer a time for your congregation or school community to socialize while raising funds. While you’re at it, why not collect all the recipes and offer a cookbook for sale? People are always excited to learn about a new, tasty recipe that is easy to make.
Car wash fundraisers can be very easy to execute. You can set up right in the parking lot of your church or school and charge a small fee (i.e. $10 -$20 donation). People of all ages can participate. This can be fun for the kids and for the adults. And why not sell lemonade, cookies or other things while guests are waiting for their car to be clean?
Walk-a-thons make great fundraisers for churches and schools alike. These events bring families and communities together, in a fun atmosphere. Everyone gets some exercise and there is plenty of opportunity for an after-party and more fundraising. Almost everyone can participate in a walkathon, either by walking, being a spectator or sponsoring a walker.
Community Classes & Workshops
Tap into your community members’ unique skill sets by offering workshops or classes. The classes may include cooking, canning, baking, knitting or sewing, basic car or bicycle maintenance and more. Schedule an afternoon or evening where community members can sign up and make a small donation to learn a new skill. This is a win-win situation. People are always looking for ways to expand their skills and find new hobbies they may be interested in, but learning a new trait may not always be so easy to do.
Parents Night Out with Daycare Services
Host an event such as a Parents Night Out where babysitting services are provided for a $10 – $20 donation per child. Parents are able to go out to dinner or to a movie without having to pay a babysitter for the hours to watch their children at home. Plus, the kids get to play with other children their age. Remember to take proper safety precautions for any event that involves children.
Yard Sale Fundraisers
Get your community to clean out their closets, garages and storage units and look for items to donate. Reach out to members of your congregation and local community and offer to sell their donated goods at a Community Yard Sale. This event could easily be hosted on a Sunday afternoon following church services in the cafeteria or parking lot. Consider offering pick-up services for people donating items, as this may greatly increase your sales inventory and help you raise more money by selling high-ticket items, such as furniture.
Promoting a Community Fundraiser
Whatever you decide on for your church community fundraiser, 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 organization’s website and your newsletter. Make announcements at your weekly church service or school sporting events. 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. DoJiggy offers affordable event management software to help you safely collect donations, and manage the details of your church or school fundraising event.