Raising funds is an integral part of any Church and Parish community. It helps maintain the integrity of the Parish as well as strengthen the community by tying them together through religious and social activities.
Some of the best fundraising activities are around “selling” a product for charitable purposes. Some fundraisers like to offer “scratch cards” and other “gambling” style games, however, we prefer to make fundraising social interactivity and not a “quick prize” surprise.
Fundraising should be “fun and raise charity” to help the church and the community.
Here are our top 7 church fundraising ideas:
- Discount Cards
These are great opportunities to raise funds and provide a great incentive to the congregation to participate. Local retailers provide significant discounts within a set period of time, and the church receives a percentage of the discount as charity. This is a three-way win situation, where the church raises funds, the retailer gets a tax write-off, and the community gets a discount on their purchases. Cards can be printed locally, and pre-filled with a limited amount of funds such as $100 and offer different discount rates for different retailers that included in the deal. There are church online giving softwares which you can use to recieve funds easily and efficiently.
- Holiday Cards
While most of us think that holiday cards are dead, they still exist, and many still use paper and pen cards for sending a more personal message. Holiday cards are a great way to raise funds, and they also provide a useful resource for the community. Holiday cards can also be designed by local parishioners. Don’t make it a competition, just have a community social activity set up where everyone can come in and design a holiday card. The church will choose a number of candidates, and a local printer will provide the final product. All the proceeds from the sales go-to the church, since the printer will offer their services for free (Obviously.)
- Identifying Items
These include wristbands, badges, caps, bags and clothes and just about anything that can be stuck onto a surface. Identifying items come in groups and are centered around a theme. The sense of belonging accompanies such items, and most congregants are more than happy to purchase various identifying items to bolster their support for the church and the community in two ways; financial support for purchasing the item and social support, connecting the community through a central theme.
- Meal Meetings (with or without Fairground Activities)
They say that the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, well that’s true for women too. Religion and food have gone together since the dawn of time. All church rituals involve food in one way or another. Even a fast day involves food by removing it completely. Meal meetings can be seasonal, giving the meeting, a twist of Easter or Christmas always helps. However, it should not be limited to holidays. Arranging a community get together, a church barbeque and selling tickets per seat is a wonderful way to raise funds as well as to enjoy a great time together. There is nothing more satisfying than a scrumptious meal and great conversation, especially when the Parish priest blesses it.
Many such meeting will come with “fairground” activities, and all the proceeds are given to the church. Activities include races, dunking and accuracy sports, selling of homemade delicacies and arts and crafts items.
- Religious Items
This is the golden oldie of fundraising. Creating a line of religious items to sell is always a good way to raise funds, especially if it is a community-based drive. This means you don’t buy the item from a supplier, you set a theme and ask the whole congregation and community to supply the items. Kids and parents are working together to create candles, crosses, framed verses and scenes, and rosaries from various materials. You can even set a color or material theme just to make it more interesting. The number of arts and crafts experts in your community will surprise you.
- Flea Markets
This is a great way to raise funds; it is both communities based, open to everyone, and the proceeds are split between the seller and the church in a preset percentage. Some stalls might even be church-based, where all the proceeds go to the church. You can set themes for the flea market, or just have a good old bring al you got in the garage and attic kind of market. Anything goes, and if you manage to sell that old left boot, then you also get to clean out some of your space.
- Community Support or Indirect Charity
Another interesting way to help the church is to help the community through church directly managed support activities such as coming together to help clean up a house. Help buy food, help teach kids from low-income homes, help support single parents. There are a lot of indirect charitable activities that can be undertaken under the supervisor of the church. The indirect charity aims to help strengthen the weaker members of the community and congregation, which will lead to a stronger community, congregation, and church. Through investing in the individual, the community will build a richer future that will help support the church over the long term and not just the short term.
You don’t need to perform each activity separately; you can combine activities to increase their impact. For instance, arranging a meal meeting and setting up a flea market where all the proceeds are given to the church. You can set up stalls for community made religious items, as well as ask local retailers to set up stalls and accept payment with the discount cards that were sold.