Church Fundraising Brainstorm: Planning church fundraising ideas
No matter if your church is big or small, it undoubtedly has fundraising needs every year. That means that year in and year out you get the opportunity to switch up your church fundraisers and your strategies, which might sound taxing, but it’s a way to keep your congregation fresh and engaged!
With so many church fundraising ideas out there, it can be a chore sifting through every possible option to raise money for your church. We wanted to help take the guesswork out of it for you, so we put together this guide for framing your fundraising and how to maximize your fundraising efforts with scrip.
- Review Your Church Fundraising Strategy
- What Church Activities Require Fundraising?
- The Logistics of Church Fundraising
- Gift Card Fundraising for Your Church
- Marketing Your Church Fundraiser
The easiest place to start when you’re brainstorming fundraising ideas is to think about what your church has done in the past. This can entail looking at past calendars of activities to set a preliminary timeline for your various fundraisers. You can also look at how many fundraisers you ran over the course of the past couple of years and track their success. There’s a lot to learn just by looking at what you’ve already done!
Another good thing to explore is your church attendance throughout the year. As activities pick up in the summer, it’s fairly normal to experience a dip in attendance over the summer months. This dip directly correlates to lower tithing if your church doesn’t support online or mobile giving. Check out if and when the drop off occurs so you can have a plan of attack to maximize giving or fundraising before summer hits.
Once you’ve ironed out some of these scheduling details, you can rough-in time slots for different lower-effort fundraisers, like organizing a pop-can drive during high school graduation open house season, or holding a pancake breakfast for parents and students during the last week of summer vacation.
Having looked at the past year or two’s calendar, take a look ahead at what’s coming this year. Are you holding Vacation Bible School? You’ll need to address janitorial and cleaning costs, purchasing a curriculum, paying someone to direct the week-long event, and the expense of utilities and facilities to open up the church for a week. Are middle and high schoolers going on a summer mission trip? Factor in the location, how much money it will take to get there, and how many kids are going. Are you looking to do some church remodeling or updating this year? These are all events that tithing alone probably won’t cover.
It might be a long and somewhat daunting list of initiatives, but it’s crucial that you look at all of these events and then set your budget and your goals. From there, you’ll have a better groundwork for creating a fundraising plan, and you might even have some church fundraisers in mind already.
The next task to check off your list before deciding on fundraisers is to discuss the logistics of fundraising. Obviously, you can’t do everything on your own, nor would we encourage that, so you’ll need to figure out just how many volunteers would be able to commit to fundraisers. You don’t have to make the volunteer asks now but look back at years past to see what kind of volunteer-power was needed for each fundraiser.
You can also think about involving the kids whom these fundraisers will directly impact, like having a car wash fundraiser dedicated to Vacation Bible School costs that the kids would have fun participating in with their parents. Or hosting a parent’s night out, where middle and high schoolers babysit for a reasonable price while parents can have a date night.
In laying out the logistics of your church fundraisers, there are two big factors to consider: time and money. Think about the amount of time you have to raise funds and how long you could have congregants fundraise before they lose interest. After all, you don’t want to seem like you’re constantly asking for participation or money.
Additionally, you need to keep your budget in mind to decide whether or not you have the funds to run a fundraiser with upfront costs. While a good deal of product fundraisers are brochure-based, where members of the congregation check off what products they want then you order an exact amount, other fundraisers require you to buy the products first and then sell them. And keep in mind that you might not be receiving 100% of the profit from product fundraisers.
If you don’t have the budget to run a fundraiser with upfront costs you could create fundraisers revolving around a service, you could hold a brochure fundraiser, or run a gift card fundraiser that doesn’t require upfront costs.
Regardless of what other fundraising initiatives are on the docket, you could run a scrip fundraiser all year long without a ton of effort or volunteer-power. Here’s why: scrip fundraising is simply changing your payment method from your credit card to a gift card that you’ve purchased from ShopWithScrip.com. The gift card has a rebate percentage on it that goes directly to your church when someone buys the gift card at face value. You don’t have to sell the gift cards like a product fundraiser; you just use them for your own spending.
The rebate percentages range from around 2 to 16%, and they add up quickly over time. Plus, once families get into the habit of shopping with scrip and earning for your church, they won’t want to stop.
The other benefit of scrip is that you can decide where to allocate the funds within your scrip program, so, for example, a parent whose teen is going on a mission trip can have the funds go toward the trip. Additionally, with a scrip fundraiser, you can set up your program so that a family’s rebate earnings count as a charitable contribution and are tax deductible. You just have to have families sign an agreement form and then track a family’s orders when they start fundraising. Then you’ll give them their tax-deductible receipt when tax time comes around.
You’ve analyzed the church fundraisers of years past, you’ve checked out what’s on the agenda for this year, you’ve thought about the logistics and a slew of church fundraising ideas, and then you made concrete plans. Now all that’s left is marketing your church fundraisers.
First, make your requests for volunteers. Acquiring volunteers at the forefront will reduce the stress of following through on these fundraisers, and they’ll have enough advanced notice to dedicate their time. An added bonus? They can help you in your marketing initiatives!
While drafting up flyers to post around the church and writing notes for the bulletin are always steady marketing options, Facebook and your church’s website are two of the most powerful tools for sharing events, asking people to sign up, and spreading the word about the church fundraisers.
So there you have it. Choosing church fundraisers doesn’t have to be a tall order this year. Follow these steps and make your church fundraising ideas a reality.
- If you want to learn more about using scrip fundraising at your church, download our free Info Kit!
- For more church volunteering ideas, check out our Pinterest board.