Every now and then we feature content from outside contributing authors who help bring new insights into the world of nonprofits and churches. This article comes to us from Christy Gilbertson at Continue to Give, a faith-based online tithing and giving platform founded on Biblical principles and designed for Churches, Missionaries, Nonprofits, Individuals, and Adopting Parents.
In churches, the word fundraising may be seen sometimes in a bad light. More often than not, fundraising becomes a chore. No one wants to beg for money. No one wants to drive around neighborhoods for hours. No one wants random strangers knocking on their door. No one wants to spend fifty dollars for a box of cookies that they could have bought for ten dollars from Walmart. No one wants to fundraise. But it is necessary. What better way but through a mission trip can we genuinely show teenage students the world from a different angle? What better way, can we challenge their faith and persuade them to grow more Christ-like? What better way, do we become united as believers than when the only people you have to lean on during challenging times are those you could care less about in any other normal setting? Because mission trips are so important in the growth and maturity of believers, fundraising is essential. But fundraising is not only for churches attending mission trips. They are beneficial to every aspect of ministry, whether that be to cover the costs of new Bibles or to cover ticket costs for a worship concert. The fundraising ideas gathered together below are simple while at the same time they raise great sums of money. With an open heart, you may even find them fun to do.
Some Great Fundraising Ideas for Churches
The Wall-O-Money has become very popular among many churches. It is easy to accomplish, takes little time to arrange, set up, participate in, and is cheap! In order for this idea to take shape, you need to label two hundred envelopes with the numbers one through two hundred on each one. Other leaders or youth group members (depending on who the fundraising will be benefiting) can help you decorate the envelopes and help write out all the numbers. The next step is to take each envelope and tape it to a popular/well-seen wall in your church building. Then encourage the members of the congregation to take an envelope. Whatever number is on their envelope is how much money they fill the envelope with. The envelope should then be turned into the church office. One of the reasons why churches enjoy this fundraiser is because it can be tailored to the needs of the church. You may only want to label one hundred and fifty envelopes instead of two hundred, you may also want to fill each envelope with prayer requests, or you may want to include a thank you note in each one for the donator to keep. If you label two hundred envelopes and everyone is filled you will raise $20,100.
Stocks & Bonds
This fundraiser may be best when fundraising for mission trips, however, with some creative thinking it may be adjusted to the money needs of your church. For this fundraiser, you need to create certifications (or “stocks”) for each student attending the mission trip. On each sheet include their name, mission trip name/and or youth group name, the amount of money investing, and a note of appreciation. Each student should have a stack of “stocks” to give to church members, family, neighbors, and friends. Depending on how much the trip will cost, each student should have many certifications to hand out with various amounts on each. Some people may choose to invest twenty dollars while others may want to invest fifty. Students should exchange the “stock” for the money and record who invested in them. After the mission trip, an appreciation dinner may be held for students and their investors so that they may share their individual stories and how they saw God working throughout the trip.
The goal of Noisy Sunday is to encourage members to empty their pockets and purses of coins and place them into coffee cans passed around sometime during the church service. This fundraiser may easily be done monthly for a year’s time (or for however long is needed) and cans can be placed in a well-attended area of the church during the other three weeks of the month. Because it is simple to do and requires very little effort, it can be done during the heavily attended services during the holidays and the lightly attendance services in the summer months. An additional bonus is that it constantly reminds the church family to be in prayer for the mission trip and for those who will be attending.
You can start fundraising online using mobile giving, online giving, Facebook giving, etc. This can be a great tool for people that do not bring cash and checks on Sunday but rather to take advantage of the fact almost everyone has a credit or debit card. You can get apps to track charitable donations!
It is the responsibility of ministry leaders to guide and encourage growth in the church body they are present in. And there are several ways to inspire the church to do so; prayer, teaching, discipleship, small groups, Bible studies, and worship. But there is something to be said about taking the faith beyond the church walls through evangelizing on mission trips or to raise money for other church needs. Mission trips require that you put your faith into action. The word itself is no longer a noun but a verb; it becomes something that you do. However, the church requires funding to keep providing the community services and sharing of the gospel. And although it still may not be the most treasured part of planning, it can become a less dreaded task with the examples listed above. With good use of the fundraising models, you can rest assured that your ships will soon set sail.