You have a great idea for a church project, but it’s not cheap. If you want to pitch it to your church board, you’ll need to offer some potential fundraising ideas as well. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Whether you’re planning a youth event or rallying support for a church improvement project, these five money-raising suggestions will help you get a green light.
1. Push notifications in your church app
Any special project should start with getting your church on board. This means asking for their moral and financial support. A church app can increase the project’s visibility and create more donation opportunities.
Push notifications remind your people about the project while encouraging prayer and financial support. When they do decide to give, they can use the app to make a donation in seconds. It’s a win for everyone.
You can also use the app’s geofencing feature to remind people to give. A geofence uses satellite technology to create an invisible border around a location. When app users cross it, they receive a push notification. As people show up at church, you can send them an instant reminder to give.
2. Facebook advertising
Why not appeal to your community to help raise the funds? They’re all on Facebook, and you only need a small advertising budget to reach them. The process is pretty simple:
- Set up a landing page on your website. This page is going to explain the project, why it’s necessary, and how people can help. The messaging will be the key here. Potential donors need to understand why it’s in their best interest to give toward this project.
- Run some Facebook ads. Start by running ads to people who like the church’s Facebook page, directing them to the landing page. Since they’re invested enough to follow you, they’re more likely to donate than strangers. If you feel there’s a reason the project would have a broader community appeal, you can extend the ads’ reach to other local users.
Pro-tip: If you install the Facebook pixel on your website, you can even target new ads at the people who’ve clicked through to your landing page but didn’t give on their first visit. If they’ve already shown enough interest to check it out, you’re going to have a greater impact the next time you reach them. Also, this way you give potential donors another chance to give, in case they were interrupted during their first visit.
3. Design and sell t-shirts
T-shirts can be a very lucrative fundraising idea. There are a lot of sites online that allow you to create your shirts in bulk, and you can make a pretty fair profit on each one sold. Shirts can be sold at church services, on social media, through your website—you can even sell them on sites like Teespring or Etsy.
The key is to come up with a design that people can get behind. You want them to feel like they have to have this shirt. If you try to get by without something creative or with a lackluster design, you could end up in the hole, so solicit a lot of feedback on your design before you commit.
4. Host a date-night daycare
Hosting an evening daycare for donations is a fantastic way to generate funds while doing outreach to your community. There are a lot of couples who would love a night out but don’t have a lot of childcare options. With some strong promotion, you can pull in plenty of local folks who have never been to your church before.
You’ll want to plan big. Make sure that you have a large enough space and enough helpers to take care of quite a few kids. It’s a lot easier to send people home if they’re not needed than it is to pull people in at the last minute. You’ll also want to plan a number of activities for kids of various ages.
Pro-tip: Talk to some local restaurants about your plan. They’d love the business and would likely be happy to create discounts to entice couples. If you can get two or three restaurants offering specials that night, it’s an added incentive to draw people to your event.
5. Create a local coupon book
Creating a local coupon book and selling it to church members and people in your community is a win for everyone. Businesses drum up more traffic, people get to support local business at a discount, and you get to raise much-needed funds.
The steps are simple:
Send a team out to solicit businesses. This isn’t going to be too hard. They’ll love the traffic and you can probably get a “20 percent discount off one item” coupon without too much hassle.
You’ll want to make sure that you’re clear about when coupons will expire. Businesses will not be as comfortable with coupons that someone could redeem a year from now. So make sure that you clearly communicate the two- or three-month window when the coupons will be active.
- Have someone design and create the coupon book. It doesn’t need to be too fancy. You can send your design to a printer and they can create a book, you can Google some ideas for a DIY tear-off book, or you can even design nice envelopes and sell them with the coupons inside.
- Promote and sell it in multiple places. Be creative with ways you can market and sell your coupon book. Start with the usual suspects:
- Social media
But don’t forget to have the businesses in the coupon book promote and sell them in their stores as well!
Fundraisers as Engagement
Always think of fundraisers as more than ways to get money. They can also be opportunities to build relationships. With any fundraiser, consider how you can use it to find out more about the people who make up your community.
In interviews with 100 of the fastest-growing churches in America, we discovered churches who found ways to create income while building key relationships in the community. (For example, one church created thrift shops which employed recovery program graduates.)