While church fundraisers can use just about any fundraising ideas
, they also have several avenues to explore that are more church-specific. Obviously, church fundraisers can promote their events and activities via church newsletters and bulletins. You can also ask for special pledges and donations from your membership. Although you shouldn’t overlook these ideas, often your members may feel as if they contribute “enough” by their yearly pledges or weekly offerings, but there are some things you can do to sweeten the pot!
When writing a donation letter to members, be specific in outlining your goals and ideas for achieving them. In addition to asking for monetary donations, take advantage of the wide range of talents in most church congregations and canvass your membership for help. Remember that a contribution doesn’t have to be monetary. Donations of time, talent, and “product” to your fundraising efforts are just as important to meeting your goals.
Check with your clergy or church administrative officials to find out about
- Any special talents within your congregation.
- Member owned or managed businesses that may donate special services or products to a fundraising event.
- Past fundraisers that have been successful within either your own church or your diocese.
Although donation letters to members are effective ways to raise funds, canvassing by telephone is more personal whether asking for monetary donations or other types of assistance with your fundraiser. Here are some tips for fundraising by telephone:
- Each calling committee member should be furnished with a list of member names, addresses and phone numbers that include a space for a pledge amount, donation description, or a spot to write “No”.
- Write a short script to make calling easier for your calling committee. The script should include an introduction, a description of your fundraiser, a request for a monetary donation, and a request for any other type of donation you need. (i.e. baked goods for a bake sale, clothing for a garage sale, etc.) In addition, the script should include a thank-you— either for the donation pledge or just a “thanks for your time.”
- Use good telephone protocol. For instance:
“My name is Ann Jones and I’m calling on behalf of St. Mary’s church fundraiser for (insert the purpose of the fundraiser). Is this a good time for you? No? What would be a better time to call?”
- If your member indicates a better time to call, your committee member should make a note of that time to follow up. If the call is successful, the committee member should have a definite procedure for collecting the donation.
- A good idea when canvassing by phone is to form both a calling committee and a collections committee. Have callers pass on their information to collectors. In the case of donated goods like baked goods, callers should be able to tell the member where and when they can drop off their donation.
- When collecting donations through the mail, be sure to ask that the donation be sent by check instead of by cash. Also, be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your mailing.
Here are a few of the many ways to interest the other members of your community in your church fundraising:
- Put on a concert: If you have Barber Shoppers, Sweet Adelines, or a band in your congregation, ask them if they would hold a benefit at your church. You can also canvass your members for musical skills and organize a church band or orchestra. The concert can be either religious or secular music or a combination of both.
- Church Bazaars are always popular ways to raise money. Combine a craft sale, a bake sale, and some carnival games into one big event! Sell raffle tickets for a donated or member-made prize.
- Hold a white elephant sale or silent auction.
- Bingo anyone? Or use an idea from School Fundraisers and host a board game night.
- Sell a product, such as candy, candles or Christmas wreaths door to door or by catalog or brochure. Give a prize to the church member with the most sales.
- Hire a guest speaker for a church luncheon.
- Hold a church luncheon, spaghetti supper, pancake breakfast or ice cream social.
- Create a church web site and sell a product or products on it. There are dozens of companies that offer fundraising products for sale.
- Publish a member cookbook and sell it on your website and/or at your church bazaar, bake sale, or spaghetti supper.
As well as raising money for church projects, church fundraising is a great way to build community within your church and increase membership by showing that your church plays a vital and important role within your community.
Organizing a Fundraiser >>