Top 15 Church Fundraising Ideas That Work

According to a poll carried out by Gallop in 2024, about three in four Americans said they identify with a specific religious faith. When your church community needs help, you offer them your assistance with open arms and a caring heart through organizing church fundraisers. No matter your faith, online fundraising makes it easy to collect donations and resources for your church, temple, mosque, synagogue, or any other religious group or community. Check out these church fundraising ideas to boost your GoFundMe fundraiser, whether for a family in need, a mission, a choir group, a church youth group, a Sunday school program, or a holiday market, we have so many ideas to help you get started.

Get ready to fundraise for your church

When you are tasked with fundraising for your church it can be a daunting prospect. Fortunately, crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe are on hand to make the process as easy as possible. Fundraising on GoFundMe is easy, powerful, and safe. You can set up a fundraiser in a matter of minutes to support family, friends, and communities near and far.  GoFundMe takes out the pressure of having to physically collect donations from your community and makes it easier for people to donate. The best part is there is no platform fee, so you can start a fundraiser for free.

How can you raise money for a church?

Alongside crowdfunding there are many ways you can raise money for your church. While there is the traditional option of passing round a collection basket, there are also a plethora of more creative fundraising methods such as a scavenger hunt or a talent show to help you meet your fundraising target. Read on for more fundraising ideas.

15 fundraising ideas for churches and faith-based organizations

1. Youth groups, choirs, and classes

You likely have individual groups as part of your house of worship who all need a boost with their budget. Starting church fundraisers doesn’t have to be complex. After determining the amount each group has to raise, create separate Teams GoFundMe fundraisers for each activity—$500 for the choir, $250 for Sunday school, and so on.

This way, people can donate to their preferred team. Introduce some friendly competition to motivate everyone to fundraise the most they can and brainstorm some faith fundraising ideas to share on TikTok, Instagram, and even Nextdoor.

2. Faith-based telegrams

A practical, faith-based fundraising idea involves offering hand-delivered gifts from community members in exchange for donations. It can be centered around any religious occasion and is a great way to incorporate youth group fundraising into your community. The key is to make it an action rather than just a gift. Ask the youth group to promote it in social media, including Instagram.

It could mean singing telegrams, Christmas carols, gifting candles during Hanukkah, or handing out treats during Eid. It’s a unique opportunity to connect with donors and strengthen community ties.

3. Scavenger hunt

There are many unique fundraising ideas for churches, such as organizing a fun scavenger hunt for a holiday and requesting donations for participation.

Everyone loves a good Easter egg hunt! But you can also do a family-friendly scavenger hunt with clues related to the holiday or faith to reach a church fundraiser goal. This is an excellent chance to invite other community members to come together and enjoy some fun activities.

Encourage participants to share their search on social media and use a specific hashtag to allow others to follow along with the competition.

4. Holiday potluck

Of all the church fundraiser ideas, this one is a classic. Pick a day for a potluck dinner—it can be on a specific day of the week, like Shabbat, or a holiday, like Easter Sunday. Use your online fundraiser to organize what you want everyone to bring to the potluck.

Ask supporters to donate to your fundraiser instead of buying a ticket for the potluck. A potluck is one of the best ways to raise money while you chat about the food with whoever made it—and if you’re lucky, maybe they’ll share their family recipes.

5. Discussion conference

Church fundraisers don’t always need to be high-energy events. You can host a conference to share your faith with others and inspire them to contribute to funding lectures, talks, and panels with a donation for admission. The church youth groups can volunteer and help with set up.

You can record videos of the workshops and best talks and add them to your church, temple, synagogue, or mosque’s website. Only accessible for a small donation to your GoFundMe fundraiser.

6. Plug into Giving Tuesday

Looking to raise funds for your next mission trip or church choir competition? Take advantage of Giving Tuesday—a global day of giving—and watch as your fundraising goals are met and exceeded. Use social media, WhatsApp, and email to spread the word and see how your community rallies behind your cause.

7. Recipe Book

A recipe book is a great way to get the whole of your community to come together to raise funds for your church. Ask members of the congregation to submit their favorite recipes to be compiled into one big mouth-watering cook book. You can then sell the cook book after service and put the money towards your fundraising goal. If you have a small church congregation, why not broaden your target market by selling the recipe book to others in your local community.

8. Show Off Your Skills With a Talent show

A talent show never goes out of style. They are also a great way to get to know your congregation even better. Everyone has a hidden talent and most people don’t need much of a push to show theirs off! Set up a talent show at your church and invite people to sign up and perform. Charge the audience $5 for entry and before you know it, you will have raised a bunch of money and have thrown the event of the century.

9. Bring Everyone Together With a BBQ

The way to most people’s heart is food, so why not lean into this by throwing a BBQ fundraiser? Whether you are a big church or a small church, the best thing about a BBQ is that it can be a big or small event. Choose a sunny day and invite your congregation and members of your local community to swing by to enjoy a burger or sausage in a bun. It doesn’t cost much to buy the supplies and you can charge people a premium to come and enjoy the day. You could even set up a paddling pool for the kids and have a karaoke machine to keep the adults entertained.

10. Movie Night

Everyone loves a movie marathon. Grab the popcorn and a beloved trilogy and you are all set! You can even make your movie night themed and encourage people to dress up like characters in the film that you are screening. Charge people an entry fee and offer a prize for best dressed, then all that’s left to do is watch the donations roll in.

11. Yard Sale

A yard sale is a great way to raise money for your church, and clear out your home at the same time! You can either host your own yard sale and sell your personal items to raise the funds, or you can get the whole congregation involved and host a giant yard sale in the parking lot of your church.

12. Bake Sale

Don’t have anything to sell in a yard sale? Don’t panic, you can always bake your way to a successful sale. Encourage your congregation to get their aprons on and contribute one baked good each and have yourself a  bake sale.  You can either sell your cakes after church, or you could see if you could team up with other local businesses to sell your cakes at their events.

13. Car Wash

Most people hate washing their own car. Take away their stress and raise funds at the same time. Host a car wash in your church parking lot and ask members of the congregation to pick up a sponge and get scrubbing. Advertise the car wash in the weeks before in local cafes and in the local press.

14. Game Night

Gaming is becoming increasingly popular and is a great way to raise funds. Host a games night and incorporate video and board games. Participants can pay to play and compete against each other for a prize . Prize ideas could be a jar of sweets or a voucher.

15. Toy Drive

A toy drive can be an incredibly effective way to raise funds. It is an event organized to collect new or pre-used toys to give to children in need, typically during the holiday season. Start by setting clear goals and organizing volunteers, partnerships, and a timeline. Promote the drive through social media, flyers, and local media. Incorporate fundraising by setting up online donation platforms like GoFundMe and placing donation boxes at drop-off points. You can even ask local businesses for sponsorship. You can offer incentives and public recognition to significant donors and collaborators, and enlist influencers or well known members of the community to encourage donations.

Examples of successful church fundraisers

Arise from the ashes

With only 36 square feet, Missionary Independent Spiritual Church has been called the “smallest church in the world” but has served as a haven to many in the town of Forestville, California, and serves as a perfect example for small church fundraising ideas. When a recent fire destroyed the place of worship, the community was called into action by Deacon Millett, who created a campaign to fund the rebuild. He gave rewards to donors so that their contributions were met with various symbols of appreciation and gratitude. In less than one month’s time, they surpassed their goal of $10,000 and will soon be on their way to holding services once again.

Elevate your faith

The Daughters of Saint Paul in Culver City reached out to their community when they needed a lift—literally. With a broken elevator, these six sisters had been forced to scale the three flights of stairs up to their convent above the bookstore and media center where they worked. These lively ladies took to using video to bring their plight to life as they climbed the steep flights of stairs while singing Climb Every Mountain with smiles spread across their faces. In just under a month, the campaign raised enough funds to get their elevator fixed up so the sisters could save their breath for prayers.

Start raising money for your church today

Whether you’re a pastor, a parish member, or a friendly citizen who wants to protect a mainstay in your town, know that others want to help you. After you create your nonprofit fundraiser:

  1. Use the areas where people congregate before service to hang up a printed sign letting others know about your cause.
  2. Don’t underestimate the impact of the spoken word.
  3. Ask to have your church fundraiser mentioned in the announcements at the close of your weekly service.
  4. Check out these church fundraising tips for extra help.

Every cause needs an advocate to stand up and champion the plan into action. You can fill that role. Get started today by creating a fundraiser for your church.