Church Fundraising Ideas That Work

Faith can bring people from all walks of life together. Whatever your domination, your church can provide both spiritual guidance and close-knit community. One of the best aspects of any faith community is how people take care of each other—and when a need arises, fundraising is an important tool for every house of worship.

Start a church fundraiser

A 2018 study revealed that approximately 69% of Canadians affiliate with at least one religious denomination. With a population of Canadian adults hovering around 30 million, that’s a whole lot of family. So what do you do when a family needs a helping hand? You open up your heart and arms to help in whatever way you can. But how can you do this for your church community? The answer remains the same.

No matter your faith, a fundraiser makes it easy to collect donations for your church, temple, mosque, synagogue, or any other religious group or community. Whether you’re fundraising for a mission, your choir, youth group, Sunday school, or holiday festival, read on for church fundraising ideas to make the most out of your religious GoFundMe fundraiser.

Six fundraising ideas for churches

1. Youth groups, choirs, and classes

It’s likely you have individual groups as part of your house of worship who all need a boost with their budget. Once you figure you how much each group needs to raise, you can start a Teams GoFundMe for each activity: $500 for the choir, $250 for Sunday school, etc. This way, folks can direct their dollars to their favorite groups. Add a little healthy competition to the mix and see who reaches their goal the quickest!

2. Faith-based telegrams

It’s simple, really: asking for donations in exchange for hand-delivering gifts around the community. This would be perfect for any special religious occasion, but the key is to make it an action rather than just a gift. Maybe it means singing carols on around Christmas or handing out treats at sundown around Eid. It’ll be a great chance to talk with donors and make both you and them feel truly connected to your community and your faith.

3. Chore raffle

One great thing about faith-based community is how it can bring together people of very different skills together, from lawyers with their eagle eyes for drawing up contracts to chefs who can whip up a mean flan. Why not raffle off some of those skills? Whether it’s getting advice on buying a house from a real estate agent or asking someone who works in HR to look over your resume, both the people with the skills and the donors in need of them will benefit from the experience. This can lead to new friendships and connections throughout the community.

4. Scavenger hunt

Everyone loves a good Easter egg hunt, so why not expand on that? Create a faith-based scavenger hunt for a holiday and have people donate to participate. Maybe that means doing good deeds around the neighborhood, or it can mean doing research about one’s faith. Up the ante by posting about your search on social media and sharing your adventures under a hashtag so other donors can follow you on your journey (even as they compete). This is also a great chance to make teams and meet people in your communities that you might not know well.

5. Holiday potluck

Pick an important day for a potluck dinner—it can be on a specific day of the week, like Shabbat, or a holiday, like Easter Sunday. Use the fundraiser to organize what you want to bring to a potluck. Sell tickets for the potluck through your GoFundMe fundraiser, so that people who don’t or can’t make food can join. A potluck is a great opportunity to chat about the food with whoever made it—and if you’re lucky, maybe they’ll share their family recipes.

6. Discussion conference

Host a small conference about your faith and encourage people to donate in order to sponsor certain lectures, talks, or panels, as well as buy tickets for the conference. Invite people to submit ideas for review and invite people onto panels. Be sure to especially encourage youth to donate their time and effort. Record videos of the best talks and post them on your church, temple, synagogue, or mosque’s website.

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. When a recent fire destroyed the place of worship, the community was called into action by Deacon Millett, who created a fundraiser to fund the rebuild. He created 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 fundraiser 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 there are others who want to help you. After you create your fundraiser, use the areas where people in your church congregate before service to hang up printed signs to let others know about your cause. Don’t underestimate the impact of the spoken word. Ask to have your fundraiser mentioned in the announcements at the close of your weekly service. 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.