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Faith Leaders 6min read

13 Unique Fundraising Ideas for Your Church

What church isn’t looking for unique fundraising ideas? To serve your church’s mission and your community for years to come, it’s essential to keep the donations coming in. The good news is there are fun, creative ways to approach your church’s fundraising. We’re helping you out by sharing 13 of our most unique fundraising ideas.

Inspiring Generosity with Unique Fundraising Ideas

We hope a few ideas on this list are fundraisers you’ve never tried. Feel free to keep fundraising efforts already working for your church and add a few new campaigns to see how they perform.

1: Host a Community Event

Hosting a pancake breakfast, getting food donated, and asking for donations at the door are standard fundraising techniques. If you have hosted an event like this in the past, imagine thinking outside of the box and hosting a different type of event. 

Reach out to local performers in your congregation who are considering donating their time to put on a play, skits, a magic show, or a concert. Consider setting a suggested donation or presenting it as a give-what-you-can opportunity. 

How Do You Fundraise Virtually?

2: Create a Social Media Campaign

Decide what platform your demographic uses and plan a social media campaign. The over-40 crowd uses Facebook. TikTok is popular with younger users. You can use a site like Canva to make graphics for your social media campaign. 

Next, give a prize to a winner to incentivize participation. After they have made a donation, you might want to choose a random commenter on your post using a site like Give that person a small token of your appreciation. It could be a donated item, like scarves knitted by a church club, or something like a $5 Starbucks or Amazon gift card. 

3: Design and Sell T-shirts

Some sites like Zazzle allow you to design your merchandise, including T-shirts. Once you have something available for sale, you might put the word out via your church bulletin and social media pages. The company takes a percentage and pays a royalty to you or your organization for each shirt sold. 

4: Host a Telethon Style Event

A Givelithon allows your congregation to watch and celebrate as mobile donations stream in. You can go ahead and pair this fundraiser with refreshments and a fellowship gathering after service. Parishioners can enjoy coffee and a pastry while making donations using their smartphones and the Givelify app. 

A nonprofit organizer using an iron-on machine to make t-shirts for their fundraising event


5: Put on a Silent Auction

Auctions are a favorite among faith-based organizations and nonprofits alike. Your church would need to gather donated items and services and hold an auction night. Congregants can write on a list what they would pay for an item, and the highest bidder wins. The profit margin will go a long way in assisting your church’s mission if everything is donated.

6: Partner with a Restaurant

Find a local restaurant with a charity program. California Pizza Kitchen and Panera Bread advertise giving 20% of food sales to nonprofit fundraisers. Pitch it to your congregants as a family night out of food, fellowship, and fun.

7: Sell Gift Cards

Gift cards for causes and other companies pay a commission for gift cards sold, and that extra can go toward your church’s fundraising goal.

8: Fundraise with Amazon Smile 

Sign your church up to be on the nonprofit recipient reward list for Amazon Smile. Once you’ve done that, let your members know to choose your church as a recipient. A small percentage of the purchase price on items they buy through Amazon will go toward your church. 

9: Host a Bake Sale

Bake sales are a quick and easy way to gather donations. Typically, church members bake items and donate them and their time to run the sale. Make this traditional fundraiser unique by selling homemade loaves of bread instead of sweet treats. Take orders before baking for a seamless sale! Have your volunteers share a list of what they want to bake, post a picture on social media, and ask folks if they will order some! Make sure to add your giving link to the post. 

10: Publish a Cookbook

Most people love to give and get good recipes. Try asking people during services if they will gather their favorite recipes for a church cookbook fundraiser. There will be some cost involved in printing copies, or you can self-publish the book on Amazon and receive a percentage of the royalties. These make great keepsakes. They will also keep your church top of mind for parishioners for years to come.

11: Organize a Parent’s Night Out

A parents’ night out event could be a big hit if you have a fair number of members with young children. Use your church’s Sunday School area for a few hours in the evening to ask members to make a donation for a few hours of childcare so they can enjoy a date night out. 

12: Arrange a Chili Cook-Off

There are two ways to raise funds in a chili cook-off competition. First, those who want to bring chili can pay an entry fee. Participants can bring their crockpot of chili, and those church members that want to help judge can make a donation to try small bowls of chili and decide on the best one. You might present the winner with a small trophy or a gift card. 

13: Offer a Summer Vacation Bible School

If you don’t already offer Summer Vacation Bible School or a Summer Faith-Based Camp for kids, it’s worth considering. Some stay-at-home moms would be happy to make a generous donation for a week of free time to get things done in the summer. Kids in your congregation can learn more about their faith through fun activities. Fundraising by offering something needed in your community is a win-win for everyone.

What are the Most Profitable Fundraisers?

If you search for the most profitable fundraisers, you’ll see they run the gamut. Try a few options you’ve never considered before. The following year you can keep the most beneficial ideas in the future.

Make it Easy to Fundraise

Hopefully, one of these unique fundraising ideas has piqued your interest. Let you know t congregants can easily participate in one of your unique fundraisers if they use a mobile app. This way, they won’t have to worry about a cash transaction. You can sign up for Givelify and get set up for mobile donations in under five minutes.

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About the Author

Giving Illustration

Luis Orozco is a contributing writer. His passions and expertise are nonprofit fundraising and development. He uses Givelify to support his local church and the social justice causes.

Luis Orozco