What church isn’t looking for unique fundraising ideas? In order to serve the mission of your church and your community for years to come, it’s important 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
It’s our hope that a few ideas on this list are fundraisers you’ve never tried. Feel free to keep fundraising efforts that are 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, is a common fundraising technique. 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 might consider donating their time to put on a play, skits, a magic show, or a concert. You might want to set a suggested donation or present it as a give what you can opportunity.
How Do You Fundraise Virtually?
2: Create a Social Media Campaign
Decide what platform is used by your demographic and plan a social media campaign. Facebook is used by the over 40 crowd and TikTok is popular with younger users. You can use a site like Canva to make graphics for your social media campaign.
Next, incentivize participation by giving a prize to a winner. After they have made their donation, you might want to choose a random commenter on your post using a site like random.org. 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
There are sites like Zazzle that allow you to design your own 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 might want to 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.
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. If every item is donated, the profit margin will go a long way in assisting your church’s mission.
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 their 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 simply bake items and donate them and their time to running 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 are willing to bake, post a picture of it on social media, and ask folks if they want to 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
If you have a fair number of members that have young children, a parents’ night out event could be a big hit. Use your church’s Sunday School area during the evening for a few hours. You could 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 simply 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 that is really 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 profitable ideas going forward.
Make it Easy to Fundraise
Hopefully one of these unique fundraising ideas has piqued your interest. Keep in mind that congregants can participate in one of your unique fundraisers so easily 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 5 minutes.