Whether you’re raising money for your general fund or your next mission trip, fundraising is an important part of your church. To do great things for your congregation and in your community, you need a strong foundation of support.
But how do you know what fundraisers will generate the most support? And how do you know that overall, your fundraising efforts are set up for success? Each fundraiser at your church should maximize profits and be feasible. You don’t want to put all your time and energy into planning a fundraiser that may not work!
These 85+ church fundraising ideas will help you decide which fundraiser is right for your church body. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find a church fundraising idea that will be effective (and entertaining!) for your congregation.
Before you get started with any church fundraising initiatives, take a look at how your church systems are set up. The last thing you want to do is raise funds in a vacuum. You need to make sure you have the tools in place to make the most of your and your fellow worshippers’ efforts.
If you’re not doing the following, your fundraising efforts won’t be as efficient as they could be. Worse, they won’t be as effective!
For all church fundraising campaigns and drives, make sure you are:
Look for an online donation platform that consolidates these fundamental features. There’s great free software out there that takes just a few minutes to set up—no programming background needed—so you can offer donors a quick way to give donations online. Setting it up means setting your church up for fundraising success.
The reason to do this before pursuing any of the following fundraising ideas is simple: People tend not to carry much cash these days. If your fundraiser inspires them to give more than what they have in cash at that moment—or to give at a later date or on a recurring basis—you need to give them a convenient way to do just that.
Once online donations are in place at your church, you’re ready to start raising funds to support the church you love!
If you’re in a hurry to get started, we’ve listed our top nine favorite church fundraising ideas first.
For all the members of your church who can’t help but hashtag #PTL (praise the Lord) on Sunday morning, a text-to-donate campaign is a highly effective fundraising tool. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly fundamental for charitable organizations of all types, because of its ease, simplicity, and speed. With two clicks, donors text a keyword (such as “give”) to your church’s text-to-give number, then confirm the amount they’d like to give. That’s it. It takes just a few seconds to support the church they love.
Not only is text-to-give, aka text-to-tithe, a quick way for parishioners to tithe, but it’s also something you can encourage them to do during live events, including sermons. Consider it the 21st-century version of the offering basket!
To start accepting text donations, you’ll need to find an industry-leading text-to-give software platform, and promote your new donation method to your congregation.
Here at Snowball Fundraising, we’ve seen how powerful silent auctions can be—which is why they’re a favorite fundraising method of ours. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more effective fundraising event.
Have members of your congregation donate items or services to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. You might be surprised—and you’ll surely be inspired—by what people will offer up.
You’ll need your technology in place before the auction, so everyone can give, whether they win the auction or not. Set up a text-to-give campaign with a keyword such as “auction.” Put handouts on the silent auction tables with your church’s text-to-give phone number and keyword, to raise money during the auction and well into the future.
As noted above, if your church doesn’t offer congregants the option to give online, then it’s missing out on critical donor support. Online fundraising revenue is experiencing growth every year, from $19.2 billion in 2012 to $31 billion in 2017. (Source: Nonprofit Source)
With online donations, your church can raise funds in a way that’s convenient for the members of your congregation. Customize your online donation page to match the colors and brand of your church, then include it on your church website. Although many church fundraising efforts take just that—a ton of effort!—this is one your church can set up quickly, with rapid results.
Everyone loves a good T-shirt, and more than that, everyone loves to show off that they’re an active member of an organization, especially a church. T-shirt fundraisers are perfect to promote at different events such as Vacation Bible School, field days, or a kickball tournament.
With T-shirt fundraising providers like Bonfire, you can customize your T-shirt design and either sell it from your website or buy it in bulk to sell at your event.
Crowdfunding campaigns are perfect for raising money for a cause that’s close to your heart, and one you believe others would be interested in donating to. Use your church’s donations platform as a crowdfunding hub, where people can tithe and add comments and messages of support. Here’s an example of what a strong online donation page looks like.
Pledge fundraising is a fantastic church fundraising idea for members of your congregation who may not be able to donate right away. Pledges are promised support of donations to be paid and processed in the future.
To get started with pledge fundraising, look for online or mobile pledge fundraising tools. Make sure you look for a tool that prioritizes speed, ease of use, and flexibility in its fundraising options.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is when supporters raise funds on your behalf. Parishioners will set up a fundraising page (with your help!) and ask their friends, family, and online network to donate. The great thing about peer-to-peer fundraising is that you can gain new supporters in the process!
Shoe drive fundraisers are a super easy church fundraising idea that also helps your congregation declutter! Work with a shoe drive fundraising company to set up collection boxes where people can donate their gently used shoes. Shoe drive fundraising companies will send you a check based on the pounds of shoes you collect.
With 72% of American adults using social media, this is an important channel for spreading the word about your church’s fundraisers. (Source: Pew Research Institute)
Use social media to tell people about your church’s work in the community, events, and fundraising initiatives. Share a link to your online donation page, and encourage people to share it with their friends in turn.
In fact, for any of the following fundraising ideas, social media is a great way to generate support far and wide.
Candles are a great gift for any occasion, especially if you tailor your candles for each upcoming holiday (Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day). There are tons of great websites that sell heavily discounted candles for fundraisers. Find the site that works best for your church’s fundraising needs, then ask volunteers to sell the candles.
You can sell your candles door to door, or you can advertise and sell them on your church’s website.
We all indulge a little here and there, and that’s 100% okay. But imagine the kind of money you could raise for your church if you challenged your congregation to go one month without that one thing they indulge in on a daily basis. Instead of buying that expensive cup of coffee or fast food snack, congregation members set that money aside as a donation.
At the end of the Daily Indulgence Drop, invite congregants to text-to-give the amount they saved. After a month of not partaking in an indulgence, it will take them just a few seconds to text their donation.
Bonus! Host this fundraiser for the full 40 days of Lent if your congregants are up to the challenge. Lent and indulgence drops go hand in hand.
A popcorn sale is a perfect church fundraising idea to treat your congregation of all ages. To get started, your church only needs to find a company that helps churches and nonprofits sell popcorn as a fundraiser. Send around pledge sheets beforehand to get an accurate idea of who wants what kinds of popcorn, and build up buzz on social media.
Alternatively, you can buy popcorn in bulk at your local warehouse or wholesale store to sell at one of your fundraising events.
Your early risers are probably hankering for a hot cup of joe on Sunday mornings. They likely also wouldn’t say no to a homemade muffin or scone. Assemble your coffee and muffin stand right outside of the service to catch congregants before or after church.
Bonus! Get a local coffee shop on board to sponsor your coffee mornings. You might be surprised by how willing (and even happy) to donate supplies some coffee shops are. They might even include some free cups and lids.
Use your online donation page to raise awareness for your church—and raise funds for it. Your donations webpage should have a brief description of your church and campaign, whether it’s for a specific cause or general church donations. Include a pledge button and social media sharing buttons, so donors can spread the word!
This is not at all what it sounds like. No, you don’t have to go out and buy a $500 wheelbarrow for the afternoon. Why the $500 then? Because a wheelbarrow can hold up to 50,000 pennies, amounting up to $500!
Ask to borrow a wheelbarrow from someone in your congregation. Then encourage each member of the congregation to bring their unwanted pennies and coins to dump into the wheelbarrow. You’ll raise more money than you expect!
Who doesn’t love a good greasy slice of pizza? It’s cheap, easy, and hard to resist. Order a few different types of pizza and charge a dollar a slice. Ask some church members (or staff or leadership) to volunteer to bring in plates, cups, and maybe some soda.
Many pizzerias will offer up deals and specials to churches and schools that are trying to fundraise.
At your pizza sale, you could have a “pizza-themed” thermometer to show your donations goal and how far you are from it. Each level could be represented by a different type of pizza (pepperoni, cheese, veggie, etc.). Fundraising thermometers an effective tool to motivate donors to give.
Buck-a-pound fundraisers are essentially fitness challenges. For every one pound a participant in the fundraiser loses, they donate one dollar to the church. But for every one pound they gain, they have to donate two dollars.
This is a perfect January fundraiser because everyone is already in the fitness state of mind. People are joining gyms and buying more fresh vegetables. Encourage these great habits with a month-long challenge.
Of course, make sure all participants check with their doctors before changing their lifestyle habits. Instead of promoting weight loss, you may wish to make this fundraiser more about healthy living in general.
The basic premise of the envelope fundraiser is that your church labels envelopes with different numbers on the outside. Your church’s members will pluck a random envelope from the bulletin board and donate the amount that matches the number on the envelope. If you number all the envelopes between 1 and 100, you could end up with $5,050!
The envelope fundraiser is a great church fundraising initiative for the more artistic members of your congregation. Let them craft the envelopes to be funky, colorful, and fun!
Quick fundraising tip: For all events, increase donations by putting up posters with your text-to-give phone number. While the activities are going on, people can quickly text in their added support!
Have you ever shaken out your couch’s cushions and found an extra chunk of change you didn’t even know you had? A super easy church fundraiser you can host is to implore your members to go on a treasure hunt to look for all that spare change that gets tucked away. Your members can bring in that change and donate it on Sunday.
Have your congregation search their couches, cars, and laundry rooms to find spare change. Because it’s money they didn’t even know they had, they won’t miss it quite as much!
This classic church fundraising idea only requires some volunteer bakers and some more volunteers to sell the cookies and cupcakes. We suggest enlisting the help of your Sunday school’s finest helpers. You can put out a call on social media, and then use social media again to spread the word about the bake sale after the details are worked out.
Once you have your volunteer bakers and adorable salespeople, scope out the ideal location for your bake sale. After church lets out, assemble your teams and start pushing those perfect pastries!
Kids of all ages—and grownups too—are suckers for suckers. Lollipops are ultra inexpensive, and there are tons of sites that sell tasty lollipops in bulk for very reasonable prices. You can charge just $1 per lollipop and end up with almost pure profit!
Just let a few people in your church know about your fundraiser, and they’ll be sure to tell their family and friends. Before you know it, everyone will be asking where they can get gourmet lollipops to help out the church.
Apart from the cost of a roll of tickets, a large mason jar, and three bags of M&Ms to fill the jar, this fundraiser is essentially free. Fill the container with the M&Ms (or other small countable items). Then charge people $1 for the chance to guess how many pieces of candy are in the jar. Reward the person with the closest answer with the jar itself.
Kids (and adults too) will love the chance to bring home such a big jar of candy. It’s like a mini raffle that requires slightly more finesse.
For all events, before the fun gets underway, make sure your church donations software is up and running. This will help with post-event donations, for attendees who want to keep the generosity going!
Jumble sales are perfect for your women’s ministry. It’s pretty likely that if you were to ask a woman in your congregation, “Do you have any clothes that you don’t wear?” she’d say yes without hesitation. Give those women the chance to swap clothes with each other and appreciate old clothes anew.
Jumble sales are essentially yard sales specifically for clothing. Ask your congregants to round up clothes they no longer wear, with prices in mind. Set up those clothes and invite everyone in your church to be a part of the sale.
If your church members are looking to have a little bit of family-friendly fun after church on Sunday, you can host an afternoon game of trivia right there in your service hall. Charge a small entrance fee to raise a little money while your congregants have a great time.
Start by coming up with a list of questions and categories. Once you have them, you can create a presentation—or if you’re more low-tech, you can print off answer sheets to pass out. Designate one member of your church as game-show host, and let the game begin!
You probably have more than a few church members in your congregation who think their chili recipe is the best around. The best way to end this silent rivalry between your church’s chili experts is to hold a definitive chili cook-off.
Some church donations platforms have optional/additional events management functionality, which you can use to keep track of who’s coming.
The first step for this church fundraising idea is to pick the time and place for the competition (late fall or early winter is an ideal time for chili). Then, charge a small entry fee to enter the competition. On the day of the competition, provide tasting bowls, judges, and finally a prize to the winner!
Take one part bingo. Add a dash of raffle ticket sales. Mix in a pinch of festive baskets. No need to preheat the oven. Your recipe for the perfect basket raffle bingo is complete. Ask members of your congregation to donate contributions for your prize baskets.
Once you have your prizes, sell raffle tickets for the bingo night. The more tickets a bingo player has, the more likely they’ll be to win the basket of their choice. If you’re struggling with basket ideas, try themes like a spa basket, fruit basket, picnic basket, or coffee basket.
The main difference between a typical road race and a virtual race: a virtual race can be run anywhere. Set a date for your race and have your out-of-town members mark it on their calendars. Set up a giving portal as a way for members to make pledges.
Participants in the race will pledge a few dollars per mile they plan to run, so the farther they run, the more money they’ll donate to your church.
Thanks to crowdfunding, 5K fun runs have become one of the easiest fundraisers with some of the lowest overhead—which is great news if you’re looking to host more than just a couple of fun runs a year.
To set up this fundraiser, your first step is to figure out a loop to run. Next, set up your event through your donations platform, and collect your race fees. On the day of the race, place markers in the right spots, and have volunteers pass out race essentials such as water and race numbers. The final step is to just have fun!
If you do end up hosting a few 5Ks a year, some event management systems will let you arrange unlimited events through them.
Color runs are all the rage! Young and old alike will pay to get absolutely covered in colorful powder as they run. And it’s all for a great cause; what could be better? Color runs work just like any other standard 5K fundraiser—they’re just more colorful.
Through online donation pages, you can instantaneously raise the money for your color run. Encourage your race participants to wear their finest white running outfits. They’ll be getting extremely colorful by the end of the race!
You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are a number of eligible bachelors and bachelorettes sitting next to you on Sunday. A great way to bring these Christian singles out to mingle is to host a speed dating night.
All the church’s singles can buy event tickets to participate in a night of quick get-to-know-you’s. They may end up meeting a new Bible study buddy!
Yard sales are a perfect church fundraising event for first-time fundraisers. They’re easy to plan, simple to set up, and almost 100% profitable.
Ask your congregants to bring two or three boxes of gently used items and set up some tables in the churchyard or parking lot. As your members are filing out of Sunday service, they’ll love perusing the goodies laid out in front of them.
Many women feel as though they could use more female friends. So why not treat the women in your church to a special ladies’ day?
To get started with a ladies’ day, you must first decide what kind of event you’re hosting. Try ideas like a nice brunch, a spa day, or a good old-fashioned chick flick. Once you’ve decided what you’re doing, start selling tickets for anywhere between about $10 and $50, depending on what you have planned.
Establish a regular bingo night. Once you’ve decided to host bingo every third Wednesday of each month (of whenever!), you can send out an email blast to invite your congregation to participate. Charge just a couple dollars per bingo card, and get the game rolling.
Bingo is a fun game for folks ages 4 to 99. It’s an incredibly easy church fundraising event. All you need to host it are score cards, bingo chips, an announcer, and maybe a couple of prizes for winners.
There’s some pretty rampant nostalgia popping up for the 90s. Millennials everywhere are reminiscing about the “good old days” when they were kids. Tap into that nostalgia by hosting a 90s party at your church.
To host the perfect 90s party, you’ll need a killer playlist—think TLC, Britney Spears, and the Backstreet Boys—a 90s dress code, and simple decor (because the 90s were a simpler time). Charge for tickets in advance through your donations software, and at the door. Try setting up classic party games like Twister and Limbo!
Encourage support of your church’s youth group with the following ideas. For any of them, enhance donations by also highlighting your church’s text-to-give phone number. Nine in ten millennials own smartphones; text donations allow them to use their phones for good!
Scrabble! Risk! Monopoly! Life! Battleship! Clue! The list goes on. Nowadays, too many games are virtual. Bring everyone back to a time of simple, old-fashioned board games with a retro game night.
This church fundraising event is as easy as asking congregation members to bring in their favorite old games. Sell tickets for $1 or $2. You can have prizes for the winners, or it can be all about healthy competition.
This is an exciting and engaging fundraiser that’s sure to get participants riled up. Throwing a bail-out fundraiser means tying up one or more church members (or leaders) and refusing to untie them until their “bail” or “ransom” has been met by the congregation. The bail, of course, is the fundraising goal to be met.
Use a fundraising thermometer to show everyone how close they are to letting the person go free. Here’s how.
This event would be easiest to pull off during a church service, when everyone is in attendance. But you wouldn’t want it to be too much of a distraction, so be sure to pick a less eventful Sunday.
“Make the grade” fundraisers are a fantastic way to motivate your church’s Sunday school youth group members to get the best marks in school. All it really involves is students (of any age) signing up at the beginning of the semester to be a part of the challenge.
For every A (or B) they receive, participants will ask donors to pledge a dollar or two. At the end of the grading period, youth group members will bring in their report cards and cash in those pledges.
Who doesn’t love a fun karaoke night out? Well, now you can bring all of that excitement and good-natured fun into your church hall. Just set up a karaoke machine, or make one of your own using the church’s projector and lyrics videos on YouTube.
Charge a few dollars for admission, or charge per song. Your youth group is bound to love the chance to pretend they’re the next Beyoncé or Justin. This youth group fundraising idea is sure to leave people both singing and laughing.
Your youth group’s members probably own at least a dozen hats. One beanie, one fedora, one baseball cap, one Indiana Jones wool hat, etc. But they’re not allowed to wear these cool hats at school (or during the church service!). They’ll jump at the opportunity to pay a dollar to wear their favorite cap on Sunday morning.
There’s nothing more fun than seeing your members expressing themselves, all while supporting a great cause.
Books for Bucks is like a yard sale; it’s just a little more specific. Instead of allowing your old books to gather dust, sell them to fund your next youth group mission trip!
Pick a time and place for the sale, then encourage church members to donate their old books to sell. Your youth might even find next year’s summer reading requirement at this unique church fundraiser.
With the help of Youtube and Google, anyone can become a mind-blowing magician. As a youth group fundraiser, your church can host a night of magic tricks and illusions.
First, pick a night for the event. Treat the magic show as though it were a talent show, and present sign-up sheets for willing participants. If a youth group member doesn’t want to show off their magic skills in front of a crowd, they can volunteer to be a part of the backstage crew. Sell tickets ahead of time, and prepare to be amazed by what your church’s youth can do!
Quick fundraising tip: For ticketed events, make sure your event management software collects ticket buyers’ registration information, such as names and email addresses, so you can reach out to them later. Express thanks for their support, and build a relationship that extends beyond the initial donation.
If you’ve never charmed a worm before, get ready to get your hands dirty! This fundraiser works by providing paying customers (donors, church members, random passersby) with a dirt plot full of worms.
By the end of a certain amount of time (typically 20 minutes), the farmer who has “charmed” the most worms to the surface of the dirt plot without digging any of them out wins a prize.
Appeal to the night owls and dancing fools alike by hosting an all-night dance party right in your church’s service hall. You only need to charge a few dollars a ticket in order to break even on costs and make a little extra for your church.
Decorations can be minimal as long as the beats are blasting. Put up fun posters around the dance hall with your text-to-give number and the web page for your church’s online donations. Attendees can donate during dance breaks, before getting back on the floor.
Hire a DJ, or master your own playlist. All that matters is that the dancing doesn’t stop ’til morning!
Get ready to get crafty! Your Sunday school students can craft their own calendars to sell as gifts. Break out the glitter, magic markers, and stickers. Collect your students’ artwork, along with photos of the Sunday school class and pictures of the kids at church, to put together a calendar they will treasure forever.
Don’t forget to pack the calendar full of upcoming church events and other church fundraisers.
Quick fundraising tip: Once your fundraising event or donations page is live, let congregants know about it through social media, your church’s website, email, and any other communication channels you’ve found to be effective. Read more about social media and fundraising.
Noisy Sunday is a fun and easy church fundraiser that can be used multiple times a year. It involves your Sunday school students running up and down the church aisles with half-empty cans and jars of change, making as much noise as they possibly can.
The point is to encourage everyone in the service to donate as much as they can to fill up the cans and make the noise disappear. Be sure to give your congregation a heads up, so they come prepared with change and bills to fill the noisy cans!
Your youth group will love this unique way to raise money for their trips. Encourage them to help host (and participate in!) a burrito mile fundraiser. Burrito miles are just like your typical 5K race, except right before your runners start, they eat a huge burrito.
All you really need to do differently from any normal 5K fundraiser is to find a restaurant that’s willing to sponsor the race by providing burritos. A burrito mile is a fun challenge, and your church’s members will love to buy T-shirts afterwards to commemorate the zany experience.
Come one, come all! Get your faces painted like lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Face painting fundraisers are lovely when the weather starts to get nice again, and everyone wants to be outside basking in the glorious sun.
You can easily find inexpensive face painting kits, and there are sure to be at least a few members of your church who would love to be the artists.
Dog washes are a great church fundraising idea for the whole family, Fido included! You can hold your church’s dog wash in the parking lot or somewhere with a ton of room for multiple “groomers” to set up shop.
Put up signs and flyers all over the neighborhood to attract all the pooches to your fundraiser. Include your church’s text-to-give phone number on them, so even if people don’t come to the dog wash, they know how to show their support.
Charge a small amount for people to come and have their dogs washed. Who doesn’t love a freshly pampered poodle? Those tufts of fur are irresistibly cute!
For an international food day fundraiser, each member of your youth group or Sunday school class brings in a dish from a different culture. Other church members pay a small entrance fee to come and try all the tasty treats from around the world. Build anticipation for your church’s international food day on social media, and share photos of the event afterwards.
International food days are an excellent way to teach youth and adults about diversity, to prepare them for mission trips around the world.
Active mission teams are a perfect fit for a bike-a-thon fundraiser. Much like a marathon, bike-a-thons are pledge based. Donors pledge per each mile that the youth group bikes during the fundraising event.
This church fundraising idea allows your mission team members to bike as long or short as they would like. The point is to have fun, raise money, and stay active.
Encourage donors to text their donations, to reach the per-mile goal. Text donations were used for a 2019 cycling race by W.A.R. on Wheels (short for Wishes, Awareness, and Research), to raise money for the pediatric cancer foundation Cal’s Angels. There’s something exhilarating about supporting the race toward an important goal, with just a few clicks.
A classic mission trip fundraiser: the old-fashioned letter writing campaign. It probably goes without saying, but the real key to a successful letter writing campaign is a well-written letter. A strong, meaningful message is sure to take your letters to the next level and help your church’s mission team meet its goal in no time.
Always remember to say thank you in the letter. Regardless of whether or not they donate, the recipients of your letter have taken time out of their days to read your words.
Much like yard sales, car washes take little to no effort to plan and set up. This fundraiser is always best to do during the summer, but if you’re having an unseasonably warm fall, you probably won’t find quite as much competition.
You really only need a few members of the church to volunteer to wash cars, a couple to advertise by the side of the road, and some basic car-cleaning supplies.
Much like a jar guessing game, a balloon count involves participants paying to guess how many balloons are stuffed into a car. The person who comes the closest to guessing the right number wins a prize of the pastor’s choosing.
Choose a time and location for this mission trip fundraiser, and blow up as many balloons as you possibly can. Charge $1 per guess. For extra fun, try to cram as many balloons as possible into your pastor’s car.
Your congregation might have some of the most talented cooks in town! Let them share their favorite recipes with the rest of the church. Have church members compile recipes into a unique church cookbook, featuring recipes they’ve created or been given by their parents and grandparents.
Once you have enough recipes to fill up a book, you can pretty easily get it bound with pictures and neat type. This is a great mission trip fundraising idea to do just before Thanksgiving.
A twist on the traditional lemonade stand, a smoothie stand is a fabulous idea for your church’s next mission trip fundraiser. Who doesn’t love a fresh fruit smoothie on a hot summer day?
You can make the smoothies beforehand, or you can make them fresh to order by bringing an extension cord and portable power source to your smoothie stand location. Set up on the street on a warm, sunny day when everyone’s out and about—or just outside your church’s doors when service lets out!
Pink flamingo fundraisers are an easy way to get your neighborhood involved with your church’s fundraising. All it takes is an obnoxious pink flamingo lawn ornament with a note attached, including your church’s contact information and text-to-tithe number.
The younger members of your congregation will have a blast planting the flamingos in other church members’ yards, then getting them to donate a given amount of “ransom” money to have the flamingos removed.
It’s a hot summer day. Nothing is quite as refreshing as an ice-cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade. This may seem like an old-fashioned fundraiser, but it’s one that’s withstood the test of time. And for good reason!
Find a recipe for lemonade, and whip up as much as you can ahead of time. When you’re setting up your stand, be sure to enlist the help of your most artistic Sunday school student to make signs. Pick a busy area, and start selling.
This fundraiser is super simple (some might even say it’s as easy as pie!)—if your pastor is on board with being pied in the face.
At the beginning of the event, sell as many tickets as church members and Sunday schoolers are willing to buy. Those tickets will then go into a drawing bucket. A ticket is drawn, and the lucky ticket holder gets to run up on stage and throw a whipped cream pie right in the pastor’s face.
Imagine the buzz you could create if your church hosted a raffle, and instead of the traditional fare, you were giving away airfare! Before you start planning a true travel raffle, you must first survey your congregation to see if any of them has a connection with any travel agencies or airline companies.
Even if no one is connected, you can still book an inexpensive giveaway, like a camping trip. Use your ticketing platform to set up the raffle, and encourage congregants to share it through their social media feeds.
Your congregation will love a church fundraiser that also allows them to get away for a mini vacation.
You don’t have to be particularly skilled to play kickball, but it sure is fun for all ages! Divide your church up into teams, and have your members pay a small entrance fee to be a part of your “league” and play in your “tournament.”
You can have a set of trophies made up for the winners. Other than these trophies, kickball is a very inexpensive fundraiser. You can play almost anywhere, as long as there’s enough space.
Quick fundraising tip: For all fundraising events, don’t forget to foreground your cause! It’s easy to get lost in the details of event planning, but always bear in mind the mission of your fundraising, and how you’re communicating that mission with congregants. Learn more about branding and church fundraising.
Easter egg hunts are special-occasion activities that comes only once a year. Children of all ages love to go on safari to find precious, goodie-filled eggs.
Egg hunts are incredibly simple to set up with the help of a few volunteers. Gather your supplies: eggs, treats, baskets, and more. On Easter Sunday, hide as many eggs as you can throughout the hunting grounds. Charge a nominal fee (like $1 or 50¢) for each participant, then let them loose to go hunting!
An angel festival is a fun and exciting way to raise money, while allowing your congregation members to dress up and be creative. Angel festivals are just like any other festival, except they’re 100% angel-themed.
Sell angel cakes as your main bake sale treat. Offer up angel-themed crafts. Play classic carnival games with an angelic twist. This holiday-themed church fundraiser will raise money and spirits for your church!
This is a great church fundraising idea for the holidays. People love to give and receive ornaments for the Christmas season. If you’re using ornaments to help pay for mission trips, have your mission team craft unique ornaments in the shapes of the countries they’re going to serve.
As an alternative, ask your Sunday school class to craft and sell the ornaments for an especially adorable ornament sale.
Quick fundraising tip: For those of us who seek fewer material goods and more spiritual satisfaction, giving someone a gift of a church donation is especially meaningful. Give congregants the chance to donate online at your church on behalf of their loved ones.
An excellent church fundraising idea for right before Christmas, gingerbread-house making is fun for the whole family. You can even make it a competition between the participants as to who can make the best house! Charge a small fee for each entrant at the door, or ask for donations from participants.
All you’ll really need to do is provide the basics (gingerbread, icing, peppermints, and gumdrops). But if your congregants want to get a little more creative, they can bring in their own candy for decorations.
Hosting a holiday symphony gala is a marvelous way to engage the whole family in a night of culturally enriching fun. Pick a date for the performance, and set up online ticketing for it.
Then, pick classic pieces to play—along with everyone’s holiday favorites, like “Jingle Bells” and “Silent Night.” Try to find musicians who will play these songs for free or cheap (they may even be a part of your congregation!).
On the night of the symphony, have ushers and ticket sellers help set up the venue and make the evening as smooth as possible.
In the midst of the Christmas shopping season, your church can offer a special service that Santa and Mrs. Claus will greatly appreciate. Enlist the help of your church’s youth group, and offer babysitting and/or child care for the week or two before Christmas, so parents can have time to go shopping for presents.
Ask for suggested donations in return for these services. You might be surprised by how generous parents can be around the holidays.
Pumpkin patch fundraisers are a fabulous way to raise a few extra donations in the month of October. It’s just what it sounds like: transforming your church’s front lawn into a pumpkin patch, and inviting everyone (friends, neighbors, church members) to come buy their fall staples from you!
All you really need to do is set up an inviting pumpkin patch and charge a little bit more for each pumpkin than you paid for them.
Only for the bravest of hearts, the thickest of skins, and the craziest of the crowd, the polar plunge involves donating money to get up early on a Saturday morning in January or February and run into a freezing cold lake, river, or pond—whatever body of water you have nearest.
Ask people to pledge money for those who make the jump. And make sure to have hot cocoa and warm pizza to warm up with after they make it!
Quick fundraising tip: Amid holiday busy-ness and events, it can be easy to let other church management tasks drop. Here are some simple tips for preventing that from happening.
Right after Christmas, no one wants to take down the lights they spent so long putting up. That’s why it’s the perfect time to advertise your church’s Christmas light removal service.
Get your youth group out volunteering, armed with ladders and tools. You can ask for donations or a small fee from those who want their lights removed. Giving your church’s members the option to donate via credit card on the spot will make it easier for your light removal crew to accept payments on the go.
Similar to the lollipop fundraiser, selling flowers for Valentine’s Day is a cost-effective fundraiser that will make everyone’s day a little brighter. Your church’s members pick and pay for as many flowers as they’d like to send to a loved one or a friend on February 14.
Those flowers (and perhaps a sweet message) get delivered in person on Valentine’s Day. Or if you’re not wild about Valentine’s Day at your church, you could easily transform this church fundraising idea for Mother’s Day!
Another easy church fundraising idea, caroling for a cause is a festive fundraiser to employ right around Christmas. Much like traditional carolers, carolers for a cause wander door to door and sing hymns and cheery Christmas tunes.
While donations are not guaranteed, December is the most generous month, and people love to give to carolers who are singing for a specific cause.
No, your volunteers won’t be egging houses. Nor will they be going from house to house cooking scrambled eggs for your church’s members.
For this church fundraising idea, gather willing participants to go to each house in the neighborhood with a basket of eggs (it’s especially fun during Easter, when you can color the eggs). They then negotiate how much each neighbor is willing to pay to see the church member do stunts with the eggs.
The members can offer to juggle the eggs, toss them up in the air, or even crack them on their own heads!
Quick fundraising tip: The holidays are a wonderful time to ask donors to support your church. ’Tis the season of generosity, after all! When they make donations, give congregants the option to set up recurring donations, to continue in the spirit of giving.
Present wrapping is a great church fundraising idea for the holidays. It’s also an easy idea that your youth group can get into. You can buy nice wrapping paper in bulk and tape by the dozens of dispensers. Ask the youth group to bring their own scissors. They can then offer to wrap Christmas presents for busy shoppers.
If you put a jar out on the table where you’re wrapping presents, you can prompt people to make donations without actually charging them for your services.
For larger congregations, offering streamlined fundraising methods is especially important. Otherwise, you’ll be juggling donation amounts, donor names and email addresses, and everything else that goes into keeping your church running. Have you set up your church’s fundraising initiatives for success?
Buy-a-brick fundraisers are typically for physical projects, such as building an auxiliary building for your church or repaving the front walkway. You can host a virtual buy-a-brick fundraiser, and have people buy their bricks (i.e., donate to your church) online or on their cell phones.
Brick by brick, your congregants will help you build up your church in more ways than one! You can charge a little extra to have congregants’ names or a message engraved on the bricks they buy.
Hosting a gala takes some advanced planning, but it will be well worth it in the end. Everyone loves to get dressed up and feel glamorous.
You’ll need to invest in some decor and enlist a top chef-in-training to whip up some hors d’oeuvres. You may also want to hire entertainment, like a band or DJ, to encourage people to dance, talk, and mingle.
A great way to build donations is by setting up a “donations sprint” during the gala. Over the span of a few minutes at some point in the evening, attendees can text in their donations, sharing in the act of generosity.
“Snowball Fundraising was a critical part of the success of our annual gala. Because of a last-minute glitch with a different product at our event, we needed to find a solution that was easy to set up and configure—and Snowball was that solution! In just a few minutes, we had our campaign created and ready to go for the evening’s event. The attendees loved watching the thermometer grow as our call-to-action continued. In just twenty minutes, we raised over twice as much money as we had set as a goal—it was incredible!” — Matt Hladun, Brave Will Foundation Board President
Sip-and-paint fundraisers are pretty much just what they sound like: your church’s members pay to learn how to paint a certain work of art, while sipping on a beverage of their choice.
Generally, sip-and-paint fundraisers provide the canvases, paint, brushes, and wine. After paying for all of those supplies, you might be wondering how this fundraiser could possibly turn a profit. It’s simple: you charge just a few dollars more than the cost of supplies, and you make sure people contribute funds before you purchase the paint.
This church fundraising idea is simple and easy to remember. It can also be done in conjunction with any other event you have going on. All you have to do is sell raffle tickets.
The reason it’s called a 50/50 is because 50% of the proceeds go to the winner of the raffle, and 50% go to the church (or your next mission trip). The more tickets you sell, the greater the jackpot will be—and the more likely people will be to buy tickets.
The baby picture contest doesn’t answer the question, “Who’s the cutest baby?” It’s a guessing game using baby pictures from the congregation.
All your church needs to do is pool together 15 to 20 baby photos of church leadership and current members. You can post them on either the church bulletin board or your church’s website (or both). Everyone then guesses who’s who if they pay $1. You’re sure to get some outrageous guesses and funny stories along the way!
Make everyone in your large congregation feel like a photographer with this fundraising idea. The way a typical photo pledge works is by asking participants to pledge money and submit photos centered around a theme. They can make pledges through your campaign donations page, and then either email their photos to a church member who collects and shares them, or post them on social media and tag your church.
Themes range from cutest pet to most interesting photo of the pastor you can snap without his or her noticing, and beyond! The photographers of the five best photos will receive a special prize.
Coffee is a wonderful item for a fundraiser because, let’s be honest, who can go a morning without a hot cup of joe? Chances are, someone in your congregation knows, or is willing to reach out to, a local coffee roaster.
Even if your congregation doesn’t happen to have the caffeinated bean hook up, there are several companies that offer wholesale prices specifically for fundraisers. Order a large quantity of coffee at a lower price, then turn around and sell individual bags at a profit.
Who doesn’t love a good, wholesome movie? You can throw a drive-in movie night, or you can go the simpler route and host a classic movie night in your church’s gymnasium or main hall.
Before the opening credits, thank everyone for coming, and ask them to consider showing their support by sending a quick text donation. Give everyone a chance to text (it’ll take less than a minute), and then press play!
Another great way to raise a little extra money (and make the whole experience better) is by offering childcare services during the movie.
For the next big mission trip you host, try an adopt-a-mile fundraiser. This church fundraising idea is an easy way to raise money for excursions, especially when the excursion is far away.
Adopt-a-mile fundraisers involve mission trip participants mapping out exactly how many miles away their missions are. For every mile, they have to convince a church member to donate a dollar or two.
Quick fundraising tip: When your events are over, the relationship with participants is still just beginning! Use a CRM or donor database to keep track of who has supported your church in the past. Learn more about donor management.
Fast-food night fundraisers are simple, profitable, and popular with congregation members of all ages. All they have to do is purchase fast food from the restaurant that’s sponsoring the charity night, and say they’re with your church. Voilà! Ten percent of their purchase goes straight to your church.
It’s a simple way to get people who rarely participate to join in on the fundraising. They’d already be buying those chicken nuggets, so why not take a 10% tithe out of that?
Also known as “brinner” (breakfast meets dinner), a pancake dinner can be a great church fundraising idea that brings the congregation together over a simple meal. No one can refuse a freshly flipped flapjack.
With the price of ingredients so low, you can charge a few dollars a ticket and come out way ahead. Provide extra toppings like chocolate chips and banana slices to make those flapjacks extra flavorful.
Chuck-a-duck fundraisers, also called rubber duck fundraisers, are a church activity that involves exactly what it sounds like. Participants in the fundraiser chuck rubber ducks at a target.
Those who get closest to the bullseye of the target are the winners. Chuck-a-duck fundraisers may sound simple, but they’re actually a lot of fun—and not just for kids. Adults really get into them too. They’re great for the whole family.
Essentially, this church fundraising idea is a glorified lock-in. Sell tickets for a “Night at the Museum,” and decorate your church’s atrium like a museum.
Think large cutouts of dinosaur bones, caveman exhibits, mockups of famous paintings. Get creative with it! The best way to entice teens and young adults, as well as young kids, is to offer a late-night dance party and game stations throughout the event.
Hosting a dog show can be a lot of work, but it’s well worth the payoff.
People love to show off their prized pooches. Why not give them an arena and the possibility to take home a blue ribbon for old Sparky?
You can have prizes for every sort of category (“waggiest tail,” “shiniest coat,” “cutest bark,” etc.). If you charge entrance fees to the show and for each participant, this easy fundraiser is bound to rake in some moola.
Make your next church fundraiser a success with any of these awesome church fundraising ideas. For more information on church fundraising, check out our resources below:
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