Generosity

Church Fundraising Ideas: 15 Fundraisers To Help You Raise Money

Looking for ideas for church fundraisers? Here are 15 great church fundraising ideas that will 100% raise more money for the mission!

Running a church involves a healthy dose of prayer, hard work, a dedicated team, and yes… money.

That's where having some great church fundraising ideas can come in handy.

Hopefully, your weekly tithes and offerings cover your expenses. However, there are times when your church will need an extra influx of money for a church remodel, missions trip, community outreach, or another special project. In these instances, a church fundraising effort may be in order.

Solely asking your congregation to give a bit extra this month may not be the most effective method. Church leaders make several types of “asks” of their members.

From volunteering in the nursery to leading worship and singing old hymns and giving financially, you can potentially wear out your congregation. Also, many families operate on tight budgets while others may not feel emotionally connected to the need you’re presenting.

Instead of making yet another request, try using an approach that is more personal, involves a fun activity, or provides a needed service. These fundraiser ideas for church communities can be much more effective, and are a fun way to get all church members involved. Get started with raising as much money for your church needs, a members friends/family, your youth group, local businesses, and may more with these great fundraising events.

Common Questions about Raising Money for your Church

What is online giving?

Simply put, online giving is a way for your people to donate money over the internet. This usually involves credit card payments, although there are certain tools available. that will allow a person to link their bank account. Online giving can happen on a website, through an app, or via text. It's important to make sure that, whatever method is selected, the transfer of sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, is secure. The benefit to the giver is convenience, plus whatever points or cash back can be accrued through their credit card service. For the church, the benefit is often increased donations, the possibility of automated recurring giving, plus the ability to receive donations from people who aren't in attendance at a service.

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a way of raising money for a project by getting many small donors on board ahead of time. In other words, before the project is complete, people catch the vision and put their money forward to help make the vision a reality. Sites like Kickstarter have paved the way for this type of fundraising activity. Often, donor will not need to pay if a crowdsourcing campaign does not reach its financial goals by a stated deadline. Usually, the reward for jumping on a crowdfunding bandwagon is early access or special perks or swag. Depending on the project, it may simply be recognition that a person's donation helped make the project possible.

What is a text-to-tithe?

Text-to-tithe or text-to-give is a way of utilizing SMS messages to donate money to an organization or a cause. A special phone number is used, and often there are predetermined options for the amounts someone can give. Other times, the specific amount is up to the user. The benefit of text-to-give is that anyone with a mobile phone can participate. No special app or mobile operating system is required, and text-to-tithe programs work on any cellular network.

What is the easiest fundraiser?

The easiest fundraisers are those that flow naturally within the life of your church and allow the most people to get involved without a significant barrier to entry. Many times people think of fundraisers as needing to appeal to the wealthy alone, but the best fundraisers are those that get everyone involved in some way. Every church is unique, so think about what you already have in abundance and start there.

Does your church love their after-service get-togethers? Get people who love to bake to create special desserts and have a bake sale after church one Sunday. Include a time of fellowship and vision-casting for your project.

Does your church have a large parking lot and plenty of willing teenagers? Consider a monthly car wash.

Silent auctions, special dinners, and concerts also make great fundraising events. Just think about your church and your community. The sky's the limit.

What are the most profitable fundraisers?

The most profitable fundraisers are often those that invite the most people to participate. Other times they are the ones that appeal to large donors. It really depends on your unique situation. However, because giving is something that affects the giver as much as the project being donated to, it's not always best to go big. Do things that anyone can get involved with, but also do things that will move the needle quickly. Oftentimes, the best fundraising ideas come from the community. People will let you know what gets them excited and what does not.

If you have such a need at the moment (or want to be ready when you do), take it up a notch beyond the simple church donation letter and take a look at these ideas for church fundraisers to help you get started:

Favorite Church Fundraising Ideas:

  1. Ask individuals to raise money
  2. Sell engraved bricks
  3. Holiday Childcare
  4. Host a dinner
  5. Host a chili cook-off or best pie competition… or both!
  6. The tried and true car wash
  7. “Help Us Stop Filling the Bucket” Challenge
  8. A Gift for Mom
  9. Family Fun Night
  10. Wrap It Up
  11. The Direct Approach
  12. Learn a New Skill
  13. Charity Auction
  14. Art Auction
  15. Silent Auction

Read below and get the full description of all the church fundraisers.

Church Fundraising Idea #1:

1. Ask individuals to raise money

You’ve probably seen these fundraisers on social media.

A friend posts that his birthday is coming up and, instead of gifts, he’s asking people to donate towards a specific cause. Donors can click on the link and go to a webpage where they can make their donation. This type of strategic fundraiser has the potential to take your fundraiser beyond your congregation since many people have friends both in and out of their church home. Fundraising this way is a more long-term approach if you tie it to birthdays and such.

You can also ask people to do the same type of fundraiser but connect it with a time of year that makes sense for the fund you’re looking to fill. For example, if you want to expand the youth building, you could tie that fundraiser to a few months before the end of the school year since you’ll want to have a place for teens to hang out during the summer.

With Tithe.ly, these types of church fundraising ideas become possible. Each person raising money can create a church giving form dedicated to a specific fund and provide that link to potential donors. Giving received via that form goes into the designated fund.

Church Fundraising Idea #2:

2. Sell engraved bricks

Do you have a significant remodel or building project coming up? Consider selling bricks people can buy and have engraved to honor loved ones or commemorate their involvement in the church.

A quick Google search yields several vendors who specialize in providing engraved bricks for fundraisers. Some offer the online tools as well, so there’s minimal effort on your part (other than promoting the fundraiser, of course).

You’ll want to work with the building contractor to determine how many bricks you’ll need to pave the area for which you plan to use the engraved bricks. This will help you decide how many bricks you can use to raise financial support.

Church Fundraising Idea #3:

3. Holiday Childcare

Have you ever tried to shop with small children? It’s exhausting! Give Mom and Dad a break by offering to watch their little ones while they handle the Christmas shopping.

Ask for a donation for a day of childcare to go toward raising financial support for families who could use additional financial support during Christmas.

Kids can enjoy playtime with their friends, and their parents will appreciate the chance to shop in peace (and maybe even sneak in a date!).

Church Fundraising Idea #4:

4. Host a dinner

Don’t worry—no fancy place settings or gourmet menus required for this church fundraising event.

Give the home chef a night off and host dinner at the church for a small fee that covers the cost of the supplies and raises money. Ask volunteers to grill burgers and hot dogs, make a few side dishes, and set up several tables for folks to use and eat together. You can even ask members to invite their friends & family, and as many people as they can, if you want to make it a larger gathering.

You can provide people with the chance to meet others from the congregation, a night off from cooking and washing dishes, and raise money for that new building project or outreach.

You can use the text-to-give or online giving features from Tithe.ly to collect donations. Station volunteers at the entrance with a church giving kiosk or mobile device as well to help people with their contributions.

Church Fundraising Idea #5:

5. Host a chili cook-off or best pie competition… or both!

Speaking of food… here’s another take on the food-related fundraiser that everyone loves. Do you have a few legendary grandmas or devoted foodies in your congregation? Give them a chance to share their talents with a friendly competition. Provide the venue and a few judges (or have the crowd vote for their favorites).

Sell tickets to the church fundraising event and possibly an entrance fee for the cooks. Announce the winner and provide him or her with a fun trophy (and bragging rights, of course).

Everyone wins at this competition, though, with the chance to try new recipes and raise money for the church.

Church Fundraising Idea #6:

6. The tried and true car wash

One of the best church fundraiser ideas is a traditional car wash. Do you need to raise money for a youth group event or missions trip? Try running a car wash with the kids going on that trip running the show (with a bit of adult supervision).

Your youth group can make big signs to wave at a passerby, get plenty of buckets and supplies, then clean up dirty cars throughout the day.

When washing cars, if you want to go the extra mile, offer to vacuum and wipe down the inside of vehicles while the drivers wait nearby.

You can host this fundraiser at your church or contact local gas station managers to see if you can use their parking lot (and water connection). Charge a set fee or ask for donations.

The kids overseeing the car wash can also hold up signs to promote sending a text message to the church’s text-to-give number with “Wash” as the keyword to designate giving toward this fundraiser.

Church Fundraising Idea #7:

7. “Help Us Stop Filling the Bucket” Challenge

Perhaps the roof on your church building is in need of repair (or replacement). If your roof has sprung a few leaks (or is about to), place buckets in the sanctuary and lobby for people to fill with their loose change. Just make sure those buckets aren’t under actual leaks!

Promote this fundraiser as an opportunity to fill virtual buckets as well via text-to-give, using the word “Bucket” or “Roof” to designate donations to that fund. You could also set up kiosks near each bucket so people can donate electronically.

Church Fundraising Idea #8:

8. A Gift for Mom

Give the mother’s in your church an extra special Mother’s Day with professional photos taken of the whole family. This one won’t be a surprise gift, but she’ll still love it.

If you have a few professional photographers in your congregation, consider asking them to volunteer a few hours of their time to take family photos. You provide the backdrops, props, and location, while the photographers bring their cameras and lighting equipment (unless you have that at the church already).

Use the online giving feature from Tithe.ly just like you would for event registrations. Families can book their appointments and show up ready to smile big for the camera.

Once the photographers work their magic, they could email a link to each family for their photos. Let your volunteer photographers promote their services at the fundraising event and in their follow-up emails. This shows your appreciation for their time and talent—plus it’s a great way to support their businesses.

Each family could pay a set amount for their photography session with all proceeds going to the designated fund. Mom gets a great family photo, the church raises money, and Dad has Mother’s Day covered (a win for all involved)!

Church Fundraising Idea #9:

9. Family Fun Night

A fun way for raising money would also be to host a game night at the church for families to enjoy. Gather up board games, corn hole, and others to play around the church. Provide snacks and drinks, play some fun music, then let the games begin! This is a great way to help families get to know each other and enjoy a night out.

Charge a small entrance fee or ask for donations. For much less than the price of taking the kids to a movie, parents can give their families a fun evening out.

Church Fundraising Idea #10:

10. Wrap It Up

An easy way to get your community involved during the holiday season is by wrapping gifts. Wrapping Christmas gifts isn’t everyone’s favorite task and everyone loves to get some help wrapping gifts. Round up your talented gift-wrappers and ask them to volunteer their time and talents for a great church fundraiser.

Announce that you’ll have gift wrapping stations set up after each service in December for people to bring their gifts for wrapping. Provide the wrapping paper and tape, then ask volunteers to bring their scissors.

Another option is to talk with local retailers about hosting your fundraiser at the mall or another high-traffic shopping area.

Ask for donations from those who take you up on the gift-wrapping offer. With Tithe.ly, you can set up giving kiosks at each gift-wrapping station or have people use their mobile phone to give via the app or using text-to-give.

Church Fundraising Idea #11:

11. The Direct Approach

Themed fundraisers are great ways to raise money for a specific project or need. However, sometimes a more direct approach works well when you present the need in a targeted manner.

Announce your church fundraiser on Sunday morning and take extra care to explain the “why” behind the “what.”

Let’s say you need to raise money to expand the children’s ministry areas. Here are direct ways you can raise financial support in this scenario:

  • Shoot videos of parents sharing how their children have grown in their faith and made incredible friends at church Mention the specific areas that need to be updated or refreshed
  • Show 3D renderings of what the children’s area will look like once construction is complete
  • Discuss how important it is to invest in the next generation and how this project will support that effort
  • Ask the congregation to donate to this fund via text giving or via a church giving app
  • Update your congregation each week on the fundraising progress until you reach your fundraising goals

You don’t want to use this fundraising method too frequently, but it is still an effective way to present the need to your congregation and invite them to donate towards a specific need.

By helping your church see and feel how this project will influence lives and reach people with the gospel, you have a greater chance of meeting your fundraising goal.

Church Fundraising Idea #12:

12. Learn a New Skill

Another easy way to get church members involved is to host an event for them to learn. Do you have professional plumbers, carpenters, or general handyman in your congregation? Maybe you have people skilled in sewing, website development, or photography as well.

Consider hosting a church fundraiser where your professionals teach people the skill they’ve always wanted to learn. Carpenters could show how to build a simple custom shelving unit for the garage. Sewers could share how to sew on buttons or hem jeans.

Church Fundraising Idea #13:

13. Charity Auction

When you need to raise money for your church, church fundraising ideas abound, but the charity auction is a mainstay. A charity auction is a fun way to fundraise and can be done at any time of the year, indoors or outdoors. You can do a charity auction in many different ways.

First off, the things being auctioned off can be donated by the church members, and if you collaborate with other churches then all of the churches’ members can donate items, possibly diversifying the selection of items up for auction and even making it possible to donate more money to charity. The items can be used or new and can even be of one or more themes such as kitchen ware, furniture, handmade things, clothing, baked goods, art or food.

It is also possible to find someplace that is willing to donate to the cause such as local stores. In this case, again, the items could all be the same or all very different.

The highest bidder of each item wins and the bidding and auctioning can be done in various forms; a silent auction, a live auction or an online auction.

In a silent auction, the items are places on tables and with each item is a closed box where the bidders can write their name and bid on a slip of paper and put it into the box of the item they hope to win. Or instead of a box and slips of paper, you can put a sheet of paper where each person can write their name and bid.

In a live auction you will need someone to be the auctioneer and someone to be the auctioneer’s assistant. The auctioneer calls off the name of an item and calls out the newest bid until the highest bid has been reached and the bidder wins. The assistant is there to help the auctioneer see and hear all the people bidding.

In an online auction pictures are taken of the auction items and bidders may log on, give their credit card information, and bid on the items until the highest bid has been reached. With this type of auction it may be best to do non perishable items depending on the length of time you allow for bidding to go on.

You can make the auction entry free of charge, or sell tickets.

And put out a free donation box for people who don’t want to bid, but still want to give.

Getting started on a charity auction:

  • You’ll need a venue-- outdoors or indoors, but have a backup plan if you choose the latter.
  • You’ll need donations!
  • Publicize the event-- posters, social media, or flyers.
  • If you want to sell tickets to enter, start selling them well in advanced.
  • Depending on the length of the event, you may need seating for the people attending.
  • You’ll need places to set the items upon or maybe tarps laid out on the floor/ground.

Try Combining With

  • Silent Auction
  • Art Auction
  • Bake Sale
  • Sell Products Online
  • Used Book Sale
  • Carnival
  • Shoe Drive

Mix it up

Make it a picnic basket auction and have every family bring one or two baskets, filled with picnic dinners, to auction off-- and afterwards everyone can eat the dinner from the baskets they won. In this way, everyone bids, and everyone wins-- and eats!

Church Fundraising Idea #14:

14. Art Auction

An art auction is a creative way to fundraise and can be done in any season of the year, indoors or even outdoors! it's a great church fundraiser.

An art auction has much potential-- the word art can signify many different forms of art.

It could mean, paintings, sketches, or sculptures. Or it could mean homemade food, clothing, toys, jewelry, homemade cards for birthdays or other holidays, crocheted or knitted items, homemade furniture, wood carvings, or any homemade crafts.

If you collaborate with local churches, you will get a diversity of art and will have more attendance.

You can have the art be strictly one type or keep it varied.

You can get the art for the auction by asking church members to make and donate their art pieces and by even asking local artists to donate as well.

In an art auction, like in any auction, the highest bidder of each item wins and the bidding and auctioning can be done in various forms; a silent auction, a live auction or an online auction.

In a silent auction, the art is placed on tables and with each piece of art, is a closed box where the bidders can write their name and bid on a slip of paper and put it into the box of the item they hope to win. Or instead of a box and slips of paper, you can put a sheet of paper where each person can write their name and bid.

In a live auction you will need someone to be the auctioneer and someone to be the auctioneer’s assistant. The auctioneer calls off the name of a piece up for auction and calls out the newest bid until the highest bid has been reached and the bidder wins. The assistant is there to help the auctioneer see and hear and keep track of all the people bidding.

In an online auction pictures are taken of the pieces and bidders may log on, give their credit card information, and bid on the art until the highest bid has been reached. With this type of auction it may be best to do non perishable items depending on the length of time you allow for bidding to go on.

You can make entry to the art auction free of charge or sell tickets to attend.

You could even put out a collection box for free donations for those who don’t want to bid on any art but still want to give.

Getting Started

  • You need donations!
  • You need a place to hold the art auction, whether outdoors or indoors. If it is outdoors, have a backup place to go to if weather is bad.
  • You’ll need to spread the word-- social media, posters, flyers are all great ways of getting the word out.
  • If you are selling tickets to attend be sure to start selling those in advance.
  • You’ll need someplace to put the art pieces, be they tables or tarps laid on the ground.
  • If the auction is long, you may want to provide places to sit.

Try Combining With

  • Bake Sale
  • Silent Auction
  • Art Auction
  • Art Commissions
  • Cookbooks
  • Original Art Sale
  • Face Painting
  • Room Decorating Contest
  • Art Show
  • Costume Party
  • Custom T-Shirts

Mix it up

Elect some people to be judges and they can judge some of the items as “most detailed”,  “most colorful”, “most original”, etc... and the maker can be awarded with a prize of some sort.

Church Fundraising Idea #15:

15. Silent Auction

A silent auction is a good way to fundraise and is good any time of the year.

First things first-- you need items to be auctioned off!

The things being auctioned off can be donated by the church members, and if you collaborate with other churches then all of the churches’ members can donate items, possibly diversifying the selection of items up for auction and even making it possible to raise more money. The items can be used or new and can even be of one or more themes such as kitchen ware, furniture, handmade things, clothing, baked goods, food or even a picnic basket auction.

It is also possible to find someplace that is willing to donate to the cause such as local stores. In this case, again, the items could all be the same or all very different.

The highest bidder of each item wins.

In a silent auction the items are placed on tables and with each item is a closed box where the bidders can write their name and bid on a slip of paper and put it into the box of the item they hope to win. Or instead of a box and slips of paper, you can put a sheet of paper where each person can write their name and bid.

You can make the auction entry free of charge, or sell tickets.

You might even put out a free donation box for those attending that don’t want to bid no any items but do want to help give to the church fundraiser.

Getting started

  • You’ll need a venue-- outdoors or indoors, but have a backup plan if you choose the latter.
  • You’ll need donations!
  • Publicize the event-- posters, social media, or flyers.
  • If you want to sell tickets to enter, start selling them well in advanced.
  • You’ll need tables or something to set the items on.

Try Combining With

  • Used Book Sale
  • Bake Sale
  • Art Auction
  • Charity Auction
  • Shoe Drive
  • Cookbooks
  • Concert

Mix it up

Provide snacks or finger food-- make it a bake sale, on the side. Or get a band or your worship team to play a concert.

Even more Fundraising FAQs

What is a face mask fundraiser?

Because of COVID-19 and the ongoing threat of global pandemics, face masks are likely here to stay in some form. And because they're essentially a universal need, there's a fundraising opportunity to be had. All you need is to design your mask, use an online vendor who can print your designs and produce your masks, and then sell them with margin. That margin will then go to whatever project you're hoping to fund.

The benefit is that there is a low cost to masks, wholesale and retail, so almost everyone can participate. And since everyone needs masks, the fundraiser has universal appeal. Just be sure your design is great and speaks to your church's brand.

How can a church raise money fast?

The fastest way to raise money is to simply share the need with as many people as possible. Be sure to properly cast a vision and invite people to be a part of what you believe God is doing in your midst. It's also important to provide plenty of avenues for people to donate: online, text-to-give, giving kiosks, and by check or credit card. Asking people to pledge a recurring donation will also work in your favor, since few projects need to be funded immediately but can be paid for in time.

How can I make fundraising fun?

The simplest way to make fundraising fun is to make the fundraising campaign filled with activities that will appeal to as many people as possible. Set goals with rewards that are silly. (Take a pie to the face if certain numbers are reached.) Fill your fundraising season with events for the whole family so that participation brings in money but also great fellowship opportunities. People already spend money on entertainment, so if your church can provide an alternate form of fun activities, people will contribute without feeling the pain of an additional contribution.

How do you fundraise in a recession?

Recessions affect the economy as a whole, but rarely do they affect the pocketbooks of every individual, so there will still be people with money to give. However, since the perception is that money is tight, we suggest two things: First, focus your fundraising on things people need already. That way the donations will be viewed as a redirection of income, rather than an additional expense. Second, be sure that your vision communicates real need. People will give sacrificially if they believe in the cause.

Also, during hard times, people tend to look to God and want to participate in the work of the kingdom. They may be more available spiritually than you might think.

How do you politely ask for donations?

Politeness is always a matter of respect. If you respect those from whom you're soliciting funds, your appeal will be viewed as sincere and appropriate. Remember to be grateful for every dollar, not just the large donations. Express this gratitude regularly. Communicate and be transparent every step of the way. If people feel involved, they will feel respected and cared for.

Over to you

We hope this list of fundraising ideas for church activities spark a few ideas and help you get started with your next church fundraiser. If you’re not using Tithe.ly and want to use it for your upcoming fundraiser, contact us here and we’ll have you up and running right away. These church fundraising ideas work great when you have easy to use online giving tools.

Editor’s Note: This post was updated on April 21, 2021 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Church Fundraising Ideas: 15 Fundraisers To Help You Raise Money

Church Fundraising Ideas: 15 Fundraisers To Help You Raise Money

Looking for ideas for church fundraisers? We'll highlight 12 great ways to raise money & include all members of your community. Read more here!

Show notes

Running a church involves a healthy dose of prayer, hard work, a dedicated team, and yes… money.

That's where having some great church fundraising ideas can come in handy.

Hopefully, your weekly tithes and offerings cover your expenses. However, there are times when your church will need an extra influx of money for a church remodel, missions trip, community outreach, or another special project. In these instances, a church fundraising effort may be in order.

Solely asking your congregation to give a bit extra this month may not be the most effective method. Church leaders make several types of “asks” of their members.

From volunteering in the nursery to leading worship and singing old hymns and giving financially, you can potentially wear out your congregation. Also, many families operate on tight budgets while others may not feel emotionally connected to the need you’re presenting.

Instead of making yet another request, try using an approach that is more personal, involves a fun activity, or provides a needed service. These fundraiser ideas for church communities can be much more effective, and are a fun way to get all church members involved. Get started with raising as much money for your church needs, a members friends/family, your youth group, local businesses, and may more with these great fundraising events.

Common Questions about Raising Money for your Church

What is online giving?

Simply put, online giving is a way for your people to donate money over the internet. This usually involves credit card payments, although there are certain tools available. that will allow a person to link their bank account. Online giving can happen on a website, through an app, or via text. It's important to make sure that, whatever method is selected, the transfer of sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, is secure. The benefit to the giver is convenience, plus whatever points or cash back can be accrued through their credit card service. For the church, the benefit is often increased donations, the possibility of automated recurring giving, plus the ability to receive donations from people who aren't in attendance at a service.

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a way of raising money for a project by getting many small donors on board ahead of time. In other words, before the project is complete, people catch the vision and put their money forward to help make the vision a reality. Sites like Kickstarter have paved the way for this type of fundraising activity. Often, donor will not need to pay if a crowdsourcing campaign does not reach its financial goals by a stated deadline. Usually, the reward for jumping on a crowdfunding bandwagon is early access or special perks or swag. Depending on the project, it may simply be recognition that a person's donation helped make the project possible.

What is a text-to-tithe?

Text-to-tithe or text-to-give is a way of utilizing SMS messages to donate money to an organization or a cause. A special phone number is used, and often there are predetermined options for the amounts someone can give. Other times, the specific amount is up to the user. The benefit of text-to-give is that anyone with a mobile phone can participate. No special app or mobile operating system is required, and text-to-tithe programs work on any cellular network.

What is the easiest fundraiser?

The easiest fundraisers are those that flow naturally within the life of your church and allow the most people to get involved without a significant barrier to entry. Many times people think of fundraisers as needing to appeal to the wealthy alone, but the best fundraisers are those that get everyone involved in some way. Every church is unique, so think about what you already have in abundance and start there.

Does your church love their after-service get-togethers? Get people who love to bake to create special desserts and have a bake sale after church one Sunday. Include a time of fellowship and vision-casting for your project.

Does your church have a large parking lot and plenty of willing teenagers? Consider a monthly car wash.

Silent auctions, special dinners, and concerts also make great fundraising events. Just think about your church and your community. The sky's the limit.

What are the most profitable fundraisers?

The most profitable fundraisers are often those that invite the most people to participate. Other times they are the ones that appeal to large donors. It really depends on your unique situation. However, because giving is something that affects the giver as much as the project being donated to, it's not always best to go big. Do things that anyone can get involved with, but also do things that will move the needle quickly. Oftentimes, the best fundraising ideas come from the community. People will let you know what gets them excited and what does not.

If you have such a need at the moment (or want to be ready when you do), take it up a notch beyond the simple church donation letter and take a look at these ideas for church fundraisers to help you get started:

Favorite Church Fundraising Ideas:

  1. Ask individuals to raise money
  2. Sell engraved bricks
  3. Holiday Childcare
  4. Host a dinner
  5. Host a chili cook-off or best pie competition… or both!
  6. The tried and true car wash
  7. “Help Us Stop Filling the Bucket” Challenge
  8. A Gift for Mom
  9. Family Fun Night
  10. Wrap It Up
  11. The Direct Approach
  12. Learn a New Skill
  13. Charity Auction
  14. Art Auction
  15. Silent Auction

Read below and get the full description of all the church fundraisers.

Church Fundraising Idea #1:

1. Ask individuals to raise money

You’ve probably seen these fundraisers on social media.

A friend posts that his birthday is coming up and, instead of gifts, he’s asking people to donate towards a specific cause. Donors can click on the link and go to a webpage where they can make their donation. This type of strategic fundraiser has the potential to take your fundraiser beyond your congregation since many people have friends both in and out of their church home. Fundraising this way is a more long-term approach if you tie it to birthdays and such.

You can also ask people to do the same type of fundraiser but connect it with a time of year that makes sense for the fund you’re looking to fill. For example, if you want to expand the youth building, you could tie that fundraiser to a few months before the end of the school year since you’ll want to have a place for teens to hang out during the summer.

With Tithe.ly, these types of church fundraising ideas become possible. Each person raising money can create a church giving form dedicated to a specific fund and provide that link to potential donors. Giving received via that form goes into the designated fund.

Church Fundraising Idea #2:

2. Sell engraved bricks

Do you have a significant remodel or building project coming up? Consider selling bricks people can buy and have engraved to honor loved ones or commemorate their involvement in the church.

A quick Google search yields several vendors who specialize in providing engraved bricks for fundraisers. Some offer the online tools as well, so there’s minimal effort on your part (other than promoting the fundraiser, of course).

You’ll want to work with the building contractor to determine how many bricks you’ll need to pave the area for which you plan to use the engraved bricks. This will help you decide how many bricks you can use to raise financial support.

Church Fundraising Idea #3:

3. Holiday Childcare

Have you ever tried to shop with small children? It’s exhausting! Give Mom and Dad a break by offering to watch their little ones while they handle the Christmas shopping.

Ask for a donation for a day of childcare to go toward raising financial support for families who could use additional financial support during Christmas.

Kids can enjoy playtime with their friends, and their parents will appreciate the chance to shop in peace (and maybe even sneak in a date!).

Church Fundraising Idea #4:

4. Host a dinner

Don’t worry—no fancy place settings or gourmet menus required for this church fundraising event.

Give the home chef a night off and host dinner at the church for a small fee that covers the cost of the supplies and raises money. Ask volunteers to grill burgers and hot dogs, make a few side dishes, and set up several tables for folks to use and eat together. You can even ask members to invite their friends & family, and as many people as they can, if you want to make it a larger gathering.

You can provide people with the chance to meet others from the congregation, a night off from cooking and washing dishes, and raise money for that new building project or outreach.

You can use the text-to-give or online giving features from Tithe.ly to collect donations. Station volunteers at the entrance with a church giving kiosk or mobile device as well to help people with their contributions.

Church Fundraising Idea #5:

5. Host a chili cook-off or best pie competition… or both!

Speaking of food… here’s another take on the food-related fundraiser that everyone loves. Do you have a few legendary grandmas or devoted foodies in your congregation? Give them a chance to share their talents with a friendly competition. Provide the venue and a few judges (or have the crowd vote for their favorites).

Sell tickets to the church fundraising event and possibly an entrance fee for the cooks. Announce the winner and provide him or her with a fun trophy (and bragging rights, of course).

Everyone wins at this competition, though, with the chance to try new recipes and raise money for the church.

Church Fundraising Idea #6:

6. The tried and true car wash

One of the best church fundraiser ideas is a traditional car wash. Do you need to raise money for a youth group event or missions trip? Try running a car wash with the kids going on that trip running the show (with a bit of adult supervision).

Your youth group can make big signs to wave at a passerby, get plenty of buckets and supplies, then clean up dirty cars throughout the day.

When washing cars, if you want to go the extra mile, offer to vacuum and wipe down the inside of vehicles while the drivers wait nearby.

You can host this fundraiser at your church or contact local gas station managers to see if you can use their parking lot (and water connection). Charge a set fee or ask for donations.

The kids overseeing the car wash can also hold up signs to promote sending a text message to the church’s text-to-give number with “Wash” as the keyword to designate giving toward this fundraiser.

Church Fundraising Idea #7:

7. “Help Us Stop Filling the Bucket” Challenge

Perhaps the roof on your church building is in need of repair (or replacement). If your roof has sprung a few leaks (or is about to), place buckets in the sanctuary and lobby for people to fill with their loose change. Just make sure those buckets aren’t under actual leaks!

Promote this fundraiser as an opportunity to fill virtual buckets as well via text-to-give, using the word “Bucket” or “Roof” to designate donations to that fund. You could also set up kiosks near each bucket so people can donate electronically.

Church Fundraising Idea #8:

8. A Gift for Mom

Give the mother’s in your church an extra special Mother’s Day with professional photos taken of the whole family. This one won’t be a surprise gift, but she’ll still love it.

If you have a few professional photographers in your congregation, consider asking them to volunteer a few hours of their time to take family photos. You provide the backdrops, props, and location, while the photographers bring their cameras and lighting equipment (unless you have that at the church already).

Use the online giving feature from Tithe.ly just like you would for event registrations. Families can book their appointments and show up ready to smile big for the camera.

Once the photographers work their magic, they could email a link to each family for their photos. Let your volunteer photographers promote their services at the fundraising event and in their follow-up emails. This shows your appreciation for their time and talent—plus it’s a great way to support their businesses.

Each family could pay a set amount for their photography session with all proceeds going to the designated fund. Mom gets a great family photo, the church raises money, and Dad has Mother’s Day covered (a win for all involved)!

Church Fundraising Idea #9:

9. Family Fun Night

A fun way for raising money would also be to host a game night at the church for families to enjoy. Gather up board games, corn hole, and others to play around the church. Provide snacks and drinks, play some fun music, then let the games begin! This is a great way to help families get to know each other and enjoy a night out.

Charge a small entrance fee or ask for donations. For much less than the price of taking the kids to a movie, parents can give their families a fun evening out.

Church Fundraising Idea #10:

10. Wrap It Up

An easy way to get your community involved during the holiday season is by wrapping gifts. Wrapping Christmas gifts isn’t everyone’s favorite task and everyone loves to get some help wrapping gifts. Round up your talented gift-wrappers and ask them to volunteer their time and talents for a great church fundraiser.

Announce that you’ll have gift wrapping stations set up after each service in December for people to bring their gifts for wrapping. Provide the wrapping paper and tape, then ask volunteers to bring their scissors.

Another option is to talk with local retailers about hosting your fundraiser at the mall or another high-traffic shopping area.

Ask for donations from those who take you up on the gift-wrapping offer. With Tithe.ly, you can set up giving kiosks at each gift-wrapping station or have people use their mobile phone to give via the app or using text-to-give.

Church Fundraising Idea #11:

11. The Direct Approach

Themed fundraisers are great ways to raise money for a specific project or need. However, sometimes a more direct approach works well when you present the need in a targeted manner.

Announce your church fundraiser on Sunday morning and take extra care to explain the “why” behind the “what.”

Let’s say you need to raise money to expand the children’s ministry areas. Here are direct ways you can raise financial support in this scenario:

  • Shoot videos of parents sharing how their children have grown in their faith and made incredible friends at church Mention the specific areas that need to be updated or refreshed
  • Show 3D renderings of what the children’s area will look like once construction is complete
  • Discuss how important it is to invest in the next generation and how this project will support that effort
  • Ask the congregation to donate to this fund via text giving or via a church giving app
  • Update your congregation each week on the fundraising progress until you reach your fundraising goals

You don’t want to use this fundraising method too frequently, but it is still an effective way to present the need to your congregation and invite them to donate towards a specific need.

By helping your church see and feel how this project will influence lives and reach people with the gospel, you have a greater chance of meeting your fundraising goal.

Church Fundraising Idea #12:

12. Learn a New Skill

Another easy way to get church members involved is to host an event for them to learn. Do you have professional plumbers, carpenters, or general handyman in your congregation? Maybe you have people skilled in sewing, website development, or photography as well.

Consider hosting a church fundraiser where your professionals teach people the skill they’ve always wanted to learn. Carpenters could show how to build a simple custom shelving unit for the garage. Sewers could share how to sew on buttons or hem jeans.

Church Fundraising Idea #13:

13. Charity Auction

When you need to raise money for your church, church fundraising ideas abound, but the charity auction is a mainstay. A charity auction is a fun way to fundraise and can be done at any time of the year, indoors or outdoors. You can do a charity auction in many different ways.

First off, the things being auctioned off can be donated by the church members, and if you collaborate with other churches then all of the churches’ members can donate items, possibly diversifying the selection of items up for auction and even making it possible to donate more money to charity. The items can be used or new and can even be of one or more themes such as kitchen ware, furniture, handmade things, clothing, baked goods, art or food.

It is also possible to find someplace that is willing to donate to the cause such as local stores. In this case, again, the items could all be the same or all very different.

The highest bidder of each item wins and the bidding and auctioning can be done in various forms; a silent auction, a live auction or an online auction.

In a silent auction, the items are places on tables and with each item is a closed box where the bidders can write their name and bid on a slip of paper and put it into the box of the item they hope to win. Or instead of a box and slips of paper, you can put a sheet of paper where each person can write their name and bid.

In a live auction you will need someone to be the auctioneer and someone to be the auctioneer’s assistant. The auctioneer calls off the name of an item and calls out the newest bid until the highest bid has been reached and the bidder wins. The assistant is there to help the auctioneer see and hear all the people bidding.

In an online auction pictures are taken of the auction items and bidders may log on, give their credit card information, and bid on the items until the highest bid has been reached. With this type of auction it may be best to do non perishable items depending on the length of time you allow for bidding to go on.

You can make the auction entry free of charge, or sell tickets.

And put out a free donation box for people who don’t want to bid, but still want to give.

Getting started on a charity auction:

  • You’ll need a venue-- outdoors or indoors, but have a backup plan if you choose the latter.
  • You’ll need donations!
  • Publicize the event-- posters, social media, or flyers.
  • If you want to sell tickets to enter, start selling them well in advanced.
  • Depending on the length of the event, you may need seating for the people attending.
  • You’ll need places to set the items upon or maybe tarps laid out on the floor/ground.

Try Combining With

  • Silent Auction
  • Art Auction
  • Bake Sale
  • Sell Products Online
  • Used Book Sale
  • Carnival
  • Shoe Drive

Mix it up

Make it a picnic basket auction and have every family bring one or two baskets, filled with picnic dinners, to auction off-- and afterwards everyone can eat the dinner from the baskets they won. In this way, everyone bids, and everyone wins-- and eats!

Church Fundraising Idea #14:

14. Art Auction

An art auction is a creative way to fundraise and can be done in any season of the year, indoors or even outdoors! it's a great church fundraiser.

An art auction has much potential-- the word art can signify many different forms of art.

It could mean, paintings, sketches, or sculptures. Or it could mean homemade food, clothing, toys, jewelry, homemade cards for birthdays or other holidays, crocheted or knitted items, homemade furniture, wood carvings, or any homemade crafts.

If you collaborate with local churches, you will get a diversity of art and will have more attendance.

You can have the art be strictly one type or keep it varied.

You can get the art for the auction by asking church members to make and donate their art pieces and by even asking local artists to donate as well.

In an art auction, like in any auction, the highest bidder of each item wins and the bidding and auctioning can be done in various forms; a silent auction, a live auction or an online auction.

In a silent auction, the art is placed on tables and with each piece of art, is a closed box where the bidders can write their name and bid on a slip of paper and put it into the box of the item they hope to win. Or instead of a box and slips of paper, you can put a sheet of paper where each person can write their name and bid.

In a live auction you will need someone to be the auctioneer and someone to be the auctioneer’s assistant. The auctioneer calls off the name of a piece up for auction and calls out the newest bid until the highest bid has been reached and the bidder wins. The assistant is there to help the auctioneer see and hear and keep track of all the people bidding.

In an online auction pictures are taken of the pieces and bidders may log on, give their credit card information, and bid on the art until the highest bid has been reached. With this type of auction it may be best to do non perishable items depending on the length of time you allow for bidding to go on.

You can make entry to the art auction free of charge or sell tickets to attend.

You could even put out a collection box for free donations for those who don’t want to bid on any art but still want to give.

Getting Started

  • You need donations!
  • You need a place to hold the art auction, whether outdoors or indoors. If it is outdoors, have a backup place to go to if weather is bad.
  • You’ll need to spread the word-- social media, posters, flyers are all great ways of getting the word out.
  • If you are selling tickets to attend be sure to start selling those in advance.
  • You’ll need someplace to put the art pieces, be they tables or tarps laid on the ground.
  • If the auction is long, you may want to provide places to sit.

Try Combining With

  • Bake Sale
  • Silent Auction
  • Art Auction
  • Art Commissions
  • Cookbooks
  • Original Art Sale
  • Face Painting
  • Room Decorating Contest
  • Art Show
  • Costume Party
  • Custom T-Shirts

Mix it up

Elect some people to be judges and they can judge some of the items as “most detailed”,  “most colorful”, “most original”, etc... and the maker can be awarded with a prize of some sort.

Church Fundraising Idea #15:

15. Silent Auction

A silent auction is a good way to fundraise and is good any time of the year.

First things first-- you need items to be auctioned off!

The things being auctioned off can be donated by the church members, and if you collaborate with other churches then all of the churches’ members can donate items, possibly diversifying the selection of items up for auction and even making it possible to raise more money. The items can be used or new and can even be of one or more themes such as kitchen ware, furniture, handmade things, clothing, baked goods, food or even a picnic basket auction.

It is also possible to find someplace that is willing to donate to the cause such as local stores. In this case, again, the items could all be the same or all very different.

The highest bidder of each item wins.

In a silent auction the items are placed on tables and with each item is a closed box where the bidders can write their name and bid on a slip of paper and put it into the box of the item they hope to win. Or instead of a box and slips of paper, you can put a sheet of paper where each person can write their name and bid.

You can make the auction entry free of charge, or sell tickets.

You might even put out a free donation box for those attending that don’t want to bid no any items but do want to help give to the church fundraiser.

Getting started

  • You’ll need a venue-- outdoors or indoors, but have a backup plan if you choose the latter.
  • You’ll need donations!
  • Publicize the event-- posters, social media, or flyers.
  • If you want to sell tickets to enter, start selling them well in advanced.
  • You’ll need tables or something to set the items on.

Try Combining With

  • Used Book Sale
  • Bake Sale
  • Art Auction
  • Charity Auction
  • Shoe Drive
  • Cookbooks
  • Concert

Mix it up

Provide snacks or finger food-- make it a bake sale, on the side. Or get a band or your worship team to play a concert.

Even more Fundraising FAQs

What is a face mask fundraiser?

Because of COVID-19 and the ongoing threat of global pandemics, face masks are likely here to stay in some form. And because they're essentially a universal need, there's a fundraising opportunity to be had. All you need is to design your mask, use an online vendor who can print your designs and produce your masks, and then sell them with margin. That margin will then go to whatever project you're hoping to fund.

The benefit is that there is a low cost to masks, wholesale and retail, so almost everyone can participate. And since everyone needs masks, the fundraiser has universal appeal. Just be sure your design is great and speaks to your church's brand.

How can a church raise money fast?

The fastest way to raise money is to simply share the need with as many people as possible. Be sure to properly cast a vision and invite people to be a part of what you believe God is doing in your midst. It's also important to provide plenty of avenues for people to donate: online, text-to-give, giving kiosks, and by check or credit card. Asking people to pledge a recurring donation will also work in your favor, since few projects need to be funded immediately but can be paid for in time.

How can I make fundraising fun?

The simplest way to make fundraising fun is to make the fundraising campaign filled with activities that will appeal to as many people as possible. Set goals with rewards that are silly. (Take a pie to the face if certain numbers are reached.) Fill your fundraising season with events for the whole family so that participation brings in money but also great fellowship opportunities. People already spend money on entertainment, so if your church can provide an alternate form of fun activities, people will contribute without feeling the pain of an additional contribution.

How do you fundraise in a recession?

Recessions affect the economy as a whole, but rarely do they affect the pocketbooks of every individual, so there will still be people with money to give. However, since the perception is that money is tight, we suggest two things: First, focus your fundraising on things people need already. That way the donations will be viewed as a redirection of income, rather than an additional expense. Second, be sure that your vision communicates real need. People will give sacrificially if they believe in the cause.

Also, during hard times, people tend to look to God and want to participate in the work of the kingdom. They may be more available spiritually than you might think.

How do you politely ask for donations?

Politeness is always a matter of respect. If you respect those from whom you're soliciting funds, your appeal will be viewed as sincere and appropriate. Remember to be grateful for every dollar, not just the large donations. Express this gratitude regularly. Communicate and be transparent every step of the way. If people feel involved, they will feel respected and cared for.

Over to you

We hope this list of fundraising ideas for church activities spark a few ideas and help you get started with your next church fundraiser. If you’re not using Tithe.ly and want to use it for your upcoming fundraiser, contact us here and we’ll have you up and running right away. These church fundraising ideas work great when you have easy to use online giving tools.

Editor’s Note: This post was updated on April 21, 2021 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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