5 Fundraising Ideas for Churches or Religious Schools

5 Fundraising Ideas for Churches or Religious Schools

Are you looking to raise funds for your church or religious school? Whether you’re looking to pay for an expansion project, fund a missions trip, purchase church bells, keep your doors open, reduce the cost of tuition, or support your outreach efforts, we’re here to help with five creative fundraising ideas to help you get started!

Host an auction

Put together a silent auction with fundraising event software like MaxGiving or hold a live, in-person auction. Use social media, word of mouth, and email marketing campaigns to spread the word about your fundraising auction far in advance. You can even utilize MaxGiving to livestream an in-person auction — this will help get remote participants involved and maximize donations. 

Ask members of your congregation and local businesses to donate items for the auction, such as gift baskets, event tickets, jewelry, spa packages, or gift cards. Construct a well-written procurement letter to ask for specific donations. Briefly outline your mission and be sure to personalize each letter.

On the day of your fundraising auction, set up long tables with your donated items, and arrange them in an eye-catching display. You want your auction items to be the talk of the event. This helps build anticipation and gets people excited about bidding. Have volunteers or staff members help monitor and present the auction items and provide check-in or bidding guidance if needed.

Pro tip: The upfront expense to hire a good auctioneer is well worth it! They will help you maximize your donations and keep the crowd engaged and ready to give.

Hold a community fundraising dinner

Hosting a fundraising dinner is an excellent way to bring the members of your church or school together with the rest of the community to raise funds for your organization. Recruit volunteers from the congregation to help you plan and execute the event — this will help cut costs and create a sense of unity among your supporters.

Find a local venue, utilize the church fellowship hall/school auditorium, or use outdoor space to host a barbecue or luncheon. Ask attendees to donate when they sign up or charge per ticket. This is a great opportunity to show a video or slideshow of your organization’s work and the impact it has had on the local community. 

To increase revenue from your community fundraising dinner, sell table sponsorships in advance. Get creative and offer fun packages with different levels of benefits, such as preferred seating or a shout-out from the stage.

Organize an auction or a raffle during dinner. Ask members to donate items, such as tickets to a local sports game, restaurant gift cards, special religious-based memorabilia or artwork, or volunteer services from members of the congregation (think “date night” babysitting). You can also sell raffle tickets to attendees and give out prizes at the end of the night.

Encourage guests to become ongoing donors by signing up for recurring gifts. To sweeten the deal, offer small door prizes or discounts on upcoming events to those who pledge to make regular donations.

Consider partnering with local businesses to secure sponsorships, donations, and discounts on everything from food to decorations. This will help you save money on expenses while promoting your cause in the community.

Hold a raffle

Ask local businesses or supporters to donate high-value items that can be used as prizes in a raffle. Encourage members of the congregation to purchase tickets and tell their friends. Sell the tickets online or at church events and use social media to spread the word.

Pro tip: You can host an online raffle with MaxGiving. Advertise the prize and sell raffle tickets on your event fundraising page with ease!

Create a Fundraising page

Creating a dedicated fundraising page on your church’s website or through fundraising software like MaxGiving is an effective way to promote your church or school’s fundraising goal. Let donors know how their money will be used, provide updates on the progress of the campaign, and showcase stories of success from people who have been positively impacted by your church or school.

This “digital offering plate” makes it easy for supporters to give online, and provides additional giving opportunities for people who are not able to attend your events or services. 

Adding your fundraising page to your social media channels is a great way to get the word out about your church’s mission and reach a larger audience. Be sure to create a catchy hashtag and use it to tag all of your posts associated with the event.

Ask followers to donate and share your fundraising page on their personal social media pages. Encourage them to share stories of how they connected with your church or religious school and its impact on their lives.

Ways to utilize your fundraising page:

Offer mobile donation 

Text-to-give is a fast and easy way for supporters to donate to your cause. By setting up mobile donation programs, you can make it even easier for your members to donate on the go.

Integrate online and offline giving 

Using fundraising software, you can stay on top of both your online and in-person donations. This allows you to track the progress of your campaigns in real-time, send automated thank-you emails to donors after they give, and analyze donor data for a better understanding of who is supporting your cause.

Implement recurring giving

Recurring giving campaigns let you establish an ongoing stream of donations for your church or religious school. Ask members of the congregation to pledge their support over a specified period of time. Give them monthly, yearly, or quarterly payment options, and consider offering special rewards for those who commit to longer-term pledges.

Printable QR codes

With the MaxGiving event fundraising software, you can create printable QR codes for signs, posters, and bulletins that link to your donation page and allow supporters to donate in one simple step. 


Put together a fundraising gala

Fundraising galas often include dinner, live and silent auctions, entertainment, raffles, and more. Usually, galas are held as the main fundraising event of the year and are usually a little more formal than a community fundraising dinner. They will usually have multiple ways for people to donate and include a presentation on the charitable work of your organization.

Fundraising galas can be a great opportunity to get members of the community together and celebrate your mission at a fun, fancy event. When planning your fundraising event, think outside of the box and come up with unique ways to engage potential donors. A successful gala will bring in donations while also creating an enjoyable experience for all who attend.

Fundraising software like MaxGiving makes managing ticket sales, table reservations, and donations a breeze for your next nonprofit fundraising event. With these creative and simple fundraising ideas, your church or religious school will be well-equipped to reach your fundraising goals! Contact us to learn how you can get started with MaxGiving today.

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