I need your creative minds!

United States
August 3, 2008 7:44pm CST
I'm Fund Raising Chair for our church and I need to come up with a fund raiser that will generate excitement during the month of February. Either the fund raiser itself has to be exciting or I have to find some way to make paying the church's bills seem exciting. Let's face it, people get excited about building a new church or buying something for a mission or some other tangible goal. But paying the utility bills and pastor's salary really isn't that exciting. How excited do you get about sitting down to pay your household bills? But with the tough economy we are having trouble making ends meet at church as well as at home. And it looks like fund raising may be the only hope we have for getting through the winter heating bills, etc. It may seem like winter is a long time away, but these things take planning and we need to get some ideas flowing so we can firm up a plan. We are a very small church right now, about fifty members, so we can't get a whole lot more in our offering plates. We have to do something that draws in money from outside our congregation. We are planning a Holiday Bazaar for December and hope that it will get us going. But we need more than one injection to increase the cash flow. What kinds of things have any of you participated in to raise money for a non-profit? And how did it work? Help!
8 people like this
18 responses
@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
4 Aug 08
Well, this isn't something that is quick, but it sure is easy! If you start on it now, you're likely to have a fair amount of change by the time you need it, and it keeps on going and going and going. The best part is that it doesn't cost any of your members a dime! I found this when I started fundraising for my Susan G Komen 3-day walk. What you so is tell all the members of the congregation to save their ink cartridges/toners. Tell them to save the ones from work - with their employers permission. Go to the local businesses - accounting firms, law firms, title companies, doctors, whoever uses a printer and/or copier. This place called Funding Factory will PAY YOU for them! (As long as your church is set up as a valid non-profit organization). It doesn't cost a dime for you guys, everyone's using ink now-a-days. The postage is even free - they send you mailing lables. Check them out on the web (they're easy to find but I don't want to post the link or it might voilate the TOS here and we don't want that!). If you do sign up, can you use my referral link - 127466. Best of luck to you all!!!
4 people like this
@Aurone (4758)
• United States
4 Aug 08
That sounds like an excellent idea. I will have to remember that one for future organizations that I am involved with.
2 people like this
• United States
8 Aug 08
Since our church has gone green this would be a great thing to do even if it didn't earn much money. Thanks.
1 person likes this
@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
8 Aug 08
youdontsay - I hope you all do well with it, I'm sure it will be easy for such a large organization. If your congregation is going green, you should check out my web page, the health banner is about going green and we have programs for non-profit organizations that will bring in monthly income for them.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Aug 08
A club I sponsor at school raises a bundle every February. We make Hershey;s Kisses roses. They're easy and inexpensive and really beautiful. You probably know how to make them already, but I'll go through it, in case. The materials are nothing but Kiss candies, cellophane, straws and plastic or paper leaves. The straws should be green or as close to the stem of a rose as possible. Gle a leaf or two to one end of the straw Put the Kisses bottom-to-bottom, and wrap them in cellophane, leaving a tiny tail on the cellophane at the top. They really look like rose buds about to open. I still have the first one I made to show the kids how, and it's many, many years old. It's still lovely. We've sold them for $1 to $3, with a discount for anyone who wants to buy a bouquet.
4 people like this
• United States
8 Aug 08
These sound lovely. I'll have to try some! Thanks.
@sudalunts (5527)
• United States
4 Aug 08
My Pastor did not believe in fund raisers, because he said that if each member brought their tithes and offerings the way they should there would not be a financial problems. Well we had our church renovated, and the realization that the offerings were not enough hit home. So now we are having fund raiser projects. We have had a hugh garage sale, each member donated items to sale, probably like your bizarre will be done. We have sold cookie dough, candles, in September we are having a gospel concert. At one time we were thinking about a fair, but that became too costly. We have had "Men who cook", which was all the men of the church would make a dish and bring it in, and there would be a donation given by each person who attended. We have had raffles, but that is so generic and most people hold on to the tickets and do not sale them. Maybe you can have a movie night, charge a small amount for entry and sale refreshments. Since my church recently started fund raisers I do not have many suggestions. But I wish you well and hope you are successful in whatever you do.
@NettyB (336)
• United States
4 Aug 08
I think the concert and movie night are really great ideas.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Aug 08
I like movie night, too. We just started using powerpoint to put the words to hymns on the wall in front of the church. I think we could show DVD's, don't you? Thanks.
@rsomers6 (25)
• United States
4 Aug 08
have a comedian come in and charge 5 bucks/person thats wat i did
3 people like this
• United States
8 Aug 08
Hmmm. Don't know any comedians. But we have some very talented vocalists. Maybe a Spring Sing would be good. We don't have much space, though, so attendance would be limited unless we had more than one performance. We'll put that on the "think about it list." Thanks.
@magojordan (3256)
• Philippines
4 Aug 08
Well in our church there would usually be a rummage sale of items that are not needed anymore by the parishioners. I think by accepting donations for a rummage sale by your church goers then selling ti might generate funds for your event
3 people like this
• United States
8 Aug 08
We usually do an annual rummage sale. This year's didn't do well. I think we've cleaned everyone out! Maybe if we skip a year we will have more and better stuff next time. Thanks.
@GardenGerty (90290)
• Marion, Kansas
4 Aug 08
In February one year our Youth Group decorated giant heart shaped sugar cookies and delivered them, on order. I do not know how much they charged per cookie, but it was fun to do, and basic sugar cookie dough is not expensive to make. People loved receiving the cookies and the cards. Someone in your church who is musically talented could deliver singing telegrams for a fee. No cost except time, there.The ideal thing is that these items fit the Valentine theme but do not have to be sold as gifts to your congregation, only. It is a way to reach out to people in the community.
3 people like this
• United States
8 Aug 08
We could probably do the cookies without a problem. But our members live all over a metropolitan area and we'd go bankrupt buying gas to deliver them! But it does sound like a fun idea.
@NrgDfenZ (1810)
• Belgium
4 Aug 08
Well you could always do something like a spaghetti-night or something similar.. Or what I always liked was some sort of lottery.. You could make it a family day, and all have to pay like 5$ to enter, the winner gets like 20% or so the second 10% and the third 5%.. In order to win you need to do some tasks, like running a course, throwing eggs to your partner and don't break too much off course.. You can let them enter as a team like father-son.. IT could bring the familys together too and is real fun to do and to see :)
2 people like this
• United States
8 Aug 08
Don't know about the egg part! But it does sound like fun. Sounds like it could be part of a carnival! Thanks.
@Hatley (157975)
• Garden Grove, California
4 Aug 08
youdontsay hi whats wrong with an old fashioned bake sale with cakes, cookies, and anything in the pastry line and along with each pasty item a handwritten recipe from the maker, make enough of these for each cookie etc. this makes it' more unique that way and charge a few cents for' each hand scribed recipe. lol.
2 people like this
• United States
8 Aug 08
Thanks. I think we will add that to our holiday bazaar!
@sanell (2114)
• United States
4 Aug 08
well are you looking to having something that people will want to buy? Are you looking for donations to auction? Auctions are usually pretty fun, and work best in the winter time, to have a dinner with stuff to auction is always something that is fun. You can have it catered and charge people a fee for coming to pay for the food or what have you, get all sorts of great donations for auctioning off and make some money that way. Or you can have a bazaar or go to a bazaar and have like some sort of bake sale - bake sales are always fun and you can get a lot of people to bake treats for selling. I have participated in bake sales at the churches, we were able to talk with the church and make sure we would be the only table with baked goods. We always made a good portion of money for that. I have been in auctions as well, I would be in charge of contacting companies to obtain donations or even just talking with the church members that have businesses or the like, if you are also have a school tied with the church you can do selling of candies or even do some searches on the internet for great ways to fund raise. There are tons of things you can do, with the ages you are dealing with I think that having an auction may be your best bet. Our Church has an auction every year and it is always outstanding. They raise a lot of money with the auctions.
2 people like this
• United States
8 Aug 08
We are having an on-line auction in October and we are looking for sponsors at the $150, $250, and $500 levels. We aren't doing so well so far. Everyone is so shy and introverted that it is hard to get our foot in the door. What your secret to success?
@Nar_87 (181)
• Mongolia
4 Aug 08
I am not sure but I hear telavengelism is pretty succesful with the fund raising.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Aug 08
@kenzie45230 (3563)
• United States
4 Aug 08
I heard of another church that gave every man, woman and child in the church $10 and asked them to try to double it and bring it back to the church on a specific Sunday. The kids were thrilled to be involved. They bought craft materials or materials for art projects, then sold their crafts and art work. Adults did that same thing or bought ingredients to make home baked goods and sold them. I believe they were given a month to try to double the money, and when the time came, they actually collected 4 times what they had given out.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Aug 08
I've heard of this idea before. There is even great scripture to support it in the parables. It might be a good sermon on stewardship! Thanks.
@kenzie45230 (3563)
• United States
4 Aug 08
You'd be surprised what a church can do. Our church in Florida had about 200 members, and most of them were elderly and on a fixed income. I think our regular offerings were about $1,000 a week. But we planned for a miracle Sunday - many months in advance - with a goal of getting $20,000 on that one Sunday. Because it was months in advance, everyone had time to make things and sell them, to have garage sales and put the money in the miracle Sunday offering. They also had time to reach out to friends and neighbors and tell them about our miracle Sunday. When the day came, everyone came to the altar with their extra offerings. Children came with handfuls of pennies - or with money they made selling lemonade. Adults came with the money they made from making crafts or having those garage sales...or from collecting money from their friends. And some people brought titles - to their old car, to a small lot, and to a boat. We collected something like $20,004 in cash and checks, and when the car, boat and small piece of land were sold, it was more like $25,000. Meanwhile, another church down the block also had a miracle Sunday that same day. They had twice as many members, and set their goal for $100,000. They also achieved their goal. And both churches made the local newspaper - front page in the religion section.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Aug 08
I ran this by the pastor and she thought it would be a great kick-off when we start the capital campaign for the new building. Thanks!
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
4 Aug 08
Our church has about 50 active members. We have a youth group that sometimes needs to raise funds for trips, camp and so forth. What they do is have a valentine banquet that is for everyone in the church along with friends and family. The tickets generally run $5.00 per person. The food is donated and the young people do the serving. Of course it is expected that they receive tips too. This is really looked forward too every year. There is a number of people that play interments so love songs are sung. Everyone is able to give some kind of tribute to their spouses parents and kids or different members of the church. As I said it is a big hit every year. It doesn't even have to be right on Valentine's Day.
• United States
8 Aug 08
Sounds like fun! Thanks.
@palonghorn (5490)
• United States
4 Aug 08
You say it's a small church, so not sure what kind of space you have available, but you might think of 'hosting' a scrapbook Crop Day. Most crop days charge $30 - 50 per person. And if it's like the small church I was a member of in Texas, maybe some of the ladies could make some baked goods, salads, sandwiches, and you could serve coffee, tea, or sodas. Keeping the expense to a minimum. Figure out how many tables you could set up for workspace, normally 4-6 ft table is needed per person. If any of your members scrapbook and have any of the tools such as cricut machine, cutting tools, you could set up a work station for those who attend to use. If you decide to do this type of fund-raiser, check your area for yahoo groups/scrapbooking, one be one way to get the word out with the date, etc. Also, if you have a bake sale, check out your local walmart, if you have one, they match any funds raised for non-profit groups. We did that a couple of times for our volunteer fire dept. Good luck
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Aug 08
I don't even know if anyone does scrap booking. But I'll have to find out. That sounds like a great idea. Thanks.
• United States
4 Aug 08
The church I used to go to had talent shows. You could do that. That seems to generate a lot of profit.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Aug 08
When we met in a larger facility we had a couple of talent shows that were really popular. We have some very talented folks in our congregation. Not sure how we'd pull it off in our new quarters. We bought a building foundation last year. It had been the foundation of a church that had planned to build a sanctuary on the top but they never did. So we have the foundation and want to pay off our mortgage so we can build our permanent sanctuary. That is what the on-line auction is for. You can have a look at http://NewCreationMCC.cmarket.com. You'll see that the building is pretty small and already crowded. But that just motivates us to work harder!
• Philippines
4 Aug 08
Before I volunteered in our church. We ask people who are going to our church to donate even in small amounts. They put it inside cans, you could use a jar or a piggy bank if you want to. Also I think, making something and selling it could help. try selling foods and put a sign that tells that the money that you will earn from the business will go to "Name of your church". If you have kids in your church, ask them to make anything they can think of using polymer clays. then bake it and sell it. try those two in one business, that could help you earn.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Aug 08
Thanks. We've been having people collect their quarters and pocket change for about eight months for a specific project. We put labels on the plastic film canisters they throw away at film processing stores and ask people to fill them then bring them back and exchange them for empty ones. We've collected over a $1000 that way!
@avidwhit (1492)
• Mexico
4 Aug 08
These are all really great suggestions. Thanks everyone who posted and the you dont say for a great real life queation.! Adios. :)
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Aug 08
I knew I could count on myLotters to have great ideas! Kudos to everyone who shared!
@Aurone (4758)
• United States
4 Aug 08
Raffles are always good. Sometimes you can get chain stores like Wal-mart to donate items for the raffle. Then your congregation can sell the tickets to their friends, family and coworkers. That would bring in money outside the congregation. Too cold for a carwash in Feburary. Maybe something to do with valentines day--a raffle for a romantic dinner for 2 or something? Candygrams? Singing valentines? These are just a few off the cuff ideas.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Aug 08
Thanks. We are having an on-line auction in October and are looking for items and services from merchants and individuals to sell on the auction. That romantic dinner for 2 is a good idea. And maybe we can get some sweets from the candy makers in the area. And some of our choir could hire out for holiday serenades! Thanks.