Most church communities do not have access to all the capital necessary to keep the work of the faithful fully funded. That the members of a church community must pitch in, not only in terms of dollars, but also by giving time and energy to your cause serves to knit the fabric of your faith together. This ownership, or “buy in,” helps everyone in the congregation focus on the importance of doing the Creator’s work. But inspiring others isn’t always an easy part of faithful living.
Tithes and Offerings
In most cases, the gifting of 10 percent of one’s income by congregation members goes a long way toward funding the overhead costs required to keep the doors of your church open. Those gifts can cover your congregation’s basic needs for utilities, salaries, and other normal costs of running a church including printing and janitorial services. To make it easy for your congregation to give, consider offering an online donations website. DoJiggy’s donation software allows your members to give on a recurring basis – ie monthly – and also to give ‘In Honor Of’ or ‘In Memory Of’ donations.
Still, there are special projects that require funding over and above these basic expenses. It can become especially challenging, and damaging to your larger mission when there simply is not enough money available to fund a youth-group outing or an event with sufficient public appeal to bring new congregation members through the door.
Marketing Your Cause
Too often, churches forget that their mission cannot be accomplished without sound business planning. In a very real way, your church’s work requires a productive marketing plan that will bring new souls through the doors just as for-profit businesses are always seeking new customers. Your church group must establish itself as a vital part of the larger community if it is to grow. The sharing of your message – your mission – must benot just visible, but also exciting and compelling enough to help attract and keep new congregation members. For this reason, it is important that your leadership encourage and support events and ideas that enhance your image throughout the larger community. But this extremely important outreach can seem daunting to a church with limited resources.
Go Beyond the Tried and True
Very often, particularly as we plan for a church project, we begin with a very small net. We limit our thinking to an outreach that will gather more dollars from the friends and neighbors we already know. This approach can be counterproductive. Of course you want the members of your immediate community to join you as members of your church and their financial support is very welcome. Nevertheless an injection of new community members and new funding is a critical goal we all need to put near the top of our list of things to do if our church fundraising efforts are to mature. Gathering new members and additional dollars from people outside your immediate area is part of your important work. A good fundraising plan – and solid missionary effort – depends upon bringing new souls into the fold. Therefore, the key to your church fundraising success is to cast a wider net whenever possible.
If you can embrace the idea of interesting new families in your church and its work, you are off to a good start. The next part of marketing your mission is to find imaginative ways to ignite the attention of a broader group of individuals. Naturally, church bazaars and bake sales are, and always have been, good ways to generate a little cash for an immediate project, but the reservoir of other church fundraising ideas is as broad as it is deep. With the internet at your fingertips, you can expose yourself to limitless church fundraising ideas that work for people not just in your area, but in all corners of the earth. One key to finding a bright new light in your church fundraising plan is to compile as many ideas as possible – then evaluate and see what will work for your church and community.
Managing Church Fundraising Events
Just beyond finding a great church fundraising idea stands the ominous obstacle of managing such an event or fundraising campaign. Very often, the biggest problem church leaders encounter in the process of raising funds is the initial shortage of time and money. Energy is also often lacking, particularly if you are relying on tired ideas and overworked volunteers. It can become a downward spiral that ends in limited success and frustration.
The key to turning that spiral upside-down is to find innovative ways to make the most of the time and money you have at your disposal. By investing in fundraising event software, you can leverage the finite resources you have into a fundraising windfall. Fundraising event management software allows your congregation and supporters to register for an event online, purchase products and sponsorship packages, and watch fundraising progress, while church administrators can gather reporting and information in the administration area. By having a solid, step-by-step organizational plan in the hands of your team, you can use your other resources to much more effective purpose. These tools can help with everything from planning to implementation to follow-up, leaving you much more time to do the things that you set out to do in the first place – inspire interest in your church and its programs.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Nobody knows better than a person of faith how to look ahead and beyond difficulty to an amazingly successful end. The same attitude that fuels your faith can power the fundraising work of your church. It’s merely a matter of identifying the goal and overcoming the many obstacles that lie between you and that goal. Creative problem solving, determination, and using the right tools for the job can be keys to your ultimate success.
Not only can you be motivated in your church fundraising efforts by a few new, creative ideas and a change in perspective about your goals, your volunteers will also benefit from some fresh ideas.
Your ‘can do’ attitude is a living testament to the lessons your faith aims to teach others. This visibility makes it all the more important that you succeed at what you undertake. People are drawn to successful organizations and churches are no different. People are very interested in winners; so when you take the marketing of your mission seriously and evidence your faith through successful church fundraising, you will find others flocking to you.
DoJiggy offers an entire resource center of free resources for church fundraising.