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18 New and Creative Fundraising Ideas for Churches and Faith-Based Organizations


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Published March 7, 2023 Reading Time: 7 minutes

Religious institutions account for some of the highest fundraising numbers of any nonprofit category, with nearly one-third of all donations going to faith-based organizations.¹

Unlike other nonprofits that rely on fundraising events and more traditional fundraising campaigns, most religious giving comes from weekly or monthly tithes. Although that might change how a religious institution talks about giving, it doesn’t decrease the importance of generosity to the congregation.

There are plenty of easy fundraising ideas faith-based organizations can leverage to build a budget and impact the community. Here are a few of the best church fundraising ideas to get you started.

18 Fundraising Ideas for Churches and Faith-Based Organizations

1. Accept Virtual Donations

Approximately two-thirds of church giving happens on a day other than Sunday.² That statistic makes sense when you consider how many people prefer to give online. Thanks to flexible online giving options, those people are no longer required to attend a community gathering to donate.

Make online giving a priority at your faith-based organization. Finding a way to capture the donations of up to 20% of people who view worship services online is critical.³ 

You can offer an online giving option that’s easy to access from your website or app during virtual services or anytime a donor feels inspired to give. Giving platforms like Classy make online fundraising easier than ever.

2. Try New Payment Options

Almost half of all faith-based donations are made with credit cards.⁴ However, these donations likely come from various sources, including your website, text to donate, or a mobile app. 

Align with donor preferences by offering your congregation diversified payment options, including PayPal, Venmo, ACH transfer, and even cryptocurrency donations.

Although half of these organizations’ donations come through credit cards, there are still other means of donations, including cash and checks. You can also allow your congregation to make these traditional contributions, even if that looks like secure drop boxes placed around your building.

3. Leverage QR codes

How do you combine the impact of in-person interactions with the convenience of online giving? Drop some QR codes around your building. We see from mobile shopping trends that QR codes help drive immediate action.

These quick-action, scannable graphics could show up on your worship bulletin, on the backs of pews, on wall posters, or all of the above. Make them visible but not an unnecessary distraction. 

The goal is to have a QR code readily available when needed, but not be an eyesore. QR codes should link directly to your donation site or a multilink giving page. The goal is to allow people to navigate your calls to action from any device easily.

4. Sell Holiday Cards

There are plenty of relevant holidays within the calendar, including Eid al-Fitr, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Rosh Hashanah. Even a few nonreligious holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Valentine’s Day can elevate your congregation as opportunities to support your organization.

Design and sell holiday cards people can purchase and give to loved ones. You can even include a thoughtful scripture verse or message inside. That way, you provide special holiday gifts while allowing people to give back.

Ensure the design and print quality are up to people’s standards and remember to distribute them at least a few weeks before each holiday. That provides people with more time to hand out their gifts to friends and family. You can also include donation e-cards in your promotional efforts. Providing this option is the perfect addition to engage online supporters.

5. Honor and Memorial Gifts

Allow members of your church to contribute in honor or memory of a loved one. You can align these appeals with holidays like Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, or Veteran’s Day, or keep them separate as an opportunity to honor the people you love outside the busy holiday season. These are also appropriate for graduating seniors at the end of spring.

In most cases, supporters will pay for flowers displayed in the building and their loved one’s name included in your worship bulletin or program. The point of these donations is not only to raise funds but also to help recognize special people within your community.

Enure your fundraising platform offers easy-to-navigate donor management tools so you can keep tabs on these supporters and follow up with future appeals.

6. Encourage Recurring Giving

Only 15% of churchgoers donate monthly (or more frequently), but they account for 51% of church-giving dollars.⁵ In other words, small recurring donations add up over time, thanks to the commitment of loyal supporters. 

Encourage recurring donations by reminding people that they can set up a subscription gift at the amount and cadence of their choice. Consider including this call to action in your nonprofit newsletter or during your service.

7. Ask for an Annual Giving Pledge

It’s common for faith-based organizations to primarily rely on tithes and donations from their congregations. To better project how much people will give, ask for annual pledges. This approach allows you to proactively plan how you’ll distribute donations throughout the year. 

Be proactive in elevating this pledge opportunity to your donors as well, so they can account for it in their personal budgets. Throughout the year, send reminders of how much they pledged to give with updates on how much they’ve given so far. Celebrate with them as they get closer to their goal, and share how their donation dollars have impacted your mission.

8. Host a Cafe

Many faith-based organizations bring their congregation together before services begin to establish a strong sense of community, and offering coffee and pastries is a simple way to do that. 

These morning cafes are an excellent way for supporters to skip the Starbucks line, mingle with others in the congregation, and establish stronger connections with the community. 

In many cases, these refreshments are complimentary. However, you could leave an optional tip jar or donation stand for anyone willing to help offset this expense.

9. Support a Parents’ Date Night

Every parent in your congregation appreciates the occasional break. You can provide a much-needed night off with a date-night fundraiser.

Recruit volunteers to serve as child care in the children’s area. As a bonus, you could offer an extra night of babysitting to teach Bible lessons to the kids. Suggest local date-night ideas so they don’t have to stress about planning. 

You could also partner with local restaurants as a fun way to establish community connections and treat your congregation to a meal discount. That simple touch is a great way to show them you care.

10. Tell a Giving Story

Encourage regular giving by showing people how their donations have impacted the church community. Monthly or weekly, include a story of how your faith-based organization has helped a local school, fellow nonprofit, business, or individual.

Invite a person directly impacted by your mission to come and share their story. By putting a face and name to the impact, it could help the message resonate in a more meaningful way. After all, people are typically more willing to give when they understand how it affects the larger picture. Even if it’s not announced from the stage, these stories of giving can go into your worship bulletin or email newsletter.

11. Organize a Benefit Worship Concert

Worship is the most direct way people interact with your organization. This doesn’t have to be limited to Sunday morning church service, though—your community can experience worship music any day of the week.

Host a family-friendly benefit concert with a local or touring worship band. That way, concert attendees can enjoy the live music knowing they’ve supported a specific, meaningful cause. You might even attract people who don’t normally come to your organization’s gatherings or church fundraising events.

Offer the opportunity for people to fundraise to cover the cost of their entry fee and encourage them to continue fundraising on your organization’s behalf with the help of peer-to-peer fundraising software

Event livestreaming is another way to boost your reach beyond the people who can physically attend. You might even charge a small online entrance fee to source additional donation opportunities.

12. Get the Kids Involved

Adults aren’t the only ones interested in supporting you. Encourage your church youth group, kids, and students to give back as a way to help build a generous spirit early in life. Teach the kids in your community about the power and importance of giving.

Tie these donation opportunities to a practical lesson by inviting kids to donate a small gift or fundraise in their community for a specific cause. Show each child the impact that their generosity has made.

13. Offer Legacy Giving

Help supporters build a legacy of giving by including your faith-based organization in their will. This can be a difficult conversation, especially toward the end of life, so start planting those seeds as early as you feel appropriate.

You can also bring experts in to provide guidance on finances and estate planning. Helping these individuals get their finances in order helps them feel more secure in their future planning and makes giving back to your community a more realistic option. 

14. Give Church Tours

While members of your congregation have likely seen the chapel and the foyers, they’ve probably never seen what goes on behind the scenes. Offer small church building tours to invite your church members into the spaces they don’t get the chance to experience during services.

You could raise donations during this tour and tell members how you plan to use those funds. Talk about upgrading the pews or explain which area of the church needs the most attention, such as structural repairs or a parking lot expansion.

15. Host a T-Shirt Fundraiser

Present supporters with the opportunity to represent your good cause. Offer ways for them to elevate your church and spread awareness of your mission by hosting a T-shirt fundraiser.  Design a unique shirt for your organization and sell it to kids, youth, and adults.

16. Offer Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Empower community members and church-goers to fundraise on your behalf. Peer-to-peer fundraising lets your supporters create donation pages to raise money for your organization. Crowdfunding in this way can be a powerful fundraising tool to expose your church to new audiences that might not be familiar with you.

17. Provide a Parking Lot Potluck

Host a potluck in the parking lot after church once a month or every quarter. This gives members time to mingle and socialize, and having it in the parking lot encourages any passersby to come check out what’s happening. Place a tip jar by the food or raise funds for a specific need of your community.

18. Host a Walk-a-Thon

Get your members and the community active in a fun way with a walk-a-thon. Participants can participate in peer-to-peer fundraising efforts on social media to ask for pledges, or they can bring friends to join and get involved in the cause. You could incorporate raffle tickets and prizes into the event or keep it simple and focus on walking or running. 

Start Fundraising at Your Church or Faith-Based Organization

Churches and faith-based organizations aren’t any different from other nonprofits—each one needs revenue to operate and make an impact. However, there are elements of faith-based communities that provide unique fundraising opportunities. Use these ideas to maximize the funds you raise.

Article Sources

  1. Church Giving Statistics,” Statistics, Balance Everything, last modified January 6, 2023,
  2. “Charitable Giving Statistics to Raise More Money,” Church Growth,, last modified June 22, 2020,
  3. “Church Live Streaming Statistics – Trends in Streaming Virtual Services for 2021,” Team Blog, dacast, last modified December 22, 2021,
  4. Church Giving Statistics,” Statistics, Balance Everything, last modified January 6, 2023,
  5. “Charitable Giving Statistics to Raise More Money,” Church Growth,, last modified June 22, 2020,

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