60+ Highly Profitable Fundraising Ideas for Your Church
Churches like yours can serve the community because of the funds they raise. Whether you’re sending people on a mission trip or paying bills, donations are crucial to the existence of your organization. To continue to do the impactful things you do for your people and community, you need a strong foundation of support.
One of the most effective ways to raise money is by holding a church-wide fundraiser. Some organizations worry that they’ll run out of ideas for their next fundraising effort. We’ve put together a list of over fundraising idea options for your church.
This collection of over sixty church fundraising ideas will help you decide which one is right for you and your congregation. No matter which type of campaign you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered with creative and effective ways. We’ve separated the events into categories for easy reference and will conclude the guide with a number of powerful tips that can be applied to any fundraising campaign. Pick which one resonates most with you, and hop in!
- Our Favorite Church Fundraising Ideas
Our Favorite Church Fundraising Ideas
We’ve come up with over 60 ideas for your next church fundraiser because we know that choosing the best campaign is crucial for maximizing fundraising success. Let’s dive right in with our favorite fundraising category: product fundraisers!
Product Fundraising Ideas
This is a comprehensive list of the most successful product sale ideas churches can partake in to raise money.
Connect with your local shops and restaurants for a community discount card fundraiser. This tried-and-true method provides cost savings and discounts on goods and services in your local area, and the profit margin can be huge.
ABC Fundraising will make the deals with the stores for you. All you have to do is just provide them with a wish-list of who you want to work with in your community and they do the negotiating. Then, acquire a group of volunteers within your church to sell the cards in your community, and you’ll be making money in no time.
A snack concession stand at your church targets the hungry churchgoers after a service or meeting. It’s a terrific way for churches to raise money because snacks are bought in bulk for cheap prices and sold for a profit.
This snack table solution keeps your initial investment low and your income high! Pick from a variety of classic treats such as bulk candy, chips, and more.
Candles are a withstanding symbol of light and faith in most churches. To get an accurate idea of how many candles you should invest in, have volunteers distribute order forms to friends and family. We suggest the marketing period should last between a few weeks to a month to optimize reach. Then, all you need to do is order your candles in bulk. You can expect to receive your candles in 2 weeks, and then you can hand them out to all the folks who ordered through your church.
The Scratch & Help® fundraiser has been ABC Fundraising’s longest-running program, starting in the 1990s. Scratch cards are a donation game your volunteers can play with friends and family to raise money. Your volunteers will gather a group of willing donors to play. Each donor will scratch off a circle and provide the amount underneath to your church. Circles run from 50 cents to $3.
This fundraiser is known to bring in high profits for churches at a very low initial cost!
Cookie Dough Fundraiser
A Cookie Dough Fundraiser is a popular and delicious idea. You’ll collect order forms from those in your community and ship them in accordingly.
Make sure you use the most delicious dough possible! For example, at ABC Fundraising, we use Crazy About Cookies® to provide an order form with a wide selection of flavors, and a well-liked recipe. You’ll be raising a lot of dough in no time.
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels
Everyone is familiar with the famous soft baked pretzels from Auntie Anne’s®. ABC Fundraising has partnered with Auntie Anne’s to bring you a well-loved food fundraiser. Your congregation can sell these delicious treats to friends and family to raise funds for your next endeavor.
If your community members prefer sweet over savory, CINNABON provides an easy fundraising opportunity as well. For both efforts, all you need to do is collect money for each item and place your order for wholesale price.
In the theme of delicious fundraisers, a gourmet popcorn sale is a fast and easy way to raise money for your church. It’s simple! Just collect orders via a brochure, and turn them in after your fundraising period.
We offer a variety of favorite flavors:
- Cheesy Cheddar
- Nutty Caramel
- Chicago Style
Your church benefits from only paying the wholesale price and keeping the rest of the money you raised for your group. After they’re delivered for free, simply hand them out to everyone who ordered them and enjoy!
The flower bulb fundraiser is popular during warmer seasons. Your customers will love to improve their homes, and exchange updates about their gardening efforts at church. It seems that churches keep coming back year after year to run this fundraiser.
All you have to do is collect orders and send them off for your bulbs, it’s that easy. Consider posting the results on your church’s social media after a few months of growing.
Cotton Candy Fundraiser
The cotton candy fundraiser may be the most unique and tasty idea we have to offer. Such as the aforementioned sales, you’ll order your snacks based on order form interest.
The flavors we offer include:
- Holiday specific flavors
It’s also a great idea to hold a cotton candy fundraiser alongside a carnival or a fair. After all, cotton candy is a great seller at these types of fundraising events.
Spinners® are an exciting fundraising game your volunteers can play with those willing to donate. They’ll spin the arrow on the board, and contribute the amount that it lands on. Simple as that! This is a great example of a reusable fundraiser you can invest in once and use year after year!
Another well-loved snack, especially with the kids of your church, is lollipops. To get started, your church will need to find a wholesale lollipop vendor like ABC Fundraising, to save money on ordering in bulk. You should buy multiple flavors and sizes to appeal to more donors and buyers. Be sure to promote your lollipop sale on social media, with emails, and with traditional efforts like fliers and banners.
There are many different food and game fundraising efforts to choose from! Be sure to consider your congregation’s interests and select according to what will resonate with them.
Custom Face Masks
All your team needs to do is design a mask with a logo and collect orders.
Once your custom masks come in, your congregation will be spreading the word of your church just by going out in public with their masks on! This is a highly effective way to advertise your organization, and who knows, your church community may grow as a result.
Pro tip: some mask fundraising platforms, such as ABC Fundraisers’ custom mask supplier, open an online storefront for your church. Be sure to get as many people as possible to order so that your cost per mask is as discounted as possible!
Virtual Church Fundraising Ideas
Text-to-give (or text-to-donate) fundraising is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to raise money for your church. Since most of your donors likely have their phones with them, it’ll be convenient and quick for all who are involved.
To get started, seek out a mobile giving service provider. Assign your fundraiser a keyword that members can text to give. They’ll be sent an online donation form, where they can quickly complete their donation! Consider posting this number and keyword on your slideshow at services as well as on social media and other communications.
Online Giving Fundraiser
In 2021, we’re online all the time. Meet your members where they are and move your efforts online! Be sure to create a donation form that can be easily filled out and sent in. No one wants to spend time typing in tons of information.
Consider a donation platform like Donately, to help manage your online fundraising. Software like this can save you tons of time as they expedite the set up of the giving process for your team and donors.
Crowdfunding only requires a few steps on your part, and the volunteers will do the rest. All you have to do is:
- Choose your fundraising platform
- Set up your main page
- Pick a goal
- Share your story
- Start fundraising
For a very low price, this brings in a ton of revenue. Be sure to locate a convenient online giving software for your cause. Make sure your fundraisers are set up with the right talking points and social media posts to draw donors to your effort.
Pledge fundraisers are a great way to boost engagement among your current donor network and reach new supporters.
Individuals receive their own donation page to personalize and share with family and friends. Then, you simply host an event (like a walk-a-thon or fun run) for fundraisers to “earn” their pledges! The pledges that your participants raise are collected at a later date rather than on the spot. Remember, both you AND your supporters can collect mobile pledges.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is another way for your loyal donors to support your cause, and for your nonprofit to gain new donors via your congregation’s social circles. To make this happen, your supporters set up fundraising pages on behalf of your church. They then reach out to their contacts to ask for donations.
Easy Church Fundraising Ideas
Support your environment’s well-being and show your community that you care for the Earth.
Encourage your members to gather and drop off old technology, plastic bottles, and more. You need to partner with a company that is willing to pay for your recyclables in order to make money.
This fundraiser is flexible because it can last for many weeks or up to a year! It’s a win-win for all involved.
Shoe Drive Fundraiser
Much like the recycling drive, this helps raise money by collecting your participant’s unwanted shoes. Typically, a shoe drive provider will pay your church based on the weight of the shoes you’re able to collect.
This drive is not only simple but free for your church to participate in. Encourage your members to clean out their family’s closets and contribute to the greater good. It’s incredibly easy and virtually free for your nonprofit!
Walkathons are a fantastic fundraising event that can be held virtually or in-person. These are events funded by your walkers collecting pledges for distances walked. In-person, you’ll chart a course your group can walk together. Online, however, your participants will pick their own course and complete it on their own accord.
If your team runs into any concerns or questions, this FAQ guide is great for those hosting their own walkathon event.
This event is a straightforward way to raise a chunk of money. All you have to do is sell tickets at a certain price and then depending on how many you sell, you divide that number in two and a half goes to the winner and half goes to your church. This idea can be done in conjunction with a dinner or carnival event.
Product fundraising is one of the best ways you can raise awareness for your church fundraising efforts, and within that category falls branded apparel fundraising. Consider designing and selling the following types of apparel:
- Water bottles
- Bumper stickers, and more!
Your congregants are proud to be members of your church and are likely to show their support through an item with your name on it.
This kind of raffle can easily be hosted in conjunction with another event. All you’ll need to collect are balloons and raffle tickets.
It works like a typical raffle, except all of the tickets are placed inside different-colored balloons. Participants get to pop a balloon of their choice to receive their raffle ticket and wait for their number to hopefully be called.
This works best as a mission trip fundraiser. To get started, determine how many miles away your destination is from your church. Then, donors will help pay per mile traveled. Consider selling miles for a few dollars each to raise money for gas and other expenses.
Sip and Paint
This creative fundraiser will bring your congregants together and teach them a thing about painting! To plan this event, be sure to charge a registration fee based on whether or not you’ll supply art materials and wine or if your members will bring their own.
Unique Church Fundraising Ideas
This idea can strengthen the bonds between your congregants as they’ll get to meet the pets they hear about from their friends and loved ones every Sunday. Organize an outdoor event where families can bring dogs to your green space or parking lot, then have people pay to vote for their favorites. Be sure to offer a prize to the winning pup as well!
Consider supplementing your dog show with treat sales for the canines, and refreshments for their humans.
Night At The Museum
Museums are memorable venues and large enough to hold your charitable dinner party. Most museums will allow guests to explore the exhibits while they converse.
To raise money, you can charge admission for guests. Be sure to have local establishments sponsor tables at your event. For more funds, pair your dinner with an auction or raffle event as well.
Boat Race Fundraiser
This is perfect for families with creative kids. Provide supplies such as tin foil or cardboard for participants to see which design can cross a body of water the fastest or hold the most weight. Offer special registration tickets and refreshments, then watch your congregation have a blast while raising money for your ministry!
Online bake sale
This fundraiser is perfect for those who are socially distancing. Set up your online bake sale on your website, and be sure to post pictures and descriptions of your goodies. When someone buys a snack, they can come to pick it up from your church or receive it by mail.
A dog wash fundraiser helps pet owners of your church get their chore list done more efficiently. This event is perfect during warmer seasons, as dogs will want to play in the water. To prepare, all you need to supply are:
- Willing volunteers
- Dog-friendly shampoo
- Old towels
- A hose and buckets
- Dog treats for good behavior
While owners wait for their dog to get washed, provide a refreshment table and music for a memorable event that will raise a ton of funds. You can even pair this with a car wash fundraiser so get a ton of cleaning done at once!
This unique idea is based on your donor’s ancillary spending throughout the week. All you need to do is encourage them to contribute their weekly coffee allowance to your cause. This can take place between a few weeks or several months, depending on the willpower of your congregants. The specific details are up to your team, but the premise remains the same: helping your church raise money while helping its members kick their unneeded spending habits.
Chances are, many of your congregants have that famous dish they whip up for church events. Why not create a cookbook of family recipes they’d like to share? Then, you can sell the cookbook after services, on your website, or in certain areas of your community to maximize fundraising efforts.
Encourage your members to clean out their bookshelves and run your event like a rummage sale. Market your event well in advance to receive a good amount of items to sell. These sales are popular because they’re a lot cheaper than shopping at a bookstore and are supporting a good cause like your church.
Christian Speed Dating
Provide a comfortable, friendly space for the singles in your congregation to meet each other. Hosting a speed dating night is an effective idea because everyone there already has a thing in common—your church!
Be sure to sell tickets in advance for this event. Consider setting up tables in a common area with get-to-know-you questions to encourage conversation. You never know who could hit it off!
This fun event can bring together the members of your church in new, hilarious ways! All you’ll need are microphones and your projector hooked up to YouTube lyric videos.
Holiday Church Fundraising Ideas
Right before the Christmas season, hold a wrapping paper sale. You can set up tables after your church’s services, or have members sell to their friends and family. For each roll they sell, you’ll make a profit. Be sure to host a gift wrapping event at the end of your fundraiser where everyone can get together and wrap their presents.
Get a group from your choir to go door-to-door in the local area bringing Christmas cheer. After your neighbors hear your beautiful voices, they’ll be inclined to give to your church. Be sure to give your singers a pamphlet of information about your church’s mission to hand out as they go.
Removing Christmas Lights
A pesky to-do after the holiday season is removing the lights from the yard and home. Your community members are busy, and some need assistance to take them down. Your church’s volunteers can step in and help out all kinds of people in the neighborhood by offering to take down their lights in exchange for a small donation.
Pumpkin Patch Fall Fundraiser
Pumpkin patches attract customers from all aspects of your area. People who aren’t involved with your church are likely to get involved with your fundraiser to spread some Halloween cheer.
Use a green space at your church to set up lights, pumpkins, and some photo areas. Just charge a little bit more for each pumpkin than you paid for them, and you’ll raise money for your church in no time. Consider hosting this event for the entire month to get as many buyers as possible.
Child Care For the Holidays
Around the holidays, parents want to get out and run their gift errands without their children seeing the surprises. Choose an afternoon or night where volunteers from your congregation supervise the children in the kids’ area of your church. Host this around holidays at any point in the year, and charge a reasonable fee per hour.
Bring your talented members together to learn a few songs for an orchestra fundraiser. Around the holidays, be sure to learn themed songs. You can charge orchestra members a registration fee, as well as tickets for your big concert. This can be effectively hosted in conjunction with dinner or an auction.
Gingerbread House Making
This event will get your supporters in the holiday spirit. Set up a signup sheet for a gingerbread house-making event to determine the number of supplies you’ll need.
For some healthy competition, have your participants compete for prizes such as:
- Largest house
- Best roof design
- Most creative
These will get everyone involved and ready to craft! Be sure to charge a small entrance fee, and sell refreshments like hot cocoa.
Christmas Ornament Sale
Ask the kids in your church to help make handmade ornaments as a Sunday School activity. Consider supplying glue, dry pasta, paper, pipe cleaners, etc.
Once they’ve made all of the goodies, sell them after services or at holiday events. Families will love having a handmade treasure in their home, especially when they know the proceeds are going to support the church!
An angel festival is a creative endeavor where your participants create life-sized angel art. Once they’re done, display the angels at your holiday festival and sell hot cocoa and cider to get everyone in the holiday spirit. People will then vote on their favorite angel piece by placing a donation in a jar underneath their favorite.
Easter Egg Hunt
This event can only happen once a year, but it’s a memorable event for families with children. To get started, be sure to secure the following:
- A large green space
- A couple hundred plastic eggs
- Candy for the eggs
You’ll raise money by charging an entrance fee and selling baskets so that the children can carry the eggs that they find during your hunt.
For this festive fundraiser, you’ll need to gather a few creative members to help make the wreaths. Then, sell them at your holiday festival. Raise additional funds by selling ribbon and wreath hooks for buyers to hang them on their doors.
Miscellaneous Church Fundraising Event Ideas
When the weather warms up, consider hosting a yard sale outside of your church. This idea requires the contribution of items your church members no longer make use of. Suggest they clean out clothes, decor, books, and anything else that may be causing clutter.
Then, all you need are a few volunteers to manage the transactions, and you’ll be making money off of items that were once collecting dust. Be sure to offer a concessions table and put on some music to create a memorable atmosphere.
Church Silent Auction
A silent auction is one of the most popular charity events. Participants can look through your items either online or in-person at your church. Your bidders will submit their offers on a big sheet in a “silent” way. Consider asking local businesses or donors for the following popular items to sell:
- Gift cards
- Personal chef services
- An item of value, like an appliance
Your church raises money when the bidder with the highest contribution wins their item and pays accordingly. Silent auctions have the potential to raise significant funds and can be hosted either online or in person.
Host a pancake breakfast right after morning service to cater to your hungry congregants! To supply your ingredients, consider reaching out to your community’s diner or grocery store, or have volunteers make the pancakes themselves. Make sure to offer options for everyone, depending on your guests’ diets. Consider offering gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan options. Don’t forget to sell toppings and OJ!
Food Truck Fundraiser
Again, churchgoers can be ravenously hungry after a service or meeting. Hire a local food truck to come and sell to your guests. Then, a portion of the proceeds will go to your church. Some ideas for this include:
- Sunday morning brunch
- Wednesday night dinner before Bible study
- Pizza after youth group
- A weekly family night out
There are truly an endless amount of events you can create around your food truck. Plus, it offers fantastic business partnership opportunities with local food truck owners. Get creative, and repeat as often as desired.
Movie Night Fundraiser
A movie night outside or in your meeting hall is an exciting event for congregants of all ages. It’ll bring your community together and be a night to remember.
To kick off planning your movie event, advertise the date, time, and movie well in advance to attract a large number of guests. Charge a small admission ticket fee, and be sure to sell popcorn and drinks.
A gala is a large dinner party event that has the potential to raise a generous amount of funds. Collect contributions via ticket sales or text-to-give, or raise extra revenue by incorporating an auction. At a gala, the key focus is thanking your supporters and showing your appreciation for their efforts.
It’s suggested that you host your gala during the holiday season. It’s the time of the year when giving is high and you’re able to connect it to a holiday theme. Host this event each year around the same time for optimal results!
A classic game of dodgeball is an entertaining way for your donors to raise funds for your church. It’s fun for everyone in your community; spectators included!
Be sure to have teams pay a registration fee so you’re able to create brackets for play. Then, have a prize for the winning team and concessions for the onlookers.
Take the idea of a lemonade stand, and sell smoothies instead! They’re healthier, more filling, and all-around delicious! You can make your smoothies before the sale, or in front of the customers. This is an effective fundraiser on a sunny day, especially when morning services let out.
This competitive event brings the community together in a fun, active way. Just like your walk-a-thon, you can host this effectively in-person or virtually. If in-person, you might choose to combine this event with shorter fun runs or obstacle courses so everyone can get involved.
Chili Cook-off Fundraiser
This is a delicious way to develop fellowship over a nourishing meal. Ask your congregation to make a few famous chilis, and provide them for your “judges” to try. Your few select judges will vote with their dollars on which chili they want to win. Be sure to have a culinary prize for the winner.
Bible Trivia Night
Your Sunday school students and teachers alike will be excited to put their Bible knowledge to the test. Pair this event with a group meal, and raise money by selling entrance tickets.
All you need to do is create a list of questions and categories of all levels of difficulty. Then, put together a presentation or print off answer sheets to pass out to your participants.
Pizza Night Fundraiser
This fundraiser is perfect for your late-night meetings or services. Partner with a local pizzeria and sell slices for a bit more than you paid for them. Kids and parents alike will be happy you’ve taken the stress off of dinner, and are providing a cheap alternative for a good cause!
A bike-a-thon is another peer-to-peer fundraising event. Again, like the walk-a-thon, cyclists will collect pledges for miles ridden on their predetermined course. Sponsors may also opt to donate a set amount to your church on behalf of the cyclists’ efforts.
You don’t have to be a professional to participate. This is perfect for any skill level, and is loved by families as well.
After an early service or a late Bible study, provide food for your hungry members. Host a pop-up restaurant right in the common room for everyone interested. You’re able to get this catered, or have congregants volunteer to bring in food. It’s a fun community bonding event and affair, and no one would pass up an affordable brunch with no wait time.
Dance Party Fundraiser
Dance marathons involve participants dancing in an auditorium or church gymnasium for free. They’ll often ask for sponsors to donate pledges to their efforts. The longer these participants can dance, the more money they raise for your church.
Be sure to sell refreshments and charge a small fee for song requests. You can also supplement the dance with carnival-type games!
Classic Magic Show
A magic show fundraiser is fun for congregants of all ages. It can feature a few volunteers, or you can hire a professional. Your show is flexible in size, and theme—it can be whatever you want! Just make it your goal to provide as fun of an experience as possible for your audience because that’s what makes a memorable fundraising event.
Best Practices for Church Fundraising Ideas
These best practices are recommended based on years of effective fundraising experiences. Be sure to implement the right tools to make the most of your church fundraising events.
Track your progress with an online fundraising thermometer.
A Fundraising Thermometer allows your church to keep track of your fundraising progress. Display the fundraising thermometer on your church website to let your members see just how much further you have to go to reach your fundraising goals and how much you’ve raised to date. Here’s what you need to do to create your own:
- Enter your fundraising goal
- Plug in how much you’ve already raised
- Choose the color that will mesh well with your site
- Copy the generated HTML code to your site
Then, it’s as easy as simply entering in the new amounts and updating your thermometer—which we recommend doing on a weekly basis. The thermometer will continue to rise as you raise more money for your church.
Make it clear what you’re fundraising for.
A lot of time and effort can go into making your church fundraiser successful. However, with preparation and helping hands, it is entirely doable. Consider the following questions with your fundraising team:
Why are you raising funds? Regardless of whether it is a brand new church van, a basketball hoop for the church youth group, or a church mission trip, you need to communicate this need with your congregants so they share your vision.
How much is needed to make this possible? Figure out how much money you need to raise to accomplish your goal. Tip: If you want to raise $10,000 or more, you will want to choose an idea that has a high-profit margin. It helps that getting started with your product fundraisers requires no money upfront but allows you to raise a significant amount for your congregation.
Consider the size and make-up of your volunteer fundraiser group.
With church fundraisers, it is important to know exactly how many people want to help in fundraising efforts. This way, you’re able to better plan your fundraising events. For example, for a product fundraiser, you’ll be able to plan just how much of each product that individuals need to sell in order to make a profit.
You’ll also want to think about the age of your group. Older teens and adults are able to help out with most tasks, but children may need specialized roles in order to help out. If you’re selling products, make sure children are accompanied by an adult.
Choose highly profitable church fundraising ideas.
With our aforementioned fundraising ideas, your church has the opportunity to make a ton of profit from your efforts. When you partner with ABC Fundraising for product-related fundraising, you’re able to make a high profit due to low bulk sale prices.
Church fundraisers don’t have to be hard to run. Simply by laying out your strategy ahead of time, picking a high-profit idea, and figuring out the logistics of your mission, your event will run smoothly.
Church fundraisers ought to be pleasant and enjoyable for all involved, not loaded with pressure and more work than you can manage. We hope the ideas for church fundraisers presented above have been helpful. Happy fundraising!
Fundraising Ideas For Every Cause: If you’re still seeking out new ideas for future events, be sure to reference our guide of over 100 fresh fundraising ideas.
School Fundraising Ideas: For events involving children of any age, this list is sure to provide events that are fun for the whole family. It’s important to consider your age groups when hosting an event.
Fundraising Ideas for Youth Groups: Your church’s youth group can/free-in be a huge help in your fundraising efforts! Get inspired with the resource of even more ideas!