Fresh Ideas for Your Spring FUNdraiser

March 3, 2022  •   LPi

illustration of a hand putting money in a jar for fundraiser

Time to put the fun back in fundraising. Many parishes and church organizations require additional monies to properly serve their community but worry about how people may respond to them reaching out for assistance beyond the weekly collections. However, instituting a more playful approach can yield positive gains.

Here are seven (plus) innovative, delightful, easy, with great profit-potential, ways to raise funds for your parish or organization:

Community Mosaic or Quilt

Families pay to participate in the community project for this fundraiser. Parishes can charge a specific fee; however, some may find they collect more donations if they leave the amount at the discretion of those participating. Decide what medium you’d like the project to be created from; possible choices include ceramic tiles for a group mosaic or cotton or muslin fabric for a quilt. The participation kit will include either a blank tile or a piece of fabric, instructions on expectations for finished contributions, what supplies are needed to complete the project, and the deadline for the tiles or quilt squares to be returned. Tiles can be part of a more significant collective theme or entirely at the participant’s discretion. When complete, host an event for the big reveal of the assembled mosaic or quilt.

Online (or in-person) Class

Hire a professional or realize a higher profit margin by tapping into qualified volunteers to teach classes on any number of subjects — cooking, art, photography, knitting, web design, the possibilities are endless!

Art Show and Auction

Speaking of talented parishioners, what about hosting an art or photography gallery. Pieces can be sold or auctioned, with proceeds or a percentage of the profits, going to your fundraising efforts.

Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt can be done online (through pictures) or offline (in person). Create a list of items (or mix it up with riddles) needed to complete the hunt. Funds are raised through entry fees; for added fun (and funds), hunters can make an additional donation to receive special clues.

Fundraising with Food

Everyone loves a celebration, especially when there is food involved. Consider hosting a fancy gala, backyard BBQ, ice cream social, or a bake or cook-off. Have a kitchen at your disposal? What about a pop-up restaurant? Select a typically busy night for families when there might be a demand for having a delicious, home-cooked, yet reasonably priced meal ready to pick up and take home would be advantageous. Or leave the cooking up to someone else! Organize a Food Truck Event with a percentage of sales going to your nonprofit. Perhaps include music, a movie, or games! In addition to helping meet financial goals, these events create incredible opportunities for building community!

Games

Bingo isn’t the only game churches can play! Organize a board game tournament — chess, checkers, monopoly, even a ‘bring your own game” option. Create your own version of “family feud” with either families from your parish or build community by assembling teams of “church families” from different organizations around the parish or randomly build ‘families’ from attendees — what a demonstration of how we are all part of God’s family.

Tournaments

Tournament possibilities include wiffleball, volleyball, soccer, corn hole, ping pong, basketball, just to name a few. Much of the required equipment to play these games are available for rent. Offer separate rounds for adults and children, especially in contact-type sports, to keep everyone safe, and it spreads out the fun.

For most of the ideas listed above, money is raised through sponsorships — either of the event itself or of a particular participant. In addition, monies can be collected through entrance fees. To increase your bottom line, when appropriate, consider providing an opportunity to purchase food as well as cash or gift basket raffles. Whatever you choose, and you don’t need to limit yourself to one, remember to keep fun at the forefront of all your plans.

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