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25 Fundraising Ideas for Churches: Launching a Short-Term Project

person holding coins of money

Once in a while, there’s a fundraising need that makes a perfect short-term project to get donors excited.

In our series of 25 fundraising ideas for churches, we’re sharing concepts that can help build and grow your development program. A short-term project can be a great way to attract new donors, excite regular donors, and accomplish a needed goal for your ministry.

What do we mean by a short-term project?  This is a “quick win” project that typically:

  • Is tangible 
  • Has an urgency or a clear “need by” date
  • Is attainable
  • Is easy to explain, give to, and support

Suppose your youth choir has been invited to perform at a regional conference, which is a tremendous honor but outside of what was budgeted. Implementing a short-term fundraising project could invite people to support this experience by raising the $1,000 needed to cover the cost of transportation, lodging, and meals. 

Publicize the date by which the goal needs to be met, and communicate the progress to the goal against that timeline early and often. Encourage members (and especially those going on the trip, in this example) to invite their friends and networks to support the project.

Some projects will also lend themselves to a match – in the example above, perhaps you have a donor who is willing to match gifts up to $500. This means each donor’s gift would be doubled. Communicate that opportunity and how quickly you could achieve the goal thanks to this donor’s generous offer. Consider a visible physical or digital thermometer you can use for short-term campaigns to keep the momentum going.

Short-term projects can expand your giving pool, attracting new folks to your ministry. They can jumpstart projects that have a quick deadline or perhaps were unexpected costs. It will be important to space these projects out, however, and not exhaust your core donors with too many asks in the course of the year. Be strategic and choose projects that meet the criteria above. A project with too large a goal, with no urgency and no immediate, tangible impact is likely to stagnate and flail – seek other ways for funding those longer-term needs. You want any short-term project to succeed and hit its goal ahead of the deadline!

Our partnership with ACST enables us to come alongside churches looking for guidance on their fundraising goals. If you’d like counsel about any aspect of donor relations or your church’s stewardship plans, we’d be happy to talk with you.

Tim Smith

Tim has over 30 years of experience in Church, Non-Profit Administration, Management, and Fund Development.  Serving as an Executive Pastor and Chief Development Officer in growing Churches and Non-Profit Organizations. He has provided a wide range of expertise and resources. Tim serves as the Founder and CEO of  Non-Profit DNA. A boutique firm committed to helping nonprofits and churches. By building their capacity through fundraising, leadership, team building, staff recruiting, and coaching.

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