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25 Fundraising Ideas for Churches: Small but Mighty: Group Fundraising

church group fundraising

By now, most of us are familiar with crowdfunding projects: people asking their friends to support a project or someone in need or a birthday fundraiser on social media for a favorite cause. While they have a new digital look and platform, leveraging the power of a group is not a new idea for raising funds…and the church is in an enviable position to execute it.

As part of our series on 25 fundraising ideas for churches, we’re unpacking concepts to help you grow your stewardship program and donor commitments. Today, we’re focusing on the idea of small-group fundraising.

The Most Important Factor in this Approach to Raising Funds is Ownership

What makes a crowdfunding ask effective is that someone we know is really passionate about a cause and wants us to help them reach a goal. That friend’s communication of a need and why they want to raise $300 for the new community pet shelter tends to move us because it’s authentic. We know their love of animals and the need in our city for a safe haven. 

So, as we translate this approach to the church, it’s important to keep in mind that small groups and youth groups should have agency in the fundraising projects they are asked to help support. Asking groups to get behind a project they aren’t invested in is the single biggest reason these campaigns struggle or are not successful. Begin by strategizing what project might be appropriate for one of your church’s small groups. Could the youth group champion raising funds to replace the basketball goal or playground? Would the choir be passionate about helping raise funds to upgrade the sound system? Choose a project of an appropriate and achievable dollar amount, and visit with the group about several options. Let them choose what to get behind or if they want to champion a project at all.

I said in the beginning that the church is in an enviable position to execute projects like this because, unlike other great causes, our friends and members gather on a regular basis. We have set communications our members expect and social times where we can communicate and share updates on “crowdfunded” kinds of fundraisers. That built-in audience is something nonprofit charities do not have. 

The final word of advice to that end is to be careful about your timing and don’t “over ask” your members. Manage small group fundraising campaigns so they are not stacked or overlapping. Spread them out so church and community members are not being solicited constantly or feel bombarded whenever they walk into the building. Give members a handful of key opportunities over the course of a year to make an over-and-above contribution to a group-led fundraising project they feel strongly about helping. 

If you’d like help with this or any other development issue, our partnership with ACST enables us to come alongside churches looking for ways to build their giving programs.

About 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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