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Blog » 25 Fundraising Ideas for Churches: Wish Lists Work

25 Fundraising Ideas for Churches: Wish Lists Work


A sizable chunk of church budgets support equipment, goods and services. Too often, we don’t think about creative ways to fund those budget items to free up resources for more missionally focused projects.

This series of blogs features 25 fundraising ideas for churches. Whether you serve a small congregation or lead a multi-campus church, we hope to help you engage and attract donors with these effective and easy tools. Today’s idea is that wish lists work!

Maybe your nursery needs a new changing table, or the kitchen microwave has seen better days. Maybe your front entry walk concrete is crumbling. Whether planned or unplanned costs, these day-to-day operational needs add up quickly in every budget. Consider giving your members an opportunity to meet those needs!

Here’s how:

  1. Develop a wish list of your top 10-15 ministry or operational needs in this month or quarter. This could be everything from a printer for your church office to snacks for VBS. It could even include services like sidewalk concrete replacement!
  2. As you identify those needs, aim to include items that have a range of costs to give donors at every level an opportunity to help. Donors love giving to something tangible and knowing they’ve been part of a solution.
  3. Whether it’s a spot in the bulletin insert or on your website, make that wish list available to your members.
  4. Communicate it! Wish lists work but not if no one reads them, so be sure to mention it in your communications or provide the link in your member communications.
  5. Refresh your list often…at least monthly or quarterly. When you develop your annual operating budget, take a close look at items that may be a good fit for the wish list.

As members fulfill needs, you have a tremendous opportunity to acknowledge, thank and share the stories of needs being met through God’s generosity. This is a tool that can give members at all giving levels a chance to participate in your mission. It’s amazing how God can work in people’s hearts if we’re transparent about what our ministries’ needs are.Besides individual giving, this tool gives those who work in specific industries or companies a chance to participate in philanthropy in a new way. One ministry in the midwest recently had a cattle ranch donate 150+ pounds of ground beef to their ministry’s summer program meals. While this is tremendously budget relieving for the organization, it also provides a creative way for donors to partner in God’s mission.

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