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7 Ways To Attract Donations To Your Church

Have you been having some trouble getting donations to your church?
Do you feel like fewer and fewer people are donating as time goes by?
Or maybe, you have big plans that require a bit more donation money?

Although the specific reasons why your church might need more donations can vary, I’ve assembled a list of strategies you can use in order to garner more money from your community’s donations.

Although the burden of raising funds for a church most often falls onto the staff and elders, try getting your members involved too! It’s easier to garner funds when people work together.

1. Begin A Social Media Movement

These days, people are spending most of their days checking their phones, which makes social media a great way to communicate with your community. Having a strong social media presence is crucial for any church in 2021.

Now, other than simply talking about the goals of your donation campaigns and updating your community about your progress, you can also draw attention through creating a social media movement. Using hashtags to reach more people is a great way to get your community involved, as all they need to do to build more hype is to use that hashtag in their posts.

Think about the millions donated to ALS treatment after the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went viral. This is an excellent example of how a social media movement can garner massive donations. If there’s an entertaining, funny, and harmless thing that you can use for a challenge, that’s a great way to attract younger churchgoers, as they’re more familiar with social media and that type of humor.

A good place to start when doing this is the youth pastor. They’ve generally got quite a bit of influence on the younger members of the church, so if you’re able to get them on board for a fun challenge, you can be sure that it’ll spread quickly!

2. Encourage Members To Give Up Luxuries

Charities, churches, and nonprofits around the globe have been taking advantage of this donation-garnering method for millennia.

It is a rather simple concept: Ask your congregation or local community members to give up a luxury and donate what they would’ve spent on it. This can be anything ranging from going out to dinner, to coffee, or a more modern luxury like video games.

Once you’ve decided on a luxury, you’ll need to decide on the length of time that you will give it up for. Generally, I would suggest making this around a month; picking February for the first one is generally ideal, as it’s the shortest one, and that makes the load a bit lighter on your congregation.

If a month seems too long, you can let them opt-in for half the duration, or even a week. The duration depends on how large the luxury is, and the attitude of your community.

3. Go Digital

Every aspect of our lives is being digitized, especially during these times of COVID. If this is an area you haven’t yet capitalized on, it’s time to do so. Here are a few ways you can go digital and attract donations in the process.

Host free online sermons using conference calling tools to keep isolated members of your community in touch with the church and your services. Not only will this increase a feeling of togetherness at this pressing time, but it also gives them an opportunity to donate to the church via digital donation plates. 

Churches across the world have had offering plates as a cornerstone of their donation efforts for over a century.

Now, although traditional offering plates are a great way to garner donations, making online donations possible for your community can have a great effect on your donation efforts. Giving your church a well-designed online presence and giving page can skyrocket the donations you receive.

An important feature to implement here is the option for members that have donated to be able to see how much they’ve donated throughout their donation history. People feel better when they see how much they’ve helped others, which makes them more likely to continue doing this.

For those who are still able to attend church in person, there is another technology that can be implemented to draw awareness to the other tactics being discussed in this article.

New digital donation plates? Starting a new social media movement? Offering babysitting nights?

These can all be advertised with effective digital signage. Digital signage can lead to a substantial increase in sales and brand awareness. This isn’t to say that a church is a brand, but the technology works all the same. Even as a non-profit, it’s important to sell the value of what you’re offering people.

4. ‘Buy One, Give One’ Programs

This strategy started out being used mainly by for-profit organizations such as TOMS Shoes. However, this same strategy can be used just as effectively by churches and other nonprofit organizations.

If your church gives out meals for the homeless, you could have a dinner, lunch, or breakfast sale with the motto “buy a lunch, give a lunch” where you can price all of the meals at a bit of a premium.

This lets people actually get something for their donations. Furthermore, they get to taste and feel the meals they’re providing to the homeless in the above example, helping them relate with the cause further.

5. Use Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is defined as an effort to raise money through donations given by a vast amount of people. It started out as a method for smaller businesses and nonprofits to get small investments; however, it has developed in a great way to gather money for nonprofits.

Despite the fact that crowdfunding has become a staple of most 501c3 nonprofits, churches are lagging behind quite a bit in their utilization of crowdfunding.

Unlike most donation-garnering efforts you can make, crowdfunding is one of the very few that reaches out far beyond your congregations or even your local community.

Now, although making a simple crowdfunding campaign is extremely easy, you can’t guarantee it will meet your donation goals. You’ll need to keep these tips in mind and consider studying finance basics if you want to be successful:

  • Use Social Media: Having an active social media presence is crucial to the success of your crowdfunding efforts. Share them on social media, and encourage other members of your church to do so as well.
  • Get a Starting Sum: A lot of crowdfunders have the issue of getting off of $0 when crowdfunding. This is because people like to donate to things they know others are donating to. Because of this, you should get some donations from your congregation, friends, or family before publicly launching your campaign.
  • Use Videos: If you’ve ever asked for donations for a similar reason, use a video showing the church doing that work. Videos help people associate faces with projects, and people like helping out other people.
  • Regular Updates: You want to keep the main page of your crowdfunding efforts up to date at all times. Make sure you’re transparent about how the donations are being spent, as well as how well your fundraiser is progressing. You should also have two different mailing lists, one for people that have already given a donation, and one for those who haven’t.
  • Pay Attention To Your Donors: Regardless of whether someone donates $20,000 or $2, they’re an important donor that decided to give their money to your church instead of spending it on anything else. Thank them; make sure that you have a mailing list for people who have donated that thanks them for it even a month or two after the crowdfunding campaign has ended.

Naturally, there’s a lot more that goes into crowdfunding than this, but this is a good start to your journey.

6. Offer Babysitting Nights

Asking some workers in the nursery to take some time out of their schedule to hold a babysitting night can be a great way to boost donations. After all, it lets parents give some money to get some alone time without being distracted by their children.

This gives parents, especially younger ones, some time to spend with each other and do the things that they are always “planning to do later,” but can’t get to due to their parental responsibilities. After all, a babysitter is quite expensive and finding one takes quite a bit of time. Not only does setting up a babysitting night give you some donations, but it also does a great service to your community.

7. Set Short Timers

When people see an opportunity to donate that lasts for, say, a year, they won’t donate immediately. After all, they’ve got a whole year to do so. There’s no sense of urgency driving them to do this.

This is all fine and good for standard donations people give to help your church keep running, but for specific projects, you’ll want to set a specific date on which there’ll no longer be opportunities to donate to that specific cause. This should generally be a month or two from the start at most.

Furthermore, organizing your donation efforts like this helps your team stay on track. It’s a lot easier to avoid procrastination when there’s a set “deadline.”

Closing Words

There are a lot of ways to gather donations for your church, ranging from social media to babysitting nights. With that being said, the biggest takeaway is this: Modernize your approach.

Although many churches are centuries old, that doesn’t mean you have to act according to century-old donation-garnering methods. Simply being active on social media and making a sleek website for your digital offering plate can make a huge difference. 

But above even that, the most important thing for you to do when gathering donations is to do it for causes you really believe in, and to give back to the community as much as you can.