Using Events to Raise Giving and Outreach

Churches tend to have pretty polar opposite opinions of fundraising events. For some it is an unstoppable tradition, like the “Student Talent Show” to pay for camp scholarships or the “Annual Missions Banquet.” For others, fundraising events are a big “no no.” The reason some do events is obvious, to raise more support. The reason others shy away from events is because church leaders typically do not want to do any fundraising outside of the church budget giving. There is a fear that budget giving will go down.

Here are some important stats to be aware of, then I want to talk about the modern day value of an event strategy. 

  • 55% of Millennials (ages 20-30’s) attend fundraising events every year
  • 56% of Gen X (ages 40-50’s) attend fundraising events every year
  • 58% of Boomers (ages 60-70’s) attend fundraising events every year

So let’s be clear, all ages of our people are regularly attending fundraising events and making charitable donations every year beyond their giving to the church budget. Now some of these events may be at your church. However, many of them are not. Why do people willingly attend fundraising events? I thought we weren’t supposed to talk about money because it chased people away. What’s up?

We live in a society that is keenly aware of problems that need solutions. We are also smart enough to know that the problems are so large that they will take an army of people to solve. Finally, we are in a day when solutions are actually being provided. So an event brings all of this together. Let’s say a nonprofit hosts an annual gala at the local hotel ballroom. At the event the problem will be revealed along with the success stories actively accomplishing the vision of the ministry. Then we find ourselves sitting in a room with the team of supporters cheering on the win. 

Events are great for both people and nonprofits. They are fun, social, and very tangible with their outcomes. Additionally it is easy to invite a guest to an event helping them become exposed to the issue and people making a difference. I would strongly encourage churches to unleash a strategy specifically focused to share vision and raise resources through events. Your people will rally around common causes that need big solutions. 

Here are some sample events churches can easily execute to help raise awareness, resources, and outreach.

  • Community Wide Chili Cook Off
  • 5k or 10K Run
  • Banquet to Support A Cause
  • Community Wide Rummage Sale To Support A Cause 
  • Art Show
  • Kids Consignment Sale
  • A Shower Or Gathering Event To Bring Physical Resources
  • Silent Auction

These can be small events that are conducted by one ministry group or can become church wide. The truth is church people attend fundraising events all year long, making generous contributions. They do so even when their church doesn’t offer them. I would advocate that fear of reduced budget giving is actually encouraging generous resources to be donated elsewhere. Unleash giving today by creating some events!

Some think the next generation is giving less than generations before them. The reality is they are just giving in different ways. Download our free ebook Next Generation Giving is Here.