Many religious organisations rely heavily on donations to keep their places of worship open to the public, we’ve therefore compiled 7 easy fundraising ideas to inspire your next religious fundraising event.
Jumble sales can be a risk as their success is based solely on the items donated, but, with a devoted congregation it’s possible to make the event a huge success! Do some research into what has sold well at similar events, look online at what other fundraising institutions are doing and use social media to market the event.
Consider the demographic of your followers, think about what they would buy and try to ensure these types of items will be part of the event. Organisations like St Joseph’s Hospice, run up to 4 jumble sales a year, raising a staggering £75,000 for Patient Services. The hospice sends regular reminders to their supporters, not just to promote the event but to also ask for specific items they know will sell well.
Many religious communities have created youth groups, which can help young people connect with their faith. It’s paramount for religious organisations to focus their time and resources on the younger generation, as QGiv found that nearly 75% of young people have said they would be willing to raise money for an organisation that matters to them. The Clevedon School held a 24-hour bounce-a-thon, which was cheap to set up and raised over £2,000 for Amnesty International.
Quiz nights are a great way to get your congregation together and create a lively, competitive atmosphere. If you have enough budget, try to obtain a prize for the winning team, or better yet, see if a local business is willing to donate something (dinner in a popular local restaurant is bound to be a crowd-pleaser).
Again, analyse the demographic of your religious community. If you tend to attract an older group, you could host a 70’s based quiz as it will allow people to relive their youth! You could also try to recreate popular TV show quizzes, which would likely appeal to a wider demographic.
Choir concerts are popular around Christmas, however you can still benefit from holding choir events throughout the year. Charge a small membership fee to take part and ask for donations during the event. We’d suggest you find local public events to perform at, as you’ll be able to reach a wider audience, and so raise more!
Totally Thames host a huge Sing for Water event each year, where nearly 800 choir members come together to perform and raise money for WaterAid. The event takes place on London’s Southbank, a prime location to attract Londoner's and tourists, extending the reach of the organisation. Sing for Water events have raised a staggering £1 million in the last 15 years.
Everyone loves cakes and treats, so you can’t really go wrong with a bake sale. Whether they are sold after your religious ceremony, in a local school, or taken round to nearby businesses, you’re bound to raise a good amount of cash! Jewish World Watch planned a bake sale that raised over $450 from just a few days of preparation and spent less than $50 to set up. The event was a success because they were highly organised, meaning that on the day of the bake sale they were able to set-up with little hassle, instead focusing on taking donations. The case study also acts as a detailed step-by-step guide for you to use to prepare for your own event!
Host a movie night and raise more for your cause while doing so! Pick a film that will appeal to the majority of your congregation, or go that extra mile and ask your followers to vote to determine which film to play. Weather permitting, you could turn the event into an outdoor cinema, offering members the chance to purchase ready-made picnic baskets in exchange for a donation.
The Diocese of Bristol have a detailed breakdown of how they used their film nights to raise £100-£200 a night. Their weekly event is free to attend and instead of raising money through ticket sales, which could potentially deter people from attending, they instead sell refreshments and ask for donations at the end of the film.
Organising a fun run is a great way to bring the community together, raise more for your cause and inspire a healthier lifestyle! Don’t forget to promote the fun run on your website and via social media to attract new donors.
The aim of any event is to ultimately raise funds for your cause, so make sure you have team members on hand asking for donations and always be transparent about what the funds will be spent on. We’ve curated 5 best practices for religious organisations, which you can read through here: