5 Tips for Growing and Keeping Your Church Donation Base
When it comes to topics that make people skittish, growing/keeping your church donation base is at the top of the list. There’s an unwritten and unspoken expectation that faith-based organizations perform their duties out of the goodness of their hearts. And, while it’s true that most churches are not in it for the money, it’s still necessary to think about funding in order to keep the lights on and your church functioning.
This circumstance requires you to build a donation base for your church. In order for your ministry to grow, the donation base must grow with it. It’s also important to understand what your donors want.
Consider the following 3 things that encourage your donors to contribute:
- A personal thank you
- Information about how their donations are being used
- Information about your church or organization
Essentially, people just want to know that their donation is appreciated and being used to further the vision you share with them. So, if you want to grow/keep your church donation base, then it’s helpful to keep the following tips in mind.
Tip #1: Hold a community event and ask for donations
It is true that this is a labor-intensive project, but it’s a great way to grow your donor base in large numbers in one day. Make it open and free for everyone and use it as an opportunity to inform people of what your church or organization is all about.
It’s also great to have business cards or fliers to give to people that have links to your church website so that they can learn more about what you believe and what your mission is. You may even consider partnering with other churches or nonprofit organizations in your area to help share some of the costs and work for such an event.
There are many different approaches you could take, including the following:
- Hold a church-wide garage sale or car wash
- Sponsor a community running/walking event
- Host a talent night at your facility and take up a collection
Plus, an event is a great way to reach out to people through your ministry, draw your congregation closer together, and help people in need.
Tip #2: Hold a fundraiser
According to the Evangelical Christian Credit Union, there are five essentials for holding an effective fundraiser:
- Leaders should prayerfully set a vision for the church and the fundraising event.
- A compelling plan for carrying out the vision must be established and communicated.
- Leaders must be intimately involved in the raising of the funds.
- The “giving minority” must be identified and targeted to maximize fundraising potential.
- The staff and congregation should be educated about the fundraiser.
Once you’ve established a plan and a vision and have communicated it to the members of your church, then you need to come up with an effective fundraiser. Food-based fundraisers typically perform well. Here is a list of some fun and easy fundraisers that kids can get involved with too:
Will people get tired of hearing about fundraisers my organization is doing?
Actually, the frequency of the fundraiser isn’t as important as how you communicate what happened with the previous one. People want to be informed of what happened with their funds, so be sure to tell them how you are spending the money you raise. As a rule of thumb, ask often but show the impact the gift has made.
Tip # 3: Make use of crowdfunding
The digital age offers a lot of unique ways to raise money. One of the more popular ones in recent years is crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a way to raise a large amount of money by asking for small donations from a large amount of people.
There are 3 different types of crowdfunding:
- Donations Based: People donate with no expectation of a benefit in return.
- Rewards Based: People donate to your organization and you offer them something special in return.
- Equity Crowdfunding: People invest in your organization and become part owners.
It’s unlikely that you’d be able to use equity crowdfunding for your church, but donations and rewards-based crowdfunding could work for you. Most likely you’re going to ask for donations, but you could offer rewards for a donation.
Examples of rewards you could offer are as follows:
- Providing a church t-shirt, another article of clothing, or items that contain your ministry’s logo
- Selling bricks and making a wall for donations somewhere on your church grounds
- Using the talents of people in your church to create rewards (such as food, clothes, ceramics, etc.)
Tip # 4: Use social media to increase your online presence
The great thing about using social media is that you can run fundraising campaigns without ever leaving your house or church. The most effective and far-reaching method for growing/keeping your church donation base is to use online resources to connect with your congregation.
Create posts with project updates, church events, and pictures, and you will see a surge in your donor base. You can use social media to keep people updated on what is going on with your church and as a ministry tool as well.
There is incredible value in having a weekly blog post or a daily devotional. It keeps your members connected throughout the week and gives those with busy schedules an opportunity to stay informed of church happenings..
The top 3 communication channels in today’s church are church website, social media, and email. Leveraging these channels will benefit both you and your donors.
Tip #5: Use an automated email campaign to raise money
Consider the following statistics for online giving:
- 49% of all church giving transactions are made with a card
- 60% of people are willing to give to their church digitally
- Churches that accept tithing online increase their overall donations by 32%
If you aren’t offering online services for your congregation, you are missing out on a huge potential source of revenue for your church. Remember, people don’t care so much how often you ask for donations if you keep them informed as to where the money is going between asks. This is a way to do both at the same time.
Consider setting up an automated email campaign to keep members of your congregation knowledgeable via newsletter on a monthly basis. Add a link to your online donations to the newsletter and enjoy the increase in revenue you bring in for your church.
Your ultimate mission is to help meet others’ spiritual, emotional, and/or physical needs, and it takes money to do that. The more money you bring in, the further your ministry can reach. Following these steps can bring more donors to your organization and keep them there.