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Fundraising for Church Construction: Tips for Success and Fundraising Ideas

Raising money for a church construction project is challenging. Fundraising goals can seem overwhelming, regardless of whether you must raise a few thousand dollars or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

However, nothing is more inspiring than seeing your congregation unite around a common goal and watching as their individual contributions come together to make a difference. This can be the case with your construction fundraiser, too.

To help you kickstart the process, we’re sharing three essentials to successful fundraisers and ten unique fundraising ideas.

What to Know Before You Start Any Church Fundraiser

Even the most creative fundraising ideas can flop if they are not based on a good foundation. There are a few things you should consider before starting your fundraising campaigns to ensure that they are a success.

1. Make Donating Easy

woman holding phoneThe easier it is to donate, the more frequently people will do it. However, people are much less likely to carry cash and checks now than in years passed. That means expanding donation methods beyond physical collection boxes.

If you have the resources, create a page on your church’s website that allows your congregation to donate digitally. You can also use this page to share information on the project, like renderings of the final building or updates on the progress.

Another option is to sign up for a text-to-give platform. This will allow donors to make donations at any time from the convenience of their smartphone by texting a specific number. Tithe.ly has both free and fairly priced options that may help your church implement digital giving.

2. Get Your Congregation Engaged

For your congregation to feel personally invested enough to donate funds to your project, it is crucial to provide them with certain information. They will want to know details about how their funds will be used, the project’s ultimate impact on the congregation and community, and the plan to get to completion.

From sharing pertinent information to hosting related events, there are many ways to get them engaged with the construction project. The more involved they are, the more motivated they will be to make donations.

free resources church construction

3. Connect Fundraising to Something Bigger

Fundraising events for your church should be about more than just raising money. They should be about gathering in fellowship and uniting around a common goal. Look for ways to form stronger connections within your congregation through fun and memorable events.

10 Ideas for Church Construction Fundraisers

Without further ado, here are 10 ideas to raise money for your church’s construction project.

couch white blanket

1. Hunt for Lost Treasure

While it may not earn you thousands, this fundraiser is a good way to kick off the campaign. Tell everyone to go home and shake out their couches, La-Z-Boys, and car cupholders for spare change, and have them bring it to the next service.

It’s something everyone can get involved in, whether they have a lot or very little to give. It’s also easy to donate money you didn’t even know you had. It’s a fun, memorable way to get your congregation in the fundraising spirit.

2. Make the Goal Less Overwhelming by Breaking It Down into Tangible Chunks

One of the common fundraising hang-ups – especially when trying to raise large sums of money – is that it can be difficult for contributors to visualize how their individual donation could make an impact on the larger goals. When trying to raise several thousands of dollars, a family of average means could have a hard time seeing how their donations could make a difference. But as we know, that’s simply not the case.

To get through that, help them see what their donation could buy. Tell them their donation of $50 will buy one new chair for the sanctuary. Or break down the cost of construction by square foot. Send out a one-foot by one-foot flyer that outlines how their donation of $175 will build one square foot of the new church.

When people can see and understand what their money is going towards, they’re much more likely to donate.

woman tan blazer holding coffee bread sticks

3. Hold a Give-it-Up

Whether it’s a daily latte, going out to lunch a few times a week, or an afternoon trip to the breakroom vending machine, nearly all of us partake in modern indulgences on a regular basis. Ask your congregation to give up one indulgent item they buy on a regular basis and instead donate that money to the church’s project.

While these habits are nothing to feel guilty about (in most cases), sometimes taking a break from regular indulgences can give us more joy than the item itself – especially if the money is going to something we care about and believe in.

4. Host a Silent Auction

We’re willing to bet your church has some very talented individuals in attendance. Ask these individuals if they’d be willing to donate some of their services or items to the church for a silent auction. Members can then bid on these services or items, and proceeds will go to the construction fund.

Not only will this help donors promote their businesses or talents, but it may create new bonds and relationships between people of your congregation who normally don’t interact.

board game dice play pieces

5. Host a Board Game, Trivia, or Bingo Night

Whether they’re willing to admit it or not, people of all ages get excited about playing games. Be that board games, bingo, or even themed trivia, a little competition is a great way to get people excited and engaged. Host a game night and charge a small ticket fee to donate towards the construction project.

Have people donate or loan the church board games to play or print off a free, low-tech bingo set online. To really go above and beyond, have someone develop a unique trivia game. There are a  few websites like Kahoot! that offer free versions of their trivia or quiz software, or you can stick to good old paper and pencils.

6. Carnations for Construction

One way to encourage monetary support for a cause is by selling them something they know they should buy anyway – like flowers for Mother’s Day. Various websites and organizations have several options for buying flowers in bulk for fundraising, making this an easy and efficient way to raise funds for your project.

Ask people to sign up for bouquets or potted plants that can be given as gifts. Not only is this more convenient for the gift-giver (no last-minute trip to the grocery store or florist), but the gift is twofold: beautiful flowers to enjoy and a donation to the betterment of the church.

But don’t stop at flowers. From candles to candy to cookie dough, there are dozens of items you could choose for a similar campaign. If you plan your fundraiser around specific holidays or seasons, it is often even more beneficial!

woman wrapping christmas presents

7. Offer Holiday-Themed Services or a Chore Squad

Whether Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving, holidays can add an additional amount of stress onto our already-busy lives. If we’re not careful, this added stress can make it harder to focus on the aspects of the holidays that are really important.

Have volunteers offer their services or mobilize your youth group to do those often-dreaded holiday chores. Ask others in the congregation to make donations in order to use those services. Depending on the time of the year, this could be Christmas light removal, present wrapping, egg-stuffing, or leaf-raking.

8. Parent’s Night Out

Childcare services can be expensive – especially if you don’t have family or friends in the area who are willing to help out for free. That doesn’t mean Mom and Dad can’t still have a night out every now and then.

Pick a few Friday or Saturday nights to open the children’s area and/or nurseries at your church. Encourage parents to drop their little ones off for a couple of hours for an affordable hourly rate. This could become a regular offering for parents with designated times recurring monthly, providing your church building project with ongoing opportunities to chip away at your fundraising goals.

people painting class

9. Crafts & Coffee 

Many people love to learn a new skill or flex their creative muscles. Put your own spin on the “paint and sip” night by having an artistically inclined member walk churchgoers through a new craft or painting. Charge a ticket fee that covers the cost of the supplies but also leaves money to be contributed to the construction fund.

As with so many experiences, crafting is easily enhanced with snacks. Either ask people to bring in treats the group can enjoy or have them available for purchase at a snack bar.

10. Second-Hand Shops or Yard Sales

Chances are, most of your members have some stuff they’d like to get rid of but haven’t gotten around to cleaning out. You know the saying, one person’s “trash” is another person’s “treasure!” Set up your own second-hand shop where people can donate their gently used household items like gadgets and tools, as well as clothes, books, and children’s items. These items can then be sold at the shop, and any money collected can go right to your church’s construction project.

Another way to help people get rid of unwanted items while giving to your cause is to host a church-wide yard sale. Ask members to donate a small “booth” fee to set up stalls where they can sell their items. Publicize the event on social media and local news outlets to get the word out there.

People in the community will jump at the chance to hit up so many different vendors in one convenient location. And if your church is on a busy road, expect even more people to stop! Church members can either keep their earnings or donate them to the cause – and all booth fees would go directly to the project’s fundraiser.

Meeting your church’s fundraising goal might be daunting at first, but by taking things step by step, you’ll soon pick up momentum. Make donating easy, keep your church engaged in the construction process, and ensure that each event brings value to your congregation.

If you get hung up, give us a call. We’ve partnered with hundreds of churches over the past 125+ years and would love to give you some of the insights and resources we’ve gleaned. We can also connect you with tools and contacts that can benefit your fundraising efforts. We’re here to help you – every step of the way.

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