5 Ways to Market Your Church Through a Fundraiser

5 Ways to Market Your Church Through a Fundraiser

June 29, 2011 by

In California, this week is fireworks selling time. Which means every church will have a wood box or tent full of explosives in their parking lot to raise money for playgrounds, youth groups and missions. It’s a busy time for churches but you can’t forget the opportunity you have when the community is coming to you. Community fundraisers are by their very nature a church marketing tool, but you can go beyond the typical promotions to get more out of your fundraiser.

1) Open up volunteer opportunities to those outside the church.
Last year one of our newer attendees invited her mom to help out in the fireworks booth. Wanting to support the church that had loved her daughter, the non-church-attending mom obliged. Now that mom is part of our women’s ministry team at our church and feels a calling to become a pastor. God worked in her through the conversations she had in the booth that day, which made her comfortable enough to start attending the church. And the rest is history.

By encouraging churchgoers to invite non-Christian friends and family to come keep them company or help out, you can create an opportunity for personal contact between the non-Christian and the church that you wouldn’t have by merely inviting that person to church.

2) Give special discounts for communities that you are trying to reach.
As a church, we are always trying to reach new people, and some demographics are harder to reach than others. By giving coupons or having special promotions that you only distribute to local businesses, area daycare centers or your immediate neighbors, you create an opportunity for your fundraiser volunteers to connect personally with people in that demographic.

3) Advertise the latest sermon series.
It can just be a 8.5 x 11 sheet with “This is what we are talking about this Sunday…” or a large poster of the sermon promotion posted on the booth or table. Giving people a preview of what the church is talking about and what is happening inside the church on Sunday may intrigue people, and at the very least could be a good discussion starter.

4) Always include the invite card and flier for next church event.
With every bag of fireworks, baked good you sell or receipt for your car wash, include a small invite card. It’s a reasonable concern to not want to be preachy or pushy when it comes to a community fundraiser; that’s why the subtle card in the bag is a good way to give them an opportunity to learn about your church without asking.

Also, giving each volunteer a small stack of invite cards is a good way to allow your volunteers to give people invitations and more information about the church when asked.

5) As always, don’t forget social media.
Don’t forget to promote the fundraiser on your social media accounts, but promote more than just the information dump. Discuss the cause, recruit volunteers from your entire friends list (not just those you see every Sunday), tap into other organizations in your area to let them know what you are doing, highlight the “rock star” volunteers, etc. Make your social media message more than just asking for money.

There is a fine line between being overly pushy and simply using opportunities to market the church to the customers at a community fundraiser. Utilize community fundraisers, like fireworks booths, in new and innovative ways.

What ways have you marketed your church through a community fundraiser? Did you get any surprising results?

Photo by Amani Hasan
Post By:

Jennifer Armitage

Jennifer Armitage is mom, pastor's wife, blogger, freelance writer, public relations consultant, and Director of Communications and Community Outreach for Crossroads Christian Fellowship. She specializes in low-to-no budget nonprofit and church community outreach.
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6 Responses to “5 Ways to Market Your Church Through a Fundraiser”

  • Michael Buckingham
    June 29, 2011

    I think it’s also vital to add not to have a fundraiser primarily for marketing purposes. Too often the church “helps” but the main goal is gaining attention to the church, not helping the cause or being a part of the community.

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  • kendra michelle
    June 30, 2011

    Great advice – thanks for sharing Jennifer!

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  • Brian howard
    July 3, 2011

    It is vital for the church to come together as a whole and support the church and its endevors be they agree or not. Gods work has not a price. http://myfamilyisalways1st.blogspot.com/ please read my blog also and repost it if you can. Thank you and God bless

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  • Patrick Fore
    July 5, 2011

    I agree with Michael – and to be honest I’m torn with this blog.

    At first I was confused, I thought it was how to market a church through internal fundraising. Then I read it again and connected the dots. It might be just that I’m slow.

    Even after I got the concept, and although I could align on some specific steps to ‘ADVERTISE’ a fundraiser, this on some level lacks integrity.

    Marketing a sermon series or church event is one thing, but to use a fundraiser TO market said church is kind of strange. A church should believe in a cause so strongly that they advertise the cause and not the church. Keep em’ separate.

    I was a part of a team that marketed a fundraising effort for a mission agency in Haiti last year and we didn’t use the church logo once. The only time we mentioned the church was to give the name of the location of events.

    I’m sure your heart is in the right place, and maybe i’m off-base here but I think the conversation goes deeper.

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    • Kevin D. Hendricks
      July 5, 2011

      I think the key point here is to remember that this is a chance to connect with your local community so don’t miss the simple opportunities to tell people about your church. Having a secondary purpose doesn’t indicate a lack of integrity.

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      • Patrick Fore
        July 5, 2011

        Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. I totally believe that this is good public relations and is good for your the overall reputation of the church, but to advertise the church by means of a fundraiser I’ve never heard of.

        If you want to fundraise for a third-party organization, thats great, but keep the focus on them and the cause. Thats all I’m saying.

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