“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” –Proverbs 19:17
Scripture is full with references to helping others and acting selflessly. While each Christian should practice charity individually, the church body can also provide an opportunity to practice these deeds collectively. One way your church can do this is by holding a charity event to benefit a cause. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
Find a Cause
- Partner with a local or global organization such as a food bank, halfway house, homeless shelter, or relief organization.
- Provide disaster relief. Link up with a church in the disaster area, or provide aid thru an organization like Samaritan’s Purse.
- Care for people groups in need. Raise funds to provide care packages for soldiers overseas, sponsor needy children or classrooms, help refugees, or serve local shut-ins.
- Work towards a goal, such as providing a clean water system for a third-world community, or building a playground in an impoverished neighborhood.
- Leverage the media to get the word out. Send out press releases to the local paper and news network, and write PSAs for local radio stations. Get listed on all the local calendars.
- Invite the public via a postcard mailer or door hangers. Hang a banner or distribute lawn signs to church members.
- Equip your church to invite their friends or to fill tables. Sell tickets in groups of 8 to each churchgoer. Provide printed invitations, Evite and Facebook event pages for ease of communication.
Host an Event
- Provide entertainment. Consider an intriguing guest speaker or artist (such as a musician, comedian, illusionist, or other performer), a workshop, mystery dinner theater, competition, game, or derby, etc.
- Serve a meal. As you show hospitality to your guests, they will be more apt to give to your cause.
- Show a short video highlighting your cause.
- Invite a guest speaker to share their first-person testimony highlighting the importance of the cause, and how guests can be part of the solution.
- Sell tickets at a reduced cost before the event, and at a higher price at the door. This ensures that you will get a good turnout, and sell tickets in advance. Give proceeds to the cause.
- Solicit local businesses, ministries and churchgoers to donate items for raffle or auction. Themed gift baskets, certificates, services, retreats or vacations all make great auction items. Be sure to include the estimated value when you mention or display the item. The donors can use these gifts as a tax write-off.
- Run multiple raffles. Give attendees a few complimentary tickets as they enter (with more available for purchase). Guests can enter their tickets towards a variety of raffle items or a door prize. Have items available on display with the ticket entry box in front of each, and no limit on how many times they can enter.
- Collect goods such as non-perishable foods, school supplies, recyclables, or clothing.
- Host a silent auction. Have items on display with sheets for bidding. Start off with the minimum bid, and include bid-raising requirements.
- Hold a contest or game like a customized round of bingo or a rubber ducky derby—all participants must pay an entrance fee to play.
- Hire an auctioneer to host a live auction for your more impressive donated items.
- Sell items such as food or beverages, or host a store of items available for a suggested donation. You will make more in exchange for donations than set prices.
- Collect a love offering towards the end of your event.
What fundraiser ideas has your church successfully pulled off? What cause have you helped?