Fundraising Tips

Wondering how to raise money for special events or projects? Concerned that your normal fundraisers are no longer drawing the crowds they once did? Maybe it’s time to change your approach!

In her presentation (see sidebox for links to presentation), Karen Plater emphasized 3 points: Inspire – Ask – Thank.

  • Grow Generous Givers, beginning with what is happening in your congregation. God’s people are called to give 10% but how many actually do?
  • Involve Children. Involve children in ways where they can share their time – abilities – money. Raise them so they become generous givers, and understand how important their gifts are.
  • Donors want to do something. Don’t ask them to contribute to your ministry; inspire them to be involved – to give through your ministry so they touch the lives of others.
  • Use Stories. Inspire donors to give by sharing stories. Who will they be helping? What will they be doing to help? Where, when and how will they be helping? Why will they want to help?
  • Motivate them. Inspire donors by motivating them. Do they care about others? Do they care about the community? Is there a challenge that they are in the best position to meet?
  • Use Numbers. Inspire donors by using numbers. For example, $70 each week provides Christian education material for our children. $15 provides a hot meal for one person for …”. How many people will attend the event or will be reached? How many hours will be invested? How much money are they being asked to give?
  • Use Charts. Show that the money isn’t going into some invisible pot – give them a picture of what their money will go – what ministries are they becoming a part of?
  • Provide Feedback. For example, for every $100 given, $30 goes to worship; $15 supports people in our community; $10 equips our children …


There are many ways to ask for money.

Thankful Box. In one congregation, children put money into a “thankful box” and say what they are thankful for. Over time, the practice has evolved so children pass their “thankful box” to adults who also put money in and say what they are grateful for (e.g., upcoming anniversary). This is separate from the normal offering.

Not Always Money. Remember, not everyone can afford to give money – but they might be able to give time or talents! Gifts come in many ways.

Develop partnerships in the community.

Develop a Circle of Friends who may not be members, but are quite willing to help in specific ways for specific purposes.


Thank You Notes. Most of us remember to thank people for their gifts, but send them a timely, meaningful, and sincere personalized thank you note. Be sure to include detailed information on the impact their gift will have.

Updates. If the donation was for an ongoing project, keep them posted with updates about what is happening. It’s not give once – and we’ll ask again the next time we need money. You want to cultivate partners and friends.