Even though churches take up an offering during services and receive donations on an intermittent basis, many churches fall short of the monetary funds needed to finance the extra programs, church staff salaries, and bills associated with operating the church. Fundraising is a way for churches to obtain the money they need to stay out the red. In order to find a business that will donate money to your church you must have a fundraising plan that will encourage businesses to provide financial support.
Make an announcement during Sunday service and put a message in the Sunday bulletin. A church is a civic organization and church members join the church to worship and to be part of a community organization; church members are usually a part of other community organizations as well. Your church members will be able to provide personal contacts and pertinent information about businesses that have the potential to make financial donations.
Mail an appeal letter to a list of target businesses. Encourage the fundraising staff to research each company thoroughly; churches are under a lot of scrutiny and they do not want to accept funds from a company that has questionable business practices. Your final business list should include companies who have philanthropic programs and are accustomed to giving to other organizations with similar missions, and companies who have the potential to give to your church because they agree with the church’s mission.
Send a church representative to other local fundraising events. Organizations such as hospitals, private schools, homeless shelters, and other service organizations regularly have fundraising events. Attending these functions creates alliances with that particular organization as well as offers the opportunity to ask for contributions for your church at a later date; collect business cards and have a business card to hand out because you may not want to discuss the details of your church while at another organization’s event.
Have a church fundraiser and invite local and national businesses to the event; most businesses do not give charitable donations to organizations they have never heard of, including churches. Having a fundraiser will familiarize the business with the name of your church. Even if the business does not respond or send a representative to attend the fundraiser, the next time you contact that business it will be familiar with your church organization and will be more apt to listen to your appeal for a donation.
Browse the Internet for companies that offer grants to church organizations. There are national organizations and large corporations that specifically donate money to churches. These organizations and corporations have grant applications on their websites.
Collaborate with the larger churches in the area. Large churches sometimes have a membership list of 10,000 people. A larger church may be willing to share its donor list as well as assist with your church’s fundraising event.
- "The Essential Nonprofit Fundraising Handbook"; Michael Sand & Linda Lysakowski; 2009