Churches are non-profit organizations that depend on donations to fund their ministries. Primarily, donations come from church members. However, if a church has an outreach program that serves the community such as a soup kitchen, homeless shelter or after school program, businesses outside of the church body may be interested in making a donation to the church to fund their ministry.
How to Obtain Donations from Businesses for a Church Outreach Ministry
Create a direct mailing piece that clearly explains the church’s community outreach ministry. If your church operates a food pantry or child care service to the community free of charge, describe it in a letter to local business leaders. Use bullet points to highlight who your ministry serves and include statistics about how many children are cared for, number of meals served or value of services provided. Clearly express what amounts of donations you are seeking and tell the businesses what kind of recognition they will receive in return for their donations.
Obtain contacts and address information for local businesses from which you will solicit donations. Start by asking your church congregation to check with their own employers to see if they sponsor charitable giving programs. Larger businesses will sometimes have programs that match employee donations to qualified non-profit organizations. While giving funds to a church's general ministry may often be discouraged, giving to specific church outreach programs that impact the local community often qualify. Ask members for names of individuals at their companies who lead these charitable giving programs and send mailers to these individuals. Go online to company websites searching for charitable giving programs for additional contacts.
Follow-up your direct mailings with a phone call to each business solicited. Request an in-person meeting with the employee in charge of authorizing corporate donations. Prepare a presentation with photos and statistics that thoroughly explains your church’s outreach program and rehearse it beforehand so that you come across in a professional and polished manner during your meeting.
Offer the businesses who contribute to your church’s ministry some form of recognition for their contributions. If your church hosts an annual outreach event for which it is seeking donations, create an event program that recognizes individuals who donated to the event. Contact your local paper and request space to advertise your outreach event or ongoing outreach effort and recognize businesses in that space. Request a discounted rate from the newspaper and use the space both to publicize your efforts and thank those who made it possible.
Maintain ongoing communications with the businesses that donate to your church outreach. Send thank you notes of appreciation for each donation received. Send quarterly ministry updates to businesses or, if the event is an annual one, send a follow-up newsletter reporting on how many people were served, who was helped and other pertinent information so that the business can see the result of their giving. This will also incline businesses to build a relationship with you and pave the way for future donations to your church.