A church is a type of building or house that is used for public Christian worship and other Christian religious activities. Over the years, the popularity of churches has increased a lot in the USA. Churches not only bring together thousands of believers but also bring millions of dollars in profits. You might be wondering how a religious organization like a church makes that amount of money.
Usually, churches make most of their money from the traditional collection plate. Every week, during the service, church authority passes around a plate where people put checks or cash. Some people also send money via the online system. Though, the collection plate is not the only income source of churches. There are many other traditional and alternative revenue sources available like Tithing, Sponsorships, Memorials, Services, Products, Pledge Drives, Themed Giving, etc.
Jump To A Section
- 1 How Do Churches Make Money?
- 1.1 1. Tithe And Offerings
- 1.2 2. Crowdfunding
- 1.3 3. Online Giving For Churches
- 1.4 4. Text-To-Give Campaign
- 1.5 5. T-Shirt Fundraising
- 1.6 6. Live Streaming
- 1.7 7. Host A Sing-A-Thon
- 1.8 8. Church Newsletter
- 1.9 9. Set Up A Swap Shop
- 1.10 10. Have A Family Fun Day
- 1.11 11. Charity Auctions
- 1.12 12. Silent Auctions
- 1.13 13. Hold A Talent Show
- 1.14 14. Start Of For-Profit Companies
- 1.15 15. Rent Out Church’s Property
- 2 Final Thoughts
How Do Churches Make Money?
Churches make a large portion of their money from offerings, pledges, donations, and contributions. Over the years, churches have become a liable system and they are making money from various sources including traditional sources and alternative sources. Below are some high paying ways churches are making money and funding their activities –
1. Tithe and offerings
3. Online Giving for Churches
4. Text-to-Give Campaign
5. T-shirt fundraising
6. Live to stream
7. Host a sing-a-thon
8. Church Newsletter
9. Set up a swap shop
10. Have a family fun day
11. Charity auctions
12. Silent Auctions
13. Hold a Talent Show
14. Start of for-profit companies
15. Rent out church’s property
1. Tithe And Offerings
This is the basic form of funding for churches and it is the traditional as well as the standard system. Usually, these are missionary collections run by national, state, or local church groups. If the church teaches tithing or giving a certain percentage of your income to God then that is a theological outlook. The money you give directly goes to the church funds.
This is the best and one of the easiest ways to raise funds for churches. Usually, churches raise money through crowdfunding for various activities like mission trips, construction or renovation, community support; youth group activities, special programs, and events, etc. Over the years many churches have found crowdfunding the best way to raise funds as well as increase the participation of community people.
3. Online Giving For Churches
Because of the COVID-19 situation, donation online has become the most powerful way for churches to raise more from generous parishioners and community people. Moreover, many churches are using this method to collect donations from all around the world. Moreover, an online donation system can be used for weekly tithes and offers and increase the regular church giving.
4. Text-To-Give Campaign
This is becoming a very popular donation idea for churches and religious organizations in the USA. There are some valid reasons this method is becoming popular and working very well. Many churches invest in text-to-give software and use it during a Sunday morning church service. People might forget to bring money to churches but usually, they don’t forget to bring their phones. Moreover, with text-to-give software, you can collect donations from multiple locations which is very convenient for big churches.
5. T-Shirt Fundraising
This is a classic fund rising idea where churches can sell t-shirts for every age group. This method has become easier thanks to the online t-shirt fundraiser. Church authority can design custom, high-quality T-shirts and then sell them to the local community to raise funds. You can include the church’s programs or mission on the t-shirt design or you can also add a favorite verse from the Bible or an inspirational quote.
6. Live Streaming
Usually, people donate money every week when they visit the church. But you can increase the church funds by performing live streaming. For example, you can organize a mid-week online service by live streaming. When the church is offering online service, you can also ask for donations like the traditional collection plate.
7. Host A Sing-A-Thon
If you have a group of songbirds in your community then you can easily use them to raise money for a project, event, or occasion. For example, you can host a Sing-a-Thon event and charge entry fees that help your church raise money. Moreover, you can also sell concessions throughout the event and make some profit for the church.
You can offer the members of the church to receive tithe directly from your ward letter or bulletin. Church members can receive the tithe online or in print copy. So, a church newsletter can be a very effective way to raise money for the church. For the online church newsletter, you can add the link to the online donation forms as well as encourage the members to donate money via the text-to-give campaign. If your newsletter is a print version then you can add a QR code link to the newsletter and encourage the members to donate money.
9. Set Up A Swap Shop
A swap shop is a great way to raise funds for churches as well as help the church members clean up their garages, basements, and closets. You can take a classroom or Sunday school office as your swap shop. In a swap shop, people can donate their belongings like clothes, books, home decor items, etc. Then the church will sell the items to other people of the community, church members, etc., and raise funds for the church.
10. Have A Family Fun Day
This is also a very easy and effective way to raise money for churches. Many churches organize a family fun day where you can bring your whole family and spend some quality time with neighbors and other families of their community. This is also a great way to know each other and make new friends. The best time to organize a Family Fun Day is Sunday afternoon after church. Once the service is over, you can direct people to an outdoor area where they can do various fun activities like playing games, gossiping, etc. During the event, the church can do their fundraising.
11. Charity Auctions
Many churches organize charity auctions to quickly raise money for the churches. This is also a great way to interact personally with the parishioners. Moreover, you will also have the chance to build a good business relationship that can help the church in the future. Church authority can ask for as many charities auction items from local businesses. It will help you create a great atmosphere for the attendees. When organizing a charity auction, try to hire an auctioneer, send out invitations, and provide food and drinks.
12. Silent Auctions
A silent auction is a type of fun auction and it will give your church members a little extra time while they bid on unique and engaging items. Moreover, if you can get a hand on some valuable items then you have the potential to raise big funds for the church. You can also contact the local businesses and individuals and see if they can donate some valuable items for the silent auction.
13. Hold A Talent Show
You can use this idea for the fundraising activities of your church. Many churches and religious organizations host a talent show for the local community and then raise funds for the church. This type of event is particularly enjoyable for children and more people will engage with the church activities.
14. Start Of For-Profit Companies
The church is a nonprofit organization but it can legally establish for-profit companies and add to the church funds. Many churches have their for-profit organization and after the tax, donate the money to the church fund. Church authority can easily establish a business or make a partnership with people who have experience in running a business.
15. Rent Out Church’s Property
Many churches rent their extra property to make money for church activities. If your church has extra property then you can use the properties to generate some extra funds for the church. Depending on the size of the property you can rent the church property for –
1. Business premises
2. Co-working space
The money a church can make by renting its property can cover the entire monthly mortgage of the church.
Churches require expanding their streams of income in order to maintain the church activities. Churches are hugely dependent on charitable donations which are not fixed income. There might be ups and downs; therefore churches should look for alternative sources of income to create a sustainable fund for the church activities.
Magalie D. is a Diploma holder in Public Administration & Management from McGill University of Canada. She shares management tips here in MGTBlog when she has nothing to do and gets some free time after working in a multinational company at Toronto.