Church fundraising ideas can go beyond the weekly offerings that are given by church attendees during weekly religious services. Unfortunately, in many churches, they have to maintain high overhead costs as their number of parishioners and churchgoers have declined. With that decline has gone fundraising dollars to not only sustain the costs of keeping the lights on and paying for salaries, but also for essential church programs that are provided to their communities.

The programs by churches are even more necessary today than ever, especially with the continued cuts in government funding for efforts that support the most vulnerable people in our communities, such as programs for senior citizens, soup kitchens and substance addiction.



We have 5 church fundraising ideas that will help your faith-based community raise money for your church and its vital community programs, with the support of your parishioners and also your broader population.

  • Shoe drive fundraiser: An easy and engaging fundraiser that makes an incredible difference in your community and around the world is a shoe drive fundraiser. When you do a shoe drive fundraiser, you ask your entire community for their gently worn, used and new shoes, which keeps them from going into the garbage. A check is issued by a shoe drive fundraising company, which then takes the shoes, consolidates them and then ships the footwear to micro-entrepreneurs in developing nations. The small business owners sell the shoes they get from shoe drive fundraisers in their communities to help themselves out of poverty, which is a hand-up, rather than a hand-out.
  • Fish fry lunch or dinner: During Lent, in particular, a fish fry is a way to remember the lessons taught in the Bible, as well a fundraising event that can help you raise money for your church. A fish fry is an event that can be done during the weekend by asking your parishioners and their families to attend a lunch or dinner event where they will make a contribution to participate. Make sure you have a tasty fish dish to offer and inspiring speakers who can motivate your participants. Another great idea to add for a fish dry day is to ask people to bring shoes to donate, for additional fundraising dollars.
  • Coffee morning: Church leaders tend to have many meetings. Think of school committees or volunteers who serve in church groups. There’s always coffee, and coffee can be a fundraising opportunity. Ask all of your church groups and committees who will be having meetings during any given week, to make coffee and serve it for fundraising dollars, including to churchgoers who need a cup of java, especially if it’s artisanal or special brands, to clear their heads before church services. Every steaming cup of coffee can be a fundraising opportunity for your church.
  • Compassionate camping: One of the most impactful ways your church can drive home the point for what people who are homeless experience is by having a compassionate camping or sleep-out. When your church goers sleep out in the elements or camp out for the night, they do it with nothing more than a sleeping bag, which can be a luxury for people who don’t even have that form of bedding. Participants in the sleep out contribute and also ask their friends, families, and co-workers for donations to your church cause. Also, compassionate camping or a sleep out is an excellent way to help people remember how important it is to be kind, caring and compassionate to others.
  • Super Soul Sunday: If your community has football fans, and all churches do, the Super Bowl can be an excellent opportunity to raise money for your programs. Use your auditorium or a meeting room in your community as a place for your community to join together to watch the Super Bowl. One of our partners asked their parishioners to participate in a Super Sole Sunday where they brought gently worn, used and new shoes they no longer wanted during Super Bowl Sunday, which became fundraising dollars for the organization and a way for families to watch the Super Bowl in a church community.

There are many church fundraising ideas that you can do that go beyond the offering basket that is passed around during church services. If you want to read our full list of 25 church fundraising ideas, take a look at our guide, for more thoughts to help you raise more money for your essential programs.


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