Church Fundraising Consultants
Seeking the services of church fundraising consultants can be a wise step for congregations that feel a need for help when it comes to handling issues of growth and the financial pressures that can accompany it. Some churches feel that to pursue counsel in this area is a waste of resources. If the financial needs are not large, this may be the case. Most churches can handle smaller fundraisers such as cookbook or candy bar sales on their own. But when the need carries a bigger price tag, outside help may be in order. Capital campaigns, for example, can most likely benefit from a little professional expertise. Before hiring church fundraising consultants, congregational leadership should define specific financial goals and spiritual priorities. Hiring a consultant with the same priorities is very important. Any major fundraiser that is undertaken should be accomplished in a manner that is Biblically sound and in line with the church's doctrinal stand. Campaigns that are mishandled or incorporate pressure techniques can leave a bad taste in the mouths of church members and are therefore destined to fail. On the other hand, selecting a consultant who shares the same beliefs as the congregation can form a strong and healthy team that will yield impressive results.
Hiring church fundraising consultants can be a positive experience so long as leadership has done their homework. Before making a selection it is wise to take a look at the consulting agency's references and perhaps put in a phone call to prior clients. Churches who have utilized the agency's services in the past will be in a good position to offer valuable information on how the agency is likely to perform as well as clue a congregation in on any potential problems. Once church fundraising consultants have been hired, it is important to be completely transparent regarding all information as well as the giving and tithing patterns that the congregation has shown in the past. Any problems or scandals that a congregation may have experienced in recent years is important as well since such issues can have an impact on both growth and potential giving. Failing to disclose such details can seriously limit the potential for success as the campaign progresses. Some type of agreement or contract may also be required. In this agreement the specific responsibilities of both the agency and church leadership will usually be outlined as well as the details regarding payment and the circumstances under which the agreement may be terminated.
The benefits of hiring church fundraising consultants can be many. There are a number of issues that a congregation's leadership may not be prepared for and a professional consultant can provide valuable insight and advice regarding such issues. All too often in capital campaigns ministry areas can suffer. This is usually due to the fact that those who traditionally head up different areas of ministry may find that they are overwhelmed with the details of fundraising. Hiring church fundraising consultants can free leadership up to continue to handle important ministry concerns. In this way, the church can thrive even as the campaign gets underway. Raising money for big ticket purchases such as building renovation, land purchases, new construction or debt retirement can be extremely stressful. For many leaders the responsibilities that are being assumed can seem overwhelming. An experienced consultant can help church leadership feel more confident in the important steps that they are taking and can also help the congregation avoid common pitfalls. The Bible encourages believers to put their trust in God and bring needs and frustrations to Him. "Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah." (Psalm 62:8)
One important service that church fundraising consultants can offer is the preparation of a church needs and feasibility study. The objectivity that these professionals bring to the table can be invaluable. Information on any areas of ministry that may be lacking as well as the needs of the surrounding community that the church might be able to meet can be eye opening for many congregations. An honest evaluation of the church's realistic financial prospects can be difficult to access for those who are deeply invested in the organization. An objective consultant can help to take the guesswork out of decisions regarding what is realistically possible for a specific organization. If a building project is under contemplation there may be a variety of land use issues that will need to be evaluated. Does the church have enough land to accomplish their intended purpose? Once the new building has been completed, will there be sufficient space left to provide adequate parking? Are there any zoning issues to be considered? Is the land suitable for the type of construction that is being contemplated? Often a consultant can provide a variety of options that the congregation can choose from.
In most cases, church fundraising consultants can provide answers to a number of important questions. What are the legal ramifications of a capital campaign and how can a congregation make sure that they are in full compliance? What is the responsibility of congregational leadership as well as individual members? If outside financing is required what are the available options. Often a consulting agency can provide stewardship education opportunities as well. No matter what options a congregation might choose, the help of professional consultants can mean the difference between ultimate success and failure.
Christian Fundraisers IdeasChristian fundraisers ideas are so plentiful that any group, whether it's a Sunday School class or an entire congregation, can find something suitable for their particular needs and circumstances. If the group wants to raise money by selling items particularly Christian in nature, they can choose between kits for making cross necklaces to sell, or tee shirts with Christian logos or Scriptural phrases on them. Local Christian book and gift stores might provide an outlet for these necklaces or shirts. For young children, there are kits to stuff your own bear, or other animal that sell well. These kits also include an ark (as in Noah's) abode in which to keep them. All the materials are provided, and it affords an opportunity for children and parents to work together. These projects can be sold to individuals on campus (church or school), or as a part of Christian fundraising events such as craft fairs. Small children are often forgotten at these events, so it is good to remember Christ's own words: "But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." (Luke 18:16)
Some not specific to Christians, but certainly appropriate include in a list of Christian fundraisers, are the sales of items useful to the general population. Gift wrap, first-aid kits, flowers, or aromatherapy products are good sellers, because they are things needed or enjoyed by so many people. Food items are always popular as Christian fundraisers ideas, especially near the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Citrus fruit, nuts and snacks, frozen cookie dough and pizzas are appealing to most folks, and for those who like to cook, cook books will be appealing. Items to sell can be peddled either door-to-door or at booths set up at Christian fundraising events.
Scratch cards are among the Christian fundraisers ideas that are currently popular. The buyer scratches off two or three numbers on a card and pays the total of those numbers as his "donation." In return, he gets discount coupons from local merchants or national chain businesses. This idea of getting something in return without purchasing an item appeals to a lot of donors. Discount cards alone are good items as well. Americans of all stripes love bargains.
Among the more established Christian fundraisers ideas are Christian fundraising events. Youth groups or adults can sponsor a dinner that is open to the public. This kind of event can often become an annual project that grows as it becomes more popular with the community. Special kinds of meals work well for these, such as turkey dinner with all the trimmings, a pancake supper, or 4th of July hot dogs. Raffles are good Christian fundraising events that get the community involved. People will buy raffle tickets for a beautiful handmade quilt and/or other quality items for a small donation. A long-standing favorite among youth groups is the car wash. The church parking lot is often the site of this kind of event, and they don't have to charge a lot to make a decent profit.
For a group with thespian aspirations, a play can be one of the most enjoyable Christian fundraising events. Again, tickets sold to the general public add to the monies brought in by the congregation itself. A dinner theater is even better, if that can be arranged. Comedies or mysteries are readily available from several sources on the Internet. When this kind of project is planned, it is surprising how many frustrated actors come forward to take part. If there is someone in town with a reputation for good acting, they could be invited to participate.
There are some important things to remember when considering Christian fundraisers ideas. If something is being sold, a clear understanding of the terms of the contract between the group and the company providing the items. Some require money up front, while others do not. The percentage of profit realized may vary as well, so whoever is handling the event needs to have everything clearly spelled out. Once that matter is resolved, then it is a matter of organizing the people involved in the project. The dates have been set for the beginning and end of the event, after making sure there is not some other local event happening at that time. People in the group are given specific duties related to the collection of money, periodical reports of progress, etc., so there is clear tracking of progress. This is especially true of items being sold through catalogs or advance sale of tickets.
All of these events require publicity. Someone must be responsible for taking care of distributing information to the local media and providing flyers to be posted at business locations. Sometimes those come with the project materials, but often they do not, so someone has to design and print flyers. This gives the artistic individual in the group a task. Adequate publicity can go a long way toward assuring the success of a group's fundraising efforts.