For smaller parishes and congregations, passing the offering plate isn't always enough to cover special programs, charitable services and other expenses. Creative fundraising events offer a chance for the church to pull together for a common goal. When your small church needs to raise cash, look for fundraising activities based around simple concepts that don’t require large initial investments.
The traditional church bake sale is one of the easiest fundraisers to plan. Get permission to set up your bake sale table outside a grocery store entrance on a Saturday or plan to sell outside your own church on Sunday morning. Ask everyone in your church or ministry group to contribute some type of baked good. Make the portions generous and don't be afraid to charge high prices. Provide free coffee to drum up business and to-go containers to give customers an option to take the treats home with them.
Organize a pancake breakfast for a Saturday or Sunday morning, a spaghetti lunch after Sunday services or Friday night barbecue plate. Whatever you choose, make sure to feature easy-to-prepare dishes with wide appeal in your community. You may be able to persuade a business or a church member to donate some of the supplies, and buying in bulk will lower the cost of the ingredients. Sell tickets for $5 to $10 a plate and be sure to publicize where the money will be going. Consider taking advance orders for delivery or offering drive-through carryout service.
Plan a church yard sale in the spring or fall when more people are cleaning out clutter or preparing to move. Advertise inexpensively with picket signs, online ads, fliers and posters in high traffic areas such as the grocery store, library and coffee shop. Ask congregation members to bring donated items to the church several weeks in advance so that a volunteers have time to sort and price the items.