Host a Dinner
To unite your congregation under one cause, speak the universal language of food. Pull the nice tablecloths out of storage and make everyone feel like royalty–or have a jovial cookout on the church lawn. Encourage your congregation to invite friends and family of all faiths, coming together for something bigger than themselves. To up the ante, invite members of the congregation to provide live music. Not only does a dinner provide ample donations in one night, it gives everyone pleasant memories of the church and the community, allowing your congregation to grow even more.
Ask the Children
Invite the children of the congregation to come forward, perhaps during a designated children’s lesson, perhaps as a special moment. In addition, invite the teens, or young adults, who will soon be active members of society. Discuss the idea of charity and what it means to give. Ask the children what they can do, and how they can help others get involved. Let the congregation hear the wisdom of youth. This is a great opportunity to hand out take-home collection boxes to get kids excited about donating.
Rather than asking for cash on the spot, give people the opportunity to give in their own way by creating an online campaign. Kickstarter is perfect for jumpstarting a large project that needs up-front support, such as building a shelter or sponsoring a college scholarship. GoFundMe removes the barrier for entry — no time limit, no minimum donation threshold. Patreon is set up elegantly for continuous donations in exchange for regular updates. Keep your congregation up-to-date on opportunities to give in your newsletter.
Add More to the Collection Plate
It’s a popular church tradition to ask for offerings at the same time each service, often coupled with a word about where the donations are going. As time goes by and the congregation hears the same speech over and over, the collection plates get lighter and lighter. Change your routine and add an extra little something to get the momentum rising again. What can you add? There are several options that don’t take much prep time:
- During the week, add blank scrap paper to each pew. When the time comes, ask that everyone provide something, if not a monetary donation then a word of thanks to God.
- Change the routine. Have different people speak. Go off the cuff. Ask for people to share how charity has helped people in their lives. Use something unique to your church as a collection plate.
- A sense of progress builds excitement and commitment towards a goal. Add a visual to the ballots showing progress towards a donation threshold or donations over time.
- Don’t forget to thank your congregation! Share your heartfelt appreciation. Explain all that’s been made possible and all you hope to accomplish with future donations.
What causes are close to the hearts of your congregation? See how you can become a scholarship stakeholder and support the education of a budding scholar.