My Theology of Fundraising

Fund Raising in Student Ministry copyOver the years I have been outspoken that I wished the church would not have to do fundraising for it’s events and programs. And while there is a part of me that still feels that way, I have softened my stance for a couple reasons. I no longer feel that fundraising is always a necessary evil, but a good way to build up more than just money.

  • Fundraising requires commitment. Many teens will tie into a trip, program or event to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Perhaps they don’t always tie in for the perfect reasons, but usually they want to be a part of the big story. To attach fund raising requirements allows them an opportunity to express their commitment in a tangible way. Being asked to raise money to help cover their cost is a great way to find out if they are really going for the right reasons.
  • Fundraising stretches the imagination. Anyone can stand in an intersection with a bucket begging for money for their cause (or trip), but a great fundraiser will get you (and possibly your target audience) outside the normal perceptions of “begging for cash.” It allows you to explore, to identify the strengths of your group and capitalize on them. evaluate what your group can do and find a way to use that to raise money. Don’t just have a car wash, invite some local bands or some of your teens to share music with the crowd!
  • Fundraising doesn’t have to be labor-intensive. For a summer work camp/mission trip we gave 16 cans of Lay’s Stax out to people, asked them to eat the chips in the can and return it to us the following week full of their spare change or cash. We spent $16 on the chips (cheaper than Pringles) and brought in nearly $350.00 (and only about 14 of those cans came back!).
  • Fundraising can help your group bond. Even the simple fundraising events like a car wash can serve to help your group bond before your trip. They get to share a common experience together, and even better, they are all working toward a common goal. In the case of mission trips, that goal is serving others even more. For a convention or conference, that goal is to be trained, or grown even deeper than they already are.
  • Fundraising has some Biblical support. There were many in Scripture that asked people to donate to the work of the Kingdom. Most of our programs are work of the Kingdom, so why be afraid to ask?
  • Fundraising can connect you with people at home. You are leaving to serve or be served. Look to this as an opportunity to connect in a meaningful way with people back home. Either in your church or in your community.

So that’s my list. How’s yours look?