Keeping fundraising for a church fun and lighthearted can help entice more church members to be involved. With so many other groups in the community participating in classic fundraisers, it is best to find a creative fundraiser that has not been done repeatedly in your area. The area your church has to devote to a fundraiser, your fundraising goal and the number of church members willing to participate in the fundraiser all play key roles in determining what fundraiser will work for your church.
Host a craft fair on the church's property. Charge for table rentals from local artists and crafters. Craft fairs earn a good deal of money during the holiday season when consumers are looking for decorations and gifts for friends and family. Church members should set up a concession stand to bring more money in over the craft fair weekend. Sell finger foods, drinks and candy to the public and place a tip jar near the register. Have youth group members greet customers at the door with a flier explaining your church's mission and when services take place. Extremely large craft fairs can sell tickets and charge for parking space. If you presell table space you will have an idea of the amount of crafters and whether parking will become a problem. If walking and parking space may be a problem it is best that you charge a fee for both entrance and parking. Also, speak with nearby businesses that are closed on the weekend and request permission for customers of the craft fair to use their parking lots.
Sell tickets for a 50/50 raffle during service breaks at church or during weekly gatherings. These fundraisers typically bring in less money than a traditional fundraiser but can bring enough money over a number of raffles to compensate. Sell tickets for $1, $5 or $10 per ticket and tear the ticket in half retaining one half in a bowl or bucket. At the end of the day, night or week draw one ticket stub. Whoever holds the matching half of the drawn ticket wins half of the proceeds from the raffle ticket sales. The winner typically donates the money back to the charity. Get the children's church involved by having the students decorate the tickets for the raffle.
Host a carnival with a specific theme such as “Back to School.” Rent an inflatable jumping gym or contract with a carnival company to provide rides depending on the size of your expected crowd. Set up carnival games being sure to provide games for children of all age levels. Charge an entrance fee or require tickets be bought to play games and ride the rides. Tickets can also be used instead of cash for food and drinks. While church carnivals require the dedication of a large group of church members, you can bring in a large amount of money due to community attendance at the carnival.
In the fall, ask a local real estate agency for permission to use a house in foreclosure, abandoned or vacant. Get your church youth group involved in a project to turn the property into a haunted house, with the kids dressing in costume and scaring visitors. Haunted houses can be easily made using every day materials to build a maze, create light and sound effects, add spooky noises and funnel visitors through dark rooms. Ask for donations at the end of the tour and sell refreshments.