Fundraising is a key part of sustaining your church as it provides the resources you need to run your church properly and support your programming. However, at its core, fundraising is about gathering the funds necessary to fulfill your church’s vision and uphold your values.

When you incorporate your church’s values into your fundraising, you make it a more cohesive and engaging experience for your congregation. You remind members of your church that when they contribute to your campaigns, they’re creating a better future for your congregation, fueled by your church’s core beliefs.

In this guide, we’ll provide some strategies for promoting your church’s values while fundraising so donors know that their funds have not only a monetary impact but a spiritual one as well.

1. Create value-based campaign themes

Prioritize your values from the start with value-based campaign ideation. From the very first time they hear the name of your fundraising campaign, people should know what your church stands for.

For example, let’s say one of your church’s core values is community, and you’re looking to host a spring carnival for local families to enjoy. Instead of naming the event “[Your Church’s Name] Carnival,” use a title with a deeper connection to your cause such as “[Your Church’s Name] Community Carnival: Family, Faith and Fun.”

When planning the event, make sure to include typical carnival attractions, such as games, rides, and festive snacks. ABC Fundraising recommends selling popcorn because it’s allergy-friendly, and you can offer different flavors for different tastes. 

However, you should also go beyond these traditional ideas to align the carnival with your values and stay on theme. In this case, you might feature activities that relate to your value of community, such as lawn games and trivia contests that bring people together.

2. Share stories of your church

Don’t just list your values in your fundraising materials—make them come to life throughout the course of your campaign. Share real-life stories that illustrate your church’s values in action. Then, demonstrate how the funds raised from this campaign will facilitate these experiences for other members of your community.

For example, perhaps you recently hosted a Sunday school fundraiser to raise money for your church’s youth group mission trip. Consider interviewing one of the members of the group about their experience on the trip and how it deepened their connection to your church and its values. Include a direct quote from them in your fundraising appeals, or share their story on social media to connect with new audiences.

Hearing the perspective of a child who had a life-changing, faith-affirming experience as a result of others’ generosity will be more inspiring to donors than simply stating that your church values community, unity, and worship. 

3. Engage in faith-based messaging

Incorporate your values into your fundraising materials even further with faith-based messaging. Adding scriptures or religious teachings to your marketing collateral reinforces the connection between faith and giving for charitable members of your congregation.

For instance, you may be running a discount card fundraiser to raise funds for a new women’s Bible study group. During the fundraiser, your church sells physical discount cards that offer donors deals at local shops and restaurants.

To sprinkle some faith into your discount cards, you might add a relevant Bible verse to the cards such as, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). That way, donors receive a constant reminder of their faith and the good they are doing every time they use their discount card, encouraging them to give again in the future.

4. Leverage multimedia

When you use a variety of methods to promote your fundraiser, you present opportunities for donors to understand and connect with your values in the ways they most resonate with. To capture the attention of as many donors as possible, develop a multimedia marketing strategy with the following elements:

  • Photos. An easy way to demonstrate your church’s values while fundraising is through photos of past fundraising events and initiatives. Share pictures of your congregants collecting items for last year’s food drive or participating in a walkathon that raised money for homeless youth.
  • Video. Revamp your testimonials by sharing them in video format. Record interviews with your staff and members of your community about what makes your church special, what fundraising allows you to accomplish, and how giving back has brought them closer to their faith. NXUnite by Nexus Marketing recommends ending your video with a call to action that directs potential donors to your donation page and encourages them to contribute.
  • Blog posts. With a blog post, you have more space to expand upon your church’s fundraising efforts and how they connect to your values. You may develop informative posts that discuss how church fundraising works or more promotional posts that highlight upcoming events and how interested supporters can get involved.

Whichever marketing methods you choose, remember to share your resulting media on social media to engage a wider audience. Encourage your congregants to comment on and share your church’s posts so they reach their families and friends.

5. Thank your donors

It’s always important to thank your donors, but beyond showing your appreciation, consider your thank-you notes one last touchpoint that reminds donors of your church’s values before your campaign comes to a close.

Be specific about what donors have helped you accomplish and how they’ve allowed you to uphold your church’s values. For instance, you may write, “Your generous donation of $100 will enable us to fix several of our chapel’s pews, allowing more of our congregants to come together and join us in worship.”

After thanking your donors, follow up with updates about how you’ve used the funds to further your mission. In this case, you may send an email with a photo of your community using the brand-new pews during a recent service. This update brings the connection between donors’ generosity and your church’s core values full circle.

When you’re fundraising for your church, you have a unique responsibility to meld faith with fundraising and exhibit your values while gathering support for your cause. Putting your values at the forefront of your fundraising not only serves as a reminder of what your church stands for for your congregation but also your church’s leaders. Staying grounded in your church’s values will propel your important work forward and bring new focus to your church’s fundraising initiatives.