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Managing a Fundraiser
Fundraising for Church Groups
by Kimberly Reynolds
A great idea for a church fundraiser is putting together an annual 'Church Feastival' where good food, carnival games, auctions, and family fun combine for a wonderful fundraising event. The idea is to attract a broad spectrum of the local population to your fundraiser by having something for everybody.
The benefit to the church is that many newcomers will form a very positive impression of your ministry and facilities that will in time translate into a larger congregation. And of course, there's all the wonderful things you can do with all the funds raised by your 'Feastival.'
You'll need to arrange for carnival games, inflatable amusements, plenty of good food, live music, tickets, and all the other seemingly endless tasks any large fundraising event requires. Always divide and conquer - split up all the major tasks among your organizing committee and don't overload any one person.
Approach local businesses and prominent congregation members for help with signature food items such as barbecue, fish fry, corn on the cob, regional specialties like oysters or Cajun shrimp, etc. Getting these items donated instead of purchased adds tremendously to the bottom line.
For live music, work with a booking agent who can line up the right talent for a church fundraiser crowd. You want quality entertainment that won't offend while still encouraging young and old to join in the fun.
There are lots of ways to raise funds with a big event. You can include additional fundraising activities like a bake sale, a cake walk, face painting, craft sales, and various carnival games.
Auctions can raise incredible amounts if you have desirable goods and services for sale. Group together related smaller items into larger gift baskets and offer those through silent auction bids.
Do all that you can to make it easy to bid. Tape down bid sheets, pens, and descriptions next to each auction item. Make sure the descriptions are typed in large fonts so no one has to pull out their reading glasses to bid.
For large dollar value items, use a live auction format and a professional auctioneer when appropriate. People will donate unusual and valuable items for a good cause, so put the word out well ahead of time to friends and local businesses about your auction fundraiser.
To draw a big crowd, you have to get the word out about what a great event your 'Feastival' will be. Use your newsletter and email lists to send reminders to mark the day and create a sense of anticipation well ahead of the event.
You can also use flyers, roadside signs, posters and other traditional methods of attracting attention. Placing carnival rides where they can be seen by passing traffic is another good way to create interest.
Most importantly, put together a press release and distribute it to all the newspapers, TV and radio stations in your market. Make sure you put the most newsworthy aspect of your fundraiser in the summary paragraph up top. Include pictures for use by newspapers and offer live broadcast spots to radio stations.
Church fundraiser wrap-up
Make your 'Church Feastival' an annual event by creating the most fun, family-oriented day of entertainment possible. Publicize your event well ahead of time and also put the word out about how to donate goods and services.
Contract for carnival rides and inflatable rentals like a Moonwalk or jump house. Arrange for great live entertainment and large quantities of excellent food. Saturday or Sunday afternoons work best and remember to allow plenty of space for people to just spread out and enjoy everything.
Make your 'Feastival' your best church fundraiser ever!
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About the Author:
Kimberly Reynolds writes for news and magazine publications about organizing fundraisers, having your own church fundraiser feastival and school fundraiser events. Find more church fund raisers on her website, FundraiserHelp.com
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