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  #1  
Old Jul 18, '13, 1:51 pm
Justine715 Justine715 is offline
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Default Fundraising Ideas for Small Parish

Hello,

I just took over the fundraising coordinator role at my small parish.

I thought it would be fun and I'd plan a few events here and there, but I found out that the church desperately needs money raised in order to keep it going. We do not make enough from weekly collection to pay for operating costs and so I'm left very stressed about this role.

I was wondering if anyone had ideas for fundraisers we could hold at the parish. We are located in small town (about 3000) and have about 100 parishioners on a good week. Most of the parishioners are young families and retired couples.

Looking forward to hearing some ideas and thank you in advance.
  #2  
Old Jul 18, '13, 2:49 pm
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KendraDZ1902 KendraDZ1902 is offline
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Default Re: Fundraising Ideas for Small Parish

car wash, bake sale, yard sale. I don't know where you are from, but a lot of organizations I know do a Boston Butt sale.
  #3  
Old Jul 18, '13, 3:20 pm
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jakasaki jakasaki is offline
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Default Re: Fundraising Ideas for Small Parish

Hi there Justine ~

I can give you some advice on how "I" handle our Church's fund raisers.

I'm the Priests secretary, Church Office Manager and Event planner/coordinator.

If your Church as a dining hall, you can host spaghetti/meatballs night with salad, bread & soda.

The trick is to get your local vendors to donate the pasta/chop meat/salad greens/bread & soda.

What I do is solicit our local area and I would hit one supermarket for the pasta.

Then go to another supermarket and solicit for a free donation of chop meat.

And another for the salad greens/bread and another for soda.

Then I get some parishioners to donate to the fund raiser, the napkins- forks -spoons...etc....

I'll gather up some ladies/gents to assist in the prep work - cooking & serving.

For a pasta event, $30 per person and $15 per child.

It's hard work and you need to be determined and persistent.

Since it's summer, you can do a BBQ - again, you need to get your local community to donate the stuff you need.

Another thing I did last month for 4 weeks ago was a "thrift shop/yard sale" inside in our dining hall. I asked the parishioners to go through their homes and donate "good clean stuff" they no longer use.

I then set everything up, put a small sign outside on the Church grounds that we have a "thrift shop/yard sale" going on.

I also make up with poster board signs and placed them all over the church property so people can see them.

I ran the thrift shop on Thursdays/Fridays & Saturdays from 11am - 3pm.

At the end of the 4 weeks, I made $2475. for the church.

The left over donations I had, I donated them to other church thrift shops and or charity shops.

If your church does not have a dining hall, go to a tent renter and ask them to donate a tent for your fund raiser. You'd be surprised how many business are willing to help out a church.

Make sure you have ID from your church and signed authorization letters from your priest when you go out and hit the pavement.

Another thing:

I purchase the red glass/white glass candles from a religious store in NY and sell them a double the price. People like to take them home and light them by their "altar corners". I'm able to pay the vendor and the profits to right to the Church.

Next Saturday, my fundraiser is scheduled to be an outdoor diner open all.

I got a parishioner who is the owner of a huge butcher shop in NYC. He's donating steaks, burgers, chicken cutlets, sausages and some other goodies.

Today, I contacted our local supermarket to donate the Italian bread.

I also contacted a giant super store out here called BJ's and asked them to donate only the soda.

I got a green farmers market to donate the salad greens.

So far I'm doing well. Couldn't get anyone to donate the napkins, cups... etc,... but it's OK - the church can take up that cost since it's so little.

I'm expecting about 150+ people to come to this fundraiser next Saturday.

I did the same fundraiser last year in July, fed 240 people and made $50,000+ for the church. Last year, I had another meat man donate filet mignon - then I got a seafood vendor to donate the bass and again, a farmers market to donate all of the veggies.

I got a liquor store owner to donate the cases of wine.

The soda was purchased by the church cause I could not get any one to donate that...

It was my biggest take yet...!!!

So you see, it's possible you just have to plan, go out there and mingle and network with your community.

And oh yeah, one more thing I did.

Since you need help with big events, I went to the local restaurants and talked to the owners about any waitstaff that would have off on the day of my events and if they would be willing to donate their time serving and cleaning... etc...

If you are wondering that their response was.... well, let's just say no one turned down to help their local church.

Hope I've helped...!!! I wish you the best.
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  #4  
Old Jul 18, '13, 3:27 pm
RCIAGraduate RCIAGraduate is offline
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Default Re: Fundraising Ideas for Small Parish

Have you consulted with your parish about contacting Catholic Extension-from what I read this group seems to help struggling parts of the church in the United States.
  #5  
Old Jul 18, '13, 3:29 pm
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jmcrae jmcrae is offline
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Default Re: Fundraising Ideas for Small Parish

Quote:
Originally Posted by jakasaki View Post
Hi there Justine ~

I can give you some advice on how "I" handle our Church's fund raisers.

I'm the Priests secretary, Church Office Manager and Event planner/coordinator.

If your Church as a dining hall, you can host spaghetti/meatballs night with salad, bread & soda.

The trick is to get your local vendors to donate the pasta/chop meat/salad greens/bread & soda.

What I do is solicit our local area and I would hit one supermarket for the pasta.

Then go to another supermarket and solicit for a free donation of chop meat.

And another for the salad greens/bread and another for soda.

Then I get some parishioners to donate to the fund raiser, the napkins- forks -spoons...etc....

I'll gather up some ladies/gents to assist in the prep work - cooking & serving.

For a pasta event, $30 per person and $15 per child.

It's hard work and you need to be determined and persistent.

Since it's summer, you can do a BBQ - again, you need to get your local community to donate the stuff you need.

Another thing I did last month for 4 weeks ago was a "thrift shop/yard sale" inside in our dining hall. I asked the parishioners to go through their homes and donate "good clean stuff" they no longer use.

I then set everything up, put a small sign outside on the Church grounds that we have a "thrift shop/yard sale" going on.

I also make up with poster board signs and placed them all over the church property so people can see them.

I ran the thrift shop on Thursdays/Fridays & Saturdays from 11am - 3pm.

At the end of the 4 weeks, I made $2475. for the church.

The left over donations I had, I donated them to other church thrift shops and or charity shops.

If your church does not have a dining hall, go to a tent renter and ask them to donate a tent for your fund raiser. You'd be surprised how many business are willing to help out a church.

Make sure you have ID from your church and signed authorization letters from your priest when you go out and hit the pavement.

Another thing:

I purchase the red glass/white glass candles from a religious store in NY and sell them a double the price. People like to take them home and light them by their "altar corners". I'm able to pay the vendor and the profits to right to the Church.

Next Saturday, my fundraiser is scheduled to be an outdoor diner open all.

I got a parishioner who is the owner of a huge butcher shop in NYC. He's donating steaks, burgers, chicken cutlets, sausages and some other goodies.

Today, I contacted our local supermarket to donate the Italian bread.

I also contacted a giant super store out here called BJ's and asked them to donate only the soda.

I got a green farmers market to donate the salad greens.

So far I'm doing well. Couldn't get anyone to donate the napkins, cups... etc,... but it's OK - the church can take up that cost since it's so little.

I'm expecting about 150+ people to come to this fundraiser next Saturday.

I did the same fundraiser last year in July, fed 240 people and made $50,000+ for the church. Last year, I had another meat man donate filet mignon - then I got a seafood vendor to donate the bass and again, a farmers market to donate all of the veggies.

I got a liquor store owner to donate the cases of wine.

The soda was purchased by the church cause I could not get any one to donate that...

It was my biggest take yet...!!!

So you see, it's possible you just have to plan, go out there and mingle and network with your community.

And oh yeah, one more thing I did.

Since you need help with big events, I went to the local restaurants and talked to the owners about any waitstaff that would have off on the day of my events and if they would be willing to donate their time serving and cleaning... etc...

If you are wondering that their response was.... well, let's just say no one turned down to help their local church.

Hope I've helped...!!! I wish you the best.
This is inspiring!

I am just curious to know (in general terms) what does the letter say, that you carry with you when you go to meet with business people to solicit donations? And how do you structure your "pitch"?
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  #6  
Old Jul 18, '13, 3:42 pm
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jakasaki jakasaki is offline
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Default Re: Fundraising Ideas for Small Parish

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcrae View Post
This is inspiring!

I am just curious to know (in general terms) what does the letter say, that you carry with you when you go to meet with business people to solicit donations? And how do you structure your "pitch"?
The letter is written by the Priest and has his signature on it.

It generally states who I am and I also have my Church ID with me, and that we are doing a fund raiser and I am the event coordinator.

The priest will "beg" BUT in those words for the community to help. On the letter, it will state what we are trying to raise money for.

For example, a few years back, all of the fundraisers went for a new roof to the church, also, since our church is 200 years old, we were in need of replacing the furnace and hot water heaters.

Every fund raiser has a cause and each letter is customized for that specific cause. For example, this fundraiser I'm doing next Saturday, is for a new bell tower cause it's about to collapse.

How do I structure my "pitch"...

I'm a Leo - a natural born talker and an extravert

You've got to have a personality and a passion to go through such tasks. Don't get me wrong, I've been let down by many of people, but it doesn't stop my from seeing others for assistance.

And I'll tell you, when they see me coming into their business, it's like...


.... oh no... here comes Pam.... quick hide....

But it does not stop me...!!!
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  #7  
Old Jul 18, '13, 3:47 pm
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jakasaki jakasaki is offline
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Default Re: Fundraising Ideas for Small Parish

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcrae View Post
This is inspiring!

I am just curious to know (in general terms) what does the letter say, that you carry with you when you go to meet with business people to solicit donations? And how do you structure your "pitch"?
I also look at it this way...

Let's say I need 20 pounds to chop meat for burgers and the meat vendor I go to won't help me.

I'll just ask him to give me what he can, even if it's a few pounds, which they are willing to do.

Then I'll go to another meat vendor and ask for chop meat donation. I'll say, you know.... your fellow butcher down the road donated, so I would like your establishment to help us out as much as you can... And they do!!!!

I'll repeat this process until I have my 20 pounds to ground beef....

I don't give up!!!

Some people will help, others might not, but I keep on going until I fulfill my mission.

Don't get wrong - it's hard work - so I just keep on going...!!
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  #8  
Old Jul 18, '13, 3:51 pm
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jakasaki jakasaki is offline
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Default Re: Fundraising Ideas for Small Parish

Oh ~ back to the OP Justine ~

If you take any of my tips, it's important to keep a clean ledger on who have you what and how much.

It is important to pass the acknowledgement back to the people who donated with a thank you letter and list their donation. Many of these vendors/business will use your letters as a tax write off during tax time as a church donation.

So, it's important to keep accurate records of each and every donation, no matter how big or small.

And make sure you send the acknowledgement letters out one week after your event and you might even write something on the thank you letter on the success of your event and that you are looking forward for "their support" at your next fundraiser.
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  #9  
Old Jul 18, '13, 5:55 pm
Aggies08 Aggies08 is offline
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Default Re: Fundraising Ideas for Small Parish

Our church has an annual family garage sale. Items are donated to the church, everything is tagged/set out. Garage sale is advertised locally- not just through the parish. Anything unsold is donated through goodwill. They are picky at drop-off that people are not getting rid of junk to avoid a dump fee. All electronics are tested prior to sale.

Lots of regular dinners. Every this day a pancake breakfast, or spagetti dinner or whatever. Fish fry's during lent.

Dinner and dance (if you have the right age/mix of parishioners this would go over).

Carnival/Fairs

Raffles- a lovely dealership donates a new car each year to be the grand prize. It is heavily advertised that THEY are donating this car, etc- so they get some PR from it.

Annual letter denoting parish funds and where they go- this includes balances and shortfalls, if we are meeting projections, etc. VERY transparent, easy to access, and I know lots of parishioners like it. No one is saying we are short/ahead- you can see, dollar for dollar, where the money comes from, and how it goes out.

Not sure if that helped at all, but it's what we have.
  #10  
Old Jul 18, '13, 6:04 pm
HouseArrest HouseArrest is offline
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Default Re: Fundraising Ideas for Small Parish

jakasaki - I can't believe you can get people to pay $30 for a plate of spaghetti! impressive!

OP, is your church running a scrip program yet? If you could get even 25 orders a week you could earn about $30,000 a year and it is not difficult to do. It is a slow, steady, nickel and dime earning method.

Take a look at www.glscrip.com. Everything will be spelled out for you.
  #11  
Old Jul 18, '13, 6:18 pm
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jakasaki jakasaki is offline
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Default Re: Fundraising Ideas for Small Parish

Quote:
Originally Posted by HouseArrest View Post
jakasaki - I can't believe you can get people to pay $30 for a plate of spaghetti! impressive!

OP, is your church running a scrip program yet? If you could get even 25 orders a week you could earn about $30,000 a year and it is not difficult to do. It is a slow, steady, nickel and dime earning method.

Take a look at www.glscrip.com. Everything will be spelled out for you.
Hi there House Arrest:

Why not - our local fire department is having a fund raiser next month in August.

They are offering burgers - hot dogs - salad - soda, beer & wine - corn on the cob for $50 per person - $25 for under 21.

I'm giving the public tons more.
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  #12  
Old Jul 18, '13, 7:34 pm
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Fundraising Ideas for Small Parish

While fundraisers can be good for a parish to fund a special project or goal, build community and involvement, and invite the community at large to your parish: you cannot run a parish long term on fundraisers.

I would really encourage you to reach out to your stewardship office at the diocese. You really need to bring stewardship of time, talent, and treasure into the forefront in your parish. There should not be a "fundraiser" position at your parish, there should be a stable Finance Counsel who works with the pastor on these matters and a Pastoral Counsel who works with the stewardship office on bringing stewardship to your parish.
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  #13  
Old Aug 21, '13, 8:41 am
Butterflylily Butterflylily is offline
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Default Re: Fundraising Ideas for Small Parish

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post
While fundraisers can be good for a parish to fund a special project or goal, build community and involvement, and invite the community at large to your parish: you cannot run a parish long term on fundraisers.

I would really encourage you to reach out to your stewardship office at the diocese. You really need to bring stewardship of time, talent, and treasure into the forefront in your parish. There should not be a "fundraiser" position at your parish, there should be a stable Finance Counsel who works with the pastor on these matters and a Pastoral Counsel who works with the stewardship office on bringing stewardship to your parish.
I'm just sharing my story on fundraising and stewardship on how it influenced our village:
I grew up in a small village in the southeast wherein people's means of livelihood is crops and fishing. Our chapel was built during Second World War I guess but has not improved not until about 15-20 years ago. My mom was a widowed teacher and formed our village first professional organization, " I was the 1st Registered nurse, my 2nd cousin was the first MD, to make the story short, there were 10 professionals. Every year my mom writes a letter to request donations to all the professionals to give back to the church. I was born and raised catholic and believes in generosity and tithings. We were able to accomplish renovating the church. Please note that because of what we have started back then and letting the people informed every Sunday about being generous etc, people in the community got involved, they volunteer, and even in their lowest they still give to the church. From the act of generosity our small village chapel has been given the privilege to have Sunday masses. After the mass our family sponsors the breakfast for the priest. We still do fund raiser but only yearly, the community itself able to support the needs of the chapel and give a portion of Sunday collection to the big church. Recently, our yearly tradition of celebrating San Roque feast day was celebrated by the Bishop. It is God glory that I can say our chapel is the best chapel in the entire province which has also served as inspiration to other villages.
Our village now have been blessed with a lot of professionals working locally and abroad
Our chapel has a president, secretary, treasurer that reports to the main office of the church.
  #14  
Old Jul 18, '13, 7:41 pm
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Fundraising Ideas for Small Parish

Quote:
Originally Posted by jakasaki View Post
Hi there House Arrest:

Why not - our local fire department is having a fund raiser next month in August.

They are offering burgers - hot dogs - salad - soda, beer & wine - corn on the cob for $50 per person - $25 for under 21.

I'm giving the public tons more.
Perhaps living in NYC you do not realize this is atypical.

Also, the OP lives in a town of 3000. They do not have multiple markets, vendors, and people who will donate filet mignon. They have one or two stores that EVERY group hits up for donations.

And I can guarantee that the income level in small towns will not support many $50/plate fundraisers.
__________________
Pax, ke

ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
  #15  
Old Jul 19, '13, 7:13 am
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jakasaki jakasaki is offline
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Default Re: Fundraising Ideas for Small Parish

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post
Perhaps living in NYC you do not realize this is atypical.

Also, the OP lives in a town of 3000. They do not have multiple markets, vendors, and people who will donate filet mignon. They have one or two stores that EVERY group hits up for donations.

And I can guarantee that the income level in small towns will not support many $50/plate fundraisers.
I never said I live in NYC.

Our church is in a small "village" of 2204 people census as of 2011. And yes, it is called the Village of "name of town", NY

I live on the East End of Long Island.

Our parishioner data base is 80 full time people and that's in the summer time.

Our winters are dead out here. We're lucky if we get 5 people showing up for Sunday service.

The "filet mignon" was solicited in Manhattan from a wealthy store owner who is known for his "philanthropy" acts towards the needy and church's.

Quote:
And I can guarantee that the income level in small towns will not support many $50/plate fundraisers

~ sure they do. This FD will be packed...

Quote:
August 10, 2013 we will be hosting a fundraising event to benefit Frank who is suffering debilitating disease.

It will be an old fashion cookout, burgers, dogs, salads, corn, beer, wine, soda, water all included

Chinese auction

50/50

6-11 @ the main house

LIVE BAND JUST GROVEN ( Susanne from that 70's band ). BRING YOUR DANCING SHOES

$ 50.00 a head
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