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  Church FundraisingMonday, December 11th, 2023  
by Kimberly Reynolds

Raising money for your church is an important task that deserves the best approach. This article examines campaigns based around donor recognition that aim to strengthen community ties with your church.

What does advertising do to help make a business successful?

They build brand awareness. Your fundraising needs to build your church's "brand" by reinforcing the message of who you are and what your "value proposition" is for your congregation.

No, I am not saying that you need golden arches out front with a neon sign that says "Over 1 Million Saved." What I am saying is that you want your supporters to have a strong emotional tie to your church.

Your fundraising campaign should be structured to strengthen those emotional ties through establishing concrete links to your congregation that are visible to the community.

What types of fundraising campaigns provide that visibility?

Donor recognition programs serve that purpose. They are easy to conduct and are available in a wide range of price points that offer ways for your entire congregation to show their support.

A donor campaign seeks a pledge of a certain contribution amount that could be a one-time donation, a weekly offering, a monthly automatic withdrawal, or an annual tithe.

Donation of a certain amount is rewarded with some type of donor recognition. Inexpensive items can be given to donors for smaller contributions in the $25 and up range while larger donations are usually recognized at your church.

What are some inexpensive examples?

An example of an entry-level price point offering for a donor recognition campaign is a custom pewter medallion or ornament which is hand crafted to display your church's exterior view. Two message lines can be added to reinforce your "brand."

Another example would be creating a unique coffee mug with your church's picture and message. The idea here is that each donor gets a coffee mug as a thank you for their support. The mug and your message help maintain awareness of their "belonging."

What recognition can you give to spur more donations?

Engraved or personalized bricks are an excellent way to provide or incent capital campaign contributions with recognition. Use of brick pavers with laser engraved messages in a special entry way or sidewalk is one attractive method.

Another way to display these donor recognition bricks that will strengthen the tie your church is to design and construct an attractive landscaping display. Many churches build a prayer garden and incorporate these engraved bricks in the sidewalks, planters, and rest/reflection areas.

Ask yourself if your church grounds could benefit from some additional landscaping. Then consider that each personalized brick could bring a donation of as much as $150 while also strengthening the bond between donor and church.

What about high dollar capital campaign contributions?

For recognition purposes, nothing beats an attractive wall display in a high-traffic area such as a foyer or entryway. Let's face it. People like to see their good deeds recognized and they like to see them recognized where their friends and neighbors can also see.

The higher the campaign amounts sought for your church's capital campaign, the more tasteful your recognition program should be. One simple method features engraved brass plaques on a polished wood backdrop. Donors select the message they want displayed on their respective plaques.

Another method, which is somewhat fancier, involves a gift tree. A three dimensional sculpture of a tree with burnished metal leaves is fixed upon a wooden backdrop for wall mounting. Each leaf is engraved with the donor's message and the end result is high-quality artwork in the church's foyer or lobby.

For very personalized recognition, consider offering a cast bronze plaque that highlights individual contributions to a specific project. You can also offer smaller individual photo plaques that provide more room for customization of the message.

There are many more ways to increase your church fundraising, but they'll have to wait for another article.

Good Luck and God Bless!

Kimberly Reynolds Get 52 freebies a year via email Maximize your fundraising success!

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