Does your church do “fundraisers?” You know, a table in the lobby raising money for this project or that? Or, maybe a car wash to help pay for a student conference or something?
We do not. In a church our size (I can’t imagine how it is in a large church), we get many, many requests to raise funds for this cause or that. Our answer is always the same, “We don’t do fundraisers.”
We do, however, do “special offerings.” In fact, we consider special offerings to be an important part of our overall Donor Development Strategy. In addition to our annual stewardship series, during which we talk about getting out of debt, saving for our futures, and giving 10% back to God, we plan and execute 3 special offerings per year. They are Easter, Summer Camps, and Christmas.
Each offering is built into our annual financial plan and is an important part of teaching people how to give. Sometimes a special cause will motivate people who are on the fence about giving to the church. For whatever reason, they haven’t responded to the “general” need, and it takes something “special” to compel them to get involved financially.
The 3rd part of our overall Donor Development Strategy is periodic capital campaigns. I have seen many examples of a family getting behind a capital campaign with a major commitment that continues to give (even tithe!) after the campaign is long over, and the campaign’s goal (building program, missions project, church plant, etc.) has been accomplished.
Annual stewardship teaching, special offerings at strategic times during the year, and periodic capital campaigns are like the 3 legs of a stool. They are all needed to help people get over the hump, learning that giving to the church is an act of worship and commitment to God!