The Principles of Successful Fundraising Churches

Recently, a layman emailed us with questions about raising funds to help pay down their church’s loan.  He asked, “Can you give me examples of churches our size who have done it right and been successful?”

Our response was that it is difficult to use one church as an example for another church.  The Comparison Trap has tripped up many a church.  A church sees its neighbor across town doing something that works for them, and they try the very same thing but fail.  What churches don’t realize is that the same type of church one mile away is still vastly different than your church.  What works for them might not work for you and vice versa.

In our response to the lay leader, we pointed that out, but we also shared that there are some principles that transcend from church to church.  Here are some key principles that can be found in churches that are successful in raising the funds they need.

Successful churches have a big vision that drives everything.  People do not give to your budget; they give to what it supports—missions and ministries.  They don’t give to brick and mortar; they give to a vision.

Successful churches always link the vision to giving.  Never ask for money without linking the gift to the support of your God-given vision.

Successful churches do a good job of communicating where they are and what they need.  When asking for dollars, don’t be surprised if members want to know where and how those dollars are spent.

Successful churches have a plan, and they consistently work their plan.  Money doesn’t rain down from Heaven or grow on trees.  Have a plan and work your plan.

Successful churches tell their story of the amazing things God is doing there.  Nothing moves a heart like a heart that has been moved.  Winning churches attract the dollars from donors.

Successful churches invite ALL members to have a stake in the vision.  Make the “request.”  Never be afraid to ask for money to support God’s vision.  Jesus never shied away from talking about money.

While there are many other key issues that could be listed, we find that churches that successfully raise funds consistently follow these principles.  There is one more element to add to the mix.  Successful churches have someone who owns stewardship and drives it to success.  If that person is the pastor, the church is that much more likely to be successful.  The number one stewardship mistake churches make is the “disconnected pastor.”  How does your church rank with the above principles?