Being in lockdown is causing us to find new ways of connecting with our communities and sustaining the work of parishes across the country. Virtual fundraising events can be a great way for churches to raise money creatively and offer people an easy way to support their local church. Here are some tips for encouraging your parishes to think about organising a virtual fundraising event:
1. Online Giving
Any church organising a virtual fundraiser will need to be able to process donations online, and have online giving set up. For details about how to do this, see our section on online giving.
Next, decide what sort of event to run. Here are a few ideas…
- With virtual quizzes becoming a popular way to connect with friends at the moment, why not try organising a virtual quiz to fundraise? You could ask people to make a small donation to take part and offer a prize to incentivise sign ups.
- From people running half-marathons in their gardens to Captain Tom walking 100 lengths, people are finding imaginative ways to undertake sponsored exercise during lockdown. Virtual relay walks or runs can be a great way for groups to fundraise collectively; for example, four people might ask for sponsorship to symbolically walk the distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats between them over a set period of time. The vicar of St John the Evangelist in Hurst Cross, Revd Liz Devall, is undertaking a 300-mile walk, functioning as a virtual pilgrimage, to raise money for her church.
- We love Newcastle diocese’s idea of offering a virtual tour of church buildings, in exchange for a donation. This could also be coupled with a short talk about the church’s history.
Virtual Treasure Hunt:
- How about organising a virtual treasure hunt? As with a virtual quiz, participants could make a small donation to take part, with a prize on offer for the winner. The person organising could come up with a series of interesting things available to view on Google Maps Streetview, coming up with clues for participants to crack.
Virtual Balloon Race:
- St Thomas’ Church in Oldham is hosting a virtual balloon race to raise money for repair work on their church tower.
Remind your churches to think about which platform will be best to use for their event (e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet etc.) and whether they will need a license for the capacity and expected duration. You can find more guidance on which platform is best for you here.
Whatever churches in your parish decide to do, don’t forget to encourage them to promote their fundraising activities, which could be through your email newsletter, local press, social media, and their A Church Near You page.
Heard a great story about a church doing virtual fundraising? Let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org.