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Through Christian crowdfunding, your congregation can start collecting more contributions from more inspired individuals than ever before.
Even if you’ve never heard of crowdfunding, you’ve likely already contributed to a crowdfunding campaign (or know someone who has). With these popular online ways to give, motivated supporters can contribute to fundraising campaigns or participate by becoming a fundraiser.
Because people can quickly and easily give to crowdfunding campaigns with the click of a button, churches look to crowdfunding as way to boost tithing among their congregants and their personal networks.
Even better? Crowdfunding has the added benefit of appealing to young people who are more apt to donate online and more likely to encounter crowdfunding campaigns as they engage across social media.
Think your church could benefit from a crowdfunding campaign? To create a Christian crowdfunding campaign that reaches higher ground, your church should:
- Choose the right Christian crowdfunding platform
- Engage in Christian crowdfunding with a purpose
- Tell a visual story as part of your Christian crowdfunding campaign
- Break into Christian crowdfunding teams
- Learn from your crowdfunding progress
- Always show gratitude to your Christian crowdfunder’s supporters
- Keep congregants updated on your Christian crowdfunding campaign
- Enable text-to-tithe for your Christian crowdfunder
- Suggest recurring gifts on your Christian crowdfunding site
Ready to get started? Let’s go over some of the most effective ways your congregation can gain a better sense of community by participating in Christian crowdfunding.
1. Choose the right Christian crowdfunding website
While crowdfunding can be a great way for churches to raise money to support their congregation and mission, not all crowdfunding platforms are created equally.
In fact, one of the most important things to consider when starting your Christian crowdfunding campaign is the website on which you’ll host it. To meet the unique needs of your congregation, be sure to select a platform that puts customization first.
Be on the lookout for some of these useful features from your church’s crowdfunding platform:
- Customized branding. The crowdfunding platform you select should allow your church to customize your fundraising page to feature elements such as your congregation’s logo, imagery and color scheme. This way, visitors will immediately recognize that the page is associated with your church, eliminating any hesitation they might have prior to giving.
- Social sharing. Crowdfunding campaigns can spread like wildfire across social media and when it comes to sharing your church’s fundraising page, you’ll want to be sure that supporters can do so seamlessly. Choose a platform that prioritizes social media sharing and optimizes your page for mobile devices.
- Low overhead. Some crowdfunding campaigns lose much of the impact of their supporters’ donations to high transaction fees collected by their host website. Be sure that your campaign is hosted by a provider with low overhead fees so that your church can make the most of your congregants’ gifts.
Bonus! Check out these top crowdfunding ideas for your next campaign!
2. Engage in Christian crowdfunding with a purpose
One of the unique features of crowdfunding campaigns is that they typically work best when their timelines are limited and when the fundraising is associated with a specific project or event.
When it comes to Christian crowdfunding, it can be tempting for churches to set up a single crowdfunding campaign that they use to collect gifts throughout the year. However, “all-purpose” fundraisers like these can quickly lose steam.
Your congregants want to know that their contributions are being used to support your church in a meaningful way, so it’s best to anchor your fundraisers around something, such as a marathon, a mission trip, a much needed repair project, etc.
In doing so, there will never be any question of how gifts will be spent and this gives congregants a talking point when sharing the fundraiser with friends and family.
Bonus! Get inspired by Double the Donation’s top church fundraising ideas as your congregation decides how to kick off your first crowdfunding campaign.
3. Tell a visual story with your Christian crowdfunding campaign
Christian crowdfunding is all about inspiration, and that’s one of the reasons why fundraisers like these work so well for churches.
Since crowdfunding pages are designed to gain traction online, your church’s crowdfunder should be highly visual. This means you should feature compelling visual content to draw individuals to your page.
Consider some of the following content that your church can share to draw attention to your crowdfunding page:
- Congregant photos. Post photos of members of your church on your crowdfunding page. This way, your congregation will feel more involved in the campaign and when they share the page with their social networks, the page will show direct ties to your individual congregants.
- Impact videos. Inspire supporters for your crowdfunder by sharing impact videos on your church’s crowdfunding page. These videos should show visitors how your church carries out its mission in the real world and features thankful community members who have been personally supported by your church.
- Video calls-to-action. Similar to impact videos, video calls to action should motivate page visitors to give. However, these should quickly outline your church’s specific fundraising needs, how you plan to use gifts to further your mission, and show viewers how to give.
Remember: all of the visual content that your church shares should be of high quality and clearly reflect the values of your congregation. Enlist the services of a professional photographer or a talented hobbyist in your community.
4. Break into Christian crowdfunding teams
Another way your church can boost the success of your Christian crowdfunding campaign is by choosing a platform that supports team crowdfunding capabilities.
In team crowdfunding, your church can set up teams of congregants who fundraise on behalf of your church. They’ll share a single giving page that updates with their fundraising progress as they raise more and more for your congregation.
Crowdfunding teams offer a fun way to promote good-spirited competition among different segments of your congregation, like book clubs, youth groups, mission teams, and more.
Your congregants can share their team crowdfunding pages with friends and family, and at the end of your fundraising period your church can select a “winning” team to receive a prize.
The best part of competitions like these is that in the end, it all benefits your church and goes back into supporting the mission of your congregation.
Bonus! You can also break into crowdfunding teams for projects that are specific to a certain segment of your congregants, like funding a mission trip for teens in your church.
5. Learn from your crowdfunding progress
The success of your church’s crowdfunding efforts over time will be dependent on how well you understand the wants, needs, and habits of your supporters.
For this reason, it’s important that your church resists fundraising blindly. Every time you launch a crowdfunding campaign, you need to be carefully tracking your progress so you can learn useful information for the future.
To monitor how your congregants engage with your crowdfunding campaign online, collecting useful data can be as simple as using a branded keyword or short link when you share your giving page via mobile marketing.
You can measure the success of certain giving appeals or track how beneficial different websites are for sharing your crowdfunding page. After collecting and evaluating data like this, your church can make more informed decisions in the future of how to crowdfund.
Remember: choose a crowdfunding platform that allows you to easily export data into a CRM (a database that manages supporter relationships). This way, you’ll always be able to improve your strategies from fundraiser to fundraiser.
6. Always show thanks to your Christian crowdfunder’s supporters
Showing supporters that their contributions are meaningful to your church is one of the key ways to ensure that individuals continue to give to your congregation over time and that they feel compelled to share your fundraiser with their personal networks.
Following every gift, your church should respond with an automated thank-you email expressing your gratitude for their support. Your church truly does appreciate the support these givers are providing, so it’s important that they know how much their contributions mean to your congregation.
In addition, consider showing thanks to givers through these methods:
- Newsletter recognition. Set aside a special section in your newsletter to personally thank congregants who have given to and who have participated in your crowdfunding campaign between publication periods. This is a great way to encourage support among your congregation as well as help strengthen the ties between supporters and your church.
- Share thank-you videos. Another type of visual content your church can share on your crowdfunding page is thank-you videos. Film videos expressing gratitude to givers throughout your campaign and then encourage supporters to share these on their social media pages to help spread awareness of your congregation’s fundraising needs.
- Send post-campaign summaries. After the campaign is over, send supporters a message detailing the success of the campaign. Emphasize how their gifts helped your church reach its goals and extend a personalized thank-you one more time. These messages should be in-person, when possible, and sent via email and traditional mail to reach all your supporters.
Remember: supporters will take note when your church goes the extra mile in thanking them for their support, which can come in handy when you make your next giving appeal down the road.
7. Keep congregants updated on your Christian crowdfunding campaign
Another way your church can successfully encourage giving from congregants is by making sure that they can keep up with your crowdfunding progress.
As your church accepts crowdfunding gifts from supporters, collect email addresses that you can use to develop subscription lists. Then, periodically send campaign updates to subscribers with information on how they can give again.
Your church can also update these subscribers when the campaign is over with relevant news, such as when you break ground on your big repair project or when congregants leave for the mission trip you just funded.
In addition to email updates, your church should update followers of your social media profiles with your campaign progress. Share links to your donation page and as you get closer and closer to your goal, amp up how often you make giving appeals on social platforms.
Bonus! Looking for even more fundraising tips? Check out Double the Donation’s fundraising strategy assessment to learn where your church should focus on improving how you raise money.
8. Enable text-to-tithe for your Christian crowdfunder
Text-to-tithe software is the Christian equivalent of text-to-donate software for nonprofit organizations. Enabling mobile giving for your church’s supporters can be a crucial element in making your Christian crowdfunding campaign a success.
With text-to-tithe software, your church can enable supporters to give to your crowdfunding campaign by sending a branded keyword to a mobile phone number. They’ll then be sent a link to your mobile giving page where they can give in just a few clicks.
If your congregants are able to give directly from their smart phones, they’re more likely to contribute to your crowdfunder. Similarly, when giving is made easier for supporters, they’ll be more compelled to share your campaign with friends and family.
Remember: since most supporters have their phones with them at all time, you can encourage congregants to give to your crowdfunder via text as you pass the collection plate around at services.
9. Suggest recurring gifts on your Christian crowdfunding site
As supporters give to your Christian crowdfunding campaign, suggest that they opt-in to recurring giving when they submit their contribution.
Your church can include a field to specify the frequency and value of their recurring gift directly on your giving form. This way, becoming a recurring contributor to your congregation is as seamless as possible.
For supporters who might not want to give as frequently as every week or month, your form can suggest that they enable recurring giving on major Christian holidays, such as Easter and Christmas.
Enabling recurring giving to your church is beneficial because it promotes a steady stream of income to your congregation. Even after your crowdfunding campaign ends, your church will be able to count on this continued support.
Remember: always give supporters the option of stopping their gifts at any time. This way, contributors will never feel pressured to give or hesitant to set up recurring gifts to your church.
With the right crowdfunding strategies in place, your church’s next Christian crowdfunding campaign is sure to be a huge success.
Additional Christian Crowdfunding Resources
- Fundraising Event Ideas. Looking for more fundraising ideas for your church? Visit our fundraising event ideas page for 70+ original fundraising event concepts to get you started.
- Beginner’s Guide to Online Fundraising. New to online fundraising practices like crowdfunding? Check out our beginner’s guide to learn all you need to know on this exciting subject.
- Jewish Fundraising Ideas. Interested in fundraising ideas for synagogues? Discover even more ideas for Jewish fundraising projects.