Each year, many churches host fundraising events during the Advent and Christmas seasons. This year however things look a bit different with lockdown restrictions, and so our team have come up with some creative ideas to continue fundraising virtually.
For most of these ideas, it is helpful to have an online giving platform – this will make it really easy for people to donate to your church. For information about how to set one of these up, please click here.
Scroll down to find out more about our collection of ideas, including what resources you might need.
If you have any questions or would like to talk to a member of the Generous Giving Team, please click here.
Virtual Christmas Tree Festival
Resources needed: website or social media, online giving platform best church fundraisers
Outline: offer people in your community to participate in your virtual Christmas Tree Festival! Simply donate £5 to submit up to 3 photos of your Christmassy scenes. Prizes could be as simple as chocolate, awarded to categories such as the best dressed Christmas tree, the silliest decoration, or the prettiest bauble. You could even included an under 18s category! Winners could be announced on Christmas Eve, with all the photographic entries added to your church’s website or social media page. This is a really good project for community outreach and engagement.
Advent Pilgrim Route
Resources needed: Advent trail, online giving platform
Outline: A great little project to get people walking and praying around your local town or village! Create an Advent Pilgrim Route by either making your own or using our template – using the Advent Antiphons as your base, build a route of stopping point around your local area. Create your map so that you start and finish at your church, and at each stop use an Antiphon paired with a Bible verse and prayer. Ask for a donation in return for a free PDF of your Advent Pilgrim Route, using an online giving platform makes things very easy.
Advent Window Trail
Resources needed: online giving platform, keen households!
Outline: ask people in your community if they would like to make a contribution to your church, and host an Advent Window by decorating their front windows with decorations or a nativity scene. Draw these together in a route for people to walk around your area and admire the windows, asking them if they will make a contribution for a copy of the trail!
Family Christmas Quiz
Resources needed: Zoom or similar video platform, online giving platform
Outline: This is a great way to have some fun with your community and raise some money. Suggest people make a donation to join in, put people into teams or household groups, and you could even use breakout rooms for teams if you have a Zoom Pro account. If you have young families, you could offer a home-based scavenger hunt!
Light up the World
Resources needed: online giving platform
Outline: ask people in your community to contribute to lighting up your church over Advent and Christmas. Create a calendar for people to sign up for the day they will sponsor the lights, which could even be in memory of a person they love. Making donations through an online giving platform will make this really easy, and you could give thanks for sponsorship through social media pages if you have them.
Carols around the Tree
Resources needed: Zoom, online giving platform
Outline: invite your community to some traditional festive fun of singing carols – you could even ask people to sit by their Christmas trees! Ask people if they would like to make a donation to take part, or to suggest a carol to sing during the event. Use Zoom to stream the music (check your CCLI Licence), and by keeping everyone on mute you can all sing along at home. Bring your own treats!
Resources needed: online giving platform
Outline: many churches enjoy the traditional idea of passing a nativity around households during Advent – though sadly this year sharing resources like this doesn’t comply with guidelines in keeping one another safe. Instead, why not create a virtual version by finding a picture of a nativity which is emailed around to households who want to take part. Encourage households to sign up to make a donation to your church – you carry even carry on into Epiphany!
Reverse Advent Calendar
Resources needed: Reverse Advent Calendar poster
Outline: This could take two different paths – you could either use it as a fundraiser for your church, encouraging people to put a financial donation aside each day and giving it to the church at the end of Advent.
Alternatively, you could fundraise for a charity, such as a local foodbank. Research from Trussell Trust shows that 846,000 parcels will need to be provided by their network to people in crisis during October to December 2020 – a 61% increase on last year. It’s a great reminder that Christmas is about giving.
Making donations easy
By far the easiest way for your church to receive donations is to set up an online giving platform. For guidance on how to do this, please click here.
If you don’t have a church website, you can still host your online giving platform on A Church Near You! To find out how, click here.
Don’t forget – if you are hosting any online services in Advent such as Christingle or carol services, you can encourage people to make a donation by including your online giving page in the chat function, Facebook post, or QR code in a Powerpoint slide. You could even include a virtual offering! Ideas on how to do this can be found here.