Community, Crowdfunding, Living The Mission

Fundraising for Summer Camps & Retreats

Whether you are raising funds for your general fund or for your next mission trip, fundraising is an important part of faith communities. You know what annual fundraising efforts work in your community and your community is always there to support, but what about those other events like summer camps or retreats that arise outside of your annual fundraising goals?

Summertime gives us all that itch to explore the beautiful outdoors and meet new friends. However, reaching those camps or retreats can be costly and for most these expenses are not in your annual fundraising goals. To help your community raise funds this summer, Stewardship Technology has created our list of fundraising ideas to help your members raise those funds to be able to afford those summer camps and retreats.

So, sit back, grab a glass of cold lemonade, and take in the possibilities this summer with our 8 Tips to Funding your Summer Camps and Retreats.

Join us LIVE Thursday June 13th at 2:00 PM for our Thought Leader Webinar Fundraising Camps and Retreats. Register Here.

1. International Food Day

For an international food day fundraiser, each member of your youth group or Sunday school class will bring in a dish from a different culture of where they intend to travel to for their mission trip. Other church members will pay a small entrance fee to come and try all the tasty treats from around the world.

International food days are an excellent way to teach youth and adults about diversity and beauty to prepare them for camps and mission trips around the world.

2. Bike-A-Thon

Active mission teams are a perfect fit for a bike-a-thon fundraiser. Much like a marathon, bike-a-thons are pledge based. Donors pledge per mile that the youth group bikes during the fundraising event.

This church fundraising ideas allows your mission team members to bike as long or short as they would like. The point is to have fun, raise money, and stay active.

3. Letter Writing Campaign

A classic mission trip fundraiser: the old-fashioned letter writing campaign. It probably goes without saying, but the real key to a successful letter writing campaign is a well-written letter. 

A strong, meaningful message is sure to take your letters to the next level and help your church’s mission team meet its goal in no time.

Always remember to say “thank you” in the letter. Regardless of whether or not they donate, the recipients of your letter have taken time out of their day to read your letter.

4. Charity Car Wash

Much like yard sales, car washes take little to no effort to plan and set up. This fundraiser’s always best to do during the summer, but if you’re having an unseasonably warm fall, you probably won’t find quite as much competition. Also, a lot of time if you hold the car wash at a local supermarket or business, the business will match the donations that come in from the fundraiser.

You really only need a few members of the church to volunteer to wash the cars, a couple to advertise by the side of the road, and some basic car-cleaning supplies.

5. Balloon Count

Much like a jar guessing game, a balloon count involves participants paying to guess how many balloons are stuffed into a car. The person who comes the closest to guessing the number of balloons in the car will win a prize of the pastor’s choosing.

Choose a time and location for the fundraiser and blow up as many balloons as you possibly can. Then, charge $1 per guess as to how many are in a car. For extra fun, try to cram as many balloons as possible into your pastor’s car.

6. Create A Cookbook

Your congregation is full of some of the most talented cooks in town! Let them share their favorite recipes with the rest of the church. Have your church members compile recipes they’ve created or been passed down into a unique church cookbook.

Once you have enough recipes to fill up a book, you can pretty easily get it bound with pictures and neat type. Its that simple. Sell them all summer long and even into the holiday months to help fund your mission trips and camps.

7. Smoothie Stand

A twist on the traditional lemonade stand, a smoothie stand is a fabulous idea for your church’s next mission trip or camp fundraiser. Who doesn’t love a fresh fruit smoothie on a hot summer day?

You can make the smoothies beforehand, or you can make them fresh-to-order by bringing an extension cord and a portable power source to your smoothie stand location. Set up on a warm, sunny day when everyone’s out and about on the street or set up the stand as a booth at your local summer festival.

8. Pink Flamingo

Pink flamingo fundraisers are an easy way to get your neighborhood involved with your church’s fundraising. All it takes is an obnoxious pink flamingo lawn ornament and note with contact information attached.

The younger members of your congregation will have a blast planting the flamingo in other church members’ yards and forcing them to donate a given amount of “ransom” money to have the flamingo removed from their yards. Add some fun to it too, add your youth members donation page to share what their camp mission is this summer.

Here are some tips for youth members to manage on their own.

1. Classic Lemonade Stand

It’s a hot summer day. Nothing is quite as refreshing as an ice-cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade. This may seem like an old-fashioned fundraiser, but it’s one that’s withstood the test of time. And for good reason!

Find a recipe for lemonade and whip up as much as you can ahead of time. When you’re setting up your stand, be sure to enlist the help of your most artistic Sunday school student to make some signs. Pick a busy area and start selling. 

2. Pie In The Face

This fundraiser is super simple (some might even say, it’s as easy as pie!)–if your pastor is on board with being pied in the face.

At the beginning of the event, sell as many tickets as church members and Sunday schoolers are willing to buy. Those tickets will then go into a drawing bucket. A ticket is drawn and the lucky ticket holder gets to run up on stage and throw a whipped cream pie right in the pastor’s face.

3. Kickball League

You don’t have to be particularly skilled to play kickball, but it sure is fun for all ages! Divide your church up into teams and have your members pay a small entrance fee to be a part of your “league” and to play in your “tournament.”

You can have a set of trophies made up for the winners of your tournament. Other than these trophies, kickball is a very inexpensive fundraiser. You can play almost anywhere as long as there is enough space.

Questions setting up your fundraiser?

Reach out anytime – we’re ready to help.

866.604.8880

Community, Crowdfunding, Living The Mission

5 Tips for 5Ks

By Julianne Manning, Stewardship Technology – May 22, 2019

The great thing about 5ks is that they have the potential to attract both people who are excited about your mission and those who are excited about fitness.  You can have different levels of competition which makes it easy for anyone to participate. Below are 5 easy tips to help you put on a successful 5K.

Tip #1: Community Engagement!

If you are having the 5K down the main drag in your community get everyone involved! Invite the local shops to open their doors and have an open house while the 5k is going on. Encourage the local bakery to give out samples. Encourage the local stationary story to hand out pens. This creates an atmosphere of community and helps even the bystanders to get involved in the fun.

Tip #2: Think both “In” and “Out” side the box!

The best things about 5ks are that they can happen anywhere. Including your local mall. You don’t have to worry about the weather and it gives the mall the opportunity to get more foot traffic. It also helps to draw curious bystanders to your mission.

Tip #3: Sponsorship’s!

Just thinking about a 5k makes me thirsty. What a perfect opportunity to have a sponsor come to my rescue. Having sponsored water stations throughout the race is a practical way to get sponsors involved and it will help to quench everyone’s thirst.

Tip #4: Make it a Family Affair!

Life is now busier than ever, so who has time to get a babysitter. 5ks can be involved the whole family! Not only does this help parents to want to participate, it helps to instill a sense of community and mission for their children.

Tip #5: Promote! Promote! Promote!

Think social media but also put flyers in your local shops, signs by major intersections, advertise on your local community board. Getting the word out is important but it doesn’t have to be hard!

Community, Living The Mission

IMAGINE THE BEST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Pictured L-R: Nina Vellayan, President of Stewardship Technology, Kasturi Mudulodu, Vice President of Product Management for Yapstone , and PF WORLD 2019 moderator Mary Buckley, Head of Financial Partnerships for Xero.

Read the full story and watch the panel video here:

While the payment facilitator way of doing business is still a relatively new entrant in the payments industry, the model has been around long enough to have generated some seasoned veterans.

Stewardship Technology’s President Nina Vellayan, was part of a panel at the PF WORLD 2019 Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara along with Kasturi Mudulodu, Vice President of Product Management for Yapston. Nina Vellayan and Kasturi Mudulodu provided advice and gave attendees of the conference a look into their companies’ evolution as payment facilitators.

Stewardship Technology’s API’s makes it simple for any software provider to integrate with the platform and start processing transactions through Stewardship’s Payment Facilitator model. As Nina explains, Stewardship Technology’s partnership focus reflects the desire to collaborate with companies that share a similar vision of servicing clients through the highest level of customer support and innovative technology.

For additional information regarding Stewardship’s Payment Facilitator model, please contact us directly at 866.604.8880 or email us at sales@stewardshiptechnology.com.

Community, Electronic Giving Soulution, Living The Mission, Peer to Peer Funding

Digital donations empower charitable giving anywhere

Read full story here: Nonprofit Technology News: Written by Nina Vellayan

In the last year, mobile giving grew by 24 percent. To welcome younger, digitally native members, nonprofit and faith-based organizations are meeting their new members where they’re most comfortable — on their phones.

According to Nina Vellayan President of Stewardship Technology, Faith-based organizations are still a few years behind most other nonprofits in terms of enabling digital giving, but we’re seeing that begin to change. Newer congregation members, preachers, and staff who are comfortable with technology basics are helping the sector rapidly catch up to its peers.

As noted, last year faith-based organizations saw the greatest increase in online giving compared to other nonprofit organizations and charities. As these organizations begin to use more mobile- and social-first strategies, more members will be able to tithe and donate with the click of a button.

Looking ahead in 2019, a few things are clear: a strategy that allows online giving will help nonprofit and charitable organizations meet their goals, the ability to meet donors anywhere they prefer to give will be critical in driving donations and activating new donors, and faith-based organizations will continue to increase their technology adoption to support tech-savvy members.

By focusing on making giving as easy as possible and connecting with new donors wherever they are, nonprofit and faith-based organizations can use technology to increase charitable giving and maximize their missions’ impact.

Read more here from Nonprofit Technology News, which also includes the annual charitable giving report.

Community, Crowdfunding, Electronic Giving Soulution, Living The Mission, Online Donations, Peer to Peer Funding

Event Fundraising 101

Event Fundraising 101 Webinar

Event Fundraising 101

Most nonprofits and community benefit organizations have one annual signature event or host several events throughout the year. While they are an important part of their fundraising plan for both revenue and awareness, a big fundraising event should not be an end in and of itself.

Why Not?

Events hold the potential to significantly expand an organization’s traditional FUNdraising pipelines. A carefully planned strategic approach can convert event donors into annual givers, major gift donors, and even planned gift donors.

The Upside of Events

We all know successful events can bring in much-needed money and support a nonprofit’s need to grow its organization. They’re also great for building awareness of your mission by engaging with potential new groups of people and bringing the community together to support a common cause.

The Downside of Events

Special events do tend to have a higher cost to them, and often provide a much lower return on investment. Conventional wisdom says that it will typically cost you $.50 to raise just one dollar in a fundraising event!

Because of the time, effort and energy that go into these events, volunteers and staff can burn out quickly. This leads to higher turnover and less enthusiasm for participation in future events.

Events can also be risky, unpredictable, and don’t always make money at first. For instance, if you’re doing an outdoor event, the weather can be unpredictable. Consider what would happen if your fundraising event was rained out? What would your backup plan be next? Along that same vein, what if you invest a lot of resources into putting on an auction and it garners very little activity?

Event Donors vs. Organizational Donors

As you begin thinking about and planning for your next fundraising event, your strategy should be focused around bringing as many organizational donors to the event as possible. These are the diehards that support your organization and will continue to contribute and support you long after the event has passed. This is in stark contrast to those event donors who were likely invited to the event by a friend — those who reluctantly donate out of obligation as a one-time thing.

Leveraging Events into Larger Gifts

OK, so how can you use your event to get people to give in the future? Below are eight quick ideas to get you started.

  1. Collect as much data as possible – use every opportunity you can to gather the basics, like first and last names, email addresses, and mailing addresses. You can do this by having cards available for people to fill out, or even a simple email address sign-up sheet available at the event check-in. This is a big missed opportunity if you’re not having this as an option for your event participants.
  2. Educate participants – be sure to do all you can about giving people as much information as possible about your mission and the work you do.
  3. Choose the right fundraiser – pick an event that has more opportunity to engage potential donors at a deeper level. Don’t just pick an event because it’s fun and it will draw crowds. You don’t want people going there because it’s casino-themed, do you? They might just play and leave and not learn anything about your organization. Seek intimacy and engagement when you plan your event.
  4. Find ways to get your current donors more involved – as they get more involved, they’ll be more inclined to support your organization down the road. Put them on committees to plan the event, or make them volunteers as table hosts or sponsors.
  5. Publicly recognize donors – as you recognize key donors at your event, you’ll be surprised how many people will look to that and get excited about giving. Treat your donors well, and they’ll give more!
  6. Say thanks – this is a no brainer. You can never thank too much. Thank everyone from the volunteers and vendors to the participants and donors. Let them know you appreciate them.
  7. Follow up after your event – sharing the results with a video is a fantastic way to spread the word and hopefully gain new interest in your mission.
  8. Embrace and utilize technology – ask people to give through an app of yours, subscribe to your website’s newsletter, or get them to follow you on social media.

Final Thoughts

Your event should not just be an event. It’s an opportunity to move donors along a relationship continuum. Give them a “what’s next” opportunity as it relates to their involvement with your organization. If you do this, you could see them contributing to your organization for years down the road!

For additional fundraising tips, contact our fundraising experts today

Reach out anytime – we’re here to help.