Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fundraising for the church again........

However this one is a little different as its the diocese we are raising money for this time.    The church I go to belongs to the Diocese of Toronto and covers a huge area encompassing 26,000 square kilometres.  The diocese want to raise $50 million over a period of 5 years for various projects.  Each parish church is asked to try and raise a certain amount depending on how big their congregation is.  The church I belong to has been asked to raise $65,000, the other church in our parish is being asked to raise $25,000.  As you may have guessed we have a very small congregation.

The thing that is different about this though, is we are only asking each parishioner to donate and are not asking anyone outside of the church to donate.  Now when I first heard about this I thought it was a stupid idea and why should we give the diocese more money, but if we raise our $65,000 we get 40% of those funds back to do things in our parish.  If we raise over $65,000 we get 75% of those funds back.

Where do I fit into this, well I refused point blank to go visiting the parishioner's to ask for money, so I am co-ordinating the volunteers who will visit the parishioner's.  Despite being brought up not being encouraged to give to the church we will personally be making a monthly donation for the next five years as what they want to do with the money if we raise our goal is very worthy, including many renovations to both churches that are well overdue and also giving some of the money to some local causes.

This fund raising is completely separate to any other fundraising we do for the churches and is completely voluntary, and is above and beyond what we would normally give to the church.  We technically start fundraising as of yesterday, but already we have reached 38% of our goal for the church I attend, St. Luke's and I think around 10% for the other church St. David's.  The campaign is technically only being held for 5 weeks, but will probably go until the end of August.

What are your thoughts on fundraising for the church?  As I said before giving to the church is something that doesn't come easy for us, as we weren't brought up to give to the church.


Jane and Chris said...

Ooooh, this really got us going. We are a tiny, rural parish who are struggling. We all disagree with the 'drive'. Did you know that they hired a US marketer at the cost of several million dollars for the idea (2 or 5 can't remember)? One of the biggest 'no nos' for us is that our envelope donations are meant to be private (only the person who prints out the tax receipts knows what we give), even our vicar refuses to look at the amounts. Someone looked at our individual donations, and calculated the amount they thought that we should be giving. We already give a %age of our donations to the diocese,this means that the church gets even less than it would normally.
We are all annoyed in our parish!
Jane x

Boyett-Brinkley said...

Are you Anglican or Catholic? I was raised Methodist and we just gave offerings although the push to tithe was done in 1965 when I was a teenager. Then I became Lutheran and I don't remember having any fund raising attempts but it was a huge congregation and I don't think money was an issue. Then, I became Anglican and we have had a couple of fund raising things -- like one of our parishioners is a very talented artist and he did a sketch of the church and sold them. Then, every Christmas, we have an open house and the youth group runs a tea room and a craft "mall". When my kids were in Catholic school there were fund raisers all the time -- the biggest being the marathon where they got pledges and actually ran and then there was the festival which was a big carnival and that brought in some money. I don't know how big your congregation is-- maybe something like a craft show or an art show. One of our orthodox congregations here has a show and sale of psanky eggs every Easter. Fund raising can be fun or it can be a pain -- it just depends, I guess on how people take to it.

Angela said...

The subject of 'giving' is always a difficult one [says she, who was preaching about Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 last Sunday]
I am a Baptist by birth and conviction - and our church fellowship is self-supporting, no funds from anywhere except what the members put in the plate. No raffles, fetes, or whist drives. No appeals to the village community. But our people ar egenerous , and God provides [and the Pastor is paid every month, which matters to me, his wife!]

Yes Jane, we too have an envelope system, and one man handles the reclaimed tax stuff, the Pastor has no idea who gives what.

But what you give is between you and God [and spouse if married] 'Tithing' is good in the sense of committing yourself to always give a regular set portion of your income - but that is where the giving STARTS. If God moves me to give more, then I should, whether to our church or to some other appeal [eg mission or disaster relief]

I'd really struggle in a church system where I was feeling 'bullied' into fund-raising. Giving should from love, not the guilt.

"If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him" said CT Studd. And it is true - but that desire to sacrifice coems from the Lord. NOT the diocese!!

Rant over

blessings xxx

Stephanie V said...

Having been part of many, many fundraisers over the years (church, schools, Girl Guides, and now, seniors) it has always struck me that people are funny, indeed.

A bake sale, for instance, seems to only really generate funds from the folks who are involved. And we're all happy to bake, sell and buy. But if we were asked straight-up to just pay (or pay extra) we dig our heels in. Fund-raising is definitely a psychological art form.

Crazy Acres Rose said...

hmm we missed church this past Sunday, and now this has me wondering if our congregation will be doing this as well

My "feathers get ruffled" when someone tells me what we should be donating, so it will be interesting to hear what is going on in our church (St. John's Anglican)

As Angela posted before me.. "giving should be from love, not guilt"..

Kim said...

I do not attend a church so can't really commend, however, I will anyhow :)

I think if the funds can be raised faster and easier if taken outside the parish in other forms of fundraising, then that should be done.

It should not become a burden to those who attend the church.

I think I would much rather create and donate items and my time for sale to fund raise then be told I have to pay X amount of money each month to achieve their goals.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

It is difficult to decide which cause is the most worthy of our hard earned cash. The idea of a percentage of the funds raised coming back into the community seems to be a good one though Gill. Good luck with it. A x

Karine said...

I am all for fundraising for churches as that is the only way the Oratory survives. We are one of the fortunate churches in the Province of Quebec as we were declared a religious heritage site, so we get grants from the provincial government now. We also have a group of major donors who give a certain amount of money every year in order to be recognized by the Oratory. We are constantly looking for new ways to attract these donors since they are our bread and butter as are our pilgrims and tourists. I know that not all churches are so fortunate though and many beautiful churches in the Montreal area are struggling just to stay open, so I never hesitate to put some money in their donation boxes or to give at collection at mass when I go. The diocese of Montreal also has a major campaign once a year and their marketing specialists have come up with brilliant slogans to encourage people to donate for the past five years or so.

Evelyn said...

like Angela I am Baptist (CNBC) we don't take up ofefrings (we just set a box out) tithe can be more then money, it is time and service which many forget. I approve of fundraising for individual projects like mission trips for the youth, a family in need. We don't have a church building, we are a small congregation and rent a store in the mall, really cheap as the owners are christian and freinds of the pastor and we fixed it up. We have things like summer suppers where we serve supper to the community and just ask for donations. We are really committed to the shoebox campaign and Samaritans purse. Anyhow major fundrasiers like that would make me want to leave the congregation, hard thing to do as the wife of the chairman of the deacons board lol