When Thinking About Fundraising, Think "Pockets"
When Thinking About Fundraising, Think "Pockets"

J. Clif Christopher – in his book Not Your Parent’s Offering Plate talks about different pockets of giving. Giving to the annual operating fund is the “monthly expenses” pocket, giving to the capital campaign is the “home renovations” pocket.

What other pockets of giving do we see in congregations?

Gift Cards

Grocery Store Gift Cards are a popular way to raise money without costing your members and friends money, because they already have  part of their monthly expense pocket budgeted for groceries. 

Some local grocery store chains will sell gift cards to churches and other non-profits at a discount, usually 95% of face value. The congregations then sell the card to their members and friend at face value, and keep the extra 5%.

Service Auctions

Many congregations' service auctions include entertainment events like themed dinners, movie nights or local tours. Members, Friends and sometimes occasional visitors spend money out of their entertainment pocket from their budget while helping the congregation.

Holiday Bazaars & Makers Fairs

Many people also have a pocket budgeted for gifts around the holidays. Others love to can, pickle or craft interesting or fun things that they may wish to donate. An assessment of your congregation and community can tell you if this is a possible fundraising opportunity.

About the Author

  • Rev. Renee Ruchotzke (ruh-HUT-skee) has served as a Congregational Life Consultant in the Central East Region since September of 2010. She serves congregation in Northeast Ohio and Western New York. She is part of the LeaderLab Design team providing Leadership Development resources and other trainings to congregations.

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

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