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  • Church Fundraising Ideas: 5 Ways to Raise By Reading

Bibles, books, group studies, and other reading materials offer valuable encouragement for those in your women’s ministry. But to access these critical resources, you’ll need to employ effective fundraising for your church.

While ministry may be your primary focus, you still need funds to support your vision. The good news is that you don’t have to choose between the two! Pair your ministry and fundraising efforts with these five book-based ideas:

  1. Sell women’s Bible study books.
  2. Start a read-a-thon fundraiser.
  3. Auction off Christian books for women.
  4. Host a book-based trivia night.
  5. Create a book club.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at each of these ideas and how your women’s ministry can raise funds by reading. Consider the women in your church to ensure you choose the right fundraiser to make the biggest impact. With that in mind, let’s get started!

1. Sell women’s Bible study books.

As a women’s ministry leader, you likely have recommendations for the best women’s Bible studies. You might also have connections with Christian book suppliers or local book shops that allow you to obtain Bible studies at a discounted price for buying in bulk. To fundraise for your women’s ministry, buy several sets of women’s Bible study books and host a book sale!

Esther Press’s guide to Bible studies for women recommends looking for the following qualities to find a good study:

  • Strong, biblical foundation
  • Clear explanation
  • Relevant application

Choosing quality Bible studies will help your book sale appeal to the most women in your church possible. During your book sale, be transparent about the price of the Bible study. Explain that women’s purchases will not just reimburse the church for the books but will also support the women’s ministry. 

To make your book sale accessible to all women in your ministry while still raising funds for your church, you could sell Bible studies for the exact price you paid for them, then offer the option to add a donation to the purchase. This way, women can feel free to opt into contributing rather than feeling obligated.

2. Start a read-a-thon fundraiser.

Challenge the women in your church to increase their reading by launching a read-a-thon fundraiser. Women will collect pledged donations from friends and family members for every number of books, chapters, or pages read.

For example, let’s say Mary’s friend pledges $5 for every chapter she reads. If Mary reads five chapters, her friend will donate $25 to your women’s ministry. Outside of friends and family members, women could also receive pledges of support from corporate sponsors, such as their employers or their husbands’ employers. Many corporations already have socially responsible procedures in place, such as:

  • Sponsorships
  • Volunteer grants
  • Matching gifts
  • Community development support
  • Disaster relief efforts

In addition to these initiatives, corporate sponsors might be willing to pledge donations in your read-a-thon. As an added bonus, this fundraiser can be a fun activity for other groups in your ministry, such as your children’s program or youth group! 

3. Auction off Christian books for women.

While book sales are enticing because women receive a tangible item in exchange for their donation, auctions add additional excitement by turning your book sale into a competition! If you’re not a professional event planner, that’s okay! Research online resources such as ClickBid’s auction planning guide to streamline your book auction:

  • Collect enticing items: To secure the best in-kind donations, you’ll need to craft compelling appeals to suppliers and make it convenient for donors by going to collect the books yourself. For example, can you get a book that has been autographed by the author with a special note to the reader? 
  • Determine event logistics: In the world of fundraising, auctions are highly flexible activities. They can be in-person, virtual, or hybrid events with a wide range of entertainment options and various item display structures. Sometimes, they even run concurrently with other fundraisers. Determine how you’d like your book auction to be structured and plan the basic logistics of hosting it.
  • Promote your auction: Use your church’s communication channels to spread the word about your fundraiser. For a more personal approach, you can even individually invite the women in your church with a formal invitation in the mail. Create a specific plan for how you’ll advertise the auction, and remember to be transparent about how the proceeds will be used when telling people about the event.

With an auction item catalog of the best Christian books for women, your fundraiser will quickly sell out! But you’ll also need thorough plans for the rest of the fundraiser to ensure you engage attendees and sell the most books possible. 

4. Host a book-based trivia night.

Challenge the women in your church to test their knowledge of their favorite books and Bible studies with a fun trivia night! All you’ll need is a venue, a host, and a group of women divided into teams.

Prepare questions based on the books your women’s ministry studies together, or even about women in the Bible. This is a fun way to help women remember these important stories and topics while also raising money by charging a small entry fee!

If you enlist the help of any volunteers to serve food, keep score, or otherwise help host your trivia night, be sure to show your appreciation for them immediately after the event! Volunteer recognition can strengthen your church’s relationship with these individuals, opening the gateway to minister to even more people!

5. Create a book club.

Although book clubs are often free, your church can turn this fun opportunity into a fundraiser by charging a small entry fee to the club. Then, women can read and discuss a favorite book together, learning from and cultivating strong relationships with each other.

To make the club even more enticing, you can create branded merchandise that represents your book club. Flag these items as “members only” to give them an exclusive feel, and give them to new members as a welcome gift when they join the club!

Fundraising may not be your church’s forte, and that’s okay! Your focus should be on your ministry, which is why fundraising guides and tools are such helpful resources—they explain exactly what to do and offer unique tips to help you navigate fundraising territory. Once you’ve picked one of these ideas, continue your research by looking for fundraising tips to help you execute the idea to perfection. 

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