A solid foundation of financial support is essential for any church to keep on doing great things for their community and the world. Whether you want to raise money for an overseas missionary trip or church building fund. One effective and easy fundraising idea for church is a virtual photo contest fundraiser.

Top Church Fundraising Ideas

  1. Church Events
  2. Volunteering
  3. Mission Trips
  4. Church Architecture
  5. Sacraments, Offerings, and Observances
  6. Religious Art
  7. Religious Travel
  8. Faith Inspiration and Testimonies

Since the early days, churches have always collected donations as an offering from congregants. In the modern age, churches have more options than ever. While most churches still gather offerings and tithing during services, online fundraising is another way for churches to raise money for expenses.

As churches do more for their congregants and community members, they require more funding. Sometimes, donations from collection plates just aren’t enough to support everything the church wants to do.

Why Do Churches Do Fundraisers?

Church fundraisers can raise money for anything from building a new church to paying for a l mission trip. Sometimes, churches may participate in charity fundraising as well. With charity fundraising, the money raised from a church’s fundraising effort goes toward a good cause and benefits a local nonprofit organization.

Mission Trip Fundraising

Have you ever wondered how churches pay for mission trips? The answer is through fundraising. While mission trip participants may be expected to cover a portion of their travel, food, and boarding costs for the mission trip, churches commonly use mission trip fundraising ideas to help support their missionaries.

Pastor Salary and Church Activities

Money raised from a church fundraiser can also pay a pastor’s salary, fund church youth group activities, or even pay for supplies for a church choir. The truth is that the donations raised from fundraising can help the church in an endless amount of ways. That’s why it is important to choose unique church fundraising ideas that maximizes profit.

How to Host a Church Fundraiser

If you are in charge of coming up with church fundraising ideas, you may be wondering what the best church fundraising ideas are.

Many church fundraising ideas focus on selling something, such as with a bake sale, yard sale, candle fundraiser, silent auction, or art auction. While these types of fundraising ideas for church can be profitable, they require a lot of start-up expenses unless they rely on getting donated items to sell.

Other church fundraising ideas involve hosting a church fundraising event or fundraising activity, like a talent show, raffle ticket fundraiser, bingo night, or trivia night. This type of church fundraiser usually raises money by charging for entry to the event. While these church fundraising ideas are common and fun, they require a lot of active management and time to be successful.

Virtual Church Fundraising Idea: Online Photo Contests

In lieu of a physical church fundraiser, you may want to consider going virtual. Online fundraising is becoming more popular for many reasons. A virtual fundraiser is not tied to a specific time, date, or location—allowing more congregation and community members to participate who might not otherwise be able to. One of the best virtual fundraising ideas for church is hosting a photo contest.

An online photo contest is a great church fundraising idea. It works is by charging a fee (usually $1) per entry for supporters to vote on submissions uploaded to your church’s photo contest. Anyone, anywhere can participate by submitting a photo or voting on a photo entry at any time. When the contest ends, your church keeps the funds raised!

360PhotoContest.com makes hosting a church photo contest fundraiser a breeze. All you have to do is sign up for our online hosting platform and input your contest parameters. You will need to enter a date range for the contest to begin and end, contest rules, a contest theme, and prizes for the winner (discount cards, gift card, cash prize). After that, 360 Photo Contest keeps track of every photo submission, vote, and donation.

Not only are photo contest fundraisers simple to set up, but they are also very profitable. The average photo contest hosted on 360PhotoContest.com’s online platform raises $8,225!

In order to host a successful fundraiser for your church, you will need to focus on two things: coming up with an inspiring contest theme and driving contest participation.

To encourage participation in your church fundraising campaign, you should explore every avenue to let people know about it. Announce the contest at every church service, post it in your church’s bulletin, and encourage congregants to put up flyers in their local around town. Get youth group members involved by encouraging them to spread the word around town. Post your contest on all your church’s social media pages, and encourage members of your church community to share it with friends and family members. You might also consider putting an ad in your local newspaper or radio station.

Top 8 Church Fundraising Ideas Using Photo Contests

Before you settle on a photo contest theme for your church fundraiser, you should make sure it’s one that will encourage the entire congregation, as well as their friends and family members, to get involved. Your contest theme should be fun, meaningful, and spark creativity. Here are some of the most engaging church photo contest themes we’ve seen so far:

1. Church Events

There are many events and celebrations held by churches throughout the year. Most church events center around a religious holiday or traditional celebration, where there are plenty of inspiring photo opportunities.

Some examples of photo submissions for a church event themed photo contest include photos taken at an Easter service, Holi Festival, Ramadan festival, or any other religious event held by your church. This photo contest theme can double as a great holiday fundraiser idea as well.

2. Volunteering

Helping others is at the heart of every church, temple, and mosque. Encourage your church members to continue doing good deeds for the less fortunate by making volunteering your photo contest theme.

Ideas for photo entries include pictures of a congregation member working at a homeless shelter, volunteering at an orphanage or foster home, or handing out bags of clothing and toys to be donated to needy children. This contest theme is also one of the top fundraising ideas for nonprofits.

3. Mission Trips

Mission trips give people of faith an opportunity to spread love and spirituality to others across the world. So many unique and meaningful experiences happen during mission trips that are chronicled through photography.

If you decide on a mission trip fundraising theme for your photo contest, participants could submit pictures of worship and ministry moments experienced, photos of relationships they established with people from other cultures, and any once-in-a-lifetime happenings they experienced on their mission trip.

4. Church Architecture

From temples to mosques to cathedrals, there are countless awe-inspiring, beautiful religious buildings all around the world. Many were built centuries ago and rival modern architecture in terms of sheer beauty and structure.

From Catholic stained glass windows to the unique style of Muslim mosques, religious architecture is a true marvel that should be cherished. For this church photo contest fundraiser, you can have church members take photos of the most unique, stunning, and symbolic features of your local church or nearby places of worship.

5. Sacraments, Offerings, and Observances

All religions have sacred sacraments, offerings, or observances that they honor. Emphasize the importance of taking part in your religion’s traditions by highlighting these spiritual experiences as your contest theme.

Photos that could be submitted under this contest theme include pictures taken of baptisms, communion, bar mitzvahs, prayers, or any other religious rites your church participates in.

6. Religious Art

Throughout history, artists have paid tribute to their beliefs by incorporating religious subjects into their art. Many churches are adorned with now-famous artwork, such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel painting. In modern times, religious artists continue to create works of art centered around their faith.

Encourage your congregants to create their own religious artwork and pay respect to past artists who let their faith drive them to create iconic pieces by centering your church fundraising photo contest around religious art.

Church members could submit either photos of religious artifacts taken at a museum or upload a picture of an art piece created by themselves to participate in the contest.

7. Religious Travel

Many people of faith travel for their religion. Take, for example, Muslim pilgrimages to Mecca. Religious travel is done in order for someone to get closer to their God or spirituality, and it is often a priceless experience worthy of being recorded on camera.

Encourage church members to share their religious travel experiences and memories by focusing your church photo contest on religious travel. A few examples of photo submissions could include pictures of historical religious buildings visited on religious trips, snapshots of worshippers gathered at a religious center, or church members fulfilling a pilgrimage.

8. Faith Inspiration and Testimonies

Religion is not just a set of traditions and rituals; it’s a spiritual journey that lasts a lifetime. From the time someone commits themselves to their faith, their life becomes something more. Many religious people are inspired every day by little or big things that encourage them to continue their spiritual journey.

These moments should be celebrated and shared. Have your congregants do just that by making faith inspiration and testimonies the theme of your photo contest. Participants could submit photos of something that inspires their faith, like a picture of nature, pictures of their conversion or confirmation, or a life experience that sparked their faith.

Photo Contest Raise Money for a Wide Variety of Church Needs

No matter what religion your church practices, you need a steady source of funding to accomplish all the good things your church wants to do. Whether you’re looking to raise money for a mission trip or volunteer activity, perhaps the best fundraising idea for church is hosting a photo contest on 360PhotoContest.com.

360PhotoContest.com’s virtual fundraisers are highly profitable and easy to set up, allowing people of all ages to participate from anywhere they have access to the internet. And because 360PhotoContest.com takes care of all the difficult parts of running a successful church fundraiser, you can really focus on driving participation and coming up with a stellar contest theme.

No matter what church fundraising photo contest theme you settle on, 360 Photo Contest gives you all the tools you need to surpass your fundraising goal! Learn more and schedule a demo of our platform right away!