Why Churches and Religious Organizations Look for Fundraising Ideas
Whether a church or religious group is big or small, it serves as a cornerstone of a community. People of all ages and walks of life come to a place of worship for fellowship and learning, and churches take on the responsibility to cater to various needs. This means offering Sunday school for young kids, youth groups and mission trips for young adults, and Bible studies and small groups for adults, while also continually working on outreach efforts.
It’s clear to see that churches and religious organizations juggle a lot, leaving administrators and volunteers pressed for time. Not only that, but a lot of churches and religious groups don’t have enough money to fund all these avenues. Take, for instance, churches. Tithing has always been a key source of funding for churches, but most churches can’t rely on tithes alone. According to the 2013 State of the Plate study, only 10-25% of church families are tithing and providing 50-80% of the funding.
Ideally, more families would partake in the passing of the offering plate to raise church funds. But instead of asking members of the congregation to dig into their pockets, the leadership turns to traditional church fundraising ideas like creating endowment funds and writing donation letters to raise money. While these church fundraisers can be successful, they take a lot of time even for well-established churches. So where do you turn if your church or religious group doesn’t have time, but needs the funding to keep providing for your community? Turn to scrip.
What is Scrip Fundraising?
Scrip is fundraising while you shop. Here’s how it works: a family will buy a scrip gift card through your church or religious group’s scrip program. They'll pay the full face value, but they’ll earn an immediate rebate percentage that’s typically between 2% and 16% depending on the retailer. Then they use that gift card on their normal purchases. So, for instance, you could buy bagels and coffee from Panera Bread with scrip for an early morning Bible study and earn 9%. You’re not spending extra time or money— it’s just earning for your church!
Benefits of Using Scrip for Church Fundraising
- No extra time, money, or energy spent.
- Earnings add up quickly- families can earn $1,000 or more per year.
- It’s a great budgeting tool, and it fits with every financial situation.
- We offer over 750 retailers, so you can use scrip for practically anything.
- Online ordering lets families buy and use eCards whenever they want.
- The funds you earn are immediately accessible.
- Rebate donations can qualify as a charitable contribution and are tax deductible.
- It’s habit forming- you’ll want to use scrip all year long.
A church fundraising idea that includes the entire congregation might sound tricky to coordinate since you’re only seeing most members once a week. That’s not the case with scrip! It’s easy to order cards, set up a table after a service, and let families pick up what they need right then and there. You can also allow families to order scrip online and pick it up at the church or synagogue or simply order electronic gift cards on their own time.
Church Fundraising Success Story
In over 22 years of business, we’ve helped more than 8,000 churches and religious groups both big and small raise money with scrip fundraising. Our church volunteers are our greatest advocates since they’ve seen how powerful scrip can be.
Take, for example, St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in East Pittsburgh, PA. In 2005, John S., a congregation member, decided it was time to raise money for his 75-member church. He started a scrip program that has allowed St. John’s to keep its doors open.
Want to Start Your Program?
You’ve learned about scrip as a great fundraising idea for your church or religious group. You understand the benefits of scrip, and you’ve seen how successful another church has been. Here’s more good news: you can start raising money almost immediately. All you have to do is enroll your religious organization, invite families to join your program, and place your first order. Your church or group will earn rebates, and your families will start shopping with scrip!
After placing your first few orders, you’ll be able to tailor your scrip program to fit your congregation’s needs. You’ll figure out how to set the order schedule to benefit families, and you’ll have a better idea of whether to offer online ordering to families or to rely on an inventory table where you sell gift cards. The important thing to keep in mind is that there’s no quota you have to meet. Scrip is fundraising on your own clock.