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10 Great Ideas for Hosting a CardFunder Event for Your Church

Use these ideas to host a lively and successful event!

Is your church looking for new ways to bring in funds to support its operations? CardFunder offers a simple, straightforward way to hold purpose-driven fundraisers for churches. You simply accept used gift cards from participants in lieu of a cash donation! These events are also a great way to bring your congregation and the broader community together while igniting a spirit of contagious generosity in your church. They’re fun for people of all ages, and they require absolutely no budgeting in order to give.

Why are gift card fundraisers a great option for your church? While gift cards are more popular than ever, the likelihood that someone will use their gift card drops dramatically after six months. After one year, more than 20% of cards remain unused. So, some churches are getting creative about putting all the gift cards sitting forgotten in drawers or wallets to good use. Here are some of our favorite ideas for fundraisers for churches.


Reach out to local businesses for auction donations. Congregation members might also have products and services to offer, like art they’ve created. Find an energetic auctioneer to host a traditional auction with spirited rounds of bidding. Or, hold a silent auction where people bid for items on pieces of paper.

Square Dance or Contra Dance

This fun and lively event shows that fundraisers for churches can also bring in a lot of laughs. Chances are, there’s a local group in your area that can show them the moves. Ask if someone will donate their time as an event instructor and caller. If possible, enlist live musicians to make it even more festive!

Fish Fryday

Fish fries are popular not just during Lent but all year round. You can cook outdoors and seat people around the church lawn, setting up a table with condiments and sides prepared in advance.

Church Cookbook

Cookbook fundraisers for churches highlight favorite recipes from church members. Some of these recipes might have made a regular appearance at after-church luncheons or other events. Get a congregation member with graphic design skills to put it together, including photos or drawings. And find out if a local print shop will give you a good discount!

Family Photos

Find a professional photographer in your congregation or community who wants to donate their time for a purpose-driven fundraiser. You can offer different styles of family portraits, like “old-timey,” formal, and outdoors. Ask the photographer to help you choose good spots for the photo sessions, where they can set up their lighting equipment.

Karaoke Night

Kick off a karaoke night at your church for all levels of talent! Find or crowd-source a budget karaoke machine, or rent a more upscale option. Be sure to offer songs from multiple eras, so everyone can find a tune they know. You can brand this event as a “No Talent Show,” encouraging groups and duos to perform favorite songs together. You can also let people pay to nominate someone to sing a random song!

Garden Mob

Have your youth group descend on local lawns and plant or tend to flower or vegetable gardens. Here’s how it works: Local residents book a “garden mob” time slot when youth group members and other churchgoers will help with garden needs. In return, they donate unwanted gift cards.

Wheelbarrow Change Collection

While we’re on the garden theme, here’s a super easy idea. Park a wheelbarrow in front of the church on Sundays to collect spare change—and gift cards. Keep it there until it’s full, and then tally up what you’ve got!

Skill Workshop

Does one of your congregation members have a skill that others would love to acquire? Hold a skill workshop where they demonstrate that skill and offer guided, hands-on practice. For example, carpentry, pottery, painting, flower arranging, knitting, bicycle repair, cooking, dog training, or graphic design are all great ideas.

Ice Cream Social

Who doesn’t love a good ice cream social? Use this time-honored church tradition to raise funds for your congregation. Offer a big spread of various flavors and toppings, and incorporate fun games to spark conversation. For instance, you could give each table a crossword challenge to complete together.

Share your event with the broader community. Put out a big banner outside of your church to welcome in new people, place flyers around town, or advertise in a local paper—and on social media!

If you’re ready to start planning a purpose-driven fundraiser, sign up with CardFunder to receive your toolkit. You’ll be launching your church fundraiser in no time. If all you need is a little inspiration and guidance, check out our CardFunder fundraising resources.


Fundraiser Help, “Karaoke Fundraiser”

Successful Farming, “Hosting a Square Dance”

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