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If you want to know the best ways churches make money doing what they do, this article is the right one to read.

It reveals all you need to know about the money-making potentials of churches and as many as 15 different ways they make money.

 

Importance

To stay in business leadership needs to generate as much revenue as possible to meet the ongoing demands of expenses and be able to continue to provide services to their customers.

Often, companies will not rely on one particular stream of revenue but offer a variety of products, services, and opportunities to maximize their revenue potential.


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The generation of revenue is critical for the success of any business or enterprise that provides a service to others.

This is true of business whether it provides physical or tangible products or whether it is in the faith-based business

Consequently, as it is in the earthly realm so is it in the heavenly realm as churches need to diversify their various streams of revenue to minister to others.

The church needs to practice what it preaches and reaching out to others for financial support by relying heavily on their faith.

 

Personal Story

It would seem that for some people asking for money is as natural as inhaling and exhaling.

However, for me, I was petrified as I recall having the opportunity of being part of a building campaign for a church that I was involved with.

The layered strategy of raising the needed funds was to have someone in charge of asking for individual contributions, someone else asking for capital campaign pledges.

Someone approaching businesses in the community to see if they would support our endeavor.

The capital campaign was the building of a church-sponsored recreational center for children and would be utilized by them on the weekends and after hours.

As heavenly fate would have it, I was asked to be part of the committee to approach businesses in the community to help in this endeavor.

I remember on one particular appointment; I had made an appointment with a prominent businessman and owner of a well-known company in our community.

I had my speech all prepared, appropriate materials, and ready to answer any of his questions about why he should support such an endeavor, etc.

I thought that I was well-prepared and at least ready to ask for a donation.

I recall being ushered into his office and before I could open my mouth and present my mountain-moving speech, he simply asked is $10,000 okay?

Of course, I was ecstatic and gratefully think him for his generous contribution to the children of our community.

Sometimes the best-laid plans of mice and individuals are not even needed.

 

15 Best Ways Churches Make Money

 

1. Tithes

One of the fundamental streams of revenue for a church is through tithing.

Tithing is a biblical principle in which God instructed early-day Israelite leaders that they should give a 10th of all that they own and return that gift to God.

Consequently, many churchgoers take this old testament injunction to heart today in that whatever they earned during the week, month, or whenever they receive a salary, they set aside a 10th of that amount and give it to the church as part of their obedience to God.

Today, most likely in the church, the opportunity may be a bit more impersonal as a member of the congregation can arrange for an automatic withdrawal each month as part of their tithing.

However, some individuals feel that this is a part of their worship and prefer to make it a part of their worship in placing an envelope signifying their obedience and love to God.

 

2. Offerings

Separate from tithing is an offering that is a monetary gift back to the church.

The money was given by members of the congregation generally believing that the money is used by leadership within the church to offset the expenses of overhead and programs.

Also, if the pastor receives a salary, this could go as part of that payment to the salaried pastor.

The offering is generally placed in the offering plate as it is passed from attending congregational members.

The offering is not considered a tithe.

 

3. Love Offerings

Another offering that is sometimes taken up or that is provided as an opportunity for the church attendee to give money is through a love offering.

Sometimes there is a special need in the church, either for another member of the church family or for a visiting group or preacher who comes in and provides a spiritual service.

Often, these love offerings are an opportunity to express one’s appreciation for their time and ministry through these special occasions.

A love offering is exactly that. It is an expression of one’s love and appreciation for the individual or in support of a particular family or member.

 

4. Services

In addition to providing worship services to members and visitors who attend the church, sometimes churches will provide other services.

Some of those additional services outside of the Sunday morning meetings could include the operation of the children’s development center, afterschool programs, youth groups, etc.

Some of these services require the employment of an individual to provide oversight or to complement staff members.

Consequently, there is sometimes a fee that is charged for parents or family members to utilize these services.

This can be a budgeted income stream by the church to offset the expenses of these services.

 

5. Fund Raisers

The church, like many other organizations, does a variety of fundraisers throughout the year.

Generally, these fundraisers raise monies for certain ongoing programs or seasonal programs that the church is involved with or provides.

An example of such a need for a fundraiser to occur could be any special distribution of food or toys for children during the holidays, rest home visitation, vacation Bible schools, church camps, etc.

 

6. Donations

Another way that a church can generate income into its annual budget is to offer the opportunity for individuals to make donations.

Because the church relies on the charity of others, many individuals just choose to support the work of that church by donating.

Generally, these donations do not have any strings attached to them or expectations on how the money will be utilized.

 

7. Pledge Drives

Often special church needs require ongoing support and indication from their supporters on what they can anticipate as far as future revenue.

These opportunities are known as pledge drives.


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It simply means that the parishioner or congregation member indicates to the church family that they will pledge X amount of dollars either every month or annually.

Some of these pledge drives can be instituted to allow for an accurate budgeting process to be utilized.

It also serves as a reflection of the church member’s accountability or commitment to follow through on how they intend to support the church.

 

How Do Churches Make Money

 

8. Memorials

A beautiful way of having income coming into the church is through a memorial giving program.

If a family member or friend within the church or in the outside community has died, giving through a memorial opportunity is an important way to remember these individuals’ lives.

Having the money donated in their name to promote not only that individual’s faith but to honor their memory is a meaningful way of providing support.

Other Interesting Money Articles To Consider:

 

9. Products

Generally, people who attend church are there not only to worship but to continue to learn about how to practice better their faith and worship God.

Consequently, many churches offer workbooks, books, Bible studies, etc. to help people realize this goal of knowing more about God and exercising their faith.

Consequently, churches may publish their materials or work with other publication companies and then offer these instructional, faith-inspiring, and personal belief-building publications to the church members.

There may be a bit of markup by the church leadership to cover costs and provide a little bit of additional revenue.

These products then are sold to the member of the congregation and the money is usually designated as products sold.

 

10. Grants

Some churches are members of a larger denomination and are part of that denomination’s presence locally in the community.

Subsequently, a smaller church may find things difficult or perhaps they have just been newly planted as a new church within their community.

The headquartered or “parenting” church of this newly planted ministry may provide grants to help solidify and obtain roots within their community.

Additionally, grants may be received from other entities such as mission-oriented foundations or companies that believe in the church’s mission and provide grant support.

Check this article for grants to help single women in need.

 

11. Capital Campaigns

A successful church will often experience growing pains.

Sometimes this warrants the need for a capital campaign.

The capital campaign is a financial fundraising effort that accumulates and raises funds so that renovations, new buildings, or expansions can occur within the church.

A capital campaign is funded by the church members and can be monies that are pledged over some time.

 

12. Renting

Another option for a church to realize an added stream of revenue is through the renting of their space or church to other organizations.

A church that has a large meeting room and is conducive to hosting larger events often will rent out that space to other not-for-profits so that they can maximize their event.

Often, a church, who finds itself in this position, will rent its facility out to others and charge a rental fee.

This rental fee will include the use of the building, utilities, maintenance staff, janitorial staff, insurance, etc.

 

13. In-Kind

A giving opportunity presented by a church and other non-profits is through the option of gifts-in-kind.

Although this is not a cash donation, it is a donation that is recorded in the accounting process of a church and non-for-profits.

A value is assessed on the donation of a durable good and is entered as a gift-in-kind.

For example, if an individual donates clothing, food, furniture, etc. these items are classified as gifts-in-kind.

Often, a church or not-for-profit will perceive this gifts-in-kind as quality donations because it is something that does not need to be expended from the church’s budget.

 

14. Sponsorships

Another way that a church can receive revenue for their programs and in support of individuals who utilize church services is through sponsorships.

Sponsorship can be the support of an individual or an event.

For example, if a special event is held a request may be made to a company or individual to sponsor the event.

The sponsorship could be a certain aspect of the event or the event in its entirety.

Sponsorships could include:

  • The purchasing of a banquet table that would seat people for a provided meal
  • Sponsoring a particular aspect of the event such as the speaker or entertainment
  • Sponsorship of the entire event provided at a higher cost and appealing to the sponsor for exclusive advertising rights

 

15. Special Events

The church is generally a safe and inviting place for individuals together as a family.

Consequently, several churches have special events that are designed as family affairs for edifying the family and providing a fun activity.

Examples of special events could be harvest festivals, carnivals, alternatives to Halloween, etc.

Often these special events, although no charge for admission, may provide the opportunity for a free-will offering.

Also, some of the activities offered may require money to make a purchase. An example would be a cake sale.

 

Churches Making Money FAQs

 

Do Churches Pay Taxes on the Property?

The tax laws of the United States of America clearly state that churches are exempt from property taxes.

 

Does a Pastor Have to Pay Taxes?

A pastor, like any other citizen of the United States, is taxed on their income; monies received officiating at any events, etc. All income is to be declared.

Subsequently, pastors are subject to filing with the IRS come every April.

 

Conclusion

The church performs a vital service to not only the members of their church, but if the church is entirely engaged, provides a service to their community.

Like any other business, the church requires financial support to meet its financial obligations, and, in most cases, provide financial support for its pastor and his or her family.

Remember, it is more blessed to give than to receive.


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Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!