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Special Sundays fund-raising Ideas

Encourage individuals and families in your congregation to try the following ways to make a difference through churchwide Special Sundays with offerings.

  1. Avoid the snack-vending machine. Skip candy bars or soft drinks—and the extra calories—and give the money you save to a Special Sunday offering.
  2. Contribute an hour’s wages to the offering.
  3. Dramatize the parable of the talents (Matthew 25). One month before a Special Sunday, put $1 bills in envelopes to distribute to the congregation. Challenge recipients to find ways to multiply this “seed money.” Donate the resulting gifts to Special Sundays.
  4. Drive past the drive-thru restaurant. Give the cost of a meal to a Special Sunday offering.
  5. Encourage everyone to give. Invite children and teens to contribute one week’s allowance per year to Special Sundays. See how quickly those “small” donations add up to big dollars.
  6. Fast 24 hours and secure pledges for each hour. Give the money to Special Sundays.
  7. Forgo unnecessary expenditures and live frugally. Set a Special Sunday contribution goal. 
  8. Get creative. Make posters to show how various amounts of Special Sunday offerings are spent in the United States and around the world. Use magazine pictures to illustrate the posters.
  9. Give a penny for each calorie you consume.
  10. Give alternative gifts. Instead of giving traditional gifts for birthdays, graduations and other occasions, honor someone by donating to a Special Sunday offering or ministry. Tie your contribution to the honoree’s interests: a Human Relations Day gift for a social worker, a United Methodist Student Day gift for a teacher and so forth. Be sure to share the recipient ministry’s name and other information with the honoree. Ask others to do the same.
  11. Love that church dinner? Then use it to make money for mission and ministry. Invite people to bring their favorite main dish for a church potluck and ask adults—as they are able—to give a contribution for their meal. Add the receipts to the Special Sunday offering. Use this as an opportunity to draw attention to the millions of people who face hunger every day.
  12. Need dough? Knead dough! Arrange for a church school class or another group to bake several kinds of bread the night before the worship service and sell the fresh loaves to the congregation. Contribute proceeds to the Special Sunday offering.
  13. Recycle, recycle, recycle and earn extra money for Special Sundays. Commonly recycled materials include aluminum cans, foil, glass, paper, plastic and steel. 
  14. Refrain from grocery shopping for a week, eat the surplus stored in your cupboard and contribute your average weekly food budget.
  15. Save a tree. Rather than sending individual holiday cards to church friends, distribute greetings collectively and support Special Sundays as well. Hang a large sheet of poster board decorated with a seasonal design and a greeting. Invite members to sign the “card” and to donate the amount usually spent on cards and stamps. Include a reduced print of the card in your church newsletter. An alternate idea is to send an “e-card.” 
  16. Sell to the highest bidder. Ask people to contribute new or gently used items. Auction the items. Use proceeds to benefit Special Sunday offerings.
  17. Set aside a daily donation during the month preceding a Special Sunday. Just 25 cents per day equals $7.50 for a month of saving. In a 100-member congregation, that would produce $750 in a month.
  18. Sponsor an intergenerational art contest. Ask participants to illustrate through drawings, paintings, collages and other media how the church serves at home and around the world through Special Sunday-related ministries. Have a category for each of the six Special Sundays. Display the entries and give a contribution in honor of the winner for each Special Sunday.
  19. Work, work, work! Have a workday on which members convert time and energy into money for a Special Sunday offering. Charge for each hour worked or job completed. Advertise in advance that members will be available for a day’s labor. Participants can be companions to older adults, care for children, clean houses and garages, do yard work, run errands, walk dogs, wash and detail cars, and do a multitude of other tasks.