Coffee Cans

Fundraisers. What’s the right way to do ’em? Or, maybe a better question, “What’s the best way to do a fundraiser”? With a decade of doing them, here’s my take.

I tend to think that donations work best. Here are two reasons why:

  1. When you ask for donations, some people will give… generously. The question I always get when we say, “Donations Only,” is, “What if we don’t have any money to give? Can we still eat/get our car washed/etc.”?

    My response is always, “Yes.” No matter what the cost, come and be a part.

  2. When you start charging a set price (for anything), you run the risk of selling yourself and your services short. Sure, if you have great volume, then a set price is great. But if your volume/customer base isn’t great, then a set price will set you back.

Here are two advantages of asking for a “set price”:

  1. You have a pretty good idea of how much food or supplies to get. There isn’t really a guessing game, and for those that are maximizing profits, this is a huge advantage.
  2. By knowing how many supplies to get, you won’t have as much waste.

Ultimately, donations have worked best for my ministry. We usually yield a profit of double the price we set beforehand. And, for those who can’t give a donation, we feel blessed knowing that someone had a meal or carwash without being able to pay.

1990s rock band Guardian has a song called “Coffee Can.” In it, they say that you can’t get to heaven on a coffee can.

That’s true.

But you may get to camp with a coffee can.

Do you fundraise? If you do, how do you fundraise?


2 thoughts on “Coffee Cans

  1. We only fund raise in very particular situations. One of those is coming up tomorrow. We do car washes to raise money for mission trip sponsorships. That’s when a person wants to go with us on our annual mission trip but doesn’t have the $140 to go. The church will sponsor half of that so to raise that money, we do car washes. I think the only reason we do those is because its not to go to the church fund but to directly benefit people who are going on that trip by helping them pay for it (similar to camp) but for general church needs (like our land we just purchased or the building we will need to build on it) we depend on offerings. We lay the need before the body and leave it between them and God as to what they give and how much (if anything). We don’t beg, plead, or pass the offering basket around again. We just let God work in people’s hearts and wallets and He has never failed us. We’ve never had an offering need go unmet. Also, our monthly bills have never been late or gone unpaid because we teach the tithe. I’m very proud of our leadership and congregation for handling this in a biblical way. CCC is a non-denominational church that is not by any means a BIG church and 16 years later, God has always provided.

    • I really like that idea of half sponsorship upfront. That way, there’s no ambiguity and the person wanting to go on the trip still sees their role and ownership in the funding of the trip

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