How are churches funded? Do churches make money besides tithes and offerings? Find out.
In recent years, the effects of COVID have been felt across all areas of human endeavor, including places of worship. There was a steep decline in worshippers who had to observe safety protocols by staying away from crowded locations.
How Can A Church Make Money?
Churches have been among the worst hit as they lost significant revenue due to the absence of worshippers.
Despite these challenges, many churches have been able to overcome them by coming out strong. To know how this was possible, you’ll need to look at how churches make money.
This will be our main focus as we seek to determine the different income-generating activities engaged in by churches.
Where do churches get their money?
Sources of Church Income
Many churchgoers have little to no idea of how the church earns its money. The most common answers you’ll hear are our tithes and offerings.
These are easily among the most recognized. While good revenue is derived from these activities, several others you might not know about.
While offerings are collected at every worship gathering, tithes consist of a tenth of members’ incomes. Unlike tithes, no definite amount is required for offerings. These are given at the discretion of the worshipper.
With that said, what are the other ways churches make money? Let’s have a look.
How Churches Make Money
Churches earn money in many creative ways.
Such may include themed giving, memorials, offering, tithes, renting property, printing press, colleges & universities, freewill donations, crowdfunding, singing festivals, sale of merchandise, and annual pledge drives.
Additional ways churches make money include sponsorships, childcare services, membership drives, and grants. Each of these activities and more generates revenue for the church.
This way, the charge can function smoothly and effectively. Let’s discuss each of the points mentioned.
i. Themed Giving
Churches make money through organizing branded or themed giving events.
These are primarily organized around special events or holidays. These events are included in a church’s calendar and are mainly observed yearly.
Giving is encouraged around such periods, which helps it generate revenue.
Churches have been known to make money through memorials.
During such events, people make arrangements for a portion or all monetary assets to go to the church to support a worthy cause.
Devoted members are mostly known to make such arrangements.
iii. Offering & Tithes
As stated earlier, offerings and tithes are arguably the most common ways churches make money.
As the names imply, offerings are offered at every worship event or service, while tithes make up 10% of earnings. The more members a church has, the higher the revenue generated through these actions.
iv. Renting of Property
Churches can earn revenue from renting their property.
While there are certain constraints and regulations regarding tax-exempt properties, churches can earn some revenue through renting legitimately.
Examples include renting out gym facilities to recreational groups and sporting teams etc.
v. Printing Press
Churches with large congregations are known to take advantage of this opportunity better. Here, materials ranging from magazines, books, bibles, banners, flyers, etc., are printed and distributed.
There’s already a market for these as members are encouraged to purchase those for their benefit.
vi. Colleges & Universities
Church-owned colleges and universities have been around for quite some time.
These are established to promote Christian values while also equipping graduates with the skills necessary to succeed in the real world. These institutions provide an income stream for the organization as students enroll.
vii. Freewill Donations
Churches organize events such as freewill donations where members get to help a worthy cause. Different types of these events are tagged with a set calendar that makes it a yearly event.
A church determines what type of freewill donation it wants to organize.
The number of worshippers a church has determines how easy it can raise funding for its various events.
Money is a vital requirement as it allows churches to accomplish set goals. Through crowdfunding, resources are pulled together to achieve a collective goal.
ix. Singing Festivals
Festivals are part of events organized by churches. These may include activities like sing-a-thons and a lot more.
Through such events, offerings, donations, design of merchandise, and many other income sources are realized. There may be collaborative efforts between churches for such events to be successful.
x. Sale of Merchandise
The sale of merchandise is another way churches make money.
Some of the most popular types of merch sold include books, bibles, custom t-shirts, magazines, and more. It may establish a bookshop or series of bookstores.
The income from these ventures adds to the revenue of churches.
xi. Annual Pledge Drives
Annual pledge drives are yearly events where members get to make voluntary monetary pledges. These pledges are designed to meet the specific needs of the church.
A church can achieve or realize its annual budget through such pledge drives. Not only does this action creates a sense of responsibility in members, but pledges redeemed may also be more significant than those pledged.
Sponsorships play a crucial role in determining how well churches thrive in achieving their set financial objectives.
Here, sponsorships are asked for several noble activities or products such as scholarships for the underprivileged, purchase of church equipment, and missionary activities, among others.
xiii. Childcare Service
A church can also establish a childcare service where members can drop off their kids while attending to their business. Such daycare offers value while also creating revenue for the church.
This is one-way churches can make money.
xiv. Membership Drive
As stated earlier, the more members a church has, the higher its revenue potential.
By embarking on a membership drive, it doesn’t only get to spread the gospel but also increases its worshippers. This has a direct impact on income.
Grants are among the ways churches get access to funds. While that is true, there are certain restrictions on the type of grants churches can get access to.
These are some ways by which churches make money. These organizations need to develop creative church funding sources to keep their operations running smoothly.