With so many new technologies and ways of doing things changing every day, it’s inevitable that some parishes will need to get creative if they want to continue capturing the interest of their congregation. Here are some crowdfunding ideas that you can apply to your own parish.
Change for a Dollar
Mount Pleasant Christian Church in Greenwood, Indiana, is a church “locally focused and globally engaged with an undeniable IMPACT for Christ,” according its website. A huge congregation with multiple campuses (including an online version), they have an unusual campaign that focuses on their community in which everyone has the opportunity to make a difference for very little cost.
“Change for a Dollar” is a ministry of Mount Pleasant Christian Church that allows anyone from anywhere to nominate someone they believe could benefit from financial help and lots of prayer support. Each nomination is reviewed by the selection committee. At the end of each month, an extra collection is taken where all parishioners are invited to add an additional dollar, which is then given to the chosen recipient. It’s easy to collect and easy to distribute to those who truly need help.
The Catholic Stewardship Appeal is the annual fundraising campaign of the ten-county Archdiocese of Milwaukee to support Catholic life throughout southeastern Wisconsin. In 2017, they added an additional component to their annual fundraising efforts that focused not on the people that the appeal helps, but instead on the people who choose to support the appeal year in and year out.
Focusing on seven people/couples who support the appeal, the archdiocese posted professional candid photos and their stories through a series of three posts which they uploaded to social media and connected to a giving website. Not only did it capture the interest of others because of how different it was from their usual appeals, but it also gave people something to look forward to as each part of the story was unveiled.
Using real people from the archdiocese in different roles — such as a young adult, priest, young family, retired couple, single professional, and more — they were able to really capture the essence of what the appeal is all about: helping others in the name of Christ.
Humans of New York
Humans of New York (HONY) began as a photography project in 2010 by photographer Brandon Stanton. The initial goal was to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers on the street and create a comprehensive catalogue of the city’s residents. Somewhere along the way, however, Brandon began to interview his subjects in addition to photographing them. And alongside their portraits, he’d include quotes and short stories from their lives. Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog.
The last few years, Brandon began using his platform to help the people he meets and causes he comes across. Together, these campaigns have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for causes such as pediatric cancer research, Syrian Americans, Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, New York City fire fighters, and more.
HONY has over 20 million followers on social media and provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers on the streets of New York City and numerous countries throughout the world.