Some parishioners may not be able to give as generously as they would like. In that case, why not encourage those families to give to the church in other ways (volunteering their time and services for example)? “Time, Talents, and Treasures.” If they are lacking in one area (treasures), they can contribute in others ways (time and talent). There are lots of great suggestions for ways to encourage non-monetary giving to your parish.
Here are ten ideas to share with your parishioners!
- Teaching a class
Your parishioners undoubtedly have valuable skills to share with others (woodworking, painting, or podcasting, for example). Encourage them to teach others for an hour after church or on a weeknight, and advertise the classes in the bulletin or video announcements. Throw in a call for donations, and the classes could even generate funds from those who can afford to give!
- Church cleaning and maintenance
Cleaning and maintenance cost money, and those costs add up over the course of the year. Encourage parishioners to donate their time by vacuuming after Sunday services, mowing the grass, or repainting the parish sign. These contributions may even allow fund reallocation from routine upkeep to important outreach programs.
- Transportation assistance
If you have members who drive to church every Sunday with vacant seats in their vehicles, it’s a great (and relatively easy) opportunity to help others. Ask around to find members who lack transportation or are no longer able to drive, then match them with willing drivers. You can also organize a carpool for children’s programs while you’re at it.
- Technological skills
Your parish probably has members who are good with computers and other techs and are willing to contribute using these highly valuable skills. Who knows, maybe you could even help them build a career in church tech! While ParishSOFT’s web-based Family Suite and Accounting save you lots of time and energy, they still require an operator. Let capable volunteers perform tasks like updating the website, scheduling other volunteers, and managing the church calendar.
- Guest chefs
Unless your parish has an in-house chef, it needs someone to fry all that fish, flip all those pancakes, and grill hundreds of hot dogs at various events throughout the year. Give your parishioners the opportunity to get behind the grill and cook. Pair congregants who are passionate about cooking with these volunteer opportunities.
We’ve all witnessed parents constantly exiting and reentering the church service to calm an unhappy child. Many churches avoid this by offering a separate children’s only Sunday school during regular services. When the volunteers return at the end of service with a group of smiling children, they’re regarded as heroes. Put out a call for such heroes in your own parish! While you’re at it, don’t forget to use a child check-in system to streamline and safeguard the process.
- Vehicle donation
Some of your parishioners might have an old RV, fishing boat, or hovercraft gathering dust and costing them every month in insurance payments. Help them get rid of that bucket of bolts by encouraging them to donate it. Even if your parish doesn’t have a use for it, you can sell it. As a bonus, the previous owner’s budget will get a boost from lower insurance payments and a tax write-off, which may allow them to get back on track with their regular monetary contributions.
- Home visits
A 2016 Pew Research study shows that just over a quarter of senior citizens — and almost a third of elderly women — were living alone as of 2014. It’s likely this is happening in your own sphere, and that your church has a few elderly members who could use a regular visiT. A National Institutes of Health study found that isolation can lead to cognitive, physical, and emotional decline in elders. Encourage all of your church members to help out with this incredibly important service.
Your parish probably has a decent camera in its audio-visual collection (and even if it doesn’t, any smartphone manufactured in the last decade will do in a pinch). But finding someone to take pictures with it is a different story. Professional photographers can charge upwards of $100/hour, so let your parishioners help out by taking photos at the church picnic or carnival for your website.
- Social media management
Church social media accounts are notorious for making cringe-worthy mistakes. One of the most common (and easiest to correct) is infrequent — or even nonexistent — posting. If you have social media enthusiasts in your church, let them donate their time by managing your church’s Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account. They’ll help spread the word about your church (boosting attendance), and the internet will have something new to read about your parish for the first time since the 2012 Easter egg hunt.
Once you have implemented some of these suggestions, we would love to hear how it goes. Please post in the comments sections your stories and suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you!
Source: Ministry Tech