Fundraising for mission

Fundraising for mission

Some imaginative ideas

Combine your creativity and community for a great cause with these fundraising ideas and tips.

Are you stuck for ideas? We’ve come up with a few! Some could be done online, some in person, and some would work either way.

Don’t forget to plan a moment during the event to say a few words about the work of Church Mission Society so people understand the difference their support is making.

Fundraising ideas

Get creative

From keepsakes to the kitchen

Sell customised keepsakes: These might be tea towels, cookery books, calendars, T-shirts, key fobs or something else. There are lots of companies that do customised printing for affordable prices. Get people to email their suggestions, nominate one person to design and advertise for purchase through email, church Facebook group, newsletter and so on. Make sure one person is in charge of fulfilling orders.

Bake off: Anyone from CMS can tell you, we love cake! Bakers can pay to enter their cakes, cookies, etc and these edible entries can be sold afterwards. Set a signature bake and showstopper challenge. Appoint judges to award star baker and the wooden spoon! Set up a tea and coffee stand too. Who knows, maybe this will become a much-loved and anticipated regular event?

Read more

Something entertaining

From quirky to quizzes

Inspiring, thought-provoking talk or debate from a church member or local celebrity: Set a ticket price, and if it is happening online then don’t give Zoom details until people have paid.

Comedy or music night: Perhaps there are budding comedians or musicians in your congregation, or local people who need gig experience. Set a ticket price, invite people to join in person or to make themselves comfortable and Zoom in from their homes – again, don’t send Zoom info until people have paid.

Rant-a-minute: Is your congregation full of well-meaning but curmudgeonly characters? Put their skills to good use! Each participant (after paying their entry fee) gets one minute to rant about a randomly generated topic. Any hesitation or repetition, and they’re out (or muted on the online version). Keep going until only the ultimate grumbler remains!

Quiz night: People love a good quiz night! Decide if it should be online or in person. Charge an entry fee and pick some fun prizes. Remember to tailor your questions depending on the audience and definitely choose a charismatic church member to be quiz master.

Auction: Collect items from family, friends and local businesses. These can be gift baskets from shops, homemade cakes, restaurant vouchers, piano lessons, a collection of cuddly toys… get creative! Make sure they are things people will want. Then invite your church to the auction. Ask people to bid on each item. Have singers, comedians and fun segments in between to make the event enjoyable for everyone. Note who wins what and for how much, collect the money, dish out the auction items and then send the collection to CMS!

Themed evening: If you or your church is interested in a particular region of the world, perhaps supporting a CMS mission partner there, why not incorporate that into your fundraising? Have food from the country, music and games. Invite people along and learn more about the culture as well as what mission work is happening.

Read more

Get moving for mission

From parish pilgrimages to mission partner marathons

Dance marathon (or online “Zoom-ba”!): Charge an entry fee, organise some amazing music to appeal to all ages, last person standing (must always be visible on screen if running the event virtually) wins the prize! Make sure you allow bathroom/hydration breaks. You could get a local dance instructor to structure some of it.

Five-a-side football (or other sport) tournament: Charge an entry fee per team, encourage dressing up to make it more fun.

Sponsored walks: always an inspiring and healthy way of raising money. Set yourself a target which is attainable but still a challenge.

One walk for each year of your life, a half marathon over a weekend or walk around every park in your county. Or try one of these twists on the traditional sponsored walk…

Walk/cycle/run with them: As a church, walk the distance to your mission partner’s location over a set amount of time. Each person takes on whatever is reasonable for them and you add up the total number of miles. Each person is sponsored for their part.

Parish pilgrimage: Get the church together for a sponsored walk/run/cycle around your parish. Make sure you plan the route well and allow for people to join/leave at different points. Each participant should secure their own sponsorship. Document your journey on the day on social media.

Sponsored prayer walk: Similar to the pilgrimage, but make sure you’re praying your way around or pausing to pray at key destinations. Offer to pray for people you meet on the way.

Read more

Community connections

From litter picking to carol singing

Children/youth sponsored litter pick: Raise money for your mission partner and serve your community at the same time. Participants can get sponsorship for every 10 minutes they spend picking litter.

“Round the houses” dinner: Get a group of people together who are willing to host a course in their home. Decide how many people you can cater for. Charge a ticket price, then set off for an evening of food and fun.

Church fete youth takeover: get the youth to organise this year’s church fete and see what they come up with! They might surprise you with their innovative ideas.

Nativity/carol service / carol singing: Take up a special collection for your CMS mission partner at Christmas.

Barbecue and sports day: Choose some fun challenges (e.g. obstacle course). Charge for entry and for food.

Read more

These ideas are just the beginning – we’d love to hear your suggestions!

Planning your fundraiser

Thank you so much for fundraising for CMS and for being a vital part of what God is doing around the world. We’ve put together some guidance that will help you as you put the “fun” into fundraising!

We’re here for you

Now you’ve decided to fundraise for CMS, please let us know as soon as you can.

We would love to hear your ideas or help you think through what kind of challenge or event will be best for you, your church or your group. We’d also love to talk with you about how your efforts will make a difference.

Give us a call on 01865 787489 or email

Set a target

Setting a target will encourage others to help you reach it. You can always increase your goal if you hit it sooner than expected.

Getting the word out

  • Word of mouth: The best way to raise sponsorship money is to be bold about telling all of your friends and family what you’re doing. People like to be included and your efforts will inspire them.
  • Work and church: Do tell your colleagues and congregations about your challenge. It’ll also be a wonderful opportunity to talk to them about CMS’s work.
  • Social media: Share about your challenge on your Facebook, Instagram, etc. Always link to your online giving platform. If you’re training for the challenge, post regular updates. Take lots of pictures. Invite everyone to be a part of your journey.
  • Local media: You might be surprised at how many people will be interested in your challenge. Send your story to your local paper, local radio station, your church newsletter editor, anyone you can think of. Make sure to include what you are doing, when and where it is happening, why you are doing this, what the money is for and how people can give or get involved. A bit of media attention may entice new people to sponsor you or attend your event.

Paying in your money

It’s best to use an online giving platform such as JustGiving as the money will automatically be sent to CMS once you’ve selected CMS as your chosen charity.

If you need assistance in setting up an online giving page or would rather use a paper sponsorship form, email or call us via the contact details below and we’ll be happy to help.

We’re in this together!

If you’d like to chat to us about your idea or have any questions, then do get in touch. There will always be a happy voice on the end of a phone or behind an email here at CMS to help. Call us on 01865 787489 or email

Stories from the edges

See how God is at work through your prayers and gifts

Do you get Prayerspace?

Real-time prayers from around the world in your inbox

Check the CMS blog

For all the latest mission news, reflections and happenings

Get our email newsletter: