18 Church Fundraising Ideas: Outdoors Edition

18 Church Fundraising Ideas: Outdoors Edition

When the weather turns nice, an outdoor fundraiser makes for an enjoyable gathering for your members, neighbors, and community. Here are 18 ideas for fun events best held outside.

1. Set Up an Easter Egg Hunt

Kids love running through the grass or around the church lobby looking for eggs. Ask families to donate a specific amount based on each child they have participating.

2. Host an Outdoor Carnival

Your carnival can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like. Ring toss or bean bag toss games are easy to set up and play. Face painting and/or rub-on tattoo booths are perennial favorites. Other ideas include bouncy castles, potato-sack races, and cupcake walks. And weather permitting, don’t forget the dunk tank! Who wouldn’t give $5 to try dunking their pastor! This is a great way to have some fun and raise some funds.

3. Put on a Summer Cookout

Summer is a great time for a cookout! Get everyone together after church with some burgers and outdoor games.

4. Assemble a Petting Zoo

A petting zoo can be a great standalone activity or something to add to a cookout or carnival. Invite your members (and their friends) to bring their child-friendly animals of all kinds for petting and hand-feeding. Just accept donations as visitors enter!

5. Have a Car Wash

Youth and kids alike love getting to be a part of a drive-through car wash. Assign different groups to different tasks, turn up some music, and suggest a donation amount of $10 to $20 per car.

6. Host an Outdoor Movie Night

Borrow or rent a projector and large screen, ask people to bring blankets and lawn chairs, and play a family-friendly movie when it gets dark. Offer popcorn and snacks for an extra draw!

7. Coordinate a Camp-Out

Some churches have big lawns and parking lots that work really well as campgrounds. Consider hosting a camping night with bonfire worship and fun summer activities. If you’re up for it, you could even allow people to spend the night in their tents or campers.

8. Clean Up the Community Around Your Church

A great way to give to your community and show that your church is involved is to help with clean-up. It’s not too difficult to find a nearby park or area where you could pick up trash. You can also volunteer clean-up or handyman services on an appointed day to residential neighbors. Ask for sponsors and donations to help support your church in this mission.

9. Host a Car Show

There are sure to be a few car lovers in your community. Ask them to put their special cars on display and also invite their friends who own cool cars to join in. An event like this is sure to draw a crowd!

10. Hold a Community Garage Sale

Everyone could use a closet cleanout. Ask church members to donate their unwanted items (preferably those in good condition) to a church garage sale. Volunteers can go through the items, price them, and proceeds can benefit the church.

11. Host a Walkathon, 5K, Half-Marathon, or Marathon

If your community includes running enthusiasts, talk to them about holding a fun run. You can turn it into a pledge drive by asking participants to get sponsors, perhaps in support of a particular outreach mission or cause. Or you can simply charge a small entry fee and work to engage the whole local community.

12. Plan a Fishing Tournament

Fishing tournaments can be an excellent way to raise money! Everyone loves a friendly tournament, and when you attach it to fundraising for a great cause, it’s sure to help you raise money.

13. Round Up a Food Truck Event

Food trucks are a blast, and the food they prepare is often excellent. Invite area food trucks for an afternoon or evening that brings together the whole church community—plus friends and neighbors—for a fundraiser.

14. Do a Fall Picnic

An after-church picnic is fun for the whole family! Ask families to bring a main dish (for themselves or to share), and the church can provide drinks, chips, salads, and desserts for donations. This is a great event to have in the early fall when the weather is just right to sit outside.

15. Hold Fall Cookout with Bonfires

Bonfires and cookouts go together so well! Offer s’mores, burgers, hot dogs, and other fun treats for kids and adults. They’ll be sure to love it and donate to your cause.

16. Take a Trip to the Apple Orchard

Speaking of fall, who wouldn’t love a community-building trip to the apple orchard? There’s so much fun to be had, and it’s a great way to get new families involved. Organize it with a local apple orchard as a fundraiser and you might be able to get the whole place to yourself.

17. Tailgate Before the Big Game

Whether your community includes fans of an area high school, college, or professional football team (or all three!), consider holding a tailgate event on church grounds before a big game. Depending on the game, the event might also include watching the game on big screens outdoors or inside! Church members are sure to love it, and you can sell tickets or ask for donations.

18. Put on a Polar Plunge

To wrap up this list, here’s a winter idea. The polar plunge is a popular fundraiser for all types of nonprofit organizations. Ask participants to raise money from friends and family. In exchange for the money, they jump into the freezing water!


No matter which fundraising ideas you choose, be sure to tell church members and event attendees where the money is going and why it’s needed. This helps to build trust and providers members a bigger reason to participate and give.

For more information or to get started, contact sales.

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