Churches provide a range of outreach services for their members and the surrounding community. They rely on donations, but often, many business opportunities exist that can generate a significant amount of revenue. Member-driven business activities that don’t rely on the church’s resources can help maximize profit potential. Revenue from business activities must be used for religious purposes and reported to the IRS in order for the church to maintain a nonprofit status.
Church members can donate or create items for a church bazaar. A bazaar is similar to a flea market in that there are a wide variety of items available, but proceeds from a bazaar benefit a charitable cause or nonprofit organization. Request articles from the congregation based on the time of year. For example, during October and November, you might request Christmas decorations members no longer use in preparation for a December bazaar.
Post a notice in your church bulletin requesting business owners in the congregation offer significant discounts to members of the church if a certain number of members commit to making a purchase. Sell the coupon to the committed customers in advance of purchase for the discounted price. The church can split the profits with the business owners.
Invite prominent choirs and Christian music artists to perform at a weekend concert series. Purchase wholesale snacks to sell at a concession stand. Choose a multicultural assortment of musical acts so that you can partner with other neighborhood churches to promote the concert.
During special programming on weekends or in the evenings, provide childcare for a small fee. Use volunteers from the Sunday School to oversee the children. If you are selling tickets to your program, you could tout free childcare to attract more parents to attend your paid event.
Lanae Carr has been an entertainment and lifestyle writer since 2002. She began as a staff writer for the entertainment section of the "Emory Wheel" and she writes for various magazines and e-newsletters related to marketing and entertainment. Carr graduated from Emory University with a bachelor's degree in film studies and English.