What other sources can churches search for to raise funds rather than asking members to donate or charging for their wedding, funeral or baptism services?
Renting out space: One option is renting out a vacant part of their space or some of their rooms to youth or other public organizations (like YMCAs) or local schools that need e.g choir rooms or rooms for out of school activities. They can also rent out their yard for weddings or other ceremonies. Of course, there are some considerations before deciding on this, like tax implications, safety, cleanup, supervision, etc.
Leasing their space or sharing it with another church: Churches can not only rent out but also lease out part of their space/building. For instance, they may lease out parking space to nearby for profit companies like cafes or gyms. Two congregations may rent a facility and split the rent or simply share the facility. Again, there are questions to consider carefully before concluding an agreement to share a building: how will the utilities, clean-up be arranged? How will the use of the facility be scheduled? How will the keys and lock-ups be managed?
Turning to banks: Churches might seek interest free loans. Or they could have interest on their bank deposits.
Applying for grants: Churches could apply for grants from the state or foundations for charitable projects or to run a school.
Holding fundraising events: Such events can include workathons (church members offer services to community members who need them and raise money); ticketed dinner nights for community members; ticketed sporting events or shows; art class events; outreaching local businesses for a percentage of their sales; 50/50 raffles (the winner gets half the pot, and the church gets the other half). Online fundraising or crowdfunding may help. Pulling from other income streams is another option. It’s in your best interest to speak with financial and legal professionals before using investments to pay for space or improvements,
Polling or generating fundraising ideas: The website of a church may be a great tool not only for spreading information about themselves or their mission but also for interacting with their members on raising funds. They can create polls or surveys (probably anonymous) to find out if people are ready to donate or how much, if they are. They can be encouraged to offer ideas on how to raise funds, how to engage the community members or local businesses in supporting their church in other ways rather than just donating.