We think we may need to borrow money, so how do we get started?

If your church is in the process of weighing options which might include borrowing money, please feel free to reach out to us.

If you decide that borrowing money is the best option, we will certainly help you to determine the best way to proceed regarding loan terms etc.

However, we are also here to help you with the decision process that comes before you start filling out a loan application. Maybe there are other options to consider or other ways to structure a loan request.

We are willing to act as a consultant during these discussions. Our Loan Specialist has many years of banking experience that may help you to navigate through your options. Unlike a bank, we want you to be sure that you have found the best option to meet your needs and not just an option that helps the lending institution more than it helps your church.

Additionally, if a decision is made to borrow funds, we can help you to understand some of the terms that most people don’t work with in their everyday lives. For example, we can help you understand the difference between a Balance Sheet and an Income Statement. We can help you review collateral options or better understand the purpose of a UCC filing.

So if your church is considering how to fund your upcoming project, contact us and let us help you!

Fund-Raising Ideas

We are always willing to talk with you about a potential loan for your next improvement project. However, there are other ways to raise funds to help provide the needed financing. We would be very happy to further discuss any of these ideas with you as you begin to solidify your financial plans.


Five Dollar Club

This idea has been implemented successfully by several churches. It has typically been used to raise funds to help pay down an existing debt. However, this process could easily be adapted for other fund-raising needs.

Pledges can be solicited from church members to add a fixed amount to their weekly giving over a specific period of time. Five dollars seems to be an amount that many people feel they can afford, but any amount could be substituted. You may want to come up with a specific name for your project and then track the giving as it comes in. Before you know it, you have an extra $1,000 or more for your project!


Go Green Campaign - Help the environment and help your church

Christ UMC in Waynesboro has been very successful with this campaign.

It began with placing aluminum can recycling bins at the church. The collected cans were turned in at a local recycling center for cash. But the story doesn’t end there! They began to collect larger metal objects. Old appliances, used auto parts, old copper pipes or wiring and various other types of scrap metal. As word of mouth spread into the community, folks began to contact the church to see if they could benefit from some of their scrap metal. On some occasions, church members would agree to pick up items from local homes or businesses.

To date, they have raised thousands of dollars from this program. Not only did they raise funds for various church projects, but they have impacted their local community and the environment in a positive way.


Capital Campaign

A capital campaign is a more traditional fund-raising method designed to unite a congregation to raise money for a specific purpose within a given timeframe. This can involve the collection of “pledges” from members of the church. A donor could pledge to give “extra” funds over and above their regular contributions within the project timeframe or they could choose to donate a lump sum from their savings account or sale of an asset etc. Capital campaigns are not typically conducted every year. The church leadership should carefully consider how often to use this method of fund-raising.


Specialty Projects

A church is limited only by their own imagination when it comes to this fund-raising idea. An idea may present itself as you look around your church and evaluate the things that your members are passionate about. There are many possibilities and here are a few examples.

Easter Egg Sales - A favorite example for many candy lovers is the Easter Egg sales that occur at many United Methodist Churches each spring. Thousands of eggs are happily sold and consumed every year thus providing funds for your project.   

Fall Festival – Seedling staff personally enjoyed attending an Apple Dumpling event last fall at one of our United Methodist churches. This is a great way to reach out to your local community and help them to become more familiar with your facilities and your staff. The sale of almost any food item or other donated goods can be a great way to raise some money.

Spaghetti Dinner – This is not a new idea, but it is a great way to invite the local community to your facility and raise some money at the same time. And of course, it doesn’t have to be spaghetti only!

Hire a Youth – This one is great for your youth group but could be easily adapted as needed. This is great if there is a missions trip coming up that needs to be funded. The young person offers their services to other church members in exchange for a donation to the project at hand. This can be a great way for younger people to interact with an older generation when it comes to yard work or a garage cleanout.

Babysitting Night – This can be a great outreach to the local community as well as a fund-raiser. Church members offer babysitting services at the church for a donation to your project. Local families with small children will appreciate a chance to go out to dinner or repaint the bedroom without the kids being underfoot.

If you have an idea for raising funds that has worked well for your church, feel free to submit it to us so that we can share it with churches when they contact us for loans and fund-raising needs.


Christine Sims, Associate Director: csims@susumc.org or 717-766-5275