As a Christian, charitable work is an important part of living your faith. The concept is summed up nicely in The Acts.

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. The Acts 20:35 KJV.

When you decide to raise money for a local charity, you have many options. You may recall that 2 Corinthians tells us God loves a cheerful giver.

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 KJV.

You’ll have fun with these seven ideas, and your donors can’t help but enjoy it, too, as they help you fund your worthy cause.

1. A bake sale: Let’s start with one of the most common, yet tried and true fundraisers. Who can resist a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie or a moist slice of cake or filling-packed pie? Hold your sale after church to tempt the “it’s almost lunchtime and my stomach is rumbling” crowd or team up with a local theater group to offer refreshments during a performance intermission.

2. A silent auction: This is a simple yet effective way to raise money because people can bid on the items at their own convenience. It may even spark competitiveness and a bidding war for popular items. Local businesses often donate prizes in exchange for the publicity, and many national chains have corporate giving programs that provide gift cards for charities.

3. A car wash: This is another classic. So many people mean to get their cars washed but just don’t have the time. What better motivation to finally get it done than helping support a good cause? You can hold it at your church if there’s access to water in the parking lot. Otherwise, a local business might allow you to use its facilities.

4. A rummage sale: People can clean out their closets, basements and garages and raise money for charity at the same time. It’s especially good if you tie it into spring cleaning or pre-holiday clutter reduction. If you don’t have space in your church or another spot to hold a sale, you may be able to find volunteers to hold garage sales at their homes on a specified day. Be sure to post signs at your sale letting buyers know where the money is going. They’ll usually spend more freely when they know they’re supporting a charity.

5. Team up with a local restaurant: Many eateries donate a percent of their sales on a particular day when you hand out fliers or otherwise get people into the doors on behalf of your charity. Applebee’s, Chili’s, Panda Express and T.G.I. Friday’s are just a few major chains that have fundraising programs.

6. Fill a truck: If you’re collecting specific items instead of money for a charity, get a rental truck and challenge your community to fill it. For example, you might collect school supplies for needy families at back-to-school time or coats for the homeless in the winter. Whatever it is, focus your fundraiser on collecting enough to fill the vehicle. People who drop off items will be excited to see the progress, and you can always aim for another truckload if you meet your goal early.

7. A wish tree: This is a popular fund-raiser at Christmas, but there’s no reason you can’t use it at other times of the year with a different theme (for example, Christmas in July or back-to-school). Many donors like the special feeling of knowing a real person benefits from their efforts. They’re more likely to donate when they know a bit about the actual child or adult they’re helping. They feel a personal connection when they shop for “their” recipient.

Use these ideas as a springboard to get a charitable fundraiser going in your community. You’ll know you’re pleasing Jesus when you think of these familiar words:

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. —Matthew 25:40 KJV.

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