How Do Churches Make Money? Top 10 Sources of Income Might Surprise You


A rising number of megachurches are springing up throughout the United States and across the globe. As a result of this, plenty of believers are brought together with billions of dollars in revenue.

You may also wonder how churches get the funds necessary to cover the enormous costs associated with their many large-scale events and initiatives.

Therefore, a church’s finance in the future depends on finding new ways to raise money rather than depending only on regular contributions from its people.

To accomplish the goal, churches must find ways to induce non-members and other people to advocate for themselves and support the goals. Hence, the churches could accomplish and expand the goal quickly.

What is the Church?

A church is a traditional building structured in public for Christian people to offer prayers, worship, and other Christian activities.

As cited in Beacon Journal news, “there are an estimated 380,000 churches in the U.S. ” These churches have brought U.S. citizens, who are Christians, between 230 million to 250 million, making a lot of money.

It is sensible to question how a church generates so much money. The below sections will give you ideas.

Church Business Model – How Does Church Work?

Churches are more than merely congregations of believers. In addition, they are very successful enterprises. The churches have the largest number of employees, with millions of them.

On top of that, the church might manage its finances, officials’ responsibilities, voting, operating as a company, submitting legal documents, and holding monthly meetings.

Nevertheless, the church keeps developing its business model to generate more money.

Furthermore, as cited in Gary M. Gulen (2005), George Barna mentioned that it would be time for the church to develop a new model in which it would be extracted from the current business model.

Believe it or not, the church also operates as a business, although it is not in the market.

The reason is the church has a product to offer, which can be seen as a connection to Jesus. Every local church serves as a franchise for the company’s fundamental product, which is the word of salvation.

The pastors would be assessed on their capacity to operate their religious church as if it were a company, not on the ability to educate and advise.

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Like any company, the church needs to make money, which means it must be successful in its market penetration and customer service initiatives.

There are some insights regarding the “business model” of the Church.

1. Instead of a “living spiritual organism,” the “commercial model” of contemporary church expansion has turned the church into a “commercial corporation or organization.” Like any secular company, the church must describe its offerings in terms of current requirements.

2. A societal necessity, instead of God, has been elevated to the status of supremacy in the church. Empowering social desire to form your church’s identity means that you’ll be more aware and concerned about what baby boomers desire.

3. The church has evolved into a more “pragmatic” organization.

George Barna, a proponent of church development, has seen this house of worship as a failure since she is small. Any approach that can assist her in growing and accomplishing goals is worth experimenting with.

4. As a result, the church has become dominated by “man-centered”. George Barna employs a man-centric approach. Her approach is to turn God into a self-serving and needs-based ideology.

Do Churches Pay Taxes?

Churches in the US are designated as NGOs (Non-Profit Organizations) to enjoy tax exemption.

As a result, the church owners cannot be compensated for doing anything more than being the owners. In addition, a person (whom you may call an employee) may obtain a wage, but they must put in time and effort to get it.

On top of that, the United States government enables churches to give receipts for contributions earned since they also utilize the monies for improved fellowship. This allows those who give to benefit from the contribution by receiving a tax deduction.

How Does the Church Make Money?

Since becoming a financially responsible system that generates substantial revenue for churches, the majority of paths have been greatly built.

So, below are the lucrative means through which churches generate income and finance their operations.

1. Tithe And Offerings

Tithes and offerings from followers are the primary sources of income for several churches, and this has become a common mechanism for providing church services.

To give a tithe is to give 10% of one’s income to God, according to the Bible, whereas giving a sacrifice is giving freely.

Moreover, every tier of the church, from the national to local groups, runs donation missions to get special offers. However, the church does not keep any money because an agency keeps it.

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2. Churches Can Accept Donations Online

With the help of digital fundraising, churches can generate more money from their parishioners and other donations. Online donations have become popular nowadays because of technological advances.

On top of that, people overseas can easily donate their money without traveling with a few clicks on their smartphones. With this approach, churches can use an online application that can extend their community worldwide.

Not only that, the digital platform allows churches to post offers, titches, new events, and other announcements so that community members can access them well.

3. Property Renting

As far as you may know, churches can operate in the same way as a business. Hence, renting out a space is not weird. By doing so, the churches can create another source of income.

At least, there are a few alternatives that can be profitable for churches. However, it depends on the building’s size and condition. Generally, they rent out for events, business, and co-working space purposes.

In the US, churches with a lot of space may consider renting out to a business at a minimum of 8 thousand dollars per month. The money will be sufficient for the churches to pay their monthly mortgage.

Besides, they can also lease to other businesses to establish a working space for additional income.

4. T-Shirts Sales in Fundraising Way

T-shirt sales are a common charitable strategy for people of all ages. Because selling t-shirts online is easy for fundraising, implementing this concept has become even more straightforward.

On the platform, churches may customize the finest custom t-shirts, which can generate additional income sources. The t-shirts can be sold out to members, family, friends, and many other Christian people.

The church not only personalizes the design of t-shirts, but it can also print God’s related quotes, inspirational quotes, or words from the Bible to attract existing customers.

Thus, the fundraising merchandise may fulfill the dual job of generating funds and inspiring meaningful dialogues anytime they are worn.

5. Sponsorships

A wide range of church-related activities and items may be made the subject of a sponsoring request. Several churches accept particular donations for things such as furniture, flowers, and pews.

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Churches can also make money through family missionaries and campaigns. For instance, the church may seek sponsorships for college students to study at a particular university.

Although it might not be the primary source of income, sponsorships provide value or help the church save expenses.

6. Crowdfunding

An effective technique for a church to generate funds for survival is via church crowdfunding. Fundraising for one of these religious programs may have a huge benefit.

7. Community Support

There are a lot of churches that keep raising money to help residents or people of their religion.

To make it simple for the whole community to participate in the contribution procedure, churches create a crowdfunding campaign and gather all community members to donate directly via the website.

8. Particular Religious Programs or Events

Churches are the only special places to celebrate religious events, such as Christmas, Easter, and so forth. All the ceremonies are held at the church every year; therefore, the church is able to gather some cash from people joining the events.

On top of that, crowdfunding is commonly used to collect money on these particular occasions because many people, both members and non-members, come to the same place.

9. Talent Competition Show

Organizing a talent competition show is one of the entertaining and convenient methods to generate extra money for churches.

It can be done through fundraising as well. On top of that, the church can put a donation box somewhere in the event area.

10. Organize a Sing-a-Thon

Organizing a Sing-a-Thon is another way of helping the church generate revenue. If a community has songbird groups, it may be a good occasion to exploit this benefit.

This method is another fundraising technique that the church can use. The Sing-a-Thon is a concert in which groups of people sing for hours to raise money. The concert organizer will charge the entry fee and sell religious items. 

Final Thoughts

To keep the church going, churches must find different ways to raise money. Most churches rely on philanthropic gifts that are not totally guaranteed income.

Therefore, churches need to explore a variety of income sources in order to maintain a long-term fund for their operations and keep it sustained for future church activities.