Matching Gifts and Challenges: Creative Campaign Ideas to Double Your Church’s Donations
The community of faith is often at its best when rallying around a common goal. When we introduce an element of friendly competition and shared objectives, we can catalyze a spirit of giving that exceeds everyday expectations. In this blog, we'll explore the concept of matching gifts and challenges as powerful tools to inspire unprecedented levels of participation and giving within your church.
The Biblical Foundations of Matched Contributions: The Tabernacle’s Construction The practice of matching contributions is rooted in the rich tapestry of Scripture. In the construction of the Tabernacle, we see an early example where resources…
The Biblical Foundations of Matched Contributions: The Tabernacle’s Construction
The practice of matching contributions is rooted in the rich tapestry of Scripture. In the construction of the Tabernacle, we see an early example where resources were matched by both human generosity and divine blessing. Exodus 25:1-9 depicts God instructing Moses to collect offerings from the Israelites for the Tabernacle, promising that His presence would fill what their contributions created. Every thread, gold piece, and offering was vital, yet it was God’s ‘matching’ glory that completed the work. Today, we can draw inspiration from this as we encourage our congregation to give, knowing that their contributions to God’s work will be amplified by match donations and, ultimately, by God’s glory.
The Power of Unity: The Philippians’ Support of Paul
In Philippians 4:15-19, the Apostle Paul commends the church in Philippi for being the only church to support him financially on his mission. This support was both essential and sacrificial, demonstrating the church’s commitment to Paul’s ministry. When a few give, it supports the worker; but when many give, it advances the mission. In the same way, when church members see their gifts matched through a campaign, they feel part of something larger, unified in a common pursuit to progress the gospel.
Leveraging Challenges: The Parable of the Minas
The Parable of the Minas in Luke 19:12-27 shows us the importance of utilizing what we’ve been given to generate more.
The nobleman who bestows his servants with funds expects not just safekeeping, but multiplication. We witness the rewards that come from diligence and initiative. Applying this principle to a fundraising challenge encourages your church community to broaden their creative horizons, to not just give but to engage others, to initiate personal fundraising efforts that contribute to a larger cause.
Implementing a Matching Gift Campaign
A matching gift campaign involves a primary donor or group of donors committing to match the donations received within a certain period or up to a certain amount. Let’s say a benefactor offers to match up to $10,000. Each donation from the congregation effectively doubles, motivating members to give, witnessing how their offerings are magnified.
Present this challenge to your church with a clear vision—perhaps a renovation project, mission work, or community outreach program. Explain how the matching funds vividly demonstrate the biblical principle found in Ecclesiastes 4:9: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.” In community and matched giving, we see this truth come to life.
Hosting a Giving Challenge Event
Much like Nehemiah who rallied the Israelites to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:17-20), a challenge event enlists the congregation in a collective effort.
Set a goal, a time frame, and a challenge—such as special offerings on a designated Sunday or a themed fundraiser week. Stir enthusiasm by sharing progress updates and testimonials. Remind the church of the widow’s two mites (Mark 12:41-44) and encourage every member’s participation, regardless of the size of their gift.
Fostering a Spirit of Generosity: The Role of Leadership
Leadership commitment is key. Like the chiefs of the tribes in Numbers 7, whose offerings were given before the rest, church leaders setting the example in giving significantly increases congregational confidence and participation. Whether it’s through matching funds or spearheading challenge events, visible leadership support can lead to a heartening ripple effect of generosity.
As you incorporate these ideas into your church’s efforts, remember that every campaign should be imbued with prayer, biblical teaching, and clear communication. Just as the early church came together to support one another materially and spiritually, so must we. Matching gifts and challenges aren’t just about doubling the funds; they’re about multiplying the faith, fellowship, and forward movement of the church’s mission.
So, as you embark on this journey of matched giving, let it be a reflection of the divine partnership we have with our Creator—a collaboration where our earthly resources are met with heavenly favor, where our loaves and fishes are multiplied to feed the multitudes. Encourage your saints to give generously, boldly, and with a joyful heart, and stand back in awe as the Lord does what He does best: exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).