Lent Fundraising Ideas from our USPG Supporters

From October 2018 to February 2019 we travelled the country and hosted Regional Days for our wonderful USPG supporters and volunteers. We asked attendees to share their favourite fundraising ideas for Lent, to encourage others to plan a fundraiser for our 2019 Lent Appeal, supporting the Churches of North and South India. We have selected some of the best ideas and hope you are inspired to get fundraising!

We’ve categorised the ideas in alphabetical order, you’ll see we still need a few more to complete the alphabet! If you think of something that we’ve missed for one of the letters please get in touch by emailing fundraising@uspg.org.uk


Auction of promises or skills. This is a great way to involve many in the congregation and discover hidden talents and skills!


Blessings jar – when you feel blessed, pop a donation in the jar. You could also ask children to fill Smarties tubes with 20p coins.

Bollywood film night – ask for a donation and provide the movie and popcorn.

Birdwatching seminar – this idea came up at the Bicester Regional Day as there was an expert Birdwatcher in the room!


Craft or cake sale. You can use USPG collection boxes to ask for donations in return for these items.

Curry Lunch. You could do this at your house or at a local restaurant. Here are five easy steps depending on which option you go for:

At your house:

Step 1: Choose a date and send out invites.

Step 2: Decide what curry you’re going to make and what’s on the menu, have a look at our recipe list here.

Step 3: Contact local businesses to donate raffle prizes for your event. This is good publicity for them as you can have their business cards/flyers out at your event.

Step 4: On the night, ask everyone to donate what they would usually pay for a meal out.

Step 5: Charge £1 a raffle ticket and enjoy seeing who wins each prize!


At a local restaurant:

Step 1: Contact your local Indian restaurant and ask if they can do a deal on the food, so they may charge you £10 a person, but you can price tickets at £15. This is good publicity for the restaurant and ensures that on an otherwise quiet night, they will have a guaranteed booking.

Step 2: Agree on a date with the restaurant (a week day night will be most appealing for them) and invite your friends and family. Or why not open it up to the community and encourage new people to come along?

Step 3: Contact local businesses to donate raffle prizes for your event. This is good publicity for them as you can have their business cards/flyers out at your event.

Step 4: Charge £1 a raffle ticket and enjoy seeing who wins each prize!

Step 5: Make sure you thank the restaurant for their support and everyone for coming along and being involved.


Donations in lieu of birthdays or anniversaries. Struggling to think of what to ask for? This is a great alternative to asking for traditional gifts.




Fairtrade sale.

Food fundraiser – there’s a special section about this on page 6 of our new USPG Fundraising Guide which you can download here.


Green fundraising ideas to link with week four of the study course which focuses on climate. Why not set a challenge at church to reduce the amount of plastic you use during Lent and ask people to sponsor you? Email fundraising@uspg.org.uk for a sponsor form.

Guess the spice competition.


Host a Safari Supper: Ask 3 or 4 friends to host, one for starter, one for main course, one for dessert and one for coffee. You may, of course be one of the hosts! The idea is to have 3-4 courses at separate venues and travel to each of them. Dressing up as safari animals is optional!


Involve your local community in whatever fundraising you decide to do. This came up a few times across the Regional Days. Organise an event and invite others along to join you; from other denominations, other faiths and none.

Invite a USPG speaker. This can really add something to your event, and hopefully inspire people to donate. One suggestion was to invite a speaker the week before your event, to give people a flavour of what they are raising money for in advance of the fundraiser.


Just Giving – this is a great online tool to help your fundraising. Go to www.justgiving.com and set up a fundraising page for USPG.


Knitting fundraiser – encourage congregation members to knit items to be sold to raise money for USPG.


Lent lunch – this is a popular one with our supporters. Sheila Yates (USPG Diocesan Representative for Leicester) organised a soup Lent lunch last year, using Big Bertha – the enormous church soup pot! Whatever you decide to serve, it’s a great fundraiser and chance to get people together.


Mission display at church – this is a great way to advertise your fundraising event and a chance to showcase the work of the Churches of North and South India. We can provide posters and other resources for this display.

Music evening – ask someone who is musical to host an evening of music, or organise a local choir to perform and raise money for USPG.




Open Garden – this is a great way to show off your immaculate garden and green-fingered skills. Just make sure you choose a sunny day!


Pancake Party (Pancake Day is Tuesday 5 March 2019). Invite friends and family to celebrate pancake day at your house and ask for donations in return.


Quiz Night – you could use facts about North and South India from the study course and test the knowledge of your friends and family.


Rich Man/Poor Man Lunch: This works by inviting people for a fundraising lunch. Everyone pays £10 and their name is placed in a lucky dip. To highlight the inequalities in our world, a proportion of the attendees will be treated to a three-course meal, whilst others will be served only a bowl of rice.


Sponsored events – fast, walk, run, cycle, sing. Whatever you fancy! Email fundraising@uspg.org.uk for a sponsor form or set up a Just Giving page (see J).


Tea tasting competition – why not include some Indian varieties such as Chai tea to link it back to the USPG 2019 study course.

Tithing pocket money – this is a great way to involve children in your fundraising during Lent and to encourage them to think about the importance of stewardship.






Walking fundraiser – you could organise a sponsored walk to raise money for our partner churches in North and South India.







We hope this has helped give you some ideas – happy fundraising! Thank you for all your support for USPG, and our partner Churches in North and South India.


Views expressed on this blog are not necessarily those of Us.
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