Support Materials

for Congregations
and Nonprofits

Literacy: maintaining a posture of experimentation
Literacy: presenting authentically and pastorally online

This guidebook by Adam J. Copeland introduces the concept of crowdfunding, explains trends in religious giving, provides example campaigns funded between $1,000 and $200,000, and answers common strategic questions.


For congregations and non-profits, crowdfunding offers the potential of expanding the audience beyond their usual giving network. The trick, though, is to create a project that actually appeals to others. (Note also, that in some congregations, a surprising number of members do not regularly give, so there may be an opportunity for expanding internal audience as well.)

When designing a project, congregations face the rhetorical challenge of describing their goals in a way that those of different faith traditions and backgrounds might support. As I have argued previously, a successful approach may be to emphasize shared values, as in the case of the Radical Hospitality and the Rooster Soup Co. Kickstarter campaign.

The church leaders behind the campaign mentioned the fact that they were a congregation, but to appeal to a larger audience than their congregation, they elected to use, “very little churchy language, no mentioning the J word [Jesus]” and instead, “focus on shared values and a compelling civic vision.”

Curator’s note: Unlike most downloadable resources on this site, the guide is published under a Creative Commons ATTRIBUTION-NODERIVATIVES LICENSE (CC BY-ND 4.0). Please do not remix this resource without the author’s consent.

Sample campaigns from the guidebook

Background image: “Tax Credits” by via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).