Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance

raise funds for refugees

Support CWS affiliates to offer newly arrived refugees basic needs, case management, cultural orientation, health access assistance and job preparation and placement help.

Host an event

Fundraising events, no matter the size, can make a big difference in the lives of refugees; they raise critical funds and attract new supporters. Create an event that is logistically manageable and do not hesitate to reach out to us for guidance.

Event Ideas:
• Auction
• Benefit or gala
• Concert
• Pancake breakfast or luncheon
• Cocktail reception or dinner
• Art show
• Golf tournament

Fundraise at work

Fundraising at work promotes team building, can boost morale, and spreads the word about CWS to a broader audience. Create an appropriate fundraiser that will appeal to your colleagues.

Fundraising Ideas:
• Spare change/penny jars
• Cook-off
• Silent auction
• Potluck lunch or breakfast
• Bake sale
• Happy hour
• Matching gift
• Casual dress day

Fundraise at school

Fundraising for CWS at schools is a great learning opportunity and allows students to become involved and active in their community by supporting their immigrant and refugee neighbors.

Fundraising Ideas:
• A pizza party
• Ice cream social
• Pancake breakfast
• A benefit concert or talent show
• Art show
• Sports tournament
• Car wash
• Bake sale
• Yard sale

Fundraise at Your Faith Community

Communities of faith have a tradition of welcome and care for others. Many faith communities pair a refugee worship service with a refugee offering or with a fundraising event.

Fundraising Ideas:
• Show a film such as: God Grew Tired of Us or Salam Neighbor
• Worship service offering
• Pot-luck dinner or BBQ
• Benefit concert
• Youth Welcome-A-Thon
• Art show

For other resources for your faith community activity, visit

Fundraising Tips

Get started: Set a goal and brainstorm with your team on how it can be reached feasibly. Consider your team, network and community when setting goals and creating your fundraiser. We recommend you begin planning your fundraiser 2-3 weeks in advance; for larger events, we advise 2 months preparation. This allows for enough time to organize, as well as creating a sense of urgency for your donors.

Get informed: It is most important to be well informed on the cause. There are many places for people to give their time, money, and energy. Your job is to explain why refugees need support, and what that helps achieve.

Promote: In raising funds and awareness, promotion is essential. Use all of your resources to reach out to your network and beyond. Social media posts, emails, calls, flyers and even handwritten letters. Reach out to your local news station and newspapers, as well as online event calendars in your area.

Send in your funds: Make your check payable to Church World Service and mail to:
P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. Please include a note on the memo line: Refugee Program. DO NOT send cash.

Thank and follow-up with supporters: Be sure to thank and update all involved in your fundraiser – from donors to vendors to volunteers, etc.


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