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2) Fund Raising
Last Updated: November 18, 2017
Written by Steve Divnick, Inventor of the Wells
Spiral Wishing Wells have generated over $1 billion in churches and other charities around the world since I built the first one in 1985 as an offering device for the children in my local church. It quickly turned into a business as museums, zoos, charities, stores, and restaurants from around the world began to use them for their fund raising programs. I never imagined it would be so large or last so many years.
In addition to being used as offering devices, some extraordinary amounts of money have been raised by churches:
- A church raised $7,352 in one day for a grand piano in their auditorium
- The Assemblies of God leadership has purchased dozens of Wells for their churches around the country
- A church organization in Nebraska raised $10 million for their blind service ministry
- A church in California raised $40,979 in one day.
- A church school in Oregon raised $248,000 in 45 days for a bone-morrow transplant for one of the children in their church
Charitable funding needs are greater than ever, and children who tossed coins into the Wells in the 1980's now show their own children how to do it.
The attraction is still the same: People of all ages love to watch coins spin around in circles at eye-blurring speeds seeming to defy the laws of gravity as they descend the nearly vertical walls of the vortex funnel. Please click on the picture from Japan which illustrates how fascination and fun sounds the same in any language.
Spiral Wishing Wells are being used more and more in churches, so we have tailored a program specifically for churches that includes offerings, fund raising, and using it as an outreach too.
Because of the first two aspects, churches can raise much larger amounts of money with their Wishing Wells than store placements. We describe how to do that in our church strategy suggestions and other documents. (This link opens in a separate browser so you won't lose your place on this page.)
For example, one of the suggestions for a planned event is that a church can invite its members to, "Bring all the loose change from your home next Sunday." The average home in America has over $50 worth of coins, most of it usually on Dad's dresser! But children also can get involved hunting for coins in seat cushions and the laundry room. We provide several other suggestions in our strategy page linked above.
The Outreach Loan Option takes the disadvantage mentioned above and turns it into a huge positive. Whether your church has 50 members, or 5,000 members, this option will be great for you.
You can loan your Well to other churches, schools, charities, and fund-raising events in your city WITH YOUR NAME ON IT as illustrated in the pictures on this page.
This is a great way to tell your community that you are involved, and to invite them to visit your church. And by not having it in your church every week, it keeps it fresher for your members and families.
Schools will want it for their athletic events, other churches will want to use it for their special fund raising projects, and all other charities and organizations in town will use it for their events. These include mainstream charities like Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, Boy and Girl Scouts, YMCA's, United Way, Humane Societies, etc.; and also libraries, civic events in the town square; service clubs like Rotary, Lions, and Kiwanis; and corporate events. These are all great places for your church's name and invitation to be seen.
Referrals: We receive requests from around the world on a regular basis from charities that just want to use a Well for a day or a weekend. But because of the shipping costs, it is impractical for us to do that. We would love to be able to refer inquiries from your area to you. You can either loan your Well free, or for a rental split of the revenue. While getting additional income from a rental split has its advantages, loaning it free is an even better way to get your church's name and invitation out in the community. In that way, it will be a very effective outreach ministry.
When you loan your Well, it is usually to a one-day or weekend event. These events are always heavily promoted and often include media coverage. The borrowing charity will gladly and publicly thank your church for the Well from their microphone and in their written programs, so it is a lot more than just the "Provided by" sign on the Well. Simply stated, there is no other way to get so much exposure on a year-round basis for such a small one-time cost.
- A press release template that announces the availability of the Well to your community.
- A direct-mail template if you want to send it directly to charities.
- A one-page loan agreement that basically outlines the borrower's responsibility to pick up and return the Well.
- A page that includes promotional ideas for maximizing the event income.
As an outreach ministry, a single volunteer can easily handle the loan process for your church. The borrowing-party comes to pick up the Well and brings it back...so there is very little time for your office or volunteer.
Cost and Grants
We NEVER receive any splits or portion of the coin revenue. 100% of the funds raised go to the church, charity, or project listed on the sign above the Well (which is easy to change as needed...it just slips in under the plastic). The commercial cost of Two and Three-Footers (measurement across the top) is $1,995 plus $100 for color. Seven-Footers are $6,995 plus $200 for color, but too large for most churches and not as portable for the loan option. Most churches get Three-Footers.
Project Kindness Grants for Churches and Related Organizations
Project Kindness has pledged up to $100,000 in Assistance Grants for churches this year. They will pay $500 of the cost which makes your share $1,495 plus $100 if you want color). If you are a large church and might want a Seven-Footer, they are commercially $6,995 and Project Kindness will pay $2,000 of the cost taking your share down to $4,995. The grants are paid up front, so you don’t have to wait for it. All churches are pre-qualified, so no application is necessary. We only invoice you for the balance. Important: The grants are available until the $20,000 fund is gone.
Personal or Family Sponsorships
Most churches ask a member or family to sponsor the Well, and suggest that the sponsoring family do so in honor of, or in memory of a person in the church that has been a leader and positive influence. It is always easier to ask someone to donate money for a specific item than a general fund, especially when that item will multiply that donation to many times its original amount.
Please click on the picture of the red Well to see a a close-up of the brass-like sticker, loan sticker, and round "Provided by" sign.
Click here to see a 1-page template that you can send or hand to prospective sponsors. This is the FASTEST way to get an individual or family sponsor. Some organizations have gotten a sponsor within an hour of sending this out!
Some of your members might want to sponsor a Well and place it in a store or restaurant in their own neighborhood with the church's "Provided by" message. All chain stores raise money for a preferred charity such as the Well at the Lowes store below that is raising money for Habitat for Humanity. These stores will gladly host a Well at no cost to them. This strategy makes a great project for families, gets their children involved in volunteerism and service, and significantly expands the church's presence in the community. To summarize this optional program, a family provides a Well to stores to raise money for their charity, with the church's "Provided by" sign on the bottom.
We encourage churches to adapt the Wells to a "theme" or "campaign name". Some churches call their devices, "Wells of Hope." Another church came up with a slogan, "Coins for Christ," and another "Help spread the Word around and around and around the world!" as a catchy reference to the spiraling coins. Another uses their Well to raise money for their church bus and their theme is, "Help keep the wheels on our bus rolling and rolling and rolling!" Your creativity is the only limit!
“We love the lime green Spiral Wishing Well we purchased in 2013 for our New Life Church in San Ramon California. Our children and parents enjoy watching the coins spin around and around. We really like how it helps make giving fun, and we are very pleased with the revenue. We have now added another church in Dublin and want an orange Three-Footer for that campus. Please accept this as our purchase order. Thank you for your fast communication and service.”
Carrie Morgan, Children's Pastor
While all churches and non-profit organizations are affected by the struggling economy, Spiral Wishing Wells continue to thrive around the world as they attract coins and put smiles on people's faces. One or more Spiral Wishing Wells will help your church:
- Teach children to have fun while giving offerings
- Raise funding for your mission, youth, building and other projects
- Increase your church's presence in your city and community
- Generate media exposure
- Provide opportunities to teach children about the joy of giving
- Provide opportunities for families to participate in service projects together
In addition to funding your missions and other projects, one of the major challenges for churches is developing an active presence in their community...to be known beyond their own membership. The Outreach Loan Option not only accomplishes that goal, it can increase visitors and have a direct impact on attendance and membership.
While we can't send Wells out free, they can be basically free to the church with a Project Kindness Grant that covers $500 of the cost in 2015 while the fund lasts, and the remainder either sponsored by a family or paid off quickly from the coin revenue.
After we have answered all your questions, all you need to do is fax in the Church Order Form (PDF) and we will ship your Well immediately so you can start receiving revenue and getting positive exposure in your community.
Direct Telephone: 1-937-937-5863
9 am to 6 pm (Monday through Friday)
Contact me by email
Using the Mini-Well Toy Models for Fundraising
Many people ask if they can use the toys for fund raising, or in their children's departments. After all, they are far less expensive. While they can be used for fund raising, they are not nearly as profitable as the floor models, and they aren't suitable for an outreach program. Still, if your church is small and you don't have the ability to purchase the more expensive floor model Well, you might want to consider the toy models. Click here to read how to get the most out of the toys when used for fundraising.
Church Program Tools