How to Host a High-Impact Easter on a Budget
We’re less than a month away from the Lenten season and we’ve got Easter on the mind. As Christians, this is the holiday that celebrates the resurrection and redeeming love of our Lord, and it isn’t something we take lightly. Yet when it comes to Easter Sunday, the most well-attended Sunday church service of the year, we know you probably don’t have an unlimited amount of funds to spend. Here’s how to create a budget for Easter that keeps costs low but the impact high.
Step #1: Secure Funding
First, find out if an Easter celebration was included in your church’s annual budget. If it was, how was that budget calculated? It could be a lump sum or broken down into categories such as supplies, marketing, catering, etc. If not, check with the department leader who oversees Easter services to see if there is money in the department budget that can be allocated towards Easter. If there is no money allocated, we recommend setting up a meeting with your leader and church accountant to see what other possibilities there are for attaining funds. Once you’ve secured the funds, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of budgeting.
Step #2: Draft a Detailed Budget
The size of your church will certainly impact what you need, how much you’ll need, as well as what you don’t need. By drafting a budget you’ll be able to see just how much you can spend and determine the non-necessities that can be cut. As you begin the process, here are some categories to consider:
- Equipment rental — From tables and chairs to sound equipment, you may need extra tools to accommodate your increased church participation. This could be for the church service itself or other Easter events where you expect high attendance.
- Decor — Easter lilies, banners, gardens. There are so many options for creating a beautiful space as you celebrate a beautiful day.
- Food and Drink — Does your church offer free meals on Easter? Good Friday? Sharing a meal is a great way to encourage connectivity among church and community members. If you’re devoting the bulk of your budget to food and drink, consider hiring a catering service. Or, to keep costs low, invite church members to bring food potluck style.
- Print Materials (to hand out to visitors, etc.) — Because Easter brings in higher than normal attendance, it’s a great opportunity to teach visitors about your church and what they could gain from a deeper walk with Christ. Have handouts available that share what your church is doing in the community, testimonies of fellow church members, and how to get involved.
- Advertising — Get the word out about your Easter church service with a little advertising. Purchase Facebook ads, send e-invites, put flyers around town, or go big with a billboard. There are so many options, with various price points, to spread the word.
- Guest Speakers — Whether you pay travel expenses, a speaking fee, or both, it’s important to allocate funds to compensate any guest speakers you ask to attend your Easter celebration.
- Supplies — Is your church doing an Easter egg hunt for children in your area? Include supplies needed for all Easter traditions observed at your church.
- Signage — Since you’re likely to have a large crowd, signage is a good way to get people to where they need to be with ease. Signs for additional parking, childcare, and after-church festivities are a few examples.
- Security — With more people comes the potential need for additional security. To be specific, you might want more security at entrances and around children’s areas.
- Communion Elements — Communion elements, or bread and wine (or juice, depending on your tradition), are an essential part of the Easter celebration. Be sure you have plenty for your entire congregation.
Step #3: Gather Estimates and Review
Now that you have your budget on paper, discuss it with each member of your Easter planning team to refine estimates for each category. If your final count doesn’t fit into the budget, work with your team to see where you can reduce spending. Here are a few tips for saving money:
- Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for decor, supplies, and other items. Look for deals early to get the best price.
- Ask crafty church members to help create custom decor instead of buying everything from a store.
- Keep the print materials to a minimum. Instead, use one piece to direct people to the church website or to gather visitor contact information.
- Facebook ads are fairly inexpensive, especially since you can set the spending limit. Consider using these more than mailers that people tend to throw away.
Easter is a big deal. You know that. We hope this helps you to create a meaningful Easter celebration that doesn’t require meaningful spending.