5 Ways to Maximize Your Church Assets: How to Generate Income from Unused Spaces

Church parking lot

Community churches can always find a valuable use for extra money. From church improvements and congregation events to charitable works, your budget plays an important role in fulfilling the church’s shared mandate. In fact, most churches could benefit from several positive sources of passive income in addition to the occasional fundraiser.

One of the best ways for a church to make money is to utilize your unused spaces. Churches often need to assemble assets that are then only used once a week or a few times each year.  Your parking lot, outdoor spaces, classrooms, and great hall are all potentially underutilized and could be put to work as an opportunity to make money and benefit the greater community at the same time.

This article will explore a few promising ways to generate money for your church by creatively putting your unused or underused church assets to work.

Creative Approaches to Maximizing Church Assets

Church assets belong to the church and the community you’ve built. The building, grounds, and the equipment you’ve put together is important to the church when these assets are needed, but what about when they are not? Churches have a cyclical schedule and, often, large swaths of your assets go unused for days and even months at a time.

If you’re willing to get creative, you can maximize these assets to generate income from unused spaces for the congregation, projects, and initiatives of your church. In some cases, putting assets to use can help pay for their upkeep as well.

1. Understanding Your Assets

The firs step is getting a clear idea of your church’s assets and identifying those that are underutilized. For example, you might book weddings regularly in the chapel, but your great hall may remain empty except for gatherings between and after sermons and the occasional congregation event. You may have beautiful grounds and playground infrastructure that only sees play during a few hours a week.

  • Chapel
  • Great Hall
  • Classrooms
  • Landscaped Grounds
  • Playground
  • Parking Lot
  • Catering Kitchen/Equipment
  • Event Furnishings/Equipment

You might run a small daycare out of a few classrooms, with a few dozen other classrooms empty except for Sunday School and VBS. Even your parking spots have value, and are typically only fully used on Sundays, and partially used during the week when church groups gather. You might even have valuable equipment like projector screens, banquet table settings, or pavillion tents that are only used a few times a year.

List all the property and equipment assets in your church and look for those that are in use far less often than they could be. Each of these represents new ways for a church to make money.

2. Monetizing Unused Spaces

Consider how you might monetize unused spaces like land, buildings, and parking lots through rental or lease services. There are many available groups and services who would gladly (and respectfully) use your church space rental as a venue for a modest fee that would benefit your budget for church maintenance, improvements, and good works.

  • Booking the Church as a Venue
    • Many churches offer their chapel or great hall as a potential venue for weddings, family reunions, and other wholesome events. Churches are often among the largest and most welcoming buildings in a community, equipped with a catering space, tables and chairs, and of course the beauty of your chapel when such a space is needed.
    • Booking your church as a venue allows you to collect a reasonable fee and celebrate special moments with members of your community both inside and outside your congregation.
  • Hosting Weekday Training Courses
    • Churches often have a suite of classrooms that go mainly unused for most of each week, used only for Sunday School and the occasional church group meeting. Hosting community courses for a fee can be an excellent way to uplift your community by making practical education nearby and accessible while also generating income for the church.
    • Consider the type of courses you might want to offer by pairing with an educational provider for things like CPR classes, food handler licensing, and so on. Pay will come from students, the educators, or both.
  • Renting Out Event Equipment
    • If your church has special event equipment that is only used a few times a year, renting it out for other events can become a valuable source of income for your church. This is especially true if offered as a package when booking church areas as event venues.
    • Tables and chairs, movie projector screens, bounce houses, popcorn machines; the things that make your church events special can make other events special too, and provide ways for a church to make money
       throughout the year.
  • Booking Your Weekday Parking Spaces
    • Many people notice that church parking lots are often empty during the week. While your church may have ample parking for Sundays and event days, that parking could be equally useful if rented out to local commuters, businesses, or tourists who need neighborhood parking when your lot is not in use. 
    • By marking availability, you can generate income from your empty parking lot and still leave it open for the Sunday congregation.

3. Partnering with Rental Platforms

One of the best ways to turn your church assets into a passive income source is to partner with providers and rental platforms that know how to use the space. Neighbor, for example, is a parking space rental company that can help you lease each spot or area of your parking lot for a modest fee. The potential for income depends on the demand for parking in your area.

Neighbor can help you list each available spot, set a price and availability times, and then receive payment for each ‘tenant’ who chooses to book parking in your lot during the week. If you have ‘boondock’ parking that is often unused even on Sundays, you can even offer long-term parking or oversized vehicle/trailer parking for those who need it and have a difficult time securing a safe spot.

Similar partnerships can also help you with event space booking, educational programs, or equipment rentals.

  • Managing Rental Income and Taxation
  • Insurance and Legal Matters

Once you start planning to lease out space and time, it’s also important to consider taxes and legal matters. This is a new form of income that may fall under new rules regarding your church and its operations. At the same time, you will also likely want to upgrade your facility insurance policy to make sure that your new operations are covered such that both the church and your tenants/renters are protected by the policies.

5. Community Impact and Benefits

One of the best things bout putting your underutilized spaces to work generating income for the church is that you are also helping the community. By opening your doors for local bookings, you can effectively become an auxiliary community center. You are creating affordable parking solutions for the community, offering a new and safe venue for events and groups, or creating an accessible community learning location.

Your church can become an even more involved and recognized part of the community through these works. Not only will you be accessing ways for a church to make money from unused spaces, you may also gain new congregation members who enjoy time spent in your church for other purposes and return for Sunday services and faith initiatives.

Fund Your Church by Renting OUt Parking Spots with Neighbor

There are many ways for a church to make money from unused spaces. Your church’s empty parking lot can become a valuable asset, generating income as reliably as any fundraiser when you partner with Neighbor. Our app and digital community make it possible to turn any open space and paved parking area into a source of income by providing affordable parking to the community. All you have to do is list your price and availability, and we’ll do the rest.