The summer is a great time to organize church festivals, and with careful planning, they can be very effective fundraisers. Most religious organizations are trustworthy in nature, but sometimes that means they are especially prone to theft and safety issues.
Here are the best practices to keep festivals for places of worship safe.
Organize Trusted Volunteers
Your volunteers are the lifeblood of your festival; without them, fundraising simply couldn’t happen. All parishioners may be welcome to volunteer, but consider selecting a team that can be trusted with more important tasks. They can do rounds of the festival grounds to keep activities running safely. Their tasks may include:
- Collecting and counting money from stands and vendors.
- Overseeing food safety.
- Ensuring that waste is disposed of properly.
- Identifying safety concerns in rides and games.
This volunteer team should be active from the start of festival planning, so they will also have the most clarity about how everything should be running. Additionally, an oversight team has the benefit of keeping other volunteers accountable.
Secure Money and Donations
As noted above, it’s best to select designated people to periodically collect money from festival booths. This system should be organized so that the money passes through as few hands as possible. Doing so increases accountability and decreases risk of loss or theft. Upon collection, there are a few best practices to keep the money safe:
- Designate at least two people to money counting.
- Count and store money inside the church where there aren’t many guests.
- Consider storing money in an area locked with access control.
- Use a 24/7 monitored alarm system to protect money and other church valuables.
Utilize Video Surveillance
If you don’t already have a video surveillance system, consider your options. They are ideal for protecting your congregation and assets. Your place of worship will find them especially useful during festival season, because the grounds will be much busier than normal.
- Leave the view of the cameras uninhibited—tents, rides, and booths can get in the way.
- Assign a volunteer to watching the feed for unusual activities.
- Give a volunteer access to the surveillance system via a mobile app. Doing so allows the volunteer to make rounds of the festival while keeping an eye on security.