Christian Group Turns to Crowdfunding to Open McDonald's Restaurant Inside a Church

( [email protected] ) Nov 26, 2014 03:16 PM EST
The McMass Project aims to put McDonald's in churches. Photo: McMass Project

A New Jersey Christian group has started a crowdfunding campaign to get a McDonald's restaurant opened inside a church.

The McMass Project is looking to raise one million dollars to pay the franchise fee for the popular fast food restaurant to "capture modern audiences," according to McMass Project co-founder Paul Di Lucca.

"Churches are community centres, but need to attract people and support themselves financially. McDonald's are profitable, draw constant crowds, but need great, centrally-located spaces," the group's website says. "Together, a McDonald's Church will support itself and become increasingly active in its community."

A promotional video on the project's Indiegogo crowdfunding page notes that three million people leave the Church each year in the U.S., and as many as 10,000 churches closed down in 2013.

So Di Lucca and his colleagues believe that combining a church and a McDonald's will create "a self-sustaining, community-engaged, popular church, and an unparalleled McDonald's restaurant."

The site describes what the group sees as the perfect solution to the problem. "We want to demonstrate a bold new vision for how churches can engage with their surrounding communities, and thrive in the future," Di Lucca says. "We need to solve this problem soon or church communities as we know them will cease to exist. It's time for churches to engage with entrepreneurship. The McMass Project is helping churches keep pace in the modern world. We can solve all of these problems and become more present in culture by establishing McDonald's franchises in churches!"

If you're not familiar with how crowdfunding works, it essentially allows someone to raise the money he or she needs to complete a project, and in the process, offers valuable incentives to its backers. For the McMass Project, contributors can get everything from a McMass sticker, a t-shirt, a snapback hat, bumper sticker, or even their names on a memorial brick that will be part of the Donor Wall in the first McMass church.

And if you're wondering what that one million dollars will go toward, the group offers an explanation on its site. "A McDonald's franchise represents a considerable investment-- with the potential for considerable return. The McMass project is to creating a new, entrepreneurial, paradigm to revolutionize churches. Our fundraising goal of $1,000,000 will go to covering franchising and development costs for our pilot partner church."

The group says that it chose McDonald's not just because they enjoy the food, but also because of the company's work with the community through the Ronald McDonald House Charities. The RMHC has chapters in 57 countries and regions, offering a place for families with hospitalized children to stay during treatment.

As of this writing, the campaign has only raised $78 of its $1 million goal, but it has until January 16, 2015 to raise the needed funds. If you'd like to contribute and see what incentive rewards may catch your eye, head over to the Indiegogo campaign page for more information.