1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Thinking about doing some churches for free

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Grass887, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. Grass887

    Grass887 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    Flame me if you'd like.

    I considered sending them a letter offering 20% off services, then I talked to a few people that said, go ahead and just mow them for free, with hopes of picking up a few jobs here and there from the congregation.
    Reason I can do this...I don't have any employees. Its only my own time im killing. And most of the churches here just have some member of the church mow it on a saturday, so its not like ill be putting landscapers out of work.

    Anyone done anything crazy like this? Has it worked out? Failed? Terrible idea?

    Lets hear from the master landscapers.
  2. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    it could work just fine, i say go for it.

    SMITHSCAPE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    It's a fair idea that you want to pick up accounts from the congregation, but think about how many of them will even hear that you're taking care of their church. Doing anything for free is a bad idea. Are you willing to gamble your time and equipment on the hopes of picking up a few accounts? Don't let us tell you what to do but think long and hard about this one before you commit to something like that.
  4. siclmn

    siclmn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 364

    I have been paid, and it's not spelled payed, by two churches for over 20 years and have never gotten one job from either of them. Don't ever do a job for free.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  5. Illini_Fan

    Illini_Fan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 126

    You are thinking outside the box, for sure. That is something a person or company needs to do to survive these days and is commendable. Here are a few things to ponder.

    Church congregations, generally, like to take care for their own things and help others.

    That person or persons that you see mowing on the weekends, might be doing that as part of their giving.

    You might do better, to join a congregation of your choice and after a period of time, after your new friends find out what your business is, you might pick up a few accounts.

    You might also want to read matthew 21:12 and see what Jesus had to say about conducting business in His house.

    Just a few things for you to consider. Have a great night.
  6. capelawncare.com

    capelawncare.com LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,136

    If you are going to do this for free.... Go to the pastor. Tell him you want to cut the churches lawn for 5 times your normal going rate, and you will donate all the procedes to his church.

    You get a nice big write off, and the church gets it lawn mowed. The only person who gets screwed is Obama, and he got enough money anyway.
  7. rain man

    rain man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,794

    Church members who are presently cutting the grass and getting paid are not going to just let you have the job and little old members who do it for free often do it because they like it. If you do get some it will smell of desperation. Desperation doe not always draw the best paying jobs or customers. Good luck though. You never know.
  8. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Well if you got nothing else to do, go for it. But don't forget that you're depreciating your mower(s) and burning gas. It is costing you money. And what happens when you get busy and you're spending your time there volunteering your time when you could be making money?

    With that said, I do sometimes mow the personal lawn of the Reverend of "our" church for free. I think the congregation provides the house, but he maintains it himself. It's a pretty big lawn, gotta be an acre and he does it with a 21 inch mower. He's probably 60ish and I'm sure it a chore for him. Well, I mow the house across the street, so if I look over and it looks like it's getting ahead of him, I'll run over on my Z and knock it out quick for him. But I don't get all the little nooks and crannies or trim or anything. There's some places I can't get my mower. I also will run over and do some of the bulk leaf cleanup with my bagger from him...there's a place to dump out back. I don't think I spent more than 4 hours total on it this last year. It's not like I'm providing full service, just helping out. I told his wife she can stop sending me a thank you card every time I do.
  9. Hayesj

    Hayesj LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I'd say if you are going to you need to commit to doing it for the mowing season regardless of how many clients it gets you, or does not get me.
  10. Five Points

    Five Points LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    I think if you want to mow it that is fine, but do it because you want to give something and not expect anything back from it. If you do that it will come back to you .

    I cut my church, treat it like all my other properties. submit a bill at the end of the year. They cut a check and i sign the back and hand it right back and get a tax receipt. To me that is not exactly doing it for free, but it is good for both parties.

    This year however a member had his back operated on and is out of commision for a while. I thought I would help out by cutting his grass and did the fall clean up all totataled about 300 worth of work I told him buy me a coffee some time. also did about the same thing for a lady in town whose husband died this year. Well we have not had much snow this year so its a bit tight. Lo and behold One day in the mail box was a gift card for $250 for groceries shows up. Some how someone knew we could use it.

    I guess what I'm saying is cut the church because you want too, it will come back to you not in more accounts but maybe in a way you would never expect. If I help someone and they try and pay me I just tell them help out the next person.

Share This Page