Where to start looking
Capital appeals and fundraising campaigns which seek to raise large sums of money can be daunting; whilst the Generous Giving team isn't able to fundraise on your behalf, we can point you in the right direction. Below are some good places to start, and you might want to have a look at this case study from St John the Baptist, Windsor and the excellent advice available from the Parish Resources website.
Searchable Lists of Funders
Grantway - This is a free service. It doesn't specialise in Christian fundraising but if you search for keywords like "church" or "Christian" it can provide some helpful suggestions.
Church Grants - This is a paid-for database (£49pa) which specialises in funders that support churches, thereby increasing your chances of success. They are also able to offer advice about planning and running a fundraising campaign (there may be an additional cost, dependant on the level of advice). The Diocese may be able to provide a free licence, please contact the Generous Giving Adviser.
FundsOnline - The diocese has a licence to access this small database to look for grant-making trusts that match your project's criteria. To request a search please fill in this form and send it to Joshua Townson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building Repairs and Upgrades
The Historic Churches Buildings Trusts offer grants (including emergency grants) for the repair and maintenance of heritage church buildings. They are organised by archdeaconry: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire.
Benefact Trust (formerly AllChurches Trust) - These grants can be substantial and are tailored to the needs of churches. Their building grants can include both repairs and improvement, and are open to heritage and modern buildings. They also offer dedicated grants for roof alarms.
The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme (LPWGS) - This is a government scheme that refunds the VAT spent on making repairs to listed buildings which are used as places of worship. The scheme covers repairs to the fabric of the building, along with associated professional fees, plus repairs to turret clocks, pews, bells and pipe organs.
National Churches Trust - The NCT offers grants to heritage buildings for urgent/emergency repairs, as well as for major improvement projects. Their grant schemes run in cycles so you should check back regularly to see what grants are open to applications.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) - These grants have become more restrictive in recent years and are consequently less supportive of churches. You will need to demonstrate how your project will enable education about your heritage.
The Good Exchange - this system allows funders to find projects in which they might be interested, and vice versa. This means that one application form is shared with many different potential funders, saving considerable time and effort.
Local Community Foundations - These organisations are funded by individuals, local councils, and central government as a way to distribute funds at the grassroots level. They provide grants for projects which enhance the local community, although each foundation has its own criteria: Berkshire Community Foundation, Heart of Bucks Community Foundation, MK Community Foundation, and Oxfordshire Community Foundation.
Benefact Trust (formerly AllChurches Trust) - A dedicated scheme for projects involving either evangelism or improving the local commmunity (or both).
Organs, Historic Monuments, and Precious Artefacts
Church of England Grant List - A national church list of funders, covering: organs, wall paintings and textiles, clocks and bells, silver and wooden treasurers, monuments and brasses, and historic graves.
Ecclesiastical Insurance - An excellent, free fundraising hub tailored for churches with hints and tips for applying for grants, plus a list of emergency funders.
Action Planning - A specialist consultancy for charities and other not-for-profit organisations, with a dedicated team for Christian charities and churches. To enquire about a fundraising feasibility study or to hire a fundraiser for your capital project, contact them online.
Church Grants - Alongside their database of funders, Church Grants are also able to offer consultancy about planning and running a fundraising campaign, and can be hired to do your fundraising for you.
If you have spare car parking spaces you could make extra money by renting them out on a short or long-term basis via JustPark. Expecially for churches near event venues and commuter train stations, car parking spaces can be a lucrative new source of income.
With JustPark you can rent out any type of parking space you own or are authorised to lease including driveways, off-street parking spaces, residential parking, and commercial parking. Plus you decide what dates and times the spaces are rented by setting your own availability, meaning you can do things like automatically block Sunday booking.
With many more churches livestreaming services from within the church building the need for internet connectivity and Wi-Fi is greater than ever before. We have recently received a generous donation from a private donor for the purpose of offering grants of up to £1,000 for churches investing in bringing internet into their church building, through either cabled broadband or 4G/5G phone signal. Please read the below for more information: