Where grace happens, generosity happens. – Max Lucado, Christian author and pastor at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, TX

The Generous Giving team seeks to help churches across the diocese to embrace a life of Christ-like generosity, by helping to change both the way in which people give and how much they give.

Parish Giving Scheme

The Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) has been developed by the Church of England as a way of encouraging greater generosity within churches. It is a 21st century solution to offset one of the greatest threats to parish income, namely static giving.

With the help of the Parish Giving Scheme, donors benefit from a system that is secure, confidential and easy to use, while supporting the Church today and for the future.

To find out more, click here.

Contactless giving

On May 14th, history was made at Christ Church cathedral, as Bishop Steven donated to the Oxford clergy fund using a contactless offering plate for the first time.

Based on the design of a traditional offering plate, the GoodPlate can be made into a contactless payment device by partnering with an attended card reader (the GBx Mini).

Worshippers tap once to donate a pre-set amount or scroll up / down to alter their donation, up to a limit of £30. For payments over £30 (e.g. wedding fees or hall hire), simply remove the card reader from the plate to access the chip & PIN function.

The GoodPlate does not require Wi-Fi or mobile signal to operate, as transactions can be stored offline – ideal for rural and multi-parish benefices.

For more information, visit the Parish Buying website or contact Julie Jones on 01865 208288.


Photo credit – Julie Jones

Funding capital projects

Capital appeals and fundraising campaigns to raise large, specific sums of money are not part of the everyday experience of most churches and so they can be daunting. Whilst the Generous Giving team does not offer specialist advice in this area, here are a few ideas that may be helpful in the first instance:

National Churches Trust

If you need funding for a church maintenance or repair project, want to install a toilet or kitchen to improve community facilities, or are seeking early stage funding (such as for a feasibility report) for your place of worship, then the National Churches Trust grant schemes could help you. For more information on their 2019 – 2023 programmes, click here.

Action Planning Consultancy

Action Planning is a specialist consultancy for charities and other not-for-profit organisations, with particular expertise in Christian charities and churches. They offer help and advice on fundraising for major capital appeals. To enquire about a fundraising feasibility study for your capital project, contact David Saint on 01737 814758 or email office@actionplanning.co.uk

FundsOnline is a searchable database of over 8.000 funders. The diocese has a licence to access this database – to find out more, click here or contact Julie Jones on 01865 208288.

The Good Exchange is also worth investigating. One application form is shared with many different potential funders, saving considerable time and effort. There is also the possibility of receiving a matched funding grant – for more information, go to https://thegoodexchange.com/

Legacy giving

Legacies form a vital funding stream for many charities and increasingly the local church can be a beneficiary of the generosity of former members. PCCs are encouraged to have a legacy policy and to make information about legacies available in the church.

For more information, visit the Parish Resources page on Legacy Giving or contact the National Legacy and Funding Officer, Eleanor Stead

Resources

Living Generously

The Diocese of Oxford has produced seven reflections on the theme of living generously, based on the story of Mary anointing Jesus’ feet.

You can download them in pdf format here, or to request printed copies free of charge, please email generosity@oxford.anglican.org

Giving Checklist

The Giving Checklist enables churches to review how effective they are at encouraging giving within the church, during the service, on their website and on social media. We recommend that reviews are undertaken by the PCC, or by a relevant sub-group, such as the stewardship committee.

For help or advice on undertaking a review of your church’s giving, please contact the Generous Giving team.


Other generous giving resources

The Parish Resources website has lots of information on how to encourage generous giving in your church. There are specific guides on how to encourage and set up different forms of giving, as well as examples of programmes, leaflets, films and sermon outlines.

The Giving in Grace website features comprehensive resources to help churches develop a rounded approach to biblically-based stewardship and create a culture of generous giving.

For further information, contact Julie Jones on generosity@oxford.anglican.org or telephone 01865 208288.