Capital Fundraising

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:

FundsOnline is a searchable database of over 8.000 funders. The diocese has a licence to access this database for grant-making trusts that match your project’s criteria. To find out more, contact Joshua Townson on 01865 208757.

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.

The Good Exchange is another possibility 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. Click here for more information.

The Listed Places of Worship (LPW) grant scheme gives grants that cover the VAT incurred in making repairs to listed buildings in use 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. Click here for more information.

Ecclesiastical Insurance has an excellent fundraising hub tailored for churches with hints and tips for applying for grants and a list of emergency funders. You can visit the hub here.

Action Planning is a specialist consultancy for charities and other not-for-profit organisations, with particular expertise in Christian charities and churches. To enquire about a fundraising feasibility study for your capital project, contact David Saint on 01737 814758

Fundraising in a Box

Ecclesiastical has a new toolkit for churches thinking about fundraising. As this is relatively new we can’t comment on its overall usefulness but we have received some positive feedback from churches and you can read more and order a free copy here.

The box contains guidance on:

  • Step-by-step guides to help you navigate the uniquely complex world of church fundraising.
  • Clear guidance and steps to make your church fundraising journey easier and more successful.
  • Support for you and your church volunteers whether experienced in fundraising or learning on the go.

Fundraising in a Box Logo

Fundraising in a Box Toolkit

Friends Schemes

Friends Schemes are groups set up to run regular fundraising for the church building. There is guidance to talk you through setting up a Friends scheme on the Parish Resources website here.

Friends Schemes can be successful but there are some very important considerations when you are looking at starting a scheme:

  1. How will a Friends Scheme compliment, rather than replace, regular giving? If the scheme targets people who would otherwise be encouraged to be regular givers to their church you will not, overall, increase your income. So it is important that a Friends Scheme is primarily aimed at those who would otherwise not consider regularly financially supporting the church.
  2. How will you structure the scheme? We strongly recommend setting up Friends Schemes as sub-committees of the PCC (or DCC) rather than as a separate, independent organisation. This allows non PCC members to sit on the sub-committee whilst still ensuring ultimate accountability for the fundraising and its income falls within the PCC.
  3. Would a scheme have longevity? Friends Schemes take a lot of effort to set up, from arranging the structure to organising volunteers, and it is important to have a view towards how the scheme will make a difference not just in the short term but in 5-10 years time. Are volunteers open to long-term commitment? Is there plenty of scope for growth? Do the events and activities of the Friends focus on short-term goals or on long-term support?

I am very pleased to be able to share a wonderful case study from Bisham Church Friends who have worked through all these considerations and built an active, engaging Friends Scheme which draws members from all over the world. I encourage this as essential reading for anyone thinking of setting up a Friends Scheme and you can access it here (written January 2021).