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/ 7 April 2020

Fundraising in unprecedented times

Fundraising concepts for any church

There is no doubt that we are in strange and unprecedented times.

It seems to me, however, that when everything changes as quickly as it has, most people will crave for some sort of normality. Even though the church building is closed, your church family will still want to hear from you. They may also want to know what they can do to help so:

  • Keep in touch!
  • Develop ways to stay in contact with all your church family.
  • Include the wider community if you possibly can.
  • Share what you are doing to support the local community with regular updates when possible.
  • Let them know how they can help support you through this season
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need!
  • There are different ways of giving:
    • Time
    • Talents
    • Treasure
  • Time:

Some people will have additional time on their hands. Are they prepared to gift some of their time on a particular project? Maybe researching which grant funders might support a proposed out-reach project or award a grant towards a planned building refurbishment.

  • Talents:

Others may possess, or want to develop a certain skill. In this time of virtual contact, a digital presence has become a must. Using a combination of channels will reach as wide an audience as possible. So, who in your community can help with:

  • Church website
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Treasure:

There will be some who don’t feel they have anything to contribute – maybe because they don’t feel techno-savvy or elderly (or both!). They could be stalwart members of the church family, that really want to help. Why not ask if they would consider making an additional financial gift – or maybe increase their regular donation – to help see the parish through this season?

Provide reassurance that their generous help is to see the parish through a moment of extreme need, and they would be very welcome to revert to their previous giving pattern when they need to.

Fundraising training events

We’re taking a break from our Fundraising Workshops during the Coronavirus pandemic but hope to be back with a brand-new Church Grants Fundraising Workshop later in the year. Please register here if you are interested in coming along so we can keep in touch and update you on the program etc.

We also hope that the cancelled Parish Fundraising Workshop on 17 March will be rescheduled for the early autumn.

Grant funding update

In these unprecedented times, many grant funders are joining together to create bigger than usual emergency funding streams. For the most up to date information click here and scroll down to the fundraising section.

If you are unfamiliar with applying for funding and would like support with how to complete your application, you can contact Sarah Reilly, Fundraising Manager (maternity cover) by email for advice.

Wolfson Grants for church fabric

The Wolfson Foundation gives away grants of up to £10,000 to churches in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Previously awarded by ChurchCare, these grants are now being awarded by the National Churches Trust. Applications for a grant should be submitted by 14 May 2020.

Church Grants

And finally, a reminder of the link to the Church Grants database: London.churchgrants.co.uk.

Recent additions to the Church Grants site include funders that have made donations for work to organs, bells and international development projects as well as for repairs, restoration, heritage and social outreach projects.

To carry out a free search enter the unique 4-digit parish reference number (the one used to identify the parish for the finance team) – 1234 – and then click the church/parish name from the drop-down menu. You can use this search engine as many times as you want to identify prospective grant funders for your projects.

Useful information:

Any parishes that feel they need help with their fundraising may consider using Kickstarter, a new service from the Church Grants team. For more information see here.

Any comments or suggestions about future fundraising events can be emailed to Parish Fundraising Manager, Carol Ward, at Parish Fundraising Support, the dedicated email enquiry line for parishes with fundraising queries.

About Carol Ward

Carol Ward is the Parish Fundraising Manager for the Diocese of London, and has a wealth of experience across many sectors for parishes to call on. She is married to Andy. Together, they have three children, two grandchildren, and a dog called Jack.

Read more from Carol Ward

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