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/ 1 March 2017

Winning hearts and minds for your fundraising appeal

2017 Sowing Seeds for Tomorrow

This Lent we hope many of our parishes will support our ‘Sowing Seeds for Tomorrow’ Lent Appeal which will raise much-needed funds for ALMA, our mission partners in Angola and Mozambique. To help maximise the funds raised for this or any other parish appeal, parishes might find the following steps useful.

Step 1 – PCC support and buy-in

Based on my own church experience, the first step would be to get buy-in from the PCC so they can add their support and lead by example. I had to do this when I wanted to introduce Messy Church as an additional outreach project last Easter. I knew from previous experience that it can be very difficult to get any initiative off the ground without full PCC commitment and support.

Once this has been agreed, and you have the green light to go ahead, you are ready to share the appeal.

Step 2 – Communication, communication, communication

Raising money requires you to communicate with your church congregation and your wider community why the appeal is so important. You must communicate any appeal in a variety of ways because we all have a preferred way of receiving information. Across different generations, people may prefer presentations, email, facebook or receiving something in the mail. Providing the campaign information in a number of ways, and repeating the message to keep it high on the agenda, is the best way to spread the word.

For the Lent Appeal this might include:

  • Displaying the posters received in the resource pack, share the A5 card detailing the three projects from our ALMA partners (and possibly order more – maybe give one card to each family, couple or individual who make up the church family?)
  • Adding an item to the pew sheet or parish magazine.
  • Giving a ‘notice’ or planning a Sunday (or any other day) service about the Lent Appeal using the PowerPoint resources that are available on the Diocesan Lent Appeal webpage.
  • Inviting an ALMA reps to visit and speak at your church (please do contact the ALMA team if this is something you would still like to arrange).
  • Adding links on the parish website.
  • Rolling out your project by Facebook and Twitter and any other social media channels.

And so it is, for any parish fundraising initiative. Sharing the information as widely as possible and in various different mediums, will help your church family understand the project and also give their support to it.

Step 3 – Ensure your donation processes are clear

Making sure clear information about how to make a donation may seem obvious, but it is SO important. The main thing is to make giving a donation as easy as possible for as many as possible. Do you have an online portal like give.net? Have you provided clear details about gift aid? And can people give both by cheque, BACS or standing order as well as via a giving envelope?

A lot of the process I’ve outlined above can be incorporated as part of a fundraising strategy for other projects of any size or shape – PCC buy in; leading by example; sharing the message widely – and frequently – in as many different mediums as possible. You can find more information on running parish fundraising campaigns.

All of these things will help make your fundraising campaign a success. And just before I move onto my top tip for this blog – I really do hope you will support this year’s Lent Appeal.  The Church is facing huge challenges in difficult circumstances in Angola and Mozambique but with your help through ‘Sowing Seeds for Tomorrow’ we can make a tangible difference to the gospel work going on in these countries; by training more church leaders and educating more children in church schools.

And finally, my top tip for this blog:

As I have mentioned previously, being passionate about a cause and able to inspire others is key to successful fundraising, money always follows vision and passion. So who in your church family has a passion for the cause?

For the Lent Appeal, it could be someone who supports ALMA; maybe someone with a keen interest in the work of the church in Angola and Mozambique.

For a Capital Campaign, it could be someone who has a love of the building and an excitement about its potential to better serve your congregation and community but who ideally also has some knowledge and can navigate the complexity of a building project.

And if you’re fundraising for a specific project – maybe to run a food bank or start a lunch club for older people at risk of being socially isolated – who do you know with a heart to make a difference to those in need and support these types of initiatives?

Identifying a ‘champion’ with the passion and commitment to make things happen is probably the most important thing you can do!

Carol Ward is the Parish Fundraising Manager for the London Diocesan Fund and can be emailed or called on 020 7932 1264. For further help on fundraising check out Fund My Church pages. You can also follow us on twitter using the handle @fundmychurch.

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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