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Making a case for support

Thinking through robust responses to these questions before you begin any funding applications is a good place to start. It also will ensure consistency in the communications you will have with funders.

Here are some of the crucial questions to consider, with some example responses which will, of course, vary from parish to parish and campaign to campaign.

Question: Example response:
Who is the organisation and what do they do? – Mission statement and goals St Joseph’s is a church with community centre in London village. Our vision is to become a catalyst for building community at the heart of the London Village. Everything we do through our workers, volunteers and partnerships with other community groups is about investing in local lives. We want to give every resident of the London Village daily opportunities to make new friends, to learn from each other, to grow spiritually and to share their lives.
Why do they exist? Philosophy and values Build a thriving community hub – to enhance the lives of the local residents of all ages and backgrounds by offering them opportunities and facilities where they can meet and interact with one another, celebrate life, make new friends, learn new skills and volunteer.
Take the Gospel to the heart of the community – to start a new church that will share the Gospel and God’s love in practical ways with the residents of London Village and the adjacent Manchester lane estate.
Help local residents to reach their full potential – to utilise the knowledge, expertise and support of the resident clergy and community outreach workers and partners to enable all local residents to live fulfilled lives.
Promote social responsibility and integration – To benefit the entire community and ensure London Village becomes a place where residents choose to live, work and stay throughout their lives.
What is distinctive about that organisation? It is there for the long term – at least 500 years. It is there to welcome all and to work with all people.
It is there to tackle the challenges of that area – low skills, unemployment, child poverty and isolation.
It has already been there for three years.
It is there to be relational and to demonstrate God’s love to the community. It is bottom up rather than top down and is trusted by community stakeholders.
What must be accomplished by the organisation, what does success look like? Should include SMART targets: Building the new centre will be success and it being financially sustainable, with extensive use by the community
How will this campaign enable that? Without the capital fundraising campaign, the community will not have the facilities it so desperately needs.
How can the donor be involved? (dependent on donor)
What will the donor get back from being involved? E.g.: Input into something which will be there for the next 500 years and an opportunity to make a lasting change to a very deprived community (4th most deprived ward in London). An opportunity to make Jesus known to this community. Opportunities to be recognised on the donor wall and to join in community events, volunteer or visit.
What are the progammes and what is the impact those programmes will have on peoples lives? (How can you prove the impact your programmes are having?). We are already running lots of activities in partnership with other local organisations. These include a weekly pop up café at the neighbouring school (where 40% of the children are entitled to free school meals), ‘Stay and Play’ sessions, art workshops (for adults and children including those for people with mental health problems), English classes where 8 people have achieved level 1 ESOL this year, holiday activities (such as performing arts workshops or trips to the seaside), cooking classes/’Big lunch’ activities that fed 40 people 5 healthy meals in Summer 2015. Every week we take the ‘X bus’ on the local estate for the young people where most weeks ten 12–18 year olds engage with our activities and through this we have seen two join our Sunday service and one be diverted from crime. All of our activities are built around tackling the root causes of poverty – encouraging healthier living, educating and training people and providing routes towards employment through building confidence and skills.
What is the governance and structure of the organisation, staffing plans, non financial resources, history etc. (Key question here is – would you trust the organisation, is it credible and is it financially sustainable, if you were the funder, would you give to it?) We have a recently formed Charitable Incorporated Organisation and independent board of trustees which our Priest Missioner chairs. There are three members of full time staff (two community workers and a priest missioner) and a part time administrator. The building is currently owned and will be fitted out by the Diocese of London who are given extensive support to also ensure the new centre’s business plan is also sustainable in the long term. We have around 20 volunteers involved each week and we hire local sessional staff to run other activities.

Can you turn this into your ‘elevator pitch’? Work with your team to craft your two minute summary statement that will capture your audience.


Blank Case for support template  Download  

The Donor Pyramid

The donor pyramid is a model to help you think about who your donors might be, from small, one-off gifts to major donors and regular givers.

Size of donation Number donations needed Total Who might be the donors/how might we find them?
£500,000 1 500,000 Heritage lottery fund
£100,000 2 200,000 Garfield Weston
£50,000 6 300,000 Goldsmiths, and Clothworkers companies, Jerusalem Trust, Mercers company (?), City Bridge Trust
£20,000 5 100,000 All Churches Trust, Joseph Rank Trust, John Armitage Trust, Bernard Sunley Foundation, Big Lottery?
£10,000 10 100,000 Vardy Foundation, Richard Claudesleys foundation,
£5,000 30 150,000 Grace Charitable Trust, Buckingham Trust, Big Lottery Awards for All,
£2,500 20 50,000 Merchant Taylors
£1000 50 (£100 per month for 10 months) 50,000 Saddlers company, Tufton Charitable trust (??), Mazars Charitable trust donors from other local churches /richer churches, ask existing HNW to share in their network.
£120 100 (£10 per month) 12,000 Church congregation, other local churches,
Total 1,462,000

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