Keep in touch
When everything changes as quickly as it has, most people will crave for some sort of normality. Even though the church is closed, your church family will still want to hear from you. They will want to know how they can help – so tell them.
- Explain that in these very troubled times, you need on-going financial help.
- Even though the church building is closed, there will be ongoing challenges such as extra security measures to keep the building safe.
- If you are still running to keep your foodbanks and homeless projects, extra financial support is needed to keep these going.
- Ask your church family – and the wider community if you’re already in touch with them – if they can support the parish and its work with a donation or regular gift during the pandemic. This way people can help at this moment of extreme need but feel able to revert to their previous giving pattern if they need to.
- Offer payment breaks to those struggling to make their regular contribution. This gives permission to those that need it to pause their gifts at this present time in the knowledge that when they are in a better position, they can resume their donations at the same, or maybe even more generous level.
- Those that are now working from home, may find themselves slightly better off because they are not travelling and paying out for coffees, lunch etc. Suggest that the cost of their morning coffee is donated to the church instead through a new on-line giving site: https://ko-fi.com/.Originally started to help creatives, this no-fee site gives the opportunity to explain how you will use donations received for your project. A fundraising target can be set, and supporters are encouraged to leave messages of support.
- Encourage those who make their regular gifts by cash in envelopes to consider giving by standing order, direct debit or donating on-line as appropriate.
- Information about using the Parish Giving Scheme for Direct Debits is here.
- Click here to see more about on-line donations
Set up a fundraising page
There are a variety of providers to help you do this including:
All have different terms and conditions and charging terms so you will need to check that you use the right one for you.
Make the most of the hints and tips they provide to make your page as inspirational as possible.
- Add regular updates.
- Share as widely as possible.
- Include a fundraising link on all correspondence, leaflets, and digital channels.
Some on-line providers are now offering information, advice and guidance for those wishing to set up virtual events. You can find out more about this from this recent blog by JustGiving.
Raise your digital presence
More than ever before your digital presence is your presence
If you’re not already digitally active, get this sorted as quickly as you can. More and more people of all ages are looking for information and keeping in touch in this way.
Use a combination of channels to reach as wide an audience as possible:
- Church website
Look for volunteers to set up and manage the different channels. Young people are really good at this – and with so many people now being furloughed and confined to home, some will really appreciate an opportunity to use their skills and assist in this way.
Look here for info on setting up a Church website.
If you’re already using digital channels – KEEP UPDATING THE INFORMATION!
Use online messages from church leadership to explain how they are using weekly donations and the impact this is having – especially important if you’re running projects such as foodbanks.
Look for volunteers to manage the different channels and post regular updates.
Remember to include a link to your fundraising page to enable people to click and donate straight away.
Look for funders
Be proactive. There are different ways of ‘giving’.
In this fast-changing environment, people are being encouraged to take on a new challenge. One way to do this is to bring together a virtual team to research prospective grant makers who might donate now or for future projects.
Churchgrants – a searchable database of grant funders that supports church building projects and Christian mission (social outreach) is a free resource for parishes in the Diocese of London. To access the database, use this link London.churchgrants.co.uk, enter your unique 4 digit parish reference number (the one used to identify your parish for the finance team) – 1234 – and then click your church/parish name from the drop-down menu.
This database can be used as many times as you want. It will flag up some of the big funders, but you can also restrict the search to find funders that will only support projects in your area. A great resource to help parishes start to identify those that may potentially support their project.
Help your local neighbourhood think about the future (post Covid–19). Some people will make a donation to say thank you simply because you’ve shown you care!
Lots of people who are now confined to their homes may have:
- additional time on their hands.
- spare funds because they are not travelling at present
Engage with them. Prepare a door drop (to go out at a later date if you feel that’s best) to let them know that as their local parish church you:
- are there to assist in any way you can
- continue to serve those in need through a foodbank (or other allowed) provision
- would like to know what they want from their local church in the future.
Consider hosting a ‘when this is all over’ event at the end of the year to:
- expand/consolidate the local community links
- show people around the building
- find out more about your wider community and ask them what they want