Church Fundraising

Churches can often be seen as one of the most difficult organisations to fund.  Most have costly and ancient buildings to upkeep, which are empty most of the week, whilst also having a declining tithing congregation.

So there are two needs here, which are frequently at logger heads with each other.  It really is a delicate balancing act, fraught with sensitivities that need careful handling.

There is also the contentious issue in lots of churches about ‘acceptable’ sources of funding, for example many will not accept or apply for Lottery Funding on religious grounds.

Depending on what you are raising funds for will depend on which method of fundraising you choose.  We know that many churches do event fundraising and do it very well, and they obviously do “database” funding from the Sunday morning collection.

To become sustainable some churches have converted their historic buildings into multi-functional resources for the wider community and opened their doors wide to include all faiths and no faith communities.  Some projects have been amazing at bringing together communities that would never have met otherwise.

The funding you require may not be for anything so grand as a new or improved church building, it may be for projects to reach out to the community in need, and in these cases there are many funders to apply to and great ways to raise funds.

I have struggled to find any information on the internet related to church fundraising that doesn’t include events, events and more events!  Churches need to consider the whole range of fundraising if they are going to meet their funding needs – especially - if it’s a capital project such as converting a church building which could be a multi-million pound project.

So where do you start?

Churches often form very good alliances with other community groups or churches to pool their resources.  When considering who to partner with the following questions should be asked as it is vital to form a partnership with the right sort of organisation.  To see the full range of questions, subscribe to GiveUsTheFish and receive The Fundraising Report.

Clarity of purpose

What are the aims and objectives?
Is it clear why your organisation is involved?
Is it clear what you need to do?

Performance management

How does the partnership’s success in delivering its outputs get reported?
Do you know enough about the other partners’ priorities, objectives and roles?
Are you clear that you are all working towards the same objectives?

Reducing duplication

Is there another partnership that deals with the same issue?
Can the objectives be achieved through that partnership instead?

Decision-making and Delegated Responsibilities

What impact might this have on the way you work?
What are the risks of being involved in this partnership?
Do you have enough authority to bring about any service improvements that arise from this partnership?

I hope you find this information useful and informative.  If you would like to contribute to this resource please leave a comment or email us.

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