"Wealth isn’t always measured in dollar signs. We each have time, talent and creativity, all of which can be powerful forces for positive change. Share your blessings in whatever form they come and to whatever level you have been blessed."
JON M. HUNTSMAN
What is Church Fundraising?
"Fund-raising is, first and foremost, a form of ministry. It is a way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our mission. … Fund-raising is proclaiming what we believe in such a way that we offer other people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision and mission. Fund-raising is precisely the opposite of begging. When we seek to raise funds we are not saying, “Please, could you help us out because lately it’s been hard.” Rather, we are declaring, “We have a vision that is amazing and exciting. We are inviting you to invest yourself through the resources that God has given you— your energy, your prayers, and your money—in this work to which God has called us.”
Henri Nouwen, The Sprituality of Fundraising
What is Community Fundraising?
Some new information from the Anglican Giving Survey in 2020 has shown that a significant number of people who give to their church are Heritage Givers, people who believe it’s important to support churches as pillars of our community and tradition. They may not subscribe to the Christian belief of generosity as discipleship but they wish to support the church as they would any other charity.
Community fundraising is a way of mobilising support from people who may be heritage givers to the church or from those who simply wish to support church mission work in their community. Being out and about holding events, collecting donations or handing out leaflets all helps to raise the profile of your church and attract more support. There are numerous benefits to fundraising in your community:
- You can raise awareness and recognition of your church services, facilities and buildings
- You can find new supporters; churchgoers or donors or even volunteers
- You can raise unrestricted income
Stating your case clearly and concisely and giving an emotive message can also help. Asking people to 'please help fund the church roof' would have less of an impact than asking them to 'please fund the church roof to protect our heritage for future generations'. Similarly people will want to hear about how your church is there for everyone for weddings, funerals, baptisms and prayer. If it applies, talk about how your church tackles loneliness, isolation, poverty, deprivation and hunger or the work you do visiting the sick, the infirm or comforting the bereaved. Don't be shy, talk about how God is working through us to enable us to do these things and make people aware that it is happening right there, in their streets and communities.
To ensure you are fundraising ethically and within the law, refer to the Fundraising Regulator's Code of Fundraising Practice and the regulations regarding fundraising and vulnerable people. Be sure to check out your council's website for special permissions and licenses needed for fundraising in public places too.
More information about trustees and fundraising is contained in the Chartered Institute of Fundraising's guide.
Engaging the Community
Together with HeartEdge the National Giving Team have created guidance for churches on a faith-based approach to community fundraising.
- Two-pager guidance: Celebrating Generosity Week in the wider community
- Case study: St John’s Seven Kings
- Case study: St Luke’s Prestonville
You may also find the following videos from HeartEgde useful:
- It's the thing that gets lost
- What is the story we are telling?
- What matters to your community?
- Assets, people and partnerships!
A course about how to make a fundraising plan for your church will show you how to plan activities so that they fit in with your church year and your budget needs.
This prompt sheet will help you conduct a giving review and provides ideas for inspiring, activating and embedding generosity in your church.