Section C. Church buildings

C9. Fundraising guidance

Church with modern extension

Funding directories:

The Directory of Social Change

www.dsc.org.uk and www.trustfunding.org.uk

Both of these sites are run by The Directory of Social Change and you need to be a subscriber to use them. They are excellent sources of huge amounts of information.

Funds for Historic Buildings


The Funds for Historic Buildings website is a comprehensive guide to funding for anyone seeking to repair, restore or convert for a new use any historic building in the United Kingdom (excluding the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) which is listed, scheduled or in a conservation area and of acknowledged historic merit. 

It includes details of virtually all substantive funding sources which specialise in historic buildings, as well as many (including a variety of regeneration programmes) which provide funding for historic building projects within a wider remit.



FunderFinder is a small UK charity which specialises in information and advice about charitable trusts and foundations that fund in the UK. Some of the things it produces are free, some cost although you may be able to these for free at a library.

Funding Central


Funding Central is a free website for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. The site provides access to thousands of funding and finance opportunities, plus a wealth of tools and resources supporting organisations to develop sustainable income strategies appropriate to their needs.

The Heritage Alliance Funding Directory


The Heritage Alliance Funding Directory a new facility operated by the Heritage Alliance. It covers a wide range of funds, grants and sources applicable for buildings, structures and sites. It now has a directory editor and should be constantly updated.

General sources of information and guidance:

Funding for Church projects

Steve Baylis who works for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham produces a regular funding update which is offered to all Churches across the denominations. You can sign up to receive the update via email. All you need to do is send an email to Steve and ask for your email address to be put on the Funding Update circulation list.

Crossing the Threshold Toolkit 


A community development approach to the use of church buildings.

This toolkit has been produced here in Hereford Diocese and is nationally recognised as good practice. It is a step by step guide to the development of your church building as a community space, covering things like proving a case, meeting community need, community consultation. It is available on the web site under the community partnership pages. 

Parish Resources for Stewardship


The Parish Resources for Stewardship website contains resources and advice for parish treasurers, project treasurers, Gift Aid secretaries and all those who have a concern for making sure the church has a firm financial base for carrying out its mission and ministry. It includes advice on fundraising, Gift Aid, setting up a Friends scheme and parish giving.

Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings


Run by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) Faith in Maintenance is a new initiative which aims to help volunteers who look after historic places of worship. It does not provide funding but training to help you understand how your building works and how to solve problems caused by leaky gutters and blocked drains. 

Its training courses are free and are available to any volunteer who helps to look after an historic place of worship. It also has useful information on finding funding under its advice and guidance section.

Neighbourhood Statistics


This website allows you to find detailed statistics within specific geographic areas. This may be of use in researching the needs of your local community and also in backing up statements made in funding applications.

Shrinking the Footprint


The Church of England’s national environmental campaign on energy efficient and other green issues.

National Association of Councils for the Voluntary Sector


National Association of Councils for the Voluntary Sector. NB Your local Voluntary Action Council can supply a list of local charitable trusts.

Fundraising consultants

Sometimes you will need the help and guidance of an objective fundraising consultant or you will wish you had someone else to do the fundraising for you. There are no short cuts to fundraising. 

So if you are going to pay someone to help your church raise the money, you need to do your homework and get the right person for the job. The first two places to look for advice are the web sites for the  Institute of Fundraising and the Association of Fundraising Consultants.

Both are semi-commercial sites, i.e. funded by the individual fundraisers but they have a wealth of advice and information in addition to the various fundraiser member’s contact details. 

The Charity Commission has particular requirements if PCCs (or any other charity) engage professional fundraisers. See Charity Commission Guidance “ Charities and fundraising (CC20)” and particularly section G with regard to commercial partners including professional fundraisers. Indeed the whole of CC20 is important.

Asset Management Plan

When it comes to the money that every local Church needs in order to function, Church members are primarily responsible for funding mission and ministry. 

A useful principle is for “the living Church to meet the costs of the living mission and ministry while the wider community supports the maintenance, repair and improvement of the building”. 

Accordingly the PCC needs to generate revenue from both the building and its supporters with the objective to have a trickle income sufficient for all the preventative maintenance plus a sufficient surplus to save for major capital repairs. 

To calculate that sum you need to have an  Asset Management Plan (AMP). The AMP will show the PCC how much money will be needed for the little and often maintenance which will keep a dry hat and boots on the church and enable the PCC to save for the larger capital repairs.

Your greatest supporters can be found in the local community if you make the time to engage with them. Several church buildings in the diocese have been put back on a sound financial footing and in a good state of repair by simple initiatives to both re-engage with, and generate support from, the parishioners.

February 2014