Top tips for fundraising by churches during COVID-19

23 June 2020

Key steps and suggestions for you and your church to take to keep fundraising during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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While everyday life is disrupted with churches not running as usual, fundraising is becoming even more important. These top tips have been developed to offer suggestions for you and your church to help keep your fundraising going during this challenging time.

  • Make it clear on public notices that you are continuing to fundraise! We have developed a fundraising poster that you can display inside or outside your church, or you can create your own.
  • Create the right message by making sure that you have a clear case for support that outlines why your church needs funding. View our guidance on writing a case for support.
  • Find new ways to keep your church connected with your congregation and wider network. As well as offering online worship, you can keep in touch with people using phone calls, emails, letters, and video messages such as ‘thought for the day’. Not only does this provide invaluable support to people, but it demonstrates that your church is still active and needs support.
  • Keep up communications with existing donors, this can be different from your usual ways of keeping donors informed such as a special email update, by creating a messaging group or with a phone call. You can even create a virtual social group that meets regularly – ideas include donors’ quiz nights or a book club. 
  • Encourage existing donors to be lead donors during COVID-19. Reach out to people who already give to your church to see if they can give more during this difficult time or help to encourage others to give to your church.
  • Focus on the importance of regular giving, to replace weekly giving when attending a service. You can appeal to the congregation (and possibly the wider community) to set up standing orders for regular giving to your church. A nice touch is to create a message of thanks each week to send to people who contribute to your virtual giving plate.
  • Research online giving as there are a number of platforms that you and your church can use to raise funds and receive donations. 
  • Create online or digital  events to inspire people to give. For example, you could start an online challenge event – get your community on board to come up with their own challenge events or fundraising activity. You can do a sponsored walk or host an online quiz to raise funds for your church. If you are streaming church services, think about incorporating a message about the need to support your church more than ever; and explain how people can do that by donating to your fundraising event.
  • Consider crowdfunding, it’s a great way to engage a much wider audience. Providers include Crowdfunder, Go Fund Me, and JustGiving Crowdfunding. Crowdfunder is enabling charities to run virtual video events such as comedy nights, music events, quizzes, and it has shared its tips and ideas.
  • Research possible funders who are accepting applications from churches.  We also have some useful tips to help you organise your research.
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This guidance is provided for information purposes and is general and educational in nature. Nothing constitutes legal advice. You are free to choose whether or not to use it and it should not be considered a substitute for seeking professional legal help in specific circumstances. Where links are provided to third-party sites and resources, these links are provided for your information only. Ecclesiastical is not responsible for the contents of those sites or resources.
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Guidelines for Charitable Organisations on Fundraising from the Public is also available from the Charities Regulator here