Church Fundraising during the cost-of-living crisis
Fundraising during a cost-of-living crisis can feel rather daunting: with pressure from higher levels of inflation, rising energy costs and rapidly increasing mortgage rates.
Like other types of teams, the most effective fundraising teams have clearly defined roles with people given particular responsibilites.
In fundraising, one of the hardest things to manage is the feeling that you are on your own. This can be difficult to handle as the reality is much of the fundraising activity is done by a very small number of people.
However, it’s great to try and build a fundraising team. Not only does this offer practical support but it also ensures that other people are involved in your church’s fundraising efforts.
You can achieve a lot if you are clear about people’s roles and keep the team motivated. In fact, underpinning the success of many church's fundraising campaigns are volunteers who are engaged and having fun. It is a great opportunity for people to learn new skills and gain confidence.
It’s vital to have a team leader who regularly thanks the team, reminds them fundraising doesn’t happen overnight, and encourages them to persevere with this important task when there are obstacles or disappointments. It’s important that this leader also communicates positive fundraising messages to the wider church community – keeping them on board and motivated by your project.
Churches often get volunteers by putting a message in the notice sheet and waiting to see who turns up! Advertising like this is important as it can draw out people you may not have thought of, especially if the advert is specific about the required tasks and skills. However, you will usually get the best results by thinking of the people you want to be involved and approaching them directly.
Your volunteers may have valuable experience and skills from their professional or previous working lives. Volunteers who don’t have professional experience are equally valuable as they may be well-connected to the local community or have skilled hobbies.
When forming your fundraising team, it is important to consider the experience and skills of your team and match them to the things you need. You can use the table below to help you match your volunteers to fundraising roles.
|Team Role||Areas of Responsibility||Team Member||Skills and Experience|
|Individual Giving||Phoning potential donors and supporters about fundraising appeals; setting up meetings with potential individual donors, and drafting letters from|
|Retired local GP; good rapport with people on a one-to-one basis; excellent telephone manner; personable and able to maintain good relationships|
|Trusts and Foundations||Writing trusts and foundations applications; managing relationships with trust managers; reporting to trust funders following a grant|
|Retired librarian; good rapport with people; methodical and well-organised|
|Fundraising planning||Compiling fundraising spreadsheets, donations reporting and forecasting|
|Excellent with numbers and familiar with church finances|
|Events||Organising fundraising events, setting up events, overseeing catering|
Youth Worker (paid staff)
|Experience managing large group activities and events; good problem solver|
|Digital Fundraising||Setting up and overseeing online giving page; working with the treasurer|
|Studying marketing at college, great digital skills and experience of crowdfunding|
Often in church life, people sign up for things because they are keen to be helpful without really understanding the level of commitment required. Always send everybody in the team a letter or email before they sign up which tells them:
This approach may put some people off, but that is much better than having people who have to give up half-way through because they are unable to do the work that is needed.
As well as people in your church, it can helpful to assemble a list of all the other resources and people that may be able to help you. These might include:
For more information and fundraising tips, please visit our fundraising hub.
If you’re a smaller or rural church, there is resource information in our toolkit for rural churches.