Raising funds for community projects
From celebrating a marriage or blessing a new life, to saying goodbye to a loved one, churches bring friends and families together.
Key considerations from fundraising experts to help your church run a successful capital fundraising campaign.
Capital fundraising campaigns raise large sums of money for building maintenance or large projects. Running a capital campaign can sometimes feel overwhelming – it can require a significant investment of time and resource.
To help make the process simpler and more successful for your church, we’ve pulled together 5 key considerations from fundraising experts.
As the adage goes, ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. With capital fundraising campaigns, the importance of planning is central to ensure your project runs smoothly and successfully.
Take the time to thoroughly plan your project and ensure the following elements are thought through before you start raising money:
Successful capital fundraising appeals are split into two phases – the private phase and the public phase.
During the private phase, all the planning and background work takes place. This is also the phase where lead and major gifts are sought. These are the first major donations to your appeal that get the fundraising started. They are substantial amounts, usually from major individual donors or trusts. Securing these gifts first will give your project momentum and inspire others your fundraising target is possible when you go public.
The public phase is where your fundraising appeal is launched to the public and general gifts are sought. These are usually smaller sums from events, galas, community fundraising and other donors.
Your Case for Support is a key document that lays out why a potential donor or funder should support your project.
A clear and compelling Case for Support is key – it will act as a foundation to all your fundraising. Usually around 2-4 sides of A4, it should include:
You can then adapt this document to use for grant applications and to take to potential individual donors when asking for gifts.
It can be tricky to know who to ask for funds, and how much you should ask for. Undertaking a prospect evaluation exercise is helpful to overcome this.
Make a list of people in your community who may be able to support your project, and give them a score in the following categories:
This can help you to prioritise your fundraising asks and approach the campaign in a more strategic way.
Once you have identified key individuals to ask for donations, it’s time to try and secure a gift. Being systematic and structured here will increase your chances of success.
It’s important that before asking someone for a donation, they have been inspired and informed about your project. Take the time to talk them through your plans and invite questions and comments. Your Case for Support document can be a helpful tool here – it can be useful to sit down with a potential donor and take them through it.
Remember, asks that are one-to-one and personal are always more effective.