This year, we want to tackle the issues of our building,
from urgent repairs to lavatories and improved access. But there
are only a few of us. Is there a good way to set out a
SETTING out a path for fund-raising will enable you to
accommodate the realities of your available time and also the
skills and realities of your potential income sources.
Two or three of you can head this up, but a wider committee may
prove helpful. External sources of funds require a different
approach from local fund-raising; so a larger committee can divide
up its skills appropriately. A smaller committee will spread out
the timeline over which it works so that no one gets worn out.
External fund-raising, from trusts and similar sources, is best
tackled by two or three people. Paperwork can be intense, and, in
the end, should be filled in by one person, but two or three should
commit themselves to getting together all the "appended" materials,
from photographs to annual accounts and projected budgets for
As this small group works, it will gain experience in what is
needed on forms, and it is very helpful for more than one person to
be able to respond to the enquiries that may come from the trusts
that make larger grants. Keep an updated spreadsheet that records
progress with all trusts and outside bodies, so that you lose track
of nothing. Each grant application may apply to different phases of
your building programme; so it helps if they are not mixed up.
Local church and community fund-raising can come from a larger
group, and, although each event may have a "leader" who co-
ordinates everything, the more people who get committed and
involved in organising, from both church and community, the better.
Fund-raising events tend to find their own appropriate time. A
calendar of events spread over the year, taking into account the
availability of volunteers, can evolve.
It is better to raise money for specific pieces of work, not the
"general" building fund, but, if people are having fun, they won't
mind too much. The hard-working committee, however, will enjoy
setting out milestones for work achieved as it renews energy for
the next phase.
It is important to express appreciation for those working at the
fund-raising, whether in a group filling in forms or the more
visible volunteers at church and community events. As each phase of
work is completed, you should celebrate. Invite local dignitaries -
even the bishop - to join a small reception, and people's work can
be affirmed and rewarded.
I have heard people talk of "donor fatigue", but a well-planned
programme that is enjoyable and successful becomes a way of life.
That is why the programme is laid out with considerable reference
to the time and skills of key people. Since everyone will be a
volunteer, allow each of them to find their own sustainable level
of engagement, and this will determine how you achieve your
It is almost always better to break your programme of works into
a series of achievable phases, so that the commitment of volunteers
is not stretched to breaking, and is interspersed with celebrations
of phases achieved.
Send issues and questions to