Writing a fundraising plan

Church Planting Fundraising Getting Started
3 minute read
People running a marathon on a city street

Rent. Wages. Unpaid bills. Broken boilers. Stretched budgets. Tithes and money from the collection barely scraping the outside of the barrel? How do you grow ministry when you can’t even afford premises? If only there was a sugar-daddy with a blank cheque to fix all those needs- life would be so much simpler, right?

But for now, a quick jumble sale and a begging letter will have to suffice. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with those tried-and-tested fundraiser classics, but perhaps it’s time to think bigger. 

Long term mission requires long term funding. Here are some helpful hints to putting together a fundraising action plan…

Hint 1. How much?

Eugene Peterson phrased Proverbs 22:26 like this, “Don’t gamble on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, hocking your house against a lucky chance.” In fundraising terms, this would be like aiming a prayer heavenwards and expecting to chance upon a pot of gold in the vestry. God doesn’t do luck. He requires faith with action. God answers intelligent prayers. Give Him accurate figures to work with. Know your accounts. Get familiar with the budget. Try not to hyperventilate when staring down the barrel of your deficit. Work out precise numbers. The answer will break down into two figures:

  • The amount to keep the ministry afloat.
  • The amount to begin exciting new initiatives. 

Hint 2. How are you going to do this?

Let’s say the total figure is £55k. Let’s say you’ve done the deep breathing exercises, and the figure still hasn’t shrunk. Let’s even say you’ve sweated out your best prayer and still no pot of gold in the vestry. What now?

Actually, there’s numerous ways you can actively fundraise…

Written Appeal

Put together a mailing list and send out an appeal letter. For more about what to include, checkout our “writing a fundraising letter the Hollywood way.”

Trusts and Grants

From building and maintenance grants to community activity awards- there are plenty of external funders you can apply to. For more help, check out our “Bid writing help guidelines.”

Sponsored Events

What’s on the bucket-list? Scaling Kilimanjaro? Bathing in a tub of beans? Triathlon? (Actually, training for a triathlon is so mentally draining you’ll have no headspace left for worrying about broken boilers and leaky roofs. Result!) A sponsored event is a great way of channeling that bucket-list wish-list into cold hard cash for ministry. Stuck for idea? Check out our “Fundraising Ideas Checklist.”

Personal Support

Many ministries and charitable organizations encourage team members to raise personal support to help contribute towards the mission. Asking friends, family, colleagues, church members to consider regularly giving through direct debits or standing orders. For more help on raising personal support please check this page.

Business Visits

Businesses often look for local charities and causes to support. As well as tax incentives, it can be a great way for companies to give back to their communities. Contact some local enterprise and ask for an opportunity to share some of your success stories and needs. For more help in what to share checkout our guide to “the ask: Pitching the Hollywood way.”

Major Donors.

Okay, Bill Gates seems to be ex-directory, and you’ve only gone and mislaid Elon Musk’s standing order form. Not to worry. There’ll be other potential wealthy investors in your town. With a google and an ask-around, a prayer and a phone-call, you’ll soon be tracking down the local philanthropist. You’re just a letter, phone-call and visit away from that pot of gold! For some pointers in communicating the big picture to the big hitter checkout our guide to “How to ask Major Donors for money.”  

“Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3 NLT

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