There are many reasons that people will want to give to your church. We can’t guess what they might be, but we can help by inspiring people to give, explaining why the funds are needed, and what they help us to do.
Some will be interested in giving towards the upkeep of the building, while others will be inspired to help further the mission of your church, and to help grow our faith.
Whatever the reason is, it's important for you to recognise what people are giving towards. The temptation is to focus on specific projects when you're asking for donations, but instead, you should consider your donors' point of view. What does it mean for them to give to your church? Are there general things about your church that you can highlight that will speak to them?
Their generous gifts can help move the church forward in accomplishing God's purposes, which are being lived out in a number of ways. Not only are there many who benefit from this money when it's used well (including those who gave), but there are also many who will benefit from it even though they never gave anything at all.
We can all give examples of how our faith helps and support people, whether in times of trouble, in celebration or through the challenges thrown at us in our everyday lives.
By telling these stories, we can inspire others to give.
If you have a group of people who are keen on the history of the church, and are good at hosting fundraising events, then a Friends Scheme is a great way to raise funds, have fund and create community spirit. Friends’ schemes are usually a separate registered charity, so check out this example of Terms of Reference download to make sure that the PCC and Friends can work together for the best outcome for your church.
A good starting point is to ask – what makes our project important?
If you are not ready to set up a separate charity for your Friends Scheme, another option is to use a Parish Giving Scheme Appeal Fund, with an ask for regular donations by Direct Debit, which can be restricted to a project or fabric fund. This removes some of the pressure to hold regular fundraising events or establish a fundraising committee. See the leaflet example from South Newton below.
The Parish Resources website has guidance on running a Friends Scheme.
The National Churches Trust has guidance on how to set up a Friends Group and offers a model constitution.
London Diocese has also written a toolkit on setting up a Friends Group.