Funding for your church

Older male and younger woman stood by a coffee machine chatting while they wait.
If your church partners with CAP, or is thinking about it, then we’re here to help you get the funding you need. 

We’re here to help you and your church access the funds you need, not just for your CAP service but for other church projects too.

John [CAP Centre Manager, Norwich]: The average that I bring in is £30,000. We’ve had 35 (thousand pounds) this year and I’ll be out for some more, but it works out about £30,000.[So, what’s the secret?] [Laughs.]

Text on screen: Church funding: beyond the collection plate’

John: How I saw it was: to try to take the burden from the local church where the CAP centre was actually running from, because it was only a small church, and certainly couldn’t afford on its own to fund what was needed, it couldn’t do it.

Rupert [Church leader, Wakefield]: So I went to our PCC which is our board of trustees, and I said, Look, we want to set up this ministry, but we believe in it so much that we’re gonna do it in a way that’s sustainable. We’re not gonna draw on parish funds, we’re gonna ask outside and fund it from other streams outside the church.

Steve [CAP Centre Manager, Yeovil]: I know for a fact that CAP nationally have over 40% now giving on a regular basis through Life Changers. If I could in one sense replicate that through standing orders locally through people in the congregations, then that was my aim.

[General conversation.]

Text on screen: How do you inspire congregational giving? Tip: keep your church in the loop.’

Rupert: I was once advised to preach the notices. In other words, bring in CAP whenever you can, into the preaching.

Because it’s out there, it’s invisible, you keep needing to bring it into the limelight. You know, you never know where that’s gonna, that lead’s gonna go. They’ll go back to their church, say, and at Christmas or another time during the year, if the PCC asks the question, Who shall we give some money to?’ they might just say, Actually, why don’t we give it to CAP?’

Angela [CAP Centre Manager, High Perthshire]: We tend to use a prayer bulletin which goes out to our 60 or so supporters, and that just keeps people up to date with what’s happening in clients’ lives, keeping anonymity and confidentiality.

So anything we do where it’s a public meeting, we just give people that opportunity to become Life Changers, or our transformers, which is our version of Life Changers. It’s not a huge number but it does bring around £3,000 each year, and it’s budgeted money, it’s money we know that’s gonna come in, which always makes a huge difference.

Text on screen: How do you grow funds from the local community? Tip: Build relationships and be creative.’

Rupert: We’d made a decision early on not to actually fund CAP through the local church but to approach local businessmen and women, and so that was part of our ministry, and they now fund nearly 50% of our CAP ministry.

We have an annual CAP Sunday – we invite them for a meal, we keep them informed about what’s going on, and we keep the relationship going.

John: It keeps their interest, and that they know that their money is being used wisely.

Angela: So we find that, trying to build relationships in local community is really important as well. We’ve done various things, looked outside the box, if you like, at some of the ideas we’ve done.

Be creative – bag packs, events that are happening. Just be there, have a presence, and you’re raising public awareness, you’re killing two birds with one stone.

Steve: So we decided with a couple of other movers and shakers to put together a fundraising dinner locally, in Yeovil, and yeah, that brought in a fair amount. And out of that fundraising dinner, we raised £20,000 so that can’t be a bad model.

Text on screen: How do you access grant funding? Tip: Don’t give up, be persistent.’

John: I’ve been doing grant funding for many years, and I must say that the response has been really good. There is plenty of money out there, and I didn’t believe that to start with. I thought, Oh, right’, but I’ve now found that that is exactly true, there is money for the work that we do. 

There were very few refusals, and if there were, I would go back to them and really button down what it was that they, because it may be that it was something that I hadn’t put in to the application, or I’d misled them slightly, not meaning to, and then they’d reverse their decision and make a grant. So I think, even no’ is not necessarily no’.

In all the centres, the four centres that I’ve been part of, it hasn’t cost the church a penny.

Angela: We’ve certainly got most of our funding, probably about 70%, comes from charitable or grant-making bodies. Biggest bit, probably 50% of it, is from the Church of Scotland. I’ve got Katie, who’s a key volunteer, been with me since day zero, and she’s great. Between the two of us we’ll sit there and we’ll bounce ideas off each other, and it’s a joint effort putting this thing together.

It’s always really been great as well to be able to send applications, draft applications, down to the Church Funding team, because they can always come back with some really good pointers and things you’ve just not thought about of how to answer a particular question.

John: That training was very important. I’ve still got the notes, I still refer to them and it benefits me and my centre hugely.

Chris [Church Funding Officer at CAP]: Hopefully you’ve picked up some really useful tips from all the folk that appeared in the film. But there are lots of other ways to raise funds as well, so don’t forget, the Church Funding team here at CAP is here to help you and your church. Why not book a 1:1 with me, or find out more about the services and support that we can offer?

If you’re new to fundraising for your church, a great place to start is by watching this video and reading the resources at the end of this page. Once you’ve done that, you can get in touch with your local Funding Officer for a chat about how we might be able to support you in your efforts to access the funding your church needs.

Meet CAP’s Funding Officers

Hi, my name is Aaran McDonald and I am the Scotland Funding Manager here at CAP! My role includes working with our major donors, trusts, Scottish Government but also helping our partner churches with their fundraising.

Email Aaran

I am Chris and from 2000–2023 I was a local Baptist Minister in West Yorkshire. This gave me loads of practice (and headaches!) in funding a local church, and now I am really keen to put these experiences to good use!

Email Chris

Book in your chat with a CAP Funding Officer

Useful resources

You’ll find answers to many common questions about church funding in our resources. Why not start with some of the five-minute videos and accompanying single page notes, and then look through The CAP guide to funding your service that covers all the essentials in one place?