So you’re planning a church capital appeal. Or perhaps you are already knee-deep in it. My guess is that you are likely to be processing any number of thoughts.
You may be wondering if the plans you were making last year have any meaning in the context of…you know what. Or you might be thinking that this is the ideal time to push ahead with a capital appeal – after-all, the options for using your building are limited these days, and who knows when you will get another opportunity to deliver building works that won’t inconvenience your congregation?
Perhaps you have doubts about your ability to raise the money you need. You know from painful experience that people’s personal finances are stretched at this time, and you can guess that the same might be true of funding from other sources. What business would give its hard-earned profits to a church? How realistic is it to apply for grants?
We may not have the answers to all of these questions, and if we said that we did, you’d be right to laugh. If 2020 reminded us of anything, it reminded us that ‘many are the plans of a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.’ (Proverbs 19:21)
In January, Action Planning delivered a webinar looking at fundraising in the context of Covid-19. There was a central, recurring theme: over the course of the last twelve months, Coronavirus has changed everything…and at the same time, it has changed nothing. On the ‘changed everything’ side: we can’t meet together in person, ‘social distancing’ has become the norm, and we spend a lot of time on Zoom. On the ‘changed nothing’ side, we still want to meet, moreover, we want to be socially and physically close, and however convenient meeting online is, we still long to meet in person.
I suspect the same is all true of your church and congregation. Whether or not you’ve managed to move your weekly services online, your church family still wants to worship and pray together. Your church finances may have suffered during closure, but I imagine many of your members have been giving very generously to the causes that they care about. And I’m going to stick my neck out and predict that church buildings will still be serving their communities long after this crisis is over.
So, with that in mind, we believe that now is a good time to be planning your church capital appeal. And planning is crucial. Planning identifies the different types of funding that might be available to you, whether now or in six months’ time. Planning helps you work out how much of that funding might be realised, which in turn helps you scale the project appropriately. Planning ensures you gather the evidence you need in order to present the strongest case to funders and donors – and that’s going to be all the more important as demand increases and (potentially) funding sources diminish. Most importantly though, planning puts names against tasks on that all-important ‘to do’ list, so that those tasks get actioned rather than ignored.
At Action Planning, we have the privilege of talking on a weekly basis with churches the length and breadth of Britain. From the rural village church looking to install toilets and a kitchen, to the inner-city church completely rebuilding its premises to include housing accommodation and state of the art facilities – we find again and again that the one thing they all have in common is communities. Communities of faith, communities of place. And as the last twelve months have shown - communities of hope.
Action Planning is delighted to be partnering again with Stewardship to deliver a webinar for anyone planning a church capital appeal – of any size. The session will be delivered by David Saint and Sean Tully; Christians who understand how you are feeling, who have walked the journey you are on (or something very similar). David and Sean have learned first-hand the importance of ‘Committing to the Lord whatever you do, [so] he will establish your plans’ (Proverbs 16:3).
And when it comes to fundraising plans, they are dedicated to de-mystifying the whole world of capital appeals fundraising. This session will equip you with practical tools and know-how to approach your project with confidence, and with renewed hope. We look forward to seeing you there.