Giving and Fundraising Latest

29 July 2020

During the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, we will be regularly updating this page with the latest Giving and Fundraising news.

Win a £100 donation for your church in July with Easyfundraising

Easyfundraising is offering a prize of £100 as a donation to one church in our Diocese during July 2020.

To be entered into the draw for the prize, you need to do EITHER of the following between the 16 and 31 July :

  1. Register your church as a cause with Easyfundraising

If you haven’t yet registered your church as a good cause on Easyfundraising – now’s the time! Registration takes only 2 minutes and opens up a whole new income stream for your church. For more info and a Step by Step guide to registering, click here. If you’re ready to get started, click here.


2. Raise ONE donation from an online order

If your church is already registered, let your supporters know that you’ll be entered into the prize draw when one of them generates a donation by shopping online through easyfundraising.

It’s a simple as that! Once your church is registered with easyfundraising, it opens up 2 new ways to generate income for your church :

By letting  people know you’re using easyfundraising, they can support you in raising donations every time they shop online.  Easyfundraising provide all the tools needed to make potential supporters aware.  The more supporters you have, the more income you can generate – all at no cost to your church or your supporters.  In addition to this, your church will also have free access to their online donations tool, which allows anyone to click a button that you can place in any of your online areas (website, social media, YouTube & Vimeo – for streaming services etc) and donate directly to your church. They also offer one of the most competitive transaction rates available at 1.4% + 20p along with the option to collect a gift aid declaration when someone makes a donation.  What’s more, there’s no contract, or cost to use easyfundraising. All of which makes easyfundraising a “must-have” tool for every church in our diocese (even if you already use a different online giving provider).

The closing date for all draw entries is 31 July 2020.

For more information about Easy Fundraising visit the On-line fundraising and donations, and for advice or a discussion on using easyfundraising, please contact Gary Watson, Giving & Funding Adviser.

Fundraising Webinar from Ecclesiastical

Ecclesicatical Insurance Group has recorded a church fundraising webinar including lots of tips and advice for churches.

Volant Trust: Covid-19 Response Fund (UK/International)

Applications to the Covid-19 Response Fund will be accepted from registered charities, community interest companies, community organisations or social enterprises in the UK and internationally that demonstrate a strong focus on alleviating social deprivation and helping vulnerable groups who have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Funding will be available to support running and core costs as well as for medical equipment and the production or distribution of PPE will also be considered. There are no funding levels indicated at the award of grants will be at the discretion of the Trustees.

Closing date for applications: 31 December 2020

National Lottery Fund: Community Fund COVID-19 Emergency Funding

Grants of between £300 and £10,000 are available to churches which are delivering activities which support vulnerable people, eg vulnerable children & young people or families facing financial hardship, or relieve loneliness & isolation.

Allchurches Trust: Hope Beyond

If your church provides activities around social engagement for people who are isolated (which can include improved accessibility to buildings and ensuring buildings are COVID-19 safe), community resilience and mental/emotional health and wellbeing, or growing technological capacity and helping people get online, you can apply to the Hope Beyond grants programme, for projects which enable people, organisations and communities to flourish after lockdown.  Grants of up to £50,000 are available for capital purposes and revenue/overhead costs.  If you are unsure how your activity would fit within the eligibility criteria for this fund please contact Gary Watson for advice.

Organisations that have received a grant from the Allchurches Trust within the last two years can apply for a Hope Beyond grant, as long as the application is for a different project.  Successful applicants will receive a grant covering between 10% and 80% of the costs.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all funding has been allocated.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Community Action Fund

Through the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Community Action Fund, an additional £200,000 is available to support local charities, voluntary organisations and community groups to help deal with the consequences of Coronavirus.  Organisations can apply for grants of up to £5,000.

Deadline for applications: 31 July 2020

Independent Age Grants Fund

The Independent Age Grants Fund is a £2million fund to help smaller charities across the UK working with older people hardest hit by the Coronavirus.  Funding will be made available over four separate funding rounds with up to £500,000 available.  Charities working with older people will be able to apply for grants of up to £15,000.

Closing date: 11 September 2020, 11.00 am

Spark Somerset: Small Essential Items Fund

Spark Somerset has launched a Small Essential Items Fund.  Groups providing COVID-19 related support can apply to this fund to cover the cost of small essential items, up to the value of £250.

Greggs Foundation

The Greggs Foundation is providing urgent funding for emergency food parcels, hardship payments and small grants (average £500) to charities, community groups and schools who support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.  Email them to request support:

Alpkit Foundation

The Alpkit Foundation is prioritising funding to support projects that demonstrate an immediate impact on those affected by the crisis, eg foodbanks or activity which helps to relieve the burden of those who are isolating. Grants are available to grassroots organisations serving those affected by the outbreak.

Tesco Bags of Help

Tesco Bags of Help is responding to the Coronavirus crisis by setting up a new short-term fund to support local communities, making single payment awards of £500 on a rolling basis for the next few months.  Applications encouraged from organisations such as; Women’s refuges, Foodbanks, Hospices, Homeless charities, Charities supporting the elderly, Charities supporting children’s activities, although this list is not exhaustive.

Parish Buying: COVID-19 supplies & AV Equipment

Parish Buying is working with 2buy2 and the Crown Agents who are supporting the PPE requirements and cleaning supplies of churches throughout the UK by creating a PPE buying group, ensuring churches have access to competitively priced supplies that are sourced from audited supply chains to ensure quality and ethical supply.

To order a more assured supply of PPE equipment, such as gloves and masks, please register your interest by Wednesday 29 July.

Throughout the lockdown churches have been streaming and recording services and events through Facebook, YouTube, Zoom and other platforms.  As church buildings begin to reopen, many churches will be considering online provision to enable members of the congregation who may still be shielding, unable or prefer not to join in person.

Parish Buying is selecting suppliers for a new category of  Audio Visual and Public Address equipment, to be launched in August, to provide permanent and sustainable solutions to engage with a remote congregation.  Suppliers will be able to offer guidance and make a proposal to suit your requirements for equipment, installation, training and ongoing maintenance.

For installations as part of your response to COVID-19 there is guidance on seeking ‘temporary permissions’. This will enable you to get started quickly.

Local Authority Discretionary Business Grants – give us your feedback

We recently let you know that local authorities were offering discretionary grants for “businesses” affected by COVID-19.  From initial feedback, we know that this was not an easy application process, with information being requested that most churches would not possess (Business Rates account number, charity number etc) and this consequently put a number of churches off from applying.  We have spoken to a few churches recently who did manage to apply and who were successful in receiving a grant, along with other churches who were unfortunately unsuccessful.  It would be very helpful to know if your church was successful in securing a grant from this scheme and the awarding local authority, so could we ask you to drop a quick email to Gary Watson to let us know. Thanks for your help with this.  As any new funds come online, we will keep you up to date with these via this webpage and email/social media alerts.  If you use Twitter follow Gary to receive these regular updates.

Thinking about giving as churches reopen

During lockdown and the closure of our buildings, many churches will have seen their income drop significantly. This is most commonly due to a combination of lack of cash-giving at services and the inability to generate income through usual events and activities that happen in and around our churches.

Cash Giving

There is clearly a risk associated with handling cash as our churches reopen.  Churches should therefore include this in their risk assessments for re-opening and where cash giving will be accepted, a clear system should be in place to protect those who are potentially at risk when collecting and processing cash gifts.  Methods for enabling this may vary between churches, but as a general rule, each cash gift and the associated collection tools, should come into contact the with fewest number of people possible (ideally no more than 1).  It may be prudent not to have a collection plate passed around during services but instead ask your congregation to place their gift into the collection themselves at the end of worship.  However this is done, every church should carefully consider the potential risks associated with cash-giving in their setting and if possible and appropriate, encourage givers to use alternative methods such as standing order, internet payments, contactless/card giving and using online donations tools (including using QR Codes).  To avoid loss of Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme income, givers could be encouraged to give by using a contactless device.  Advice and training on how to choose and use contactless devices is available from Gary Watson, the Giving & Funding Adviser for the diocese.

Increase support for your church through Easyfundraising

Easyfundraising is a really valuable tool that can help your church in two ways:

Online Donation Platform

A free platform for your church to receive donations from those supporting your church. Donors can use a debit/credit card to make a donation. (Transaction Fee of 1.4% + 20p).

Donors can make a gift aid declaration with their donation and details will be sent to your administrator so it can be included in your usual claim.

A handy button is provided for your website or social media pages to take people directly to your donation page.

Online Fundraising Service

Your supporters can raise free funds for your church when they shop online using easyfundraising.  These funds come in the form of a donation from retailers when supporters complete a transaction on their website.

A single supporter usually generates an average of £30 in retailer donations per year when they shop online (groceries, entertainment, furniture, insurance etc).

There are no costs or fees to use the fundraising service.

To create your free easyfundraising account please click here and enter your church’s details.

Step-By-Step guides are available on the diocesan website to take you through how to do this and also how to configure your account.  Click here to find out more.

How to raise funds for your church when you shop around for car and home insurance

If you stay up to date with the information we include on the diocesan website then you’ll already be aware of a new fundraising tool that we are recommending to all our parishes and their supporters – easyfundraising.

Easyfundraising is an online shopping tool that generates donations from online retailers for your chosen cause, every time you place an online order.  See more information on how it works.

Most retailers offer fairly small donations of between 0.5 – 3% of your order value; however, online insurers usually offer larger donations of between £10 –  £25 for each new policy.  So, if you shop around for insurance when it comes to renewal, then read on to see one example of how this has worked for a church in Bath & Wells . . .

“I raised £35 in 30 minutes for my local church through easyfundraising!”

Gary Watson, Giving & Funding Adviser for the diocese writes . . .

“I’m a great believer in practising what I preach, so I recently started out using easyfundraising to support my local parish church in Woolavington and discovered a really helpful way to raise significant donations for the church with very little effort!

“Both my wife and I needed to re-insure our cars in May so I headed off to a comparison website to see who’d be cheapest this year (it’s well known now that insurance companies do not reward their customers’ loyalty with reduced premiums so I always shop around when it comes to renewing our insurance).  Within 5 minutes I had a list of quotes to choose from so I headed to to see if my chosen provider offered a retailer donation.  It did, £17.50 actually, so I clicked the link to take me to their website and bought the policy.  Within 2 hours I had an email confirming my insurer had provided a donation of £17.50.

“Not only was I able to save money on my renewal premium, I was able to raise a decent donation for the church too.  I was so impressed, I did it all again for my wife’s car and raised another £17.50.  Altogether the process took me 30 minutes and raised £35 for St Mary’s!”

Obviously, it’s worth pointing out that not all insurers offer a donation of that size (or at all).  If your insurer doesn’t participate directly with easyfundraising, you can still generate a donation from a comparison website instead.  As an example, ‘GoCompare’ offer a donation of up to £15 for policies purchased through their website (other comparison websites are also available and as a diocese we are not endorsing any specific provider).

It is also useful to install the donation reminder tool from easyfundraising so that when you’re browsing online, a small notification appears when you visit a retailer’s website which offers a donation.  Simply click the button in the reminder and you’ll be eligible for any donation generated when you place an order.

Take a look at our webpage on Online Fundraising and Donations to find out more.

An Important Update on GASDS (Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme)

Following many enquiries from parishes around the country regarding the impact on income resulting from not being able to collect cash and contactless gifts during the lockdown,  HMRC has now confirmed that, where churches normally make use of the Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme (GASDS) in relation to small gifts given in weekly envelopes, it is happy to accept Gift Aid claims for separate weekly envelopes containing £30 or less given when Church buildings re-open or multiple gifts given in one envelope with a declaration stating how much was donated each week and the relevant dates.

Ideas for Fundraising Activities

There are a number of creative activities that can take place remotely or online that can help churches raise funds, perhaps in lieu of annual events such as church fetes/fayres.  The national church team has come up with some ideas for vitual fundraising events.

We would love to hear about your experience and ideas for virtual fundraising activities so please let the Giving & Funding Team know via email or Twitter @GaryW_GAFA.

Certifying your church as an excepted charity

When applying for grant funding and setting up new online giving accounts, churches will often be asked to provide evidence of their charitable status (i.e. a registered charity number).  Most churches are “Excepted Charities” and are therefore not registered with the Charity Commission.  In order to provide such evidence churches can now download a PDF that includes their name, address and church code.  This PDF, which is an extract from the Church of England’s database of churches, can serve as a certificate for churches requiring proof of their charity status when making applications.  The certificate is available in the “More Information” section of your church’s page on A Church Near You.

As always, for any queries and support with Giving or Funding please contact Gary Watson

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