As we work to make a bigger difference here's some advice during the Covid-19 crisis
Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the income churches normally receive from rentals of their church buildings. This can range from low-level rentals to church organisations and community interest groups to sustained use of the building by playgroups and nurseries and all stops in between. In many cases this income has stopped almost overnight and whilst all churches will feel this loss for some it is highly problematic.
Many churches have community facing ministries, not least foodbanks, and it is a struggle to sustain those ministries. There are the financial pressures of course but in addition some volunteers have had to withdraw to shield themselves and/or others.
We must await national developments around lockdown guidance and also advice around when and how it might be possible to open up our buildings, our churches and our community halls.
Faith and community groups have a unique role to play in looking after people, providing services and support and in building a sense of society. Government and trust funds are making funds available.
This page offers some guidance on possible sources of grant funding that might be available to churches.
There are no guarantees but there are possibilities to be explored. Funding can help with the project costs of, say, a foodbank but also recoup some of the core costs of the church that hosts the foodbank – for example rental of a kitchen preparing food or a room to store food. Without those core costs covered the ability to run the foodbank is impaired.
Help support and advice
There is a wealth of experience and advice available through your local Council for Voluntary Service and equivalent. Make use of their advice and their websites have a range of Coronavirus related advice including lists of grant making trusts, some local, some regional and national
You can also talk to Ellen Loudon, Director of Social Justice and chair of Together Liverpool. Ellen can offer general advice as well as funding related advice and guidance in making funding applications.
Trust funding help for churches
The Diocese of Liverpool has partnered with www.churchgrants.co.uk to make available their search engine for church specific grants.
To benefit from this go to https://liverpool.churchgrants.co.uk enter your parish number and select your parish from the drop-down list.
There is a wealth of experience and advice available through your local Council for Voluntary Service and equivalent. Make use of their advice and their websites have a range of Coronavirus related advice including lists of grant making trusts, some local, some regional and national.
Allchurches Trust: Hope Beyond fund
Grants of up to £50,000 are available to churches and Christian charities, amounts depending upon project and need in the community, ranging from 10% of project cost through to 80%. Applications are invited across three themes:
- Projects responding to the issues of loneliness and isolation exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic where new and/or enhanced support is being proposed. This could include enabling improved accessibility to buildings/activities and measures to ensure buildings are Covid-19 safe
- Projects focused on growing community resilience and promoting mental and emotional health and wellbeing, including the provision of mental health and wellbeing support groups and 1:1 counselling for people of all ages (including clergy).
- Projects focused on growing technological capability and resilience, particularly increasing digital capacity and provision, and supporting those without online access to get online through training and support.
National Lottery Awards for All
This funding arm of the National Lottery is focusing on Covid grant support for grants up to £10,000, below the level of the Coronavirus Community Support Fund.
They aim to help
Find out more and apply here
- organisations helping those affected by the virus (such as BAME communities, end of life care and community advice),
- services for vulnerable groups (such as debt support, homeless, domestic abuse) and
- finally organisations that support community building and infrastructure.
An initiative of Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram in partnership with the Community Foundation for Merseyside. Grants up to £5,000 are currently awarded with a focus on foodbanks, mental health and wellbeing and financial inclusion.
Find out more here
Community Foundation for Lancashire
Note that West Lancashire has its own version of this funding, via the Community Foundation for Lancashire
Grant making trusts
There are any number of lists of grant making trusts with a focus on Covid-19. Many lists will duplicate each other but some will contain regional funders for your area.
- Charity Excellence Framework: top of the tree here because although it is a Trust fund database company, on which see below, Charity Excellence are offering their Covid-19 funding database and additional resources for free. Well worth exploring.
- The Merseyside Funding Information Portal is free and very comprehensive, covering the Mersyside region including Halton & St Helens, Knowsley, Liverpool and Sefton. It contains both regional and national funders https://mfip.org.uk/
- Liverpool CVS has a dedicated Covid support grants list here.
- Halton & St Helens CVS Covid funding list is half way down their home page; they flag up the Charity Excellence Framework, as above.
- Warrington Voluntary Action has a list of funders, helpfully with local funders at the top of the list.
- Wigan Borough Community Partnership have a Covid-19 funding and advice page here
Trust fund database searches
There are a number of organisations that for a fee provide search engines for filtering out grant makers most likely to support your project.
The first port of call is your local CVS or community council who will have access to grant finding software
GrantsOnline offers subscriptions from £15 for a month upwards
Funderfinder is well known, a year subscription is around £230 for 500 searches
Funds Online a service of the Directory of Social Change offers weekly (offline applications only) or annual subscriptions for around £430
Charity Excellence Framework: a Covid-19 funder database and additional toolkit resources and all for free; registration required, no cost.
Grants for Churches
See also the list of grants for churches which includes building related grants at the comprehensive Parish Resources website.
Covid-19 and Heritage Grants
COVID related funding from Historic England and the Heritage Emergency Fund are now closed to new applications.
National Churches Trust
The excellent NCT site has a rich range of resources. See their web page on grants programmes and guidance for looking after your church. They have three grants programmes.
- Preventative Maintenance Micro Grants: 50% grants of up to £500 towards services booked via MaintenanceBooker costing up to £1,000; no closing date.
- Foundation: 50% grants of £500 up to £5,000 on urgent and essential maintenance works; no closing date.
- Gateway: grants of £3,000 up to £10,000 (not exceeding 50%) for maintenance and small repair projects – next deadlines 14 May and 10 September.