Capital funding

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Raising funds to support mission

Churches have experience of raising money for one-off projects, large and small.
Whether it is to help mission overseas or capital works such as a new roof or modifications to the church building, the discipline of capital fundraising is an important income stream for churches.

Capital fundraising can unlock significant new money and make possible things the church could never do on the basis of its normal income.

Funds for capital projects may come from from grant making trusts or from statutory bodies. Some church projects are supported by major donors who make significant gifts, while other capital projects can be kick=started or substantially funded by church reserves or a legacy, perhaps both. And, almost always, a capital project will require the committed giving of the congregation and perhaps the wider community.
A note of caution
Capital fundraising has a specific purpose and a limited time frame: we are looking to get the most money we can from the fewest possible people (and places) in the shortest possible time to make the biggest possible difference.

This dynamic is different to the need for churches to nurture within the congregation long-term, committed, regular planned giving that sustains the day-to-day life of the church. So when embracing a capital project we must always communicate that this is money in addition to that normal weekly or monthly act of worship called giving.
Funding portals
Funding portals help churches and community groups to find grant-makers who may be able to help them with specific projects.

They work like a search engine, matching the grant-makers' funding criteria to the type of project you are seeking to fund. See the Useful resources box - these are for information only. Neither the portal provider, nor the Diocese of Liverpool, can be held responsible for any subsequent dialogue between individuals, groups and outside agencies.
How we can help
The most important initial advice is to think and pray about what you are fundraising for, why you are doing it, and how it fits into the mission and ministry of the church.

Your church's ownership of the vision is crucial if church members are to be persuaded to give - and if they won't, why should anyone else? A good vision with a good plan, backed by enthusiastic and committed people praying, giving, and enjoying the challenge, will be infectious and will fundraise well.

You will find some helpful documents in the Useful resources box,  and help and advice are readily available from St James' House. Our Buildings Advisor, Tom Beesley, can offer guidance on capital projects and we can signpost the excellent resources in the charitable sector. 
Listed Places of Worship grant scheme
The Listed Places of Worship Grants Scheme (LPW) provides grants to churches whose buildings are Listed by English Heritage, equivalent to the VAT they have paid on certain repairs, in effect meaning that such repairs become VAT free.

The LPW website has full guidance on the LPW scheme and how to apply.

Please note: 
  • alterations to buildings are no longer zero rated for VAT. However, the LPW grants scheme now includes VAT on alterations as eligible work and the Government has confirmed its commitment to provide 100% payouts for eligible claims for repairs.
  • applications (whether for repairs or alterations) must be made within 12 months of the invoice date.
If you need further information or clarification on this please contact Tom Beesley or Gordon Fath.
Bishop's Bursary Award Scheme
The Bishop of Liverpool’s ‘Bishop’s Bursary Award Scheme’ is open to all engaged in ministry within the diocese, whether ordained or lay and its purpose is to help fund substantial learning ventures.

Six Bishop’s bursaries of up to £1000 each will be available each year and will be judged by a panel, chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool, against a set of key criteria:
  • What is the learning benefit to the individual?
  • What is the benefit to the church (wider or local)?
  • How achievable is this project for you?
To apply, complete the application form, which you can download from this page, and return it to Bob Banton, Lifelong Learning  Manager, St James’ House, 20 St James’ Road, Liverpool, L1 7BY. The panel meets in May and November each year, and the application deadlines for each panel are 30th April and 31st October respectively.
Josephine Butler Trust Scholarship
The Josephine Butler Trust no longer accepts any unsolicited applications for support. It has a number of initiatives to promote the life of Josephine Butler, one of which is a £1,000 scholarship which must be matched by £1,000 from other sources.

The Trustees award an annual scholarship of £1,000 (which must be matched by a further £1,000 from other sources). Applicants must be:
  • Active members of a Christian church in membership of either Churches Together in the Merseyside Region or Together for the Harvest
  • Resident in one of the nine Boroughs in and around Merseyside: Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton or Warrington, West Lancashire, Wigan or Wirral
  • Produce an outline for a scholarship which clearly relates to the life and work of Josephine Butler in areas like women’s empowerment (notably in church settings), criminal justice, domestic abuse, or the role of women. It is anticipated that the scholarship will involve international travel.
  • Undertake an activity unrelated to any academic or professional training being undertaken
  • Available to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Trust in central Liverpool to receive the Award
  • Produce a short report and be willing to give a verbal presentation on their work an open meeting of the Trustees if requested.
Download the full criteria and how to apply.

Making It Easier

Parish finances

Increasing our income

Useful resources

Beyond the Collection Plate
Chapter Four

National C of E resources
Capital funding guides and videos

Funding portals
Wigan & Leigh

Listed Places of Worship
LPW website

Helpful documents
Grants for Churches
(National CofE)
Fundraising for Major Church Building Projects
(Church Growth Trust)
Funding for Heritage churches

Useful contacts

Capital Fundraising:
Contact Tom Beesley
call: 0151 705 2180

Listed Places of Worship
Contact Gordon Fath
call: 0151 705 2180