There are many potential sources of funding to which faith communities can apply depending on the nature of their proposed works or project. Unlike some of our European neighbours, faith communities must rely on their own generosity and that of others. We have listed various sources (see left hand sub menu on this page) and have also brought together various tips on this page.
Funding Tips gives suggestions on how to go about raising funds and who might help you to do this.
Finding Sources of Funding
Much of the work done by faith communities, for example with young or old people, disadvantaged groups or the arts, meets the objectives of funders. Whilst secular funders rarely support the promotion of faith itself, a project that is run by church members as a voluntary community group can have a good chance of receiving funding if it provides value for money. It may be possible to include building work in such a funding application if the work is required to make the building suitable for the project. See Funding in Cumbria sub heading.
Community Health & Wellbeing Project
This new project offers advice and funds to projects which aim to improve the wellbeing of the local community. Projects can be, for instance, local exchanges where people can get together, or transport solutions to help reduce rural isolation; or community allotments. Many church buildings and church groups could be well placed to get involved. Only certain parts of the county are eligible and grants are between £500-£1,000. Click here for more details
A prominent donation box with clear, succinct information about what money is needed and why is an important basic step. Some churches receive over half their income from visitor donations.
The Ride and Stride sponsored bike ride raises well over a million pounds every year nationally for church buildings. 75% of funds raised go directly to the participant's own church and the remainder to CTfC, the local churches trust. Click here for information on how to join in.
Some churches team up with others such as local schools, village halls or country houses to raise funds together. One example is the annual boundary walk which follows the parish boundary and raises funds for Patterdale school and St Patrick's church. Up to 130 people take part and choose which projects to fund. The walk has been going for over 20 years and raises community spirit as well as £7,000 a year!
Claim back your VAT
If your church is listed, you could save thousands of pounds on repairs, alterations and maintenance by claiming back the money you have paid on value added tax. Rules changed 1st October 2012, to find out if you're eligible to reclaim your VAT, visit the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme. The HMRC have also issued guidance on the VAT changes.
National Procurement Services
Parish Buying and 2buy2 are central church procurement groups where you can buy energy, photocopiers, IT software and other office products and fire safety equipment. Parish Buying: 0800 368 0887,
for Anglican churches or 2buy2 for other denominations.