A checklist: key factors for successful fundraising

24 August 2023

After researching possible funders and grants for your church, use this checklist to identify some key points to consider before making an application.

There are a number of key factors that need to be in place for success in fundraising. A simple checklist has been developed with helpful items for you to consider when planning fundraising, so your church can be well-prepared and confident.

You may not have each point on the list completed or even started. For example, you may not be in a position to have a fully-developed fundraising plan yet, but if you have agreed the basic principles, and decided what action you will take to develop this plan, then your fundraising will be in a much stronger position.

This checklist will help your church to be well-prepared and confident, which is important when you are applying for grants or funding.

Key factors for successful fundraising

  • A strong vision, which clearly expresses what your church would like to achieve with the funds raised. Guidance on developing a vision statement for your church can be found in Step 1.
  • A ‘shopping list’ of your project, activity or running costs broken down into easily identifiable chunks which require funding.
  • fundraising person (or volunteers), with sufficient time to dedicate to fundraising and appropriate expertise and experience (or the willingness to learn). More advice on helping your church bring together a strong fundraising team of volunteers can be found in Step 1.
  • A church leadership group that is willing to commit time and resources to fundraising.
  • A fundraising plan should practically define how you intend to implement fundraising. Set out how much you aim to raise and for what purpose, by when and from whom, in a clear table with dates, tasks and responsibilities listed. See more guidance on developing a fundraising plan.
  • Some administration: it’s essential to have people who are opening post, banking money and liaising with funders.
  • Thorough research and recording of potential donors and funders. Make sure you have a way of recording the causes supported by these potential funders and donors, how to apply, deadlines and any requirements. Useful tips to help your church to organise its research into possible donors and funders can be found in Step 2.
  • A compelling and clear case for support which conveys the need for your project, activities or services; what your solution to the need is; and what outcomes your solution will provide. Guidance on developing your church’s case for support can be found in Step 3, with more detailed guidance in our Bitesize videos - Successful grant applications.
  • With fundraising comes responsibility, including good governance structures. For example, your church will need a simple data protection statement (GDPR) to show that you are protecting donors’ personal information.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the impact of your project is important to funders. Reporting your impact is a key part of successful fundraising, as grant funders will expect to see evidence of the impact of their grant. Consider how you could do this and how you will report back to the funder. More advice on communicating outputs and outcomes can be found in Step 4.

This guidance is provided for information purposes and is general and educational in nature. Nothing constitutes legal advice. You are free to choose whether or not to use it and it should not be considered a substitute for seeking professional legal help in specific circumstances. Where links are provided to third-party sites and resources, these links are provided for your information only. Ecclesiastical is not responsible for the contents of those sites or resources.